YOU GUYS, I am beyond excited to introduce the Smarty Mom this week, Krystle Baller. She and I were connected through my doula, Sarah Cowherd within the last few months. In our 30 minute conversation, I was absolutely FLOORED with her involvement in the youth community, specifically, Girls Rock Charlotte. I initially wanted to interview her regarding her blossoming Baby Punk business, but as our conversation continued, I realized more people needed to know ALL THE THINGS this incredible mama does. She’s super talented, incredibly kind and a genuine ROCKSTAR.
Smarty Mom: Krystle Baller
Name: Krystle Baller
Kiddos: Cadence 4 years old
Occupation: Entrepreneur/Music Teacher/ Confidence Amplifier
Number of years in Charlotte/surrounding? 7 years
What inspired you to become involved with Girls Rock Charlotte?
I was on maternity leave and saw that GRC existed via Facebook. I reached out to see if they needed any extra equipment because I have acquired a lot of gear over the years and they needed more instrument instructors. Having a daughter made me reflect on what it’s like to experience life as a woman and after researching girls rock I thought it was the perfect way to give back.
What is your role with Girls Rock Charlotte?
I’m the Music Director. I oversee all of the music production, acquire and maintain musical equipment, and provide the music curriculum to teach the kids. I can teach all the instruments, but more importantly I can teach all of the volunteers how to effectively instruct the youth in a way that inspires them and builds their self-esteem.
Did Girls Rock Charlotte inspire you to create Baby Punk?
I guess in a way it did. Girls Rock really inspired me to create Lady Rockstars, moreso. Lady Rockstars is a program I created where I put women in bands, they learn guitar bass or ukulele, then learn a couple songs, have a photoshoot, come up with their band name and then we have a show at the end of the month. It was the answer to the GRC volunteers wanting to have a similar experience after the first camp. I’ve created almost 15 girl bands so far in the past 4 years, it’s been a wild ride! Because of Lady Rockstars I was able to open up my own space, Pachyderm Music Lab. Where I teach private lessons, interesting workshops, and group classes (like Lady Rockstars and BabyPUNK)
What is BabyPUNK?
When I first opened my business I tried to do traditional kids music classes and it was BORING! A lot of time and energy was spent learning songs I didn’t like and attracting people who didn’t mesh well with my ideals. My friend Rachel told me that I should just play songs I enjoy and let my freak flag fly, a light bulb went off. Kids don’t have to listen to annoying songs all the time…we just make them.
Each BabyPUNK class features an artist. We’ve done White Stripes, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, and lots of others. I’ll pick 3 songs by the artist to cover and I’ll encourage the babies and toddlers to participate while I’m playing them. I have a large 20’x20’ room at my Music Lab with instruments all over the place (baby proofed of course). I have guitars and mics plugged in so the kids can hear their actions amplified. A favorite of all the kids is the tiny full drum kit I have in the center of the room. There are also a lot of keys, bells and percussion instruments to be had. I draw symbols on different instruments with dry erase markers and encourage the tots to find the shapes and hit them during certain songs because they will match the tune. I play a kazoo most of the time, so there are no questionable lyrics being sung to impressionable ears. In between our covers of the songs, we listen to lullaby versions of songs from the featured bands and bang along to the tracks on the drums, get temporary tattoos, and sing into the microphone or hum into our kazoos.
If you had one piece of advice for working moms, what would it be?
Stop feeling guilty. Do what works for your family. With every google search of advice comes 10 lbs of judgment. Screw the haters. You do you.
Is there anything additional you’d like our readers to know about yourself or your incredible company???
My business is still new and going through growing pains. I’m passionate and doing things that I’m not seeing done anywhere else. This doesn’t mean I don’t struggle sometimes. I’m a real person who needs support to make my dream work. If your interest is peaked in anyway please come by and see my space. Lets genuinely connect. I want to hear your story and ask that you join in becoming a part of mine. The more people that support me, the more people I can go on to support. The circle just keeps growing until one day I’ll look around and see that I’m connected with and helping people from all over the world. I want to make an impact on a global scale. Music is the conduit I use and teach others to use to heal and become the best people we can possibly be.
Want to register, donate, or volunteer for GRC programs including Girls Rock Camp, Amplify Workshops and Women Rock Retreat? Go to www.girlsrockclt.org and learn more.
Want to register for Lady Rockstars, BabyPUNK or learn more about the fun and funky things happening at Krystle’s business, Pachyderm Music Lab? Go to www.pachydermmusiclab.com and while you’re there sign up for her mailing list to stay updated on the latest classes and workshops.
***Use the promocode: CLASSYAF and receive 30% off a Lady Rockstars or babyPUNK class! Offer expires 3/1/2018.***