At the heart of music is its intrinsic ability to bring people together. We all have an inherent need to belong and to be a part of a community of people who share common interests. When children come together to learn about music, the environment for learning is optimized by shared experiences. Learning music alongside peers, children have the opportunity to build a very strong musical foundation.
Architects who design tall buildings understand the need for deep infrastructure. A significant part of the building is constructed underground to offer the necessary support. At CAM, our Music Explorers and Music Adventures classes lay the solid foundation for both success and enjoyment of future music study. In both classes, social interaction with other children is at the core of the methods we use. Our young students enjoy learning alongside their friends, are nurtured through each class, paving the way for a smooth transition into private lessons. An engaging, pedagogically sound curriculum, coupled with the social aspect, means children are learning in an age and developmentally appropriate way.
Learning music in small groups also cultivates independent learners. Group teaching is rooted in this ideal. A small class requires the student to have a higher level of independence in order to function within the group. Problem solving skills are developed as a result. These skills are then carried home, which proves quite fruitful in practice time. In private lessons, the student observes the teacher. In group lessons, the student has opportunities to observe the teacher as well as classmates. Observation is proven to enhance learning..the more the better! Dr. Sylvia Coats of Wichita State University writes, “When groups are well facilitated with a positive, accepting environment that encourages exploration, students are more likely to be intensely engaged, express opinions, and experience personal insights about themselves and music. This is a result of being process-oriented, not product-oriented. Good playing evolves from students learning through interactive experiences with music and each other.”
Students involved in group music lessons have regular opportunities to perform for each other. This greatly reduces a child’s fear of playing in public. Group lesson students also have the unique advantage of playing music with their classmates every week, building ensemble skills from a young age.
Most importantly, music is something to be enjoyed and shared. Learning alongside others, children thrive in this motivating environment. Making music with friends is simply a lot of fun!