The Key to Understanding Music:
This programme provides the ideal preparation for, and accompaniment to, instrumental training. As the child progresses through the graded levels on their instrument their music becomes more and more complex. This raises a serious issue, principally to do with ownership and understanding. If children do not understand the music they are playing they may be less prepared to continue with the disciplined practice required. A sense of ownership at each stage is essential if children are to develop musical independence; thus, each stage the issue should not simply be one of attainment, but of mastery.
Musicianship training allows children to develop a wide range of skills such as musical reading & writing, understanding of form & structure, creativity, memory, ensemble skills, co-ordination, left/right brain skills, independence, as well as pitch/rhythm skills. Musicianship training allows children to explore and discover hundreds of elements of music theory through fun activities and games. It enables them to find their own voice and to develop an intrinsic sense of music as an art form. The skills and instincts developed at this early stage of training remain with them for life.
Many studies have shown that quality musicianship training enhances learning in other subject areas, such as sciences, mathematics and languages. Intensive musicianship training provides a sense of mental stimulation that passive experience do not.
Children undertaking instrumental training also need to develop high-level ensemble and musicianship skills. The combination of these activities helps to ensure that learning takes place on secure musical soil. A solid foundation aids children on what is a long musical path, and assists them in their quest to find music’s hidden treasures.
Cottage’s programme develops these all-important skills through a range of fun and stimulating approaches. Discovery is the key to a deeper understanding of music – our aim is to create an environment where learning is natural, and where children don’t realise how much they are really learning.
It is important that learning is fun, engaging and interesting, so that it stimulates the imagination, and raises in the children a sense of curiosity and wonder about their musical world.
We should expose children to the highest quality training and cultivate in them a love of music and of life, as today’s young musicians will one day be custodians of the art.
© Micheál McCarthy 2017
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