Let's Play Music provides a rich musical and educational experience with great depth and breadth, and is so much more than your typical group kiddie class, or even private piano instructions. But before we get into all that...
First of all, let's discuss why you would want to consider music lessons in the first place. There are a lot of things to consider in the upbringing and education of your young child. Which activity will they enjoy? Which will have lasting benefit? Which will have the most bang for the bucks invested in it?
There is so much research that has proven the incredible benefits of music study in a child's overall development and growing intellect. One study, by the German Socia-Economic Panel, found that "Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater, or dance." That's some serious bang. A short list of benefits include:
To read more details about this list, read this article.
So, music is great then. Where should you start? Well, again with the research - piano is the best choice for maximum benefit. This article and this infographic (click on the image to the right) explain the incredible things the playing the piano does to the brain. Amazing!
In short, a pianist's brain is more efficient, better at multi-tasking, and better able to communicate between hemispheres because both sides of the body get used both simultaneously and independently. And that has great implications - marrying the logical left brain with the creative and sensitive right brain creates a more well-rounded individual!
"Playing the piano activates the brain in ways no other game, gadget, instrument or tool can. It's the total brain workout!"
What makes Let's Play Music stand out from other music programs for young children? Or even private lessons?
First of all, a private teacher will generally have a student wait to start until they are 7-8 years old - when the fine-motor finger strength, reading skills, and attention span are ready for traditional one-on-one instruction.
Well, research has shown us that the "Music Learning Window", the time when the developing brain is at it most thirsty-sponge-like state, is between the ages of 3 and 9. Ears, brains, and voices are prime at ages 4-5. You can see that waiting for private lessons will miss over half of that window! Let's Play Music is developmentally appropriate for a 4-6 year old - not too much sitting still, no reading required in the beginning, lots of movement, and lots of fun. They don't even realize that they are learning, but BOY are they ever learning!
Don't get me wrong - private lessons are GREAT! However, at this young age, playful interaction using the whole body, games, laughter, singing, solfege hand signs and syllables (Do, Re, Mi, etc.), puppet shows, dancing, and even the occasion rap (featuring Ms. T and the Rockstars...) creates such a rich and exciting learning environment that kids can't wait to come to class. While many private students may fizzle out after 6-12 months, Let's Play Music has a very high retention rate through the full 3 year course, after which children are primed to truly excel in private instruction.
And what makes LPM different from other young child mommy-and-me, music and movement classes? In the words of Shelle Soelberg, the creator of Let's Play Music, these programs are,
"similar to Let's Play Music and many of our basic philosophies are the same: play-based learning, folk songs and games, group lessons. However, we are very different in the fact that the Let's
Play Music curriculum is strategically written to incorporate solid music literacy and ear-training skills into carefully sequenced lesson plans."
An LPM graduate would be able to move to private instruction at the age of 7-8, playing at an intermediate level, and understanding music in a very solid and intrinsic way. We teach them not only
to enjoy and appreciate music, but to read it, to understand it, to play it, and to create it!