Music Teacher at UC Riverside’s Child Development Center Recognized by State Legislature

Kim Hoeptner presented with resolution for contributions as a music teacher and performer

Kim Hoeptner was presented with a resolution on behalf of Sen. Mike Morrell and Assembly Member Marc Steinorth earlier this month for her dedication and contributions as a music teacher and performer to the community.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – The state Legislature has recognized the University of California, Riverside’s Jane Kimmel Parsons Hoeptner (Kim Hoeptner) for her service as a music teacher and performer. The Redlands native has worked at UC Riverside’s Child Development Center (CDC) for nearly 20 years.

Hoeptner was presented with a resolution on behalf of Sen. Mike Morrell and Assembly Member Marc Steinorth earlier this month for her dedication and contributions to the community.

She’s been involved with the Redlands Community Music Association for 37 years, and has been an accompanist for the Redlands Bowl Community Sing and Summer Music Festival for 25 years.

“I’m very glad to be a part of this event and organization,” she said. “It’s the oldest community-serving musician’s group that offers free events.”

Music has played a big role in Hoeptner’s life. While in high school, she worked summers at Sequoia National Park as a campfire accompanist. There she learned to play music by ear and transpose music. She earned a music degree from Pomona College, and later her teaching credentials from San Francisco State University. She’s taught music in schools, and as a private piano teacher, and is even known for composing music.

Now-a-days the 76-year-old spends her days working with 2-month-old babies to kindergartners at CDC.

“Kids are so unique and original at this age. They aren’t trying to fit a mold, so they respond to music in an original manner – it’s fun! They keep me young,” Hoeptner explained.

Hoeptner started teaching preschool music when her children were that age. Her children asked her to come into their classrooms and she always did. Since then, she said, she’s always enjoyed preschool music.

When teaching the youngsters, she coordinates her music to the themes and subject matters they are learning in class. For example, transportation. “I’ll make up songs I can use as a teaching tool for the children, it’s sometimes the easiest and best way for them to grasp the subject matter,” she said. She’s working on a CD filled with songs she teaches (all original), so parents can use it at the house or in the car.

Hoeptner also explained her appreciation for the CDC. She said it’s one of the few programs that still puts an emphasis on music, when it’s often the first thing cut elsewhere. “Music is a wonderful teaching tool. It can touch a kid and the lesson may just click when he or she is not getting it any other way,” she said.

Asked why she continues to work at 76, she simply said, “I figure if you do something you love, why stop doing it?”

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