The Music Place, San Jose California, Where Learning Is Fun!

THE place for wholesome MUSIC and DANCE education for children of all ages in San Jose, Sunnyvale and around the South Bay.

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Children Learning Trumpet
Children exploring the Trumpet
About Index

GETTING TO KNOW THE MUSIC PLACE

"Where learning is FUN!..."

Bright eyed 3-year-olds stare expectantly as a big circle is drawn on the whiteboard in front of them. With a burst of energy, their teacher, Janice Morris, adds a squiggly line and two dots. "This is a smiley face", she exclaims. Janice Morris, founder and director of The Music Place, Fine Arts for Children!  has developed an innovative teaching method that enables children as young as 2 to begin music theory while having fun. Blue eyes twinkling, "Miss Janice", as the children know her, dips her finger into pretend paint, makes a comical squeaking sound, and the "smiley face" suddenly becomes a "dirty face" and then a quarter note.

Charmed by her antics, the children giggle with delight. Mrs. Morris explains she is going to add a stem to the dirty face and it will become a quarter note. Now everything comes together as she asks, "How many counts does a quarter note get?"

"One!" the children all shout in unison. "Where Learning is Fun!" is the motto here.

1! in Hot Pink

"The fun begins at 1!..."

Mrs. Morris believes that early exposure to music is essential, but private lessons are not always the best alternative. Many kids between 1 and 7 years old participate in a fun array of group classes called EMA, or Early Music Awareness.

These classes, which are more economical than private lessons, allow children to experience a full range of music and instruments in a hands-on, relaxed atmosphere.

violin & trumpet on staffCartoon of child with drum

Fun Instrument Handouts

This experience lays a solid foundation so that when the children are old enough to play instruments (usually between ages 5 and 8), they can get a quick and positive start. When the child is ready for this next step, private lessons are available. However, the progression moves at the student's pace, and programs are tailor-made for each child as an individual.

 kids laughing with trumpet

Contagious enjoyment since 1984...

The Music Place philosophy flows from Morris' own contagious enjoyment of teaching music. Beginning in 1984 with 40 students, The Music Place has served nearly 10,000 students in 15 - 20 Bay Area locations. And Morris has had a lot of experience in the area of teaching young children, having done so for over 30 years.

Morris' family moved from the East Coast to Silicon Valley in 1956. The daughter of musical parents, she remembers gathering around the family piano to sing and learn. This informal beginning encouraged a love of music that eventually led her to undergraduate and graduate studies with honors at San Jose State and the University of Colorado.

During her studies Mrs. Morris noted, "Far too many children become unnecessarily discouraged with music." She observed that the traditional teaching method often overlooked the auditory and kinesthetic learning needs of most young children. Mrs. Morris' solution is simple. During an informal, (and adventurous) 45-minute session with children and their parents, trained music education specialists assess each child's particular learning skills and musical aptitudes. Then, coupling their expertise with insight from parents, specialists help match the right instructor and learning materials to the child's specific needs. With the numerous locations and a staff of more than 35 teachers, there's a lot to choose from. (Learn more about assessments.)

Even experienced instructors receive training...

All instructors are hand-picked, and they all go through a rigorous training program to ensure each teacher's familiarity with Mrs. Morris' approach and curriculum. 

She maintains close contact with teachers and parents so they can continue to work together as a team to encourage each child's success.

In addition to a refreshing variety of music learning and performance classes, The Music Place encourages participation in both formal and informal recitals at least twice a year. For more serious students, certification and competition are available through our corporate membership with the Music Teachers' National Association.

About the directors...

Mike and Janice Morris, founding directors, still oversee the day to day operations of this family owned business. "Our Christian beliefs influence the values and ethics upon which we base our business", comments Mrs. Morris, "and we are now happy to offer elective workshops to inspire students who want to develop skills in drama, dance and music in a Judeo-Christian environment."

Now, we DANCE!

In 2008, The Music Place established a strategic alliance with Soaring Spirit Dance Studio and now offers a full array of wholesome dance classes with  Christian emphasis available.

"... the funnest place in the whole world!"

And Mrs. Morris' enthusiasm can't be ignored when she speaks about her students. She shares an experience with a shy 6-year-old girl attending her first EMA class. "After the class, Amanda approached me, tugged on my sweater and whispered, 'Mrs. Janice, this is the funnest place in the whole world!'  "That's what The Music Place is all about," concludes Mrs. Morris.


 www.musicplace.com
 (408) 445-2787 (ARTS)
 Fax: (408) 445-2806
The MUSIC PLACE, Inc.
1617 Willowhurst Ave.
San Jose, California 95125
Reprinted with Permission
Silicon Valley Parent Magazine
by Patirica Bigliardi

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Last Modified: 2010.02.14

Actual Customer Testimonials:

"We have recommended to many of our friends. We love the place. It has totally helped our daughter to not only know the notes but to truly have fun with them! We love the teacher(s) and wish them all the very best. - " -- Happy parents

"Our daughter, Melissa, loves her music class, and she looks forward to the recitals. She's made friends and become more confident. We'd recommend the Music Place to anyone. -- Melissa's parents, Kathy & Matt, Los Gatos" .

I tell everyone who will listen about the amazing introduction to music that our daughter is getting with the Music Place. People are always amazed when a 3-year old explains that she played an oboe last week and is going to play a piccolo next week! Most importantly, our daughter can't wait for music class & asks to go every day. -- The Pace Family