Our Philosophy of Music Education
Why Notasium® is the best place for children to learn about music!
During some point in your life, you may have heard the expression, “music is a language.” This idea is absolutely true because, just like any other language, humans can use music to communicate. We use music to express thoughts, ideas, and emotions. For centuries, cultures from all around the world have used music for celebrations, ceremonies, and entertainment. Music is a very special language because it can be understood and enjoyed by anyone, at any age, from anywhere.
At Notasium®, our philosophy is to teach music in the same manner in which we teach children how to speak their first language. Our approach ensures that children learn music in the most natural way possible. This makes learning music at Notasium® easier and much more fun than traditional music teaching practices.
Phase 1 – Immersion
The first step in learning any language is immersion. Before babies are even born, they can hear and even recognize the sound of their mother’s voice. Once they leave the womb, babies are constantly surrounded by the language that their parents and family speak. The most important factors during immersion are consistency and time. The immersion phase of a language is what lays the foundation for each child to successfully learn how to communicate.
The indoor play-space at Notasium® is designed to be a fun environment with interactive structures that immerse kids (and adults) into the world of music. As children play, – which is when they learn best! – they are surrounded by the sounds, symbols, and simple theory concepts of music. They can touch and hear the notes of a guitar as they climb up the fretboard of our Giant Guitar Slide or even have an impromptu jam session with new friends on our stage. At our touch-activated Wonder Walls, kids can discover and dance to music from all around the world!
Our Notes-For-Tots ™ class (6 mo. – 2 yrs.) is great way to further immerse your child in the language of music. Every week, this class “visits” a new location to hear songs and instruments from that region or culture. Though some children at this age may not seem like they are participating, they are quietly absorbing their surroundings. Countless parents have reported that after about 3–4 weeks of taking the class, their child who “wasn’t participating” will all of a sudden start to sing the songs and do the dances at home – proof that immersion works! Immersion takes time and consistency. Our play-space and Note-For-Tots class are both great ways to immerse children into the world of music!
Phase 2 – Imitation
The next step when learning a language is imitation. From ages 1 – 2 years old, babies begin imitating the sounds and words they hear. During this time, a child may imitate an adult saying the word “dog,” or something close, for the very first time. Because this child has heard the word “dog” plenty of times during the immersion phase, he/she will likely never forget what it means. But if the same English-speaking child was asked to imitate an adult saying “perro” (the Spanish word for dog) in the same context, it is unlikely that the child would retain that word in his/her vocabulary because the word “perro” is unfamiliar to the child – they’ve never heard it spoken before! The imitation phase works best if the word or idea was heard or experienced repeatedly during the immersion phase.
Our Jr. Notemakers ™ (3 – 4 yrs.) utilizes fun activities and games that are designed for children to imitate music at an elementary level. For example, when playing the ukuleles, kids are merely asked to imitate or copy what the teacher is doing. Too many instructions early on can hinder the learning process. As long as the students imitate how the teacher holds, strums, and plays the ukulele, they will be learning how to play themselves! Over time and with consistency, children will naturally learn how to strum with a steady beat and play with a pretty sound.
Phase 3 – Communicating
The final step in learning a language is developing the ability to communicate. From ages 2 – 3 years old, children begin combining words into short phrases and sentences. At this stage, parents and caregivers are able to understand the child. By age 4, kids develop enough communication skills to be understood by any adult, not just their parents. One of the main reason kids learn to speak so quickly is because they are constantly practicing with professionals (adults).
Our Notemakers™, Group Piano, and Group Ukulele classes (5 – 6 yrs. old) are great environments for children to learn how to properly communicate the language of music. Though these classes still work on imitating music, they have more of an emphasis on actually playing (or communicating) music. Students begin by playing familiar songs that progress in difficulty. Our teachers encourage students to listen to what they play, rather than just hearing what they play because listening is active while hearing is passive. This approach enhances our students’ ability to communicate music in a way that is both understood and recognized by others.
For students who are ready to take their music abilities to the next level, our one-on-one private piano lessons, ukulele lessons, guitar lessons, violin lessons, drum lessons or a variety of other music lessons are where they can advance their music communication skills. All of our teachers are strongly encouraged to spend time in the lesson “jamming” with their students. This way, your child can learn about music through the process of playing or communicating with professionals – the same way he/she learned to speak so quickly!
Begin the process of learning about music by experiencing Notasium® with your family. While here, your children will learn about the language of music in the most natural way possible – by playing! The combination of our interactive play-space along with our engaging group classes and private lessons is what truly sets us apart from traditional music schools. Awaken the young musicians in your family by coming to Notasium® — where music meets play!™