ALL children are musical. The structured yet relaxed environment in the classes provide the variety of music concepts* making possible for children to explore active music-making* and learn by observing their caretakers.
The nuts and bolts ...
1 * What about child development and brain development? What does music have to do with it?
Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about early childhood development and parents hear about all they're supposed to do to support that. But how do we do that? It's known that a child requires stimulation for their development such as: language, cognitive, emotional and social growth, spacial awareness and etc. Many research studies strongly suggest that the act of making music is unique in that it involves the whole brain and may contribute to all of these developmental tasks.
Music Learning Supports All Learning®!
2 * Music is a language!
It develops similarly to verbal language and is accessible to all. Learning the music language is not a matter of talent, it's a birth right!
Let's think about how a child develops the verbal (spoken) language. From they one, and perhaps even while we are pregnant, we talk to the baby and/ or around the baby. Babies at some point will start producing sounds that might not make sense. Over time, these sounds become one or two syllable words - in other words, the sounds acquire a meaning. It seems to us that they "created" their own words when for example, they want to say the word "water" and it comes out as "ah- tah". Over time, they self-correct their expression and these words become the words we all share. The words become phrases, phrases become whole sentences and "all of a sudden" we have a talker :)
Above, we described the process but as this development takes place something important happens to the child: she/ he learns to communicate - through words. They have learned to do that from the people they love the most: their parents, grandparents and/ or caretakers. We don't play CDs where there are people talking with the expectation that a child will learn how to talk from that, do we? (audio books are great but, usually, we do not expect a non-talker to learn words and sentences from a recording)
Well, same goes with music. They learn from the people they love the most. Their melodic and rhythmic development will progress similarly to the way their language does, through constant interaction. "Random" sounds, will become a definite note, over time they can sing pieces of a melody until they can sing a whole song, in tune. The act of singing is a pretty complex process that is not taught but learned, and again ... children learn it through constant meaningful interaction with the people they love the most. So sing your way through the day with, to and for your little one :)
3 * We believe in music making for the sake of music!
It's soothing, it's pleasant, it's fun, it creates community, it brings us together.
We hear about all the benefits of music and its learning process but somehow this would be part of the "functional" aspect of music, perhaps a secondary benefit. But humans seem to simply love music. Have you ever imagined the world without music?
variety of music concepts - a variety of music concepts. Melodically: use of different scales (major, minor, and other modes). Rhythmically: use of different tempos, groups of beats, measures. It also involves music in different styles.
While nursery rhymes and traditional well-known songs are great they DO NOT offer a variety of music concepts. Most of the time, the songs use only the major scale and the duple measures. Also, in some cases, what's called a "song" is actually the lyrics and not the melody. For example: the beloved "Twinkle, Twinkle". Kids learn how to change the lyrics to ABC, to Baa Baa Black Sheep but the melody remains the same :)
Active music-making - the act of singing, playing an instrument, dancing to the beat.
Our society now a days is performance oriented. In the last century or so, we as human beings went from being active participants in the music production of our culture through traditional festivities, circle dancing, singing together in choirs and/ or at home to being, most of the time, solely consumers of music. Let's remember ... there was no radio, no CD players, no TV and etc ...
Listening to music is wonderful but it's a passive way of "making-music". Our musical language can develop and flourish when we speak that language often, in the musical context, when we sing, dance, play instruments and feel comfortable participating in such activity - this is what I call "active music-making".