As a teacher myself, I relish those opportunities to talk with parents about what they see to be happening musically in their children. I have a fantastic class where most of the families have been attending the program since we began, for 5 consecutive semesters now. The growth I’ve seen in those continuing children and their parents is actually hard to put into words, you have to see it to believe it! We regularly sing in 3 part harmony in this class as well as allow for frequent melodic and rhythmic improvisations from the children in the class! Remember, these are all children under 5 – in this case, mostly between 1 and 3, who are gaining and using the basic skills of singing in tune and moving to the beat. All children are musical and all children can learn this “basic music competence”, but it is ALL about the environment they experience as young children. Kids who continue on over many semesters gain what we like to call a “musical chest of drawers” – the idea that once a child achieves basic music competence, its as if he’s constructed a chest of drawers where he can store whole songs and chants for later retrieval. After a few semesters, a child will pull out a song from a prior semester that they hadn’t heard or sung in a long time – all to sing it accurately and in rhythm! This “musical chest of drawers” is invaluable as it becomes like a music vocabulary – something they’ll be able to use in future private lessons, school band or choir – any music setting.
You have the opportunity to begin adding to your own musical chest of drawers as a parent in our class, and allowing your child to build theirs! The earlier the better is hard truth here, research shows that children who do not exercise melody and rhythm competencies before age five can and will actually lose the musical aptitude (in part or whole) that they were born with. It is so exciting to begin to re-discover music as a parent and experience the “Joy of Family Music” like you’ve never experienced at our Music Together classes. Free Demo classes are offered next week at our Grosse Pointe and Canton locations. Our winter semesters start Monday, January 16th. Call now to reserve a space at our Demo class and start building your musical chest of drawers!
By Sarah Boyd, Director, Music Together at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy
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