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Classes

Class information for parents of children from 2½ – 9 years

The classes cater for children in specific age groups based broadly on when the child is likely

to commence big school. The pre-school classes are classified as Music and Movement and the

School age classes are classified as Pre Instrumental.

 

2 ½ to 3 yrs

In this ½ hour class the children are accompanied by an adult for the duration of the class.

The children work with instruments at the beginning and end of the class. Specific instruments may be used during the lesson.

Shoes are removed for the lesson, and the children and accompanying adults participate in the singing and rhythmic movement.

The structure of the lesson involves a combination of singing, action songs, finger play, rhythmic movement with piano accompaniment and dramatisation of songs.

Towards the end of the year as the children turn three, and depending on their confidence, they may begin to do some of the activities unaccompanied

3 – 4 yrs

In this 45 minute class, the children may or may not work independently. When the children first begin, most children are accompanied by an adult for the duration of the class. As the children gain more confidence, the parents generally stay in the room and assist their children as required.

The children work with instruments at the beginning and end of the class. Specific instruments including tuned percussion may be used during the lesson.

Shoes are removed for the lesson, and the children are accompanied by an adult in the movement segments, only if they are needed. This allows the children to hear and think for themselves, once they are confident enough to do so. The children always love this part of the lesson.

The structure of the lesson involves a combination of singing, action songs, fingerplay, rhythmic movement with piano or instrumental accompaniment and dramatisation of songs. The children begin to recognise many of the elements of music through response to what they hear. Parents are often delighted to see how quickly the children tune in to what is happening in the music. It is a good example of how children benefit by working independently.

The teacher draws more on the children for their own ideas and contributions to the class.

4 – 5 yrs

In this 45 minute class, the children generally work independently for the duration of the class. Parents may leave the class, but must inform me if they are leaving the premises and be sure to have their mobile phone with them.

Shoes are removed for the lesson.

The children work with instruments at the beginning and end of the class. Specific instruments including tuned percussion may be used during the lesson.

The structure of the lesson involves a combination of singing, action songs, rhythmic and improvised movement with and without instrumental accompaniment and dramatisation of songs. Improvisation and creative thinking is an important component to this class as is the continuity of unconscious learning. This is so that the children are not inhibited by set musical ideas – allowing them to become musical thinkers before they become instrumental players.

This is an ideal time for the child to have an opportunity to discover the joys of improvisation and self-expression.

The singing and rhythmic activities are more complex, focusing on developing their singing voices and their preparation for the pre instrumental classes.

All music and movement classes

We must remember that the most important aspect of coming to the class is for your child to have a happy time, feel comfortable at all times and progress at his or her own pace. That may mean that they just sit and observe when they begin.

There are a number of ways that you can help your child:

It is best to arrive five minutes before commencement of the class or even a little earlier if your child is shy or concerned in any way.  A child arriving after the class has started can lead to them feeling very exposed and the children in the group distracted. The beginning of the lesson is ’tune-up and tune-in time.’ It is usually lots of fun and sets the scene for a successful class.

It is really important that the children wear clothes that are not too long, too bulky or too loose. The children do lots of movement and we do not want pants and dresses falling off or falling down!

Toddlers who remain in the class must be kept quiet and still. If they become restless they can be taken outside to play, or taken to one of the rooms next to the hall. Parents also must not talk while the class is in progress. We must remember that even though the children are having a wonderful time, they and their teacher are working very hard to maintain concentration throughout the 45 minute lesson. Engagement is the key to success and getting the most out of the class.

Please don’t hesitate to call me if you have any concerns about your child. Keeping me informed helps your child.

It is important to read and take note of the email notes that are sent out during the year. I try to keep all parents as informed as possible, particularly with dates for diaries. It is a good idea to enter days to remember into your diaries as soon as you are informed.

Pre Instrumental Level 1 

(refer also to ‘The Instrument Question.’)

In the pre-instrumental classes for children of school age, the children have the opportunity to learn and understand many of the essentials required for instrumental study.

This is a carefully crafted curriculum, which introduces the children to the fundamentals of reading and writing music and using the voice as the first instrument to understand the scale family and to develop their aural skills. This is known as solfege training. It is a wonderful way for children to begin their formal music studies as the children learn so much of what is required to play an instrument, while they are in a familiar and happy group environment.

The children are also introduced to part singing and begin to work with instruments to accompany songs and games.

Movement and simple dances continue to be an important part of the children’s musical growth.

Pre Instrumental Level 2

This class follows on from Level 1 where the children come together as one large ensemble group with Vanessa and Jane co-teaching the class. The children enjoy the challenge of more complex musical activities singing canons, and more complicated part singing. The children also start work with their own resonator bells in Term 2 as an introduction to learning an instrument, putting into practice what they have learned so far and playing in an ensemble. Rhythmic movement and dance remains an important tool for learning and continues to be the children’s favourite part of the class.

By the end of the year it is possible to assess whether the children are ready to move onto the more rigorous task of one on one instrumental study and finding time to practice their instruments every day.

Introducing Music – A Pre-Instrumental class for older children – 7-9yrs

This class is to be introduced in 2015 for older children who have missed out on the opportunity to join the program earlier. It will combine the 2 levels of Pre Instrumental classes as well as having a strong focus on movement which is such an important component of all the classes.

The children will at some stage during the year have their own set of resonator bells which the Level 2 children are introduced to, but not before their singing and aural skills, solfege and rhythmic knowledge is well practiced. Hopefully these children will be much more prepared for the rigours of learning an instrument or will understand that they don’t have to learn an instrument to enjoy music in their everyday lives.

For the class to work well as an ensemble group we would need an absolute minimum of 6 students but preferably up to 10.