For many years, Hunterdon Academy of the Arts has offered group keyboard classes for young kids from 6 to 8 years of age. In our experience, many young kids simply don't have the attention span just yet to flourish in individual music lessons, but they very much enjoy the experience of socializing and learning with, and from, peers in a group setting. Always striving to improve the quality of our music education, we felt that this year was a good time finally to take our group keyboard program to the next level.
After introducing the Musikgarten program to the youngest of our students (babies through age 6) last year and seeing some wonderful results already, we felt strongly encouraged to look deeper into Musikgarten's keyboard curriculum. Two of our keyboard teachers--LuAnn Longenecker and Candy Peare--embarked on a journey to Hockessin, Delaware this summer to study Musikgarten's Music Makers at the Keyboard with the author of the curriculum--Jill Hannagan, Executive Vice President of the Musikgarten Company and one of the foremost authorities in early childhood music education.
When Mrs L and Mrs P returned to Flemington, they were in awe of what they had seen and
learned--young children playing the keyboard with ease and great aural skills, and apparently able to transpose music to a variety of keys! Listening to our teachers elaborate on the very special merits of the Musikgarten program, we couldn't wait to introduce it to our local community. Starting this fall semester, we're thrilled to say, your children will have the opportunity to experience Musikgarten's wonderful Music Makers at the Keyboard program.
What, exactly, distinguishes Musikgarten's innovative Music Makers at the Keyboard from other keyboard curricula?
Music Makers at the Keyboard goes far beyond teaching your children how to play the keyboard and read notes on a page. Rather, it offers comprehensive musicianship training that teaches your child the skill to hear internally the music printed on the page--an important prerequisite for learning how to play and perform a piece of music. Another key element of Musikgarten training teaches children how to play the melody, harmony, and rhythm of a piece s/he hears, all by ear and without the benefit of seeing the written music.
Music Makers at at the Keyboard includes singing, drumming, and movement activities so crucial for the musical, cognitive, and physical development of young children. There surely is no boredom in this curriculum! A great balance of fun activities and musical learning makes for an enjoyable class experience that nurtures a love of music-making and reduces performance anxieties.
This curriculum places a strong emphasis on aural skills because they are the foundation for children to understand and apply musical notation. Specific keyboard skills are introduced very systematically, and in a special sequence. But all is very much tied to learning actual songs, and there are quite a few of these! In the first year, children will be taught to play more than 25 songs in the keys of C, D, E, F, and G Major and c, d, e, f, and g minor. Additionally, the children will be playing I, IV, and V7 chords in multiple keys with both hands!
In sum, Musikgarten's Music Makers at the Keyboard is a remarkably well designed program that delivers astonishing results and provides an ideal preparation for individual piano lessons.
Call us at (908) 782-4943 to register!