When Coyote Music Studio owner Tonya Blum Lincoln was a teenager, she wanted to be a scientist. Until, that is, she was introduced to the worlds of music and theater.
“It quickly became clear that my heart was not actually into science,” she recalls. “I discovered music therapy through that. I was just blown away that I could do science and music at the same time. I was sold immediately and wanted to go learn everything I could.”
After receiving a bachelor’s degree in music from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, AR, Blum Lincoln moved to Denton to earn her master’s degree in music therapy at the University of North Texas. She became a board-certified music therapist in 2006.
Blum Lincoln worked throughout the Denton area, offering music therapy to school districts, senior centers, and private clients. She even went back to earn early childhood through 12th grade music and elementary general education certificates so she could teach. A few years later, Blum Lincoln realized her true passion was in music therapy.
In 2017, Blum Lincoln opened Coyote Music Studio in Denton, where she could blend both her passion for music therapy and her music education expertise.
Strike Up the Band!
Coyote Music Studio offers a variety of different programming for children of all ages and abilities.
Under music therapy, Blum Lincoln provides both private and group music therapy sessions. She even has a group music therapy program for the entire family, including adults. “I show the families how to integrate songs and dance and music games together that they can take home and do together,” she explains. “Every song has a developmental goal of some sort — motor skills, communication skills, (and) social skills. Every song has a purpose, although it’s fun to do.”
The Family Music Classes are held Mondays and Saturdays at 9:45 am until May 30th. After that date, the Family Music Classes will take a short break during the summer so Blum Lincoln can focus on her Summer Music Camps.
Speaking of the Summer Music Camps, Coyote Music Studio will offer three different weekly music education camps for kids ages 7 and up in June and July. Parents can choose from an Intro to Instruments class, where kids will learn how to play the piano, ukulele, and recorder, or camps devoted to piano or ukulele.
“They’re going to be small camps of just about five kids each in (my) private studio,” Blum Lincoln says. “And then we have a beautiful side yard where we can go run around, take breaks, have lunch when the weather’s nice, come back and learn.”
For younger kids of all abilities, Coyote Music Studio will offer a music games and performance class this summer called Preschool Polyphonics for children ages 3 to 6. The class will be held Mondays in June and July, followed by a performance at Killer’s Tacos on August 6th.
And Blum Lincoln has also developed a program mixing music and meditation. “Music and Mindfulness is sort of like guided meditation, but instead of me leading you through a visual exercise, I’m setting you up to provide your own visuals,” she explains. “So everybody’s experience is different. I give very broad ideas and then I tell you to follow the music and that helps you create your own visuals.”
Make Music Day
In addition to her in-studio programs, Blum Lincoln also provides programs and special events throughout Denton.
One such program is her Musical Storytime Puppet Show, featuring original, handmade, crocheted puppets. “It’s an active and interactive musical storytime, so they don’t just sit there and listen to me — they get to get up and dance and sing along,” Blum Lincoln explains.
Coyote Music Studio will perform its Musical Storytime Puppet Show at the Explorium Denton Children’s Museum on May 28th at 2:00 pm.
And then Blum Lincoln will open the Denton Main Street Association’s Twilight Tunes event on June 21st at 6:30 pm.
June 21st also happens to be International Make Music Day — a day close to Blum Lincoln’s heart. On that day, she will also bring her Instrument Petting Zoo to Denton Square starting at 1:00 pm as a free event for Denton families. “People can just come out and try instruments, talk to me about music therapy and classes, register for classes, or just play,” she says.