The piano is a common instrument for children to learn and for parents to encourage. The Musikgarten Keyboard Program uses an aural approach to lead children to understand the language of music and gain true music literacy. Because learning to play the piano often starts around the same age that children are learning to read, and because piano music is most commonly learned by reading the notes; we think that the first step to learning to play the piano is for our child to learn how to read music. What we don’t realize is that long before children begin reading words and books, they have a strong foundation of speaking the language. Through Musikgarten we are laying a foundation of how to speak the language of music.
What is Music Literacy?
Language literate people are not only able to read, understand, and convey what an author wrote, but they are also able to take all the sounds and thousands of words in their language and arrange them into sentences that express their own thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Music literacy is that same skill. It is being able to not only read the note names on the page and then find the right keys on the keyboard. It is understanding the notes, the phrases, and the styles and having an ability to improvise and compose with those notes. Musically literate people are able to express what a composer wrote as well as being able to express their own ideas. This is the education your child will receive through the Musikgarten Keyboard program. Your child will be able to hear a melody and add chords according to their own ideas, play the melody in several different keys, add introductions and endings, and improvise on a chord progression.
Why are the Musikgarten Keyboard classes held as a group?
It’s fun to make music and it’s even more fun to make music with other musicians, but this is not the only reason we meet and learn as a group. Through the process of learning in class, children are able to give and get support as they need it. It is a safe place to make mistakes and learn together with other children. They gain confidence in being able to play in front of other people as they learn and play for each other, regularly sharing and exploring ideas of how to play the songs they are learning. They are able to receive from each other and share together, thus expanding their creativity. And they are able to develop refined listening, self-discipline, deep concentration, and social awareness as they work together to produce a desired musical outcome. Remember, we are not just playing a song, we are making music, and this often involves others.
Musikgarten Keyboard “Piano Lessons” are FUN!
This isn’t your typical lonely piano lesson. We sing, play games with, and learn group dances to the songs we are learning to play. We work together as we learn to play the songs, and we become friends! Coming together as a budding musician community, listening to each other’s musical ideas, we grow together and learn to fill our homes and our world with beautiful, uplifting music.
So, although learning to play the piano is a common endeavor for many, the approach your child will experience here is far from common — as we explore and experience the joy of music. Come and see!