Morning Song School, Mill Valley, Marin, CA

A magical Waldorf inspired children's program

Testimonials for Morning Song Preschool

Parents and children alike fall in love with Linda and her program. Here are just a few of the wonderful things they have to say.

Many of these were posted by parents on Yelp (Morning Song School), and they all said yes, please, use them on the school website.


Morning Song provides the perfect balance between nurture and learning for 3-5 year old children’s first experience away from home to prepare them for kindergarten and elementary school. It is a small enough environment for them to not feel overwhelmed but allows children to develop their social and learning skills for the future.

Linda Bates warmly and lovingly introduces them to new and important routines, wonderful songs and play all the while teaching them manners and discipline. She is able to create a very calm and happy environment for them. I think it is of great benefit that all age groups of children are kept together as one group. The younger ones are looking up to and learning from the older ones. And the older children learn how to help and respect the younger ones. That is of crucial benefit to my son who is an only child. He loves going to Morning Song, is always happy when I pick him up. Miss Linda and Chay have become part of his family and are some of his most important people in his young life. 

Juliet L.

What a sweet place Morning Song is… My daughter began attending Morning Song in the fall of 2009. We had decided to switch her from another preschool in Mill Valley and wow are we happy with our decision. Linda is completely present with the children, getting to know them as individuals and letting them be celebrated for who they are and what they bring to school. My daughter was VERY shy, and Lind knew just how to bring her out of her shell. Now my daughter is playing with other children not only at school, but at community parks, with our neighbors, etc. Miss Linda has helped to give her skills that are confidence building…

Morning Song allows all of the children to interact positively as well. In other preschools where there are groups of friends, conflicts, aggression… There is none of that at Morning Song. All of the children say wonderful things about one another and love each other. It is truly a remarkable feat. I highly recommend touring Morning Song and seeing if it is the right environment for your child!

Esther A.

My son attended Morning Song from ages 3 to 4, and I couldn’t have asked for a safer, more loving environment than Morning Song. Linda Bates takes great care of each individual child and is fully present with each activity; she is also extremely careful to ensure that her staff members meet the highest standards. Linda gently nurtures and inspires the curiosity that lies within each child, fostering a healthy love for nature and respect for other living beings. My son is now 10 and approaches life with an openness and inquisitiveness that I believe in large part reflects the healthy early childhood education he received at Morning Song. I have referred many others to Morning Song, and will continue to do so without reservation.

Katherine Q.

Morning Song holds a very special place in our memories, both for my husband and I, and for our son, Tristan, who is now 7. Tristan started Morning Song in the 2 day/week program for the “little ones” and progressed over the next 2 years to the full five day/week program. it was our first exposure to the Waldorf program and it was wonderful wonderful wonderful. Together, we experienced organic farming (and eating!), fully immersed play-time, weekly Nature Days, and the more spiritual aspects to Halloween, Christmas, Spring Festivals and other holidays. Above all, Morning Song demonstrated the importance of kindness in all aspects of our lives. Linda and ALL of her assistants can coax a smile out of the shyest child and know how to bring a shining light to their eyes. We miss them!

Laura M.

My daughter has attended Morning Song School since fall of 2008 and we have been very happy with the program. She has met many new friends and has had a magical time. She has become very social and loves school. She has learned to love the outdoors and has become very creative building great things out of random materials she has found just about everywhere. I love the beautiful setting and am so happy when I drop her off in the classroom full of love and wood and wool toys with fresh flowers and the aroma of fresh soup or bread. The out door day is in my favorite park with the most amazing collection of redwoods towering above. I would highly recommend the program at Morning Song School.


Morning Song Preschool is a very, very sweet Waldorf inspired Preschool & Kindergarten in Mill Valley, CA. The school is located in a separate studio in the rear yard/garden of an unassuming home with easy access off the highway, and has a maximum of 12 children.

Our daughter has been attending Morning Song since August 2008 and we couldn’t be happier with Linda, the Director/Teacher, and her wonderful school. There are many long-term families who send their children here and the school is very stable and nurturing.

