Music-Reading and the Early Years Programme
Long before they learn to read, children pick up the language of words written in letters and symbols from the environment all around them: the alphabet frieze in the nursery; the bedtime story book; the writing on everything from food packaging to television.
The Early Years Programme explores the language of music in letters and symbols in exactly the same way, using a wealth of hands-on resources to develop knowledge of the musical alphabet, the eight-note scale (relative solfa - do re mi fa so la ti do - and John Curwen's hand-signs), regular and irregular patterns of long and short notes (pulse and rhythm), the concepts of up/down, high/low, above/below, before/after, the geography of the stave, clefs, lines and spaces.
By introducing music reading in this way, Music at Heart takes advantage of the plasticity of the brain in the pre-school years. Happy and relaxed, your child will hardly realise s/he is learning!
As easy as ABC!
For children having traditional-style instrumental lessons either at school or through private tuition, the instrument they are learning is used as the tool with which they are taught to read music. This approach is self-limiting: their ability to read music is only ever as good as the standard of the piece they are learning to play - and when they first begin, this can mean only a small range of notes and very basic rhythms for a number of months or even years, depending on how much practice they do!
By learning music-reading as a separate skill with the Music at Heart Reading Programme, your child will be engaging with a wide range of notes across treble and bass staves and reading complex rhythms from a very early age, long before s/he can play them on the recorder. Young children take great delight in knowing that they can do something which looks hard! Presented in this way, advanced music becomes exciting rather than difficult, and when your child's playing ability catches up, sight-reading is easy.