Central Coast Conservatorium - Children's Music Program (CMP)
Why start music lessons early?Formative years of childhood are crucial for intellectual, social emotional development. Participation in a developmental music programme during these early years encourages children to develop good listening and comprehension skills and enhances concentration. Involvement with music enriches a child’s life and helps develop aesthetic senses. Great music educators including Kodály, Dalcroze and Suzuki have stressed the importance of beginning musical experiences early in life, before the age of eight years. Music programmes for young children must be based on an understanding of child development and planned in accordance with a child’s physical, emotional cognitive and social development. The mental and physical co-ordination skills necessary for playing a musical instrument are most easily acquired in the years of early childhood. Before commencing the formal study of a musical instrument children need to be involved in many kinds of musical activities which help to develop aural perception, memory and understanding of the basic elements of music.
About our CMP ClassesThe Central Coast Conservatorium course for children was developed by a team of highly specialized teachers experienced in the field of music and early childhood education. The course provides a programme of sequenced musical experiences commencing at two years and continuing to age eight, and now with a one year class for older children.
The first stage of the program includes the parent as a participant and contains a variety of enjoyable activities, songs, rhymes, movement and playing of percussion instruments.
The classes provide a stimulating range of musical experiences and encourage children to respond to music, to join in music making and to make their own music. The carefully programmed activities invite the children to participate, to begin to develop aural perception and memory, simple musical skills and understandings and most importantly to enjoy music. Our CMP courses have been developed by a team of highly specialised teachers experienced in the field of music and early childhood education. The course provides a program of sequenced musical experiences commencing with our baby class and continuing to age ten. The classes provide a stimulating range of musical experiences and encourage children to respond to music, to join in music-making and to make their own music. The carefully programmed activities invite children to participate, to begin to develop aural perception and memory, simple musical skills and understanding, and most importantly to enjoy music!
Baby classOur baby class is for babies from zero up to 2 years old. Children are accompanied by a parent or carer who participates in all activities and are encouraged to continue the activities at home. The adult and child interact in bouncing and patting rhymes, singing with the child and encouraging vocalisation and moving to music.
2 year class2 year olds are accompanied by a parent or carer who participates in all activities. The adult and child interact in bouncing and patting rhymes, short songs, listening games and moving to music. Activities are repeated to allow children to become familiar with actions, words and melodies.
3 year class3 year olds are accompanied by a parent or carer. New songs are introduced and added to old favourites from the previous year. Children are helped to find and use their singing voice, experience rhythm and begin to keep a steady beat.
4 year class4 year olds go to class without parent or carer. The children participate in many singing and rhythmic activities such as practicing beat matching, by movement and playing percussion instruments. Pitch skills are developed further through echo-singing activities. Children take home song sheets which become part of their Music Book. They use this book for song recognition and to encourage singing at home.
Enrichment classFor children turning five but not yet attending school. This class is an extension to the 4 year old class. Musical concepts of pitch, duration and dynamics are further extended. A wider range of percussion instruments are introduced. Singing is extended through a wider range of notes and some parts-singing. This class is a great preparation for school as children develop their listening skills, participate in groups and learn about taking turns, all in a relaxed fun environment!
The Pre-Instrumental Program contains three sequential levels. All students commence at Level 1 and must be attending school (or being home schooled). The children use a Developmental Music Workbook specially written for each level. All levels also study choral work and students are encouraged to join our Children’s Choir. Children will be introduced to the following instruments in each level:
Level 1Children begin activities in music reading and writing. Pitch and rhythm patterns, which they learn to represent visually, are derived from a repertoire of well known songs. Solfa (based on movable doh), hand signs and rhythm notation shorthand are introduced at this stage.
Level 2Children begin to use the five line music staff to represent relative pitch pattern from their songs. Solfa syllables include soh, lah and doh. Rhythmic work includes the crotchet note and rest, quaver and semi quaver in two metre patterns. In Semester 1 they study strings (violin or cello) and in Semester 2 they study keyboard and choral work.
Level 3Small group instrumental lessons continue and children are offered a further range of instruments to experience, enabling them to make an informed choice of which instrument(s) they would like to study. At the conclusion of this level children may commence private instrumental lessons or join Choir having acquired the benefit of a wide range of musical experiences and fundamental skills in musical literacy.
The Young Musicians Program (Level 4)This is a transitional year linking the Children’s Music Program to our instrumental program and graded Musicianship classes. Class lessons are replaced by the Young Musicians Program, a 45 minute group class, whilst a half hour instrumental lesson is introduced on a weekly basis (on an agreed day/time with the teacher). The concept is to retain the group class dynamic whilst nurturing students into individual lessons. The Young Musicians Program will help ease students into the Grade 1 Musicianship class in the following year.
We seek to inspire our Central Coast community to engage in and value music as an integral part of life through comprehensive music education and artistic endeavour.