In light of a recent TED talk I watched, given by Benjamin Zander on “The transformative power of classical music” I started thinking just how much music has inspired me in my life and how happy I am that I was put into Piano and Violin lessons as a kid. Music improves children’s social and cognitive skills and works wonders for boosting self-esteem, therefore I decided to interview local, Johanne Brodeur from The Victoria Conservatory of Music on how their program’s inspire and teach children about the wonders of music.
Johanne, how old do children need to be to start taking classes with VCM?
The VCM believes in introducing children to music at a very young age, our youngest student is 17 days old! You and your little one, can come and learn rhymes and lullabies, try different instruments, play musical games, and meet other young moms and dads in our “Families Making Music” group class.
Oh really? That sounds wonderful… who teaches the “Families Making Music” classes?
I do, in both french and english!
No way, thats amazing! When do you offer these classes?
All Families Making Music classes take place on Thursday mornings… 9:00am and 11:00am classes are in English; 10:00am classes are in French..we still have availability for our programs starting November 1st!
Thats wonderful, and how old do they need to be to start taking private lessons?
We say that by age 4 you can start thinking about starting your child on a specific instrument, in a private or small group lesson; by about age 6-7 your child should do very well in private instrument lessons.
How does the VCM feel about Parents sitting in on their child’s classes?
We have an open door policy, and welcome parents to attend classes; we actually promote this to parents of children just starting out as they can then better guide their children during their daily home practice, in preparation for the next lesson.
I remember being a kid in Music lessons and getting a bit distracted, how do you keep kids focused?
We have classes that cater to various different types of children. If your child is super active a more improvisational creative class may be the best way to make the musical experience fully successful and fun for your child. If you child is shy, you may attend the class with them until they feel comfortable. Furthermore, teachers alternate active and quieter activities almost every 5 minutes in order to keep the young children focused and interested.
That sounds great, and what would you say are the greatest benefits of your music programs?
Providing a fun and enjoyable experience as part of their learning is critical for success; additionally you can expect that your child will improve their language development through songs and rhyme; their math awareness through counting beats and rhythmic awareness; their social skills through taking turns, cooperation, and respect; their gross and fine motor skills; and last but not least their auditory and visual perceptions skills.
Wow, thats wonderful!! Thank-you so much for speaking with me today Johanne, I especially love that children and parents can come together to enjoy making music in your “Families Making Music” classes!
For a complete listing of programs that VCM offers, check their profile out on ChatterBlock here: link: http://www.chatterblock.com/resources/5192/victoria-conservatory-of-music-victoria-bc/programs/