Founder, Creative Director, Teacher Training and Support
Kate grew up in suburban New Jersey in a strong Catholic home. Attending quality Catholic schools throughout childhood, she was attracted to Religious Life, but discerned at the age of twenty that God had plans for motherhood in her future. After graduating with high honors from St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, she volunteered for four years as a missionary teacher to Navajo children at St. Bonaventure Mission in Thoreau, NM where she worked as the music teacher, while beginning graduate studies in education. She also met John. They were married in 1997 and soon after moved to New Jersey, where she continued to teach.
After the birth of their first child, Kate received certification in early childhood music and movement at the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton. She continued teaching music in Catholic preschools and early childhood venues and studying early childhood music development. Throughout this time she cared for her growing family and began the journey of homeschooling while working in and initiating various parish ministries.
Since 2005, Kate has devoted most of her time outside of parenting and homeschooling to developing Making Music Praying Twice, combining her passions for faith, ministry, music education, family, and children.
“It wasn’t until after my experience teaching school age children that I was open to the idea of early childhood music education. I worked as a missionary on the Navajo nation teaching K-12 music in our Catholic mission school. I saw such a cultural disparity in the children’s musical abilities and came to personally believe deeply in the importance of teaching music early and in the home. Later, after the birth of my first child, I found early childhood music and movement classes beneficial for my daughter. After training at the Center for Music and Young Children, I was convinced further, as Edwin Gordon’s research and pedagogy reinforced my observations and experiences with the children in New Mexico.
But music was more than this to me. It is the most powerful prayer tool I have ever experienced. Whether at a praise and worship venue for teens or young adults, sitting out among the mesas of New Mexico and praising God all alone in song, or participating in the chanted Liturgy of the Hours with the Benedictine monks in college, music was a common thread in the most significant prayer experiences of my life. And I’ve seen the same be true for children. Watching a Kindergarten class sing I Love You Lord with all the sincerity in the world as their little hands move in synchronized Sign Language, is a moment embedded in my mind and heart. Listening to my own preschoolers chant the Ave Maria on their knees before Our Lady’s statue at nearby St. Joseph’s Shrine, or sing themselves to sleep with Father I Adore You – These are moments that change them and me – Moments that bring us all closer to God. That is what Making Music Praying Twice is all about.” – Kate Daneluk
Founder, Director of Business and Operations
John’s childhood in Detroit and Suburban Michigan was filled with music. From Mom’s house-held chamber concerts, to participating in jazz bands with Dad, John was given music support from the beginning of life and all the follow-up necessary afterward. Determined to play the drums, his parents gave in after trying John on several more peaceful instruments. John went on to study jazz percussion at North Texas State University and at Berklee College of Music. While music remained his passion, John found the music industry to be a serious challenge to the steadiness of the soul, and scaled back his professional music enterprises while getting his BA in Accounting.
John’s family was solidly Catholic, but he was most influenced spiritually by his grandmother, who lived with them in her later years, and his uncle, a Franciscan Priest stationed in New Mexico. John would spend summers working with his uncle and ultimately moved to New Mexico, in search of the same simplicity and natural beauty of those summers. He became the Director of Business and Operations at St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School. In New Mexico, John began the study of international hand percussion, finding teachers in the Santa Fe area.
After marrying Kate and moving to New Jersey, John continued studying these forms of percussion, now having access to some of the finest players and teachers in the world in nearby New York City. Utilizing these ancient percussion techniques, John developed a sensitive form of liturgical percussion rooted in the music which has been used for prayer and meditation since the time of King David. The jazz and orchestra percussionist has evolved into a professional liturgical percussionist and is in regular demand at many parishes and concerts.
Over the last few years, John threw himself into the development of Making Music Praying Twice. In addition to the percussion arrangements and performances, he rolled up his sleeves and assumed the role of producer. His fine ear, attention to detail, love of world music, and his ability to pray through music-making, has been critical in the development of the recordings that are the back bone of the program, allowing families to bring music home and for classes to be more than a once-a-week experience.
Now, as full-time Director of Business and Operations, John combines his unique background in Accounting, Music, and Ministry in order to develop our products and spread the word about the power of music as a pathway to God.