OCEANSIDE — Oceanside resident Daveen DiGiacomo discovered an early love for music at just 6 years old while growing up in Waterloo, Iowa. Inspired by what she described as a “progressive” piano teacher, DiGiacomo said she spent hours writing music.
“That encouragement and allowance for creativity is what kept me always hungry for more music,” said DiGiacomo, who then quickly acquired the skills to play the accordion, clarinet and flute.
Today, DiGiacomo is a longtime music teacher in North County where her lessons stretch from Encinitas to Rancho Bernardo. The owner of the local Blossom Music Tree, DiGiacomo said she owned the Encinitas-based business because she wanted to teach music to children as young as infants.
DiGiacomo said she discovered the need for early music education when she taught lessons to elementary school-age children in Los Angeles.
“So many of these kids could read music so well but had a difficult time in keeping a steady beat and singing in tune when we would do ear training exercises,” DiGiacomo said. “However, there was one child who played cello in my class who had an amazing ear and an uncanny sense of rhythm.”
That mother, DiGiacomo said, told her the child had taken music classes as an infant.
“I realized instilling a basic music competence at a young age was crucial for overall musical development,” said DiGiacomo, who started Blossom Music Tree in Encinitas seven years ago.
“Music immersion and music education in early childhood is more important than we think. Aside from the basic musical benefits, teaching music to young children also accelerates brain development, especially in the areas of language, speech and reading.”
Katrina Murphy, an Oceanside mother of two children, said she has witnessed firsthand the “powerful impact” the music classes have made on her entire family.
“Our family truly believes in the power of music,” Murphy said. “We firsthand saw the benefits of this nurturing community and class socially and emotionally for our kiddos. She is so nurturing to all ages and my kids benefited from this program in so many ways —from socially, to following directions, memorizing, to learning the basics of rhythm and pitch, to a positive social experience and most importantly a boost in their confidence.”
As a teacher, Murphy said DiGiacomo is able to engage the students with her warm demeanor.
“Daveen has a sweet and fun spirit, and a contagious nurturing energy to her that is so welcoming to be around. She engages with everyone, makes everyone feel welcome, and has this remarkable way of connecting with everyone and through her music,” Murphy said. “She is encouraging and embraces everyone’s different personalities and musical capabilities.”
Becky Eberwein, a San Marcos mother who brings her children to Encinitas for the program, said her two children have loved the classes offered by DiGiacomo. Her oldest child, in particular, takes what she learns outside of the music class.
“She is always singing the songs and mimicking the beats she learns in class,” Eberwein said. “Her baby brother is now benefiting from Daveen’s teachings.”
But those are just two families who have benefited from DiGiacomo and her Blossom Music Tree company. Since opening her business in 2012, DiGiacomo has worked with nearly 2,000 families.
It isn’t just DiGiacomo who leaves a lasting memory with the children. The children also hearten DiGiacomo.
“When a young child can sing all the words to a song, sing in tune and keep a steady rhythm before age 4, I know we are doing our job and achieving what we set out to do,” DiGiacomo said.
The inspiration from the families has prompted DiGiacomo to open her own brick-and-motor location in Encinitas in just a few weeks. Prior to this, DiGiacomo rented out spaces in Encinitas, Rancho Bernardo and San Marcos to teach her classes. She said she chose to open her own location in Encinitas because of the enthusiasm from the community.
More importantly, DiGiacomo wants children and adults to connect with each other in a new and unique space. She also hopes to someday implement music classes in Spanish.
“I want our music classes to be a little musical escape from the chaos of their lives,” DiGiacomo said. “I also hope to see, during that fun, the children are achieving and on the road to basic music competence. Our goal is to create a community place for quality education and quality music for children.”
For more information about Daveen DiGiacomo or Blossom Music Tree, go to blossommt.com/.
Hoa Quach has 15 years of experience in journalism, garnering multiple awards ranging from investigative reporting to feature writing. She’s been named a “Woman Who Means Business” by the San Diego Business Journal, featured in BuzzFeed during International Women’s Day and recognized by the California Legislature for her work. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.