Our Educational Focus
Our commitment to a positive learning experience is expressed in the unique design of curriculum, materials and educational methods that match the varied and changing learning styles of children in their developmental years:. Because of this philosophy, we offer the following unique benefits:
- The aptitude and learning style assessment,
- Multi-phasic learning approach,
- Customized combination of learning programs. Students may transition from the fun and synergy of a group exploration class (EMA) to the harder work of a private lesson by alternating between the two, taking 2 lessons of each during a month. When the child is ready, they may add to the number and length of the private lessons. This keeps it fun!
A Positive Experience is a Must!
The philosophy that underlines everything that we do here is based on the understanding that learning must be a positive experience for kids: it should be fun! In fact, research has consistently verified the fact that highly successful students in all fields have one basic thing in common: they have worked through three very different phases of learning:
Fun, warm positive: The "music-is-so-much-fun-I-want-more" phase. The first phase of learning must inspire the child with the possibilities of the art. This is best accomplished by a warm interaction with an instructor whose love for the children is as obvious as his or her love for the subject. In this environment, a child might respond to a music class, for example, by saying "I LOVE music...but I think I forgot what a quarter note is..." This should be perfectly acceptable when children have truly been inspired about what they are doing. They will desperately want to return to "do it again."
This first phase, in my opinion, is the most crucial phase of a student's development, and actually begins in the home environment, and often as many believe, even in the womb! A child's experience in the beginning will set the tone and course for their life attitude in the subject they study. It will determine how much energy they will release to move them through the next phase. Phase I usually lasts 1-3 years.
It is extremely rare (if even possible) to fully develop the innate gifting in a child's life without first inspiring him. This helps him stay motivated enough to work through the second, more difficult phase of learning.
Technical Development: The "hard work" phase. Eventually (depending upon the age and abilities of the child), children who are progressing because they are enjoying the process will move into a phase of learning that requires more work and discipline. Although the basic techniques and approach must be taught in the first phase of learning, the second phase reinforces these issues and focuses on giving clearer understanding of the theory, and it must develop long term skills that are essential to a high level of excellence and achievement. This is the longest and most varied phase of learning, lasting anywhere between 5 and 15 years.
Interestingly enough, few children can be easily identified as high achievers until they have almost completed this phase of learning.
Presentation: The "passion-is-my-own-and-I-really-want-to-work-at-this" phase. The third and most advanced phase of learning requires a teacher of great technical skill who can readily communicate the finer points of the subject. In music for example, a student who can readily play any piano sonata must also understand the period of time in which it was written, the context of the music, and its original form in order to properly interpret and present it. It is in this phase that sensitivity to the art and the audience is refined. For a performing musician, it is preparation for the concert stage. For the potential teacher, it is the development of tools with which one can communicate the art he or she has long studied.
Although very few students actually reach the third phase of learning, a good teacher will always draw from the third phase processes even at the most elementary levels. This will allow even the youngest student to achieve a high degree of excellence long before their skill level warrants something as intimidating as Carnegie Hall.
Many parents assume that a child who has potential to achieve excellence must begin with a Phase III teacher. This, in my opinion, is very rarely the case, simply because no one teacher is capable to teach all three phases of learning. Those who are warm, exciting and patient with very small children are rarely those who have spent the years of serious study needed to be a Phase III teacher, for example.
Our Unique Approach
It is our desire to inspire children to learn in a way that allows their own natural "bents" and inclinations to surface. This desire has led us to develop an approach which can combine our copyrighted Early Music Awareness™ curriculum with private piano, instrumental or vocal instruction when children are determined to be ready.
Last Modified: 2010.02.10
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