Music Classes--Advice from a Music Teacher

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Words of wisdom about choosing music classes from PSP member who is a music teacher, a former violinist and opera singer.

There are many points of view about how to teach music to children. Here is mine:

At four-five years old, a music class should be split in some time singing and learning new songs and in some time introducing basic music fundamentals. By music fundamentals I mean names of the notes, beat, rhythms, ear training: it should not be introduced in a theoretical way but through games. When done in a fun way, you cannot imagine how pleasurable it is for the children to learn these fundamentals.

I could compare it to the process of reading to children. At some point, you teach them how to read so they become independent. It’s the same in music. Singing to children is great but not enough. You need to teach them how to read music so they become independent as well.

Very quickly, the music fundamentals can be applied to an “easy” instrument like the recorder: it’s very rewarding for the children. After a year, you can introduce an instrument. In that way, the child can focus on the technical aspects of the instrument having already a strong background in music. All the difficulties are not put together.

Taught at a young age and in a fun way, you take advantage of this window when children are like sponges. They learn without even knowing it. Later, it becomes much more theoretical ... and for adults, the process of learning music becomes very hard (I taught adults music fundamentals and it’s amazing how they have lost all the intuition children have.)