Music for Young Children

Child & PArent Classes - Learn foundations with Structure

The Music for Young Children classes provide the best quality music education to young children by blending the pleasure and the joy of music making with sound instruction. Our MYC classes promote the happy habit of learning music so, much of what we do is in tune with the ages of the children. Adults, don’t underestimate the power of small sips of fun music learning for these young children. Our hope is to help each child internalize many music skills and then to naturally use them in music making now and as they grow.

The child’s adult in class is an integral part of the program. The adults role is not hard. The adult is in charge of getting the correct page open more quickly than the child would be able, taking out and completing the putting away of learning props, and being the child’s “music page conductor” with the pointer stick on the music page while the child is playing a song at the keys of the piano. They also are in charge of the assignment paper and are to assist the child in 5 to 10 minutes of “music time at home” 5 to 6 days each week. Something magical happens with a simple short review every day. The child remembers so much more and feels much more confident in class.

Children up to 8 years old may enter the MYC music learning. The oldest children beginning MYC will enter in the Moonbeams books. In 3 years they complete the skills and theory to begin private instruction in piano at the intermediate level or begin another instrument. Because the child has already gained many skills in pitch, rhythm, staff reading, and more foundational skills they are very ready to launch into a new instruments’ specific skills.

When a child completes this program they are ready to prepare to take an international level 1 theory and/or piano exam, having experienced all the elements for the exam. For example, if a 2 year old child began in Sunrise at 2 years and continues in an MYC class each year, by the time they turn 8 they will have completed the foundational skills of piano and music theory and will be ready to study any instrument or to begin piano literature in lessons - Amazing! Through these years the children are having fun enjoying the happy habit of learning music.

A personal note from Karen Welsh our Chief Manager here at Mapleford. “I’ve started this focus of music learning late in my career and I am very committed to the need of very strong content in a playful and caring environment for childrens learning. My primary desire is to bring very strong foundational music content to children before the age of 8. As always, as life does, we are surprised that the path we choose becomes more ‘interesting’ than we anticipated. So to for me in creating Mapleford Studio LLC. In the back of my mind I always thought I would add more classes than just Music Pups but I didn’t expect All ages. I am thrilled to be able to maintain my commitment to strong content in foundational learning for all ages - and we have a lot of fun and support each other in the music learning journey.”

Sunrise

Sunrise students enjoy new music learning activities in song, rhythm, and table activities each week as we journey along with our friends Teddy, Buddy Croak, Mellow Yellow, and Buzz.  Many weeks we even have a related craft for the child and adult to do together! Class time is focused on activities for growing pitch and rhythm matching, note duration, and growing foundations for music understanding  with "Bigger Kid" activities.

Sunrise children are  2, 3 and even 4 years old and come to class with a parent or caregiver each week. A good indicator of readiness is when your child is showing interest in following along with a group at a table activity. Sunrise classes are 45 minutes long and meet one time a week for 10 weeks.  With book 1, children receive a Sunrise backpack to carry their class materials to class each week!  Siblings may only attend class together if their ages fit this class. Siblings do have a tuition discount but not a materials discount as each child needs their own materials.

sunrise

The complete Sunrise program is three 10 week sessions. Each Session we use one book, books 1, 2, and 3 each having a CD, finger puppet of one of our friends, and a rhythm instrument!.  Your Session Book 1 also includes the Sunrise backpack, book 1 and its materials, and tuition and fees for the session.  Books 2 and 3 follow in the consecutive Session quarters with payment covering materials and tuition. Registration for Sunrise is expected for the three sessions.

Sunshine

sunshine 1

Sunshine 1, the youngest of the keyboard programs. It is the starting point of the MYC® Method for 3-4 year old beginners. Our focus is foundational - building their foundation in music skills including reading based in learning to play the piano.  Students experience movement through beats and rhythms, as well as developing their fine motor skills with rhythm plays and instrument ensemble playing.  Children start learning the geography of the piano and note-reading through our MYC Critters (and their stories to which the children can relate).  By the end of the SS1 level (three calendar quarters - A,B,C), children are able to play their first scale (C Major) and are reading from the staff.  In class we have many pre-reading experiences, such as identifying like/different, matching, patterns, and reinforcing and recalling the music concepts. Concepts and skills are reinforced with fun at-home activities at the piano keys and with exciting things like scissors cutting, gluing, and coloring.

We do do pint-sized yet grown-up learning! Meaning…the children are experiencing and learning the foundational elements of music. Next, is a list illustrating some of the skills worked on in the year.

  • Learning piano and rhythm through MYC’s unique keyboard and rhythm ‘critters’

  • off-the-staff reading for contour and patterns

  • steady beat experiences

  • solfedge hand signs and rote learning of songs

  • on-the-staff reading in treble clef and bass clef

  • listening to - identify and use dynamics (loud and quiet sounds)

  • listening to a rhythm pattern and writing it using rhythm writing tools. This is sometimes referred to as rhythm dictation. 

