Highlights of the Young Musician Classes at the Academy of Fine Arts
1. Fun with parents and new friends-- At this age, learning piano is so much more successful when it is done with other children. And, having parents involved and participating let children not this is not just a "kids thing".
2. 55 minutes instead of typical 30 minute private lesson-- Those private teachers who do teach this age group typically teach no more than 15 or 30 minute lessons. But with the Harmony Road Music approach, we can keep them for a full 55 minutes and not lose their attention.
2. "The class goes by so fast" is a typical comment we get from kids and their parents! The frequent change of activities keeps attention and also helps reinforce skills and concepts.
3. Creative education-- A seemingly infinite variety of techniques are available to our teachers in the class: Child plays the left hand while parent plays the right hand, some students sing the note names while others count the rhythm, parents count, children play and sing, teacher accompanies, select students use rhythm instrument for background, duets, trios, solos, it is endless!
4. Holistic approach-- at this age, it is not just about learning to read music and play it on the piano. Children this age are still within the age where their brains can be greatly influenced and "hardwired" for music. Ear training and rhythm training are in important of every class. In fact, children (and parents are encouraged also) to sing EVERY note they play or see. Our classes often sound like children's choirs!
5. Perfect pitch?-- We can't claim that all our young children develop perfect pitch (the ability to recognize individual notes just by ear with being told or reading them). But, we can absolutely say that statistically, far more students coming through these classes do develop it than the students who don't. We attribute this to the 200 year old system known as "solfege", singing Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, Do. Consistently singing the names of the notes as they play or see them, associates the note names with individual pitches. Since each note name has a different vowel sound, unlike English letter names which all end in long "ee" or the stopped "eff" sound, solfege makes a much deeper impression on the student's memory.
6. Learn to listen as an ensemble player! In private lessons, too often students stop and start. When playing in an ensemble, you learn to keep going and keep up!
7. Parents learn too! The more interested the parent, the more successful the child! We encourage parents to think of these classes as their classes too! We have had countless parents turn in to great private piano students later
8. Performance confidence-- while children are never forced to play solo, they are welcome to perform solos in almost every class for their peers and parents. They get VERY used to playing for people! End of semester class recitals are open to family and friends. And, one day of recitals for the full Harmony Road Department each semester gives yet more experience.
9. You won't fall behind! If you miss a class the home activities are automatically emailed to you. You want to try to make every class if you can. But sometimes it is not possible. So we make sure you have the activities immediately.
10. Curriculum specifically designed for each age
11. Teachers with great classroom management skills