Music For Young Children

From lullabies to patty-cake, music is a part of almost every baby’s life. Build on your child’s natural instincts by exploring Music For Young Children (MYC), a musical program for parents and children offered by five certified teachers in the Greater Moncton area.

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MYC is a great program for parents looking to connect with their children. This isn’t the type of class where you sit on the sidelines and drink coffee. It’s a chance for you to play side-by-side with your child, learning as they do, discovering their natural abilities, and creating a bond and shared experience that will enrich and strengthen your relationship.

“It’s noisy and joyful,” explains Beth deGroot, one of the Moncton area MYC instructors. “We sing, we dance, we laugh, we play rhythm instruments, we play the piano together. It is a charming and unique way to teach very young children.”

MYC uses a multi-sensory approach to meet a child’s learning styles and needs. The curriculum and program materials are specially designed and produced for the child’s age and development, no matter what their learning style. Using singing, creative movement, theory, rhythm ensembles, composition and more, students learn to play piano through a clever merging of study and play.

“Children learn so much more with this program than with traditional lessons,” says deGroot. “At the end of the program they are prepared for a Level One exam. They have also learned all the music theory necessary to be able to take a Basic Rudiments theory exam – something RCM does not require until Level 5 piano exam.”

deGroot says children who complete the MYC program take away more than just testable knowledge. “They have learned about the beauty of music and the reward of practice. They have gained self-esteem from working very hard to learn these skills. They have discovered that they can make beautiful music. We love guiding our students through this journey.”

MYC is an international program with Maritime roots. MYC was created by Frances and Gunars Balodis in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in 1980. Since then, it has reached more than 400,000 students. MYC teachers in the Moncton area work together to support each other and share their skills. There are five teachers, offering instruction in English and French, at various times. Classes include:

Infant: For parents and children up to two years of age, classes focus on singing, movement, rhythm instruments, and activities that teach pitch and rhythm. 10-week session cost $135.

Sunrise: A 10-week session for two- and three-year-olds, who along with their parents enjoy songs, puppets, movement, rhythm instruments, pre-counting and pre-note reading in preparation for a keyboard program. Cost is $155.

Sunshine, Sunbeam, and Moonbeam: Children from ages 3½ to 9 are grouped according to age, continuing to learn basic music theory and moving into playing the piano/keyboard, along with their parent. Thirty-four weekly lessons, plus materials, costs $697.19. The cost works out to about $15 per hour lesson, while the average rate for half-hour private lessons is $15 to $25. The lesson fee can be paid in installments throughout the year.

English Instructors:

Doris Sabean, Moncton, 382-0280,

Beth deGroot, Riverview, 386-3854,

Erin Clarke, Moncton, 382-0974,

French Instructors:

Therese Landry-LaFlamme, Moncton, 383-1654

Isabelle Perron Desjardins, Moncton, 854-3398,

Schedules for each instructor can be found by clicking their names, as well as contacting them directly.

Each MYC instructor has a minimum of Grade 8 Conservatory piano and Grade 2 Theory, as well as experience working with young children, and various MYC training seminars to become a certified teacher.

Parental involvement is not limited to the infant and toddler classes. Throughout the MYC program parents learn how to help children practice at home. “We ask parents to sit with their child as they practice at home,” explains deGroot. “Children learn the skill of practicing with their parents encouragement. They don’t feel overwhelmed; they don’t feel isolated.”

deGroot also notes that, because the class involves ensemble playing on keyboards, students must be well prepared and kept up-to-date with the group. “MYC encourages five to seven short practices a week,” explains deGroot. “The ensemble and the mapped curriculum keep our students music skills moving forward. We have amazing results. Our students play beautifully in just a few years.”

The impact of the program is wonderfully explained by pianist and composer Christopher Norton, who says he noticed the high calibre of young Canadian piano players and traced it back to MYC training. “I really much commend the MYC program,” he states in a promotional video. “MYC seems to blend the joy of music making with sound instruction, and it’s really very striking how students who’ve come through the program seem to want to play the piano into later life, in other words they go on to much more taxing pieces, but still imbued with that joy of music making.”

Piano playing has been shown to increase a child’s ability to deal with complex math problems, while adults who studied music before age 12 have improved memories for words. Start your child off with the advantages of attachment parenting and musical instruction. Find a MYC class that fits your schedule and start your musical journey together today.

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