Which class is right for your family?
A note from Kathryn….
It is time for you to decide what is best to do for your Pre-Schooler or Foundations/Kindergarten child commencing school. Should you enrol them in Musiglocks or Musikeys? Below are several pointers to help you make this decision and if you are still undecided, please discuss with me. I might just be able to make it easier for you after saying how it is, or by giving alternatives; for each child and their family is different.
As a general rule…
- Click for information on the Musiglocks and for the Musikeys programs. Familiarise yourself with the expectations of these programs.
- If your child has completed Musiglocks in their pre-school years, has had a year off attending Musikids, and will be in Year 1 at school next year, this can be a good time to enrol in Musikeys. This is especially favourable for some growing boys, in my experience.
- A child enrolling into a Musikeys class without prior exposure to music classes requires much more support at home. It would be recommended to begin Musikeys if they are to commence Year 1 or Year 2 at school. If your child is commencing school for the first time, and has not been exposed to Music and Movement classes, it is recommended to enrol in the Musiglocks class.
- If your child has completed some amount of time with exposure to music & movement at Musikids or elsewhere, who will be attending Pre-School in 2017, and school in 2018; I suggest you enrol them into the Musiglocks class.
- Please consider the biological age for the Musiglocks class. A 4 ½ years & older is the ideal candidate to begin the this program next year and complete it happily and successfully. There are exceptions which are to be discussed with me.
- The child attending school for the first time (Kindergarten or Foundations) should complete Musiglocks prior to Musikeys. Jumping from Muskids (3-5yrs) to Musikeys is strongly not advised, due to the firm foundations in rhythm, melody, instrumentation and general knowledge covered in excellent & well designed Musiglocks program.
- On Saturday mornings at 8:30am, a Musiglocks class is scheduled. This class was first introduced to cater for the children attending school during the week. In this class, I have witnessed children who have embraced the glockenspiel program effortlessly, which has boosted their esteem and confidence. They particularly enjoy this class. This should be our aim: to ensure learning is enjoyable to solidify initial connections.
- Year after year the children who complete the Musiglocks 12-month program gain skills that help them move with greater ease into the keyboard class during their first or second year of school. The children have a tendency to stick at it when the practice gets tough on the keyboard. They become more resilient self-learners.
Consider your commitment as a family, supporting your child enrolled in either class. At Musikids, at every stage, it has never been just about the child. It is about you being involved in the learning process too. In Musiglocks, you will be required to be with them at home when they practise writing a note, practising a new song on the glockenspiel, or helping them to remember to pack their bag each week to bring to class. It is the parents’ responsibility to teach the children how to do this. We can’t expect them to just ‘know’ how to pack the bag for instance. Glockenspiel playing requires patience on your part too, and do not forget, you are learning along the way. This will take some effort; say 5-10 minutes during the week, and possibly another 5 minutes on the day of the class. It may take less. We must be patient and not forceful during this time of learning. We must manage it as effectively as we can.
In Musikeys, the children receive a Practise Diary. This is an exercise book where they paste in the required practise sheet each week. You will tick off the pieces played on any given day initially, and write a comment consisting of what you are observing. After time, the child can tick off the pieces they practise themselves. You will be required to write a comment for the remainder of the year which you are also rewarded for with your very own stamp.
Where do I place the keyboard?
The keyboard or piano should be placed in a communal area. Ours is in the kitchen, come lounge room, come dining room. This means I can sit down anytime and play. I have heard it is very hard to keep younger fingers away when the Musikid is practising. Maybe the children can sort it out themselves, or a time might need to be chosen when the littlies are somewhere else so that productive practise is achieved. On a positive though, it is good that siblings want to play too! Music can be best learnt communally. This can include the whole family, and your new Musikeys player will benefit greatly from it.
Listening to your child
Listen to your child practise and play. Their future success depends on the time taken to listen, guide and help at home – especially at the start. In the first 3 terms of Year 1, it is vital for a family member to assist in the learning process. This may take 10 -15 minutes at least 3 days per week. Depending on how your child processes information, it may take longer. Again, patience is required here, and once again I say, do not forget that you are learning along the way too.
- Practise in the morning before school.
- A child who does not have an instrument at home to practice on upon commencement will struggle. I strongly recommend not commencing classes without an instrument at home.
- It is important to keep communication lines open and healthy. We all want the same thing: to enjoy the journey towards a happy and musical outcome. For young children, their learning includes a 3-way supportive relationship between Musikid + Musiparent + Musiteacher. Please discuss with me any concerns or achievements you might like to share to ensure that we all stay on the same page.