Wendy Nutini is thrilled to be Owner and Director of Tuneful Journey (formerly Early Childhood Music of Ames)! She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Iowa State University and has fourteen years of experience teaching middle school instrumental music in public schools. Her passion for teaching early childhood music became evident through her years of being a “Kindermusik mom” to her own children. Wendy loves being a part of the Ames community and genuinely believes in the importance of the Kindermusik curriculum, which supports whole-child development through song and play. 

She resides in Ames with her husband, Dan, and two children, Miles and Grant. She has played clarinet with the Central Iowa Symphony for close to 20 years, has performed with the Ames Municipal Band, and frequently plays piano for services at her local church. 

Meet the Director, Ms. Wendy


Ashley (Cooprider) Brown was born in rural Kansas to a musical family. Growing up in a traditional Mennonite church, she developed a love of music, where she enjoyed singing in church ensembles and programs. She also fostered a love of music from her piano teachers and elementary music teacher at Haven Grade School. In the 5th grade, Ashley’s family moved to Nevada, IA, where she continued piano lessons and singing in church, as well as participating in band and choir in the Nevada Community School District. Upon high school graduation, Ashley continued her musical studies at Drake University, where she graduated summa cum laude in Vocal Performance and Music Education. Since then, she has been teaching elementary vocal music, and currently teaches at Gilbert Elementary (halftime in the afternoons). In addition to teaching elementary vocal music, Ashley has been an active music maker, singing soprano in various local ensembles, and has taught private voice lessons.


Ashley feels as though teaching Kindermusik will round out her career, as she has spent her professional years dedicated to teaching and sharing the joy of music to young children. She is excited to begin her journey as a Kindermusik instructor, while continuing to teach elementary aged children in the afternoons. Ashley is married and has two children, Griffin and Willow.

Meet Ms. Ashley

Judy Keeling is the founder and previous owner and director of Early Childhood Music of Ames. Having begun in 1996, she was proud to offer Kindermusik classes and piano until her retirement in May 2017. Judy saw her Kindermusik program touch the lives of thousands of children and their families from around mid-Iowa, and she was thrilled to have had the opportunity of bringing music into the lives of young children and their families each week for 21 years.

Meet the Founder