The school follows the Waldorf philosophy of having a “rhythm” for the day, week and seasons, and consequently, our daughter always asks “Which day is this?”, meaning is it soup day, bread, day nature day, painting day, etc. This theme for each day of the week is carried out throughout the year. For example, Tuesday is baking bread day (and all the kids participate) and Wednesday is nature day during which they spend the entire school day in a heavily wooded local park (where they build Fairy houses, search for gnomes and other fun fairytale type things..).

There is a strong focus on nature and taking care of the earth. All toys are natural and wood products and there is an emphasis on organic and sustainable living. Rather than having “work” where they practice pouring over and over again (like Montessori schools) They instead actually pour water or herbal tea for each other, so they learn through actual doing in a normal setting through the course of a day vs. as a “lesson”. (More like the way one would learn something at home)

There are no plastic toys or glaring primary colors to be found anywhere (hooray!) – instead the classroom is set up like a cozy little home with soft soothing colors. Linda has a garden and the kids get to work in the garden and eat the results when the veggies ripen.

Because of the gentle, nurturing nature of the school, all the kids tend to be calm and cooperative. Our daughter disliked boys based on previous preschool experiences (because they can be quite rambunctious) yet the boys are all so well behaved at Morning Song that she now enjoys their company as well as that of the girls. This nurturing environment has also fostered a higher level of cooperation in our daughter, plus she is now much, much better about playing on her own and cleaning up after herself as well. (An added benefit I hadn’t anticipated!)

I can’t recommend Morning Song highly enough! Take the tour – the rave reviews from current and former parents of students at Morning Song will give you all the information you need to make a well informed decision.

Kelly B.

Because we moved a few times, our older kids went to a few different preschools with different approaches–Montessori, developmental and Reggio Emilia. We’ve realized that the most important facet of any preschool is the teacher and the environment they create for the children.

As a teacher, Linda Bates creates a wonderful, inspiring, warm, creative, supportive place for the kids. The toys are natural and the food organic. I realize the school may appear small, it’s actually a dynamic place for the kids and parents, who can really get to know each other.

On nature day school starts at a park in the redwoods and the kids have adventures in the creek and look for treasures (and fairies!) by the trees. On other days they bake their own bread and make vegetable soup.

Our youngest is in his first year at Morning Song, our older son graduated last year and now attends kindergarten. He had such confidence and comfort with school, the transition was easy.

Morning Song is a great, inspiring preschool, I recommend it highly!

Bibi R

All 3 of our children have gone to Morning Song, over a period of 6 years, and they all have very different temperaments, and Morning Song suits them all. Linda has a gift for teaching that is quite rare. Her heart and soul goes into every child, supporting and nurturing that child’s unique gifts and challenges. It is a wonderful start to social life and the rhythm of “school” for children (and parents, too!) It’s a special time for all of us, tender and sweet memories forever.

Sarah G

My daughter went to Morning Song for 2 1/2 years before moving on to Kindergarten in the MV public school system. If anyone’s wondering about academic prep, no need to worry. My daughter was very well prepared for her new school. Linda focuses on the social emotional development of children, and provides a comfortable environment for them to explore. The sweet, calm atmosphere is predictable and safe. It’s clear my daughter felt part of a family at Morning Song. Linda’s program provided my daughter with a solid foundation for future learning. The art projects were amazing, the storytelling was unbelievable, and Linda was the perfect choice for bringing my (then) timid child out of her shell. I think any child would benefit from this program and be well prepared for whatever comes next.

Libby B.

My son and daughter have had the privilege of going through Linda’s school. I was very fortunate to find Morning Song and felt honored to have my children enrolled. I was new to Mill Valley so I felt obliged to visit as many schools as possible. I was shocked by the cattle-car mentality for little children and unhealthy snacks dished out on cardboard plates. 

Since so many of the schools cross platforms with their curriculum, I knew the important thing for my children would be the teacher, the environment and the other children. I was sold as soon as I was in the classroom and saw how Ms Linda and the teacher’s helper were working with the children. To see teachers on the children’s level, listening to their thoughts was magical. I could feel their dedication and respect for these little people. And, it was refreshing not to see the children arguing and fighting but working together and helping – they seemed to respect each other too. I thought it would be a place I would want to be if I were a kid. Not to mention the beautiful, thoughtful environment and amazing wooden toys.

