Group Pre-Instrument lessons are suitable for children from 3 years old with accompanying parent / carer. The curriculum provides a good foundation for learning any musical instrument, not only the recorder.
read more: When and where do the classes take place?
What we do
Your child will receive multi-sensory training in general musicianship, and play games that help to prepare the body for playing the recorder, focussing on posture, breath control, articulation and motor skills. With the help of six puppet characters, the Recorder Buddies, the dry bones of technique are brought to life in a fun and engaging way.
Pupils are introduced to all the main members of the recorder family (sopranino, descant, treble, tenor and bass) during the studio sessions; when they have become 'recorder ready' (see below) and take up individual lessons, they receive their own instrument to play.
The work in the studio is supplemented by a take-home practice pack, comprising a Suzuki CD, song cards and music-reading resources from the internationally-acclaimed Music Mind Games materials.
When will my child start the recorder?
Children grow as musicians in their own time, in different ways, just as they learn to talk in their own time, in different ways. A child is 'recorder ready' when s/he is able to stand with good posture and maintain focus on the teacher, blow a steady stream of air, play the rhythm of the first set of Suzuki recorder tunes on one note and demonstrate a few basic finger movements.
Moving on to the recorder then becomes the next natural step on an exciting musical journey, rather than the beginning of a daunting mountain ascent with the peak hidden from sight.
Why bother with pre-instrument lessons?
If you have had experience of traditional-style music teaching, you will know that more often than not, when a child begins to learn an instrument, s/he is burdened with a mass of complicated instructions from the first lesson: how to hold and manage the instrument; what to do physically and technically to produce a sound and the first note; how to read the music.
Such an overload of information, all focussed on the instrument itself, usually means that the equally important musicianship and aural skills are neglected or ignored, and the quality of the whole experience is severely compromised. The child is then expected to go home and assimilate everything with little or no help for six days, until the next lesson comes around. Frustration and confusion quickly set in; very soon all the initial enthusiasm disappears; the joy of learning has gone; the child loses interest.
With the Music at Heart Pre-Instrument Programme, all the foundations of musicianship are laid and all the basic skills of technique established before the recorder is introduced. This way, pupils play more successfully and musically when they come to take the step of performing on their instrument.