The Mini Music programme is designed and taught by a mum who is also a musician and has been teaching music to children for the past 15 years. Currently the classes offered are for babies between 0-4 years old, but further classes for older children will be added soon.
The main goals of Mini Music are:
To help the attending parents/carers cultivate an additional mode of communication between them and their babies through singing, moving to music and making music together
To build confidence in young children to express themselves freely
To make children comfortable with their singing voice and help them use it to communicate, express feelings and make music
To help children explore sounds in various instruments and experiment with sounds in composition
To introduce a broad range of musical styles and traditions, with an emphasis on traditional music
To make children aware of dominant musical patterns in the western tradition and gradually enable them to use these patterns as creative building blocks
In later stages, introduce children to music notation as a functional tool to aid more advanced music learning and develop their “inner ear”
WHY IT MATTERS
At a time when the importance of music and the arts is underplayed in the school curriculum, Mini Music aspires to provide an appropriate, coherent framework for a child’s first steps in music. Early music instruction has been shown to be a strong predictor for stronger early literacy skills (Anvari et al 2002, Douglas & Willats 1994, Hansen & Bernstorf 2002) enhanced spatial-temporal and visual-motor skills (Hanson 2003, Orsmond & Miller 1999) and, in general, to affect neural networks in the brain so that they perform better in many areas associated with learning, intelligence and memory (Schellenberg 2004, Trainor et al 2009).
HOW WE DO IT
Based on methods that have been tried and tested in music education for almost a century (Kodaly method, Dalcroze Eurythmics, Orff approach) but also adapted to fit the current framework within which it is presented, Mini Music promotes natural music learning through play. Rather than providing isolated bits of musical information (a song, a piece, instrument names), Mini Music introduces meaningful chunks of musical knowledge and patterns, which can be later used creatively and critically in music making and listening. The aim is to equip young children with confidence in using their natural musicality as a tool both for expression and as a transferable skill for learning.