I knew joining the Waldorf school would challenge my family and we were game to push our family in an even more loving, thoughtful direction. My daughter is almost six and she still talks about and remembers school with Ms Linda. My son was taken under the wing of Chay and still thinks about him often. Some of the ways the school has affected us forever: mealtime is never started without the song learned from Morning Song, for St Patrick’s day we are still trying to catch a leprechaun each year by building a more and more elaborate trap, my children rarely argue and work well across age groups at school from learning this respect at Morning Song, we try to sing instead of yell when we get upset or anxious with the children(they respond so much better and we feel better), we watch a lot less TV because my kids know how to play and work on a project, cloth napkins for meals, both my kids love to cook and dig in to help at night, family hikes where you get in the lakes and build fairy houses with twigs and my children both learned how to fold cloth/clothes.

Waldorf and Ms Linda have already been doing what the White House, Jamie Oliver and other modern thinkers are trying to push which is education about food, our planet and our health. The curriculum is based around the seasons which incorporates the food being grown (gardens are planted year around for all different purposes), they learn how to nurture these plants, then in classroom they use their hands to create healthy meals. All of this leads to healthier people and lack of issues like obesity, stress and muscular/skeletal issues from children not playing with their hands and only using keyboards and game controls.

We are grateful to have found this little gem, thank you for affecting our lives Morning Song.

Megan L.

My daughter loves to go to school every morning. Magic and wonder are artfully cultivated by Miss Linda, while each child grows into a capable, creative, and thoughtful individual under her guidance. Just a few highlights of the program include nature day, a weekly Yoga class, puppet shows and storytelling, painting, and organic nourishing snacks. If you are looking for an intimate, Waldorf-inspired school for your little one, schedule a tour and experience it for yourself.

Kris B.

Both of my boys went to Morning Song School, and I in fact kept my younger son there longer than was convenient given that my other boy had gone on to another school. But we knew and trusted Linda, who has become a friend and mentor over the years. She creates a warm, safe nest for my babies, and holds their innocence and precious creativity as carefully as I do. What could be better than that?

David S.

Recommendation for Morning Song School and Linda Bates:
We chose Morning Song for our son, Ethan, because we immediately felt that being a teacher is not just a role for Linda—her whole being goes into nurturing the children. In every detail, she ensures that Morning Song is an environment where the little ones can deeply experience “truth, beauty, and goodness.” We see Linda’s dedication most of all in her responsiveness to the children’s needs in her interactions with them: She relates to them with sensitivity and authority, as if inspired by a vision of their higher nature.
Beyond that, Linda engages the children in delightfully wholesome activities (e.g., grain-grinding, finger-knitting, and wet-on-wet watercolor painting). She’s orchestrated Nature Days, field trips, and truly magical celebrations of the seasons and birthdays. We are certain that Ethan owes some of his sense of wonder, reverence, and aesthetic sensitivity to his time at Morning Song. From Linda and the other teachers Ethan learned beautiful songs and blessings, rhymes and dances. He took in edifying stories and puppet shows. He received treasures from Dusty Gnome and offered a few in return. He also imbibed in an immortal dictum: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset!”
Upon dropping Ethan off fro his first day of preschool, we didn’t feel teary as we’d been told we would. In fact, we wished we ourselves could stay in this sweet, special place! We were sad, however, to see Ethan’s days at Morning Song come to an end.

Katy G.

Morning Song – What a nurturing, loving and safe place for a young child to learn and grow on an emotional, social and intellectual level.  My son started with Miss Linda and Chay when he was nearly 4.  He had not had a positive experience, with his prior school, and did not want to leave my side.  After only a couple of days, he gladly transitioned to the arms of Linda and Chay, who gave him the individiual attention he needed to gain confidence, grow and learn.  We feel blessed our son was lovingly guided by such exceptional teachers and people at Morning Song.  We’ve noticed a positive change at home in our little guy and know that Linda and Chay’s influence has been immense.  If only his entire education could be like Morning Song!