Being a musician is not just about learning to play an instrument, it goes far beyond this. So often I have parents ask me “What instrument should I start (child’s name) on?” My answer is always the same,"You should engage them in musicianship training before you even consider introducing them to an instrument." Think of it like this, the instrument should be the final piece of the puzzle after the foundations have been laid. You wouldn't give a child a book and expect them to read without any prior exposure to language, but this is what happens with music and is one of the main reasons that children fall at the first hurdle.
So what is musicianship training and why is it so important? You can think of it as in 5 categories:
Executive is what we usually think of first, the ability to be able to play an instrument, to press the notes, make a sound etc.
Notation is the ability to translate the music from the score onto the instrument. These are the two skills that are commonly associated with learning an instrument however they are not the most important.
The other three skills are internal and MUST be developed over time in order for the first two to be successful. Rhythmic - having a good sense of rhythm, Tonal, understanding melodies and harmony and Creative nurturing the ability to be musically creative and experimental.
During our courses, musicianship training is at the heart of what we deliver. Our aim is to produce musicians that are ‘musically ready’ to embark on their instrumental journey once they reach 5 years old. In our sessions you will see children moving, singing, chanting, listening, improvising and experimenting. We don't focus on executive functions such as a particular playing technique, rather on basic music skills such as audination (hearing melodies in your head), matching pitch, keeping steady time, ability to subdivide rhythms and creating and extending musical ideas. By training these skills to be highly developed, children are far more likely to succeed at playing their chosen instrument.
If you would like to learn more about our sessions, or come along for a trial, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.