Offices are closed from June 28 - July 7. Miss Deb will be returning for classes Friday, July 8. Miss Deb can still be reached via email and business phone.
Ah, summer! I don't know about y'all, but I absolutely cannot wait! I know that my kids can't wait, either.
However, if your child is already in a music program, it's a good idea to try to keep that momentum throughout the summer. The reason why is simple: Music and math are not like riding a bicycle. If it's not continuously applied, students tend to forget even some of the most basic skills that they've learned throughout the school year.
I can tell you about this, first hand. I remember that I sliced all the way through my hand back in 2001. I had to have a fun little procedure called tendon repair surgery. It was the pits. Anyhow, I was not able to practice for the better part of six months (no, it SHOULDN'T take that long to heal, but I disobeyed the doctor's orders, tore the stitches, and they had to do it again. TOTALLY my fault). As a result, not only was I rusty as far as coordination goes, but I was rusty as far as sight reading went, also. Music has always been my passion, and I found that time period to be very upsetting.
Kids see the summer as unlimited video games, TV, and time to spend with friends... But, now that I have my own kids, I see the summers as an opportunity for continued education, in addition to the fun.
These types of posts are not typical, however, in light of what has happened in Houston this past week, many families are in need. This has been a sobering reality that we are not in control. However, God IS in control. For those who have been affected by the flooding, our prayers are with you. Our facility will be taking up food and clothing donations for families in need, and if you're an able-bodied adult, there are many people who are in need of not just assistance, but of fellowship. If this is something that you'd be interested in helping out with, please send us an email.
We serve an awesome God, but we should serve others, also. If you are a family in need of help due to the recent flooding, please don't hesitate to email us. We would love to help you, pray for you, and fellowship with you.
In my time teaching, I have seen many students, of all ages, come through my classroom. The dominant question in the beginning, however, is "How old does a child have to be to start formal music classes?"
... Well, it depends. While I have seen a few exceptionally focused four-year olds who absorb an entire hour's class, that's usually the exception, not the rule. Most very young children do better with a thirty-minute class until they're older. Every child is different, though.
Here are some of the criteria you can use to determine if your child is ready for formal musical training:
1) Does your child know their alphabet?
2) Can your child count to twenty?
3) Can your child add simple, single digit numbers (even if they have to use their fingers)?
4) During playtime, can your child sit still long enough to follow instructions from parents and/or teachers?
5) When given a simple task at home (i.e. "Please put the spoons on the table", or "Please put your cup in the sink"), are they able to carry out the task?
6) Is your child able to play well with others without getting immediately frustrated?
This model is usually a pretty decent barometer to determine if your child is ready to learn formal music. Even if your answer isn't "yes" to all of these right now, I've found that usually, by the age of 5-1/2 to 6, the answer to all of these is almost always "yes".
You can sign them up at any age, but when you're paying for a service, you want your children to learn. On a side note: I remember signing my daughter up for dance when she was three. I thought that she would look so cute in her little ballet flats, leotard, and tights, doing plies... The reality looked more like stampeding herd of elephants (as opposed to the graceful gazelles my mind's eye initially saw), with the little girls running across the stage in ballet flats, leotards, and tights. In fact, the one plie I THINK I saw may have been an accident. And... I think that my daughter was the herd leader. Simply stated, she just wasn't ready for dance, and I wasn't ready for another stage performance where I had to hide in the audience, as my daughter boldly yelled, "HEY, MOMMY! LOOK AT ME!!!" - right before she shook her rear end to everyone in the audience.
... And, now that she's older, I find that ballet was never her cup of tea, anyways. She wanted to do Ju-Jitsu and play football, instead. Age and maturity means a lot when a child begins classes. Who knew? :-)
Music is a beautiful art to learn, but a child will find it much more beautiful if they're ready to learn it.
While it's tempting to go out and buy a top-of-the-line keyboard or piano when you or you child signs up for piano, that's not necessarily the wisest move. When I say that, it's because of what I saw when I was furnishing the studio with keyboards several years ago. I, personally, like Craigslist for lightly used keyboards. The titles of the posts, however, were all the same:
"Keyboard for Sale! My Son (Or Daughter) Doesn't Want To Take Piano Lessons, Anymore!"
This poor seller is now stuck with a keyboard that cost $600-$1,500, and all it's doing is collecting dust. Don't let that be you.
When making a keyboard purchase, particularly for a beginning student, I wouldn't even recommend a full-sized keyboard. 61 Keys will suffice in the beginning, and they're easily resold in garage sales (and on Craigslist) when you're ready to upgrade or if your child loses interest. Also, they don't cost as much as their full-sized counterparts. Consider the 61-key a "test drive". It's a keyboard that will serve its purpose for long enough to determine if your child is going to stick with piano lessons. If so, again, a larger investment will be in order, but not until much later.
Contrary to popular belief, particularly for youngsters, the first month of piano is often concept training (how to locate keys on the piano, rhythm values, etc.). Even if a keyboard isn't immediately in the budget, or time doesn't permit us to go shopping immediately, most of us have smart phones and tablets. There's an app that I like called "Tiny Piano". It's exactly that; a tiny piano. However, it has all of the keys on it (you can only view one octave at a time, but that's okay), and is excellent for having your child point to and play C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. They can also do rhythm training on it.
Children who are enjoying piano classes will light up at Christmas-time (or a birthday, or any occasion) to see a keyboard that was procured just for them!
If you're interested in what kinds of keyboards are good for your individual needs, leave a comment. Have a blessed day!