Registration for Sunshine 1 is expected for the 9 months September through May. We have payments conveniently broken into three quarterly payments. Many supplies are needed at the beginning of the year and the first quarter Sessions payment is higher then the following two Sessions. Each Session quarter you will receive the next book and additional supplies for class and the at home activities.

Continuing class fee
from 110.00

sunshine 2

Year 2 changes a little bit by having one student book instead of 3 books A, B, C.  Sunshine 2 reviews and continues our wonderful fun of the first year. Sunshine 2 completes all of the elements in Sunbeams 1. To see more details scroll down and read the Sunbeams 1 area. As the child completes Sunshine 2 they are ready to graduate to Sunbeams 2! The children are so excited to go from being a Sunshine to a Sunbeam!

Some of the elements your child will explore and learn are:

  • Review and continuing development of: keyboard geography and rhythm through MYC’s unique keyboard “critters”, Identification and use of dynamics (loud and quite sounds) and listening to a rhythm pattern and writing it

  • Expanded note reading in treble clef and bass clef

  • Coordination of LH and RH playing

  • Scale playing with harmonizing bridge chords in C Major, a minor and G Major

  • Identification of melodic patterns

  • continuing solfedge hand signs and rote learning of songs

  • Introduction to staccato (detached) and legato (smooth) touches

  • Information about famous composers in child size bites

Registration for Sunshine 2 is expected for the 9 months September through May.

Continuing class fee
from 110.00

Sunbeams

Sunbeams 1 (SB1) is the entry point of the MYC® Method for 5-6 year old beginners.  These children are just moving into their school aged years. and, are our Sunbeams all the way! Wonderful energy and capacity for music learning. They are first introduced to piano geography and rhythms through our MYC Critters stories to help set their foundation of music knowledge and education; however, the pace and content for these Sunbeams year 1, 2 and 3 matches their developmental stages.  Vocabulary development is the focus for this age group and we have a lot of fun over the first year going from ‘hop’ to ‘ta’s’ to just introducing the term ‘quarter note’.  At this stage we build to, and introduce, “big kid” terminology for many concepts and skills. The child’s developing strength and control in fine motor coordination allowes us to expect more growth in combining keyboard skills. The growth of this age group from Sunbeams 1 to Sunbeams 3 is amazing. It a wonderful time to help them learn music from concrete activities to the budding of abstract thinking - so exciting!

Sunbeams 1

Year 1 of Sunbeams uses three books - 1A, 1B, and 1C, one each session.  We begin the year with the same activities as our Sunshine 1’s but very quickly move through all the stories of our Music Street Friends and our Rhythm Street Friends. By mid-year our Sunbeams are playing the C scale and are beginning to add 2 note ‘bridges’ to the scale. It is all so very exciting to play 3 notes together!

Here are some highlights of what the children work on throughout the year:

  • Identification and development of keys and rhythm through MYC’s unique keyboard ‘critters’

  • Off-the-staff reading for contour and patterns

  • Steady beat experiences

  • solfedge hand signs and rote learning of songs

  • On-the-staff (pitch) reading in treble clef and bass clef

  • Grand staff reading (treble and bass clef)

  • Listening to identify and use dynamics (loud and quiet sounds)

  • Listening to a rhythm pattern and writing it using rhythm writing tools.

  • Coordination of LH and RH

  • Scale playing with harmonizing bridge chords in C major, a minor and G major.

Registration for Sunbeams 1 is expected for the 9 months September through May. We have payments conveniently broken into three quarterly payments. Many supplies are needed at the beginning of the year and the first quarter Sessions payment is higher then the following two Sessions. Each Session quarter you will receive the next book and additional supplies for class and at home activities.

Continuing class fee
from 110.00

Sunbeams 2

As in Sunshine 2, Sunbeams 2 changes to a single student book for the year.  In this year the children are so excited to be using all the “official”Music words. A “Lady Bug Dot” changes to a “Dotted Half Note”. We don’t like to underestimate the lasting power the stories and imagery of things like ”Lady Bug Dot” in our music learning. In the MYC teacher training seminars it is amazing to hear adults, who went through MYC as a child, share their stories of how that imagery came to their aid in collage level music study! In this second year we continue to keep the focus on the “happy habit of music learning” all the while laying down enduring skills in our playful learning.

Below are listed many of the growing skills out Sunbeams 2 work on through the year:

  • Study of seven different keys with key signatures.

  • Two note bridge chords grow to three note full chords.

  • Coordination of left hand and right hand in playing broken chords with a melody.

  • Coordination in hand-over-hand (crossing over) pieces.

  • Grand staff reading expands to include notes from low G in bass clef to high G in treble clef.

  • continuing solfedge hand signs and rote learning of songs

  • Staccato (detached) and legato (smooth) touches are explored.

