Conservatorium’s new Keyboard Club the key to unlocking Coast’s accessible music lesson shortage
The launch of Central Coast Conservatorium of Music’s (CCCM) newest program – Keyboard Club – has seen an unprecedented number of registrations from Central Coast families, with over eighty percent of classes reaching capacity within one week of the new program’s announcement.
Keyboard Club is open to students from kindergarten to year 10, is designed to address the gap for accessible, cost-effective and engaging music lessons on the Central Coast.
CCCM Artistic Director Patrick Brennan identified the Conservatorium’s goal of all Central Coast children having access to quality music lessons as the main driving force behind the development of the new program.
“Keyboard Club was developed to provide small-group classes where students have access to our expert teachers and will gain a great foundation in reading music, developing music theory skills and learning piano.
“Offering engaging programs with excellent educational outcomes is what we are all about. Keyboard Club offers low-cost group keyboard lessons on Tuesday afternoons and Saturday Mornings. Keyboard is a great foundational instrument, and from personal experience – having had to learn keyboard for the first time at university – I can also attest to the benefits of learning keyboard as a second instrument,” he continued.
No-one knows the benefits of learning the keys from a young age better than former CCCM superstar student – and current Sydney Conservatorium of Music scholar – Kimberly Gilbert who has been enlisted alongside fellow teacher Sharon Hatton to guide the next generation of young piano players joining Keyboard Club.
Kimberley shared her excitement at extending upon her CCCM journey which started at the age of two when her Mum enrolled her in the Children’s Music Program.
“It’s such an honour to be a teacher at the same institution where I developed my love for music and spent my entire young life admiring the amazing teachers that guided me on my path,” shared Kimberly.
“It’s quite nerve-wracking at the same time as I already know so many of the teachers and how phenomenally talented they are – it’s a strange feeling coming into the same environment but in a different role,” she continued.
The teachers won’t be the only ones with first-day jitters, as many of the students registered for the weekly Keyboard Club lessons are first-timers with CCCM and have no prior piano or keyboard experience.
“The Club is aimed at developing basic musicianship skills and a love for music within students who have little to no previous keys training,” explained Sharon.
“Unlike traditional piano lessons where you are usually in a one-on-one environment, the Keyboard Club students will be learning alongside other children of a similar age and developmental stage.
“The group setting makes the cost of lessons more accessible than learning the piano, while still developing the same basic skills and playing the same pieces – the only big difference is the sound,” she continued.
Attending lessons at CCCM provides students with many opportunities they may not have access to elsewhere, including performance opportunities and scholarship auditions experience – both of which Kimberly believes played an integral part in shaping her as a musician.
“CCCM exposes you to a whole community of musicians from every genre and instrument; I remember watching those older perform at the end of term concerts and feeling so inspired by the idea that I could someday play as well as them,” shared Kimberly.
“These [Keyboard Club] students will have access to those same growth opportunities, those same awe-inspiring experiences because the Con provides more than just music lessons.
“We see this as the first step in each student’s musical journey; I can only strive to pass on the incredible grounding I received from CCCM which prepared me for both ups and downs, taught me how to learn from each experience, and has played a huge role in me finding my own path,” she said.
Students can register their interest online at http://bit.ly/keyboardlab or contact us on 02 4324 7477 for more information.