How does Richmond Christian College encourage music? What programmes are available for your child? How can you encourage your child in learning music? These questions have been answered below by our music teacher, Michelle Robertson.
Music Corp Programme
At the moment, we are running the MusicCorp instrumental programme, for students from year 1 upwards. Students can have small group tuition, instrument hire, all learning materials and music stand for $219 (acoustic instruments) or $254 (electric instruments) per term. Instruments currently available are violin, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, alto sax, electric or acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric drums, vocals, keyboard or percussion. Lessons are on a Tuesday. A visiting tutor named Mark comes in to teach them and the kids are loving it. The group lesson format gives the students an opportunity to play their pieces as an ensemble.
Specialist one-on-one instrumental tuition is also available on piano and vocals (Mondays), violin or cello or guitar/bass/ukulele with on Fridays with private tutors.
The senior vocal group kicked off last term and meets lunch-times on a Thursday. It’s a small group learning to do harmonies and part-singing. We have a lot of fun.
There is a primary percussion and vocals group called Sing and Ding on Wednesday lunch-times from 1pm. They tend to attract the lower primary kids.
Some of the benefits of learning music:
* Builds hand-eye co-ordination (and with some instruments – breath capacity)
* Betters your mathematical abilities
* Aids with reading and comprehension
* Cultivates self-expression and relieves stress
* Builds patience and perseverance
* Instills discipline, responsibility and time management
* Develops listening skills
I quite like this article on the benefits of learning music: http://www.effectivemusicteaching.com/articles/directors/18-benefits-of-playing-a-musical-instrument/
When to start Music Lessons
The best age to start music lessons depends on the instrument chosen and the physical development of the child:
Piano and violin can be started from 5 years old.
Drums can be started from year 2.
Guitar and most wind instruments are best started from year 3 upwards.
Trumpet, trombone and bass guitar are best started around the year 4 or 5 mark, depending on the size, strength and co-ordination of the child.
Individual vocal lessons are most effective from 11-12 years old due to puberty/physical development factors.
Tips for Parents
I like this article for some great concise, practical tips for supporting a love for practice at home:
For younger musicians
* It is recommended that children play their musical instruments every day – “little and often” for a beginner, eg. 3-5 minutes at a time every day will suffice for a young beginner. Even 2 minutes a day is much better than a single 15 minute practice session per week. Like the above article says, use the language of “play” rather than practise to foster the joy and wonder of learning an instrument!