  • Harmonization (adding chords to a melody) and transposition (moving from one key to another) are important study elements this year.

  • Continued listening to identify and use dynamics (loud and quiet sounds), rhythm patterns and accompaniment styles.

By the end of the year the children are so proud of all the musical things they can do! They are playing scales with harmonizing with 3 note chords, playing a melody with an ostinato pattern in the other hand, signing the whole solfege scale, and many more achievements. At this point they only have 2 years remaining. First it’s Sunbeams 3 then the next year finishing in Moonbeams 3. It’s so important for these young children to achieve milestones which they can see and that the adults in their lives acknowledge as worthy. As adults we may not always recognize what is concentration and hard work for a child of 6 or 7 years. Also how much they rely on us to lead them through tasks we do automatically. Although much of how we are learning in MYC may seem like play remember we are presenting a full complement of music skills to these very young children in a developmental appropriate manner - an they love it and learn it well!

Continuing class fee
from 110.00

Sunbeams 3

Year 3 of Sunbeams has two student texts. 

  • Study of minimum of eight keys

  • Continued study of scales harmonized with primary chords and practice of accompaniment patterns including broken chords and playing rhythmic patterns

  • Study of three forms of the minor scale: natural, harmonic, and melodic.

  • Study of inversions of triads

  • Study of cadences. (A cadence is a progression of chords.)

  • Expanded studies of: note names to include ledger lines and articulation with an introduction to accents.

  • Introduction to simple analysis.

  • Continued practice of: harmonization and transposition, composition and arranging, listening for dynamics, meter, articulation, form, and accompaniment styles.

When Sunbeams 3 is completed our Sunbeam's graduate to Moonbeams 3.

Moonbeams

Moonbeams 1 (MB1) is the entry point of the MYC® Method for 7-9 year olds.  The older beginner program is designed to support the students’ growing sense of independence.  Reading becomes the primary focus for gathering information, while the songs, ensembles and keyboard repertoire incorporate early piano literature, folk songs, technique and harmonization. In the first year of Moonbeams the adult needs to be in attendance each week as they assist in setting good habits in class and stay involved at home for daily review and activities which need to be done for the next class.

Moonbeams 1

Year 1 with books 1A, 1B, and 1C.  Registration for Moonbeams 1 is expected for the year September through May.

  • pattern reading

  • scale playing with harmonizing chords in 6 keys

  • keyboard repertoire with plentiful supplementary pieces for holidays and extra challenges

  • rhythm and keyboard ensemble experiences

  • harmonization and composition experiences

  • transposing within 5 finger patterns

  • understanding and utilizing legato and staccato touches

Moonbeams 2

Year 2 with two books.  Registration for Moonbeams 2 is for the year

  • Study of minimum of eight keys with continued study of scales harmonized with primary chords.

  • Practice of accompaniment patterns including broken chords and playing rhythmic patterns.

  • Study of three forms of the minor scale: natural, harmonic, and melodic.

  • Study of inversions of triads

  • Study of cadences. (A cadence is a progression of chords.)

  • Study of 6/8 time signature.

  • Expanded study of: note names to include ledger lines and articulation with an introduction to accents.

  • Introduction to simple analysis.

  • Continued practice in: harmonization and transposition, composition and arranging.

  • Continued listening for dynamics, meter, articulation, form, and accompaniment styles.

Moonbeams 3

Year 3 with two books.  Registration for Moonbeams 3 is for the year

Moonbeams 3 is the final level in Music for Young Children®.  When MYC was written, it was with the intent to integrate and prepare our students to take their first piano exam and theory exam at the end of their MB3 year.  It is an exciting year for students, parents and teachers as these children have now gained so much knowledge, understanding and appreciation of music and piano playing that they are able to manipulate, pull from, and engage all the learning they have received throughout their journey in their MYC classes, whether it is through theory, composition, and/or the musically shown (and heard) through their playing.

When Moonbeams 3 is completed our students are 7 to 11 years old and ready to begin individual lessons in any instrument and/or  take a first level international conservatory exam such as The Royal Conservatory, Toronto Canada.

My Choice

At the moment - My Choice isn't offered - but we're looking forward to it!

Students in the My Choice levels of MYC® are generally between the ages of 9-12 years of age.  The significant difference with My Choice is not the curriculum, but the structure of the class, in that the parents are not required to attend every lesson with their children.  Since these students are older, they are able to learn on their own, with the teacher, still in a group situation. 

Our My Choice class is for beginning piano students ages 9, 10, 11, and 12 years.    This is a full music study and piano course with multiple years available bringing a student into intermediate piano music or ready to pursue any other music.

The program covers the same material as our Moonbeams program shown above.  We recognize the growing independence and abstract thinking capacity of children in this age group.

If you and your child are interested in beginning lessons on piano we recommend considering any of our small group piano classes.

 

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