"Putting Musicianship
into Practice."

Music Box: Children having fun learning about music.

Music Box classes are about young children having fun with music while learning the basics of sound musicianship.

It is music education as well as music fun.

Skills are initially introduced through songs. In this way children are able to develop musical skills without having to manage the technical demands of an instrument.

As a result music skills can develop at their own pace, independently of an instrument. These skills show children what can be expressed and achieved through music.

When children do start learning an instrument their progress is usually smoother and faster. They have a significant head start. Moreover, their musical skills are transferable to any number of instruments!

Using a core group of songs

Music Box uses a core group of songs which the children come to know extremely well. These songs have been specially chosen because they start with the simplest rhythms and melodic intervals and become systematically more complex. They enable children to develop musical skills in a logical and methodical progression.

Precisely because the children know the songs so well, they can concentrate on learning the new skill or concept rather than trying to remember the words or tune.

Using these songs alongside musical games and movement, the children are introduced to the elements needed to become confident, rounded musicians.

These include:

pulse: the steady beat that keeps going at the same speed for the length of a piece of music
rhythm: how the beat is subdivided into longer or shorter notes
pitch: notes moving higher and lower
literacy: the ability to both read and write music
improvisation: the ability to invent your own music
co-ordination: pulling together the physical, technical and musical aspects
expression: the ability to identify and convey emotional content.

Based on principles established by Zoltan Kodaly and Emile Dalcroze

Our approach is based on principles established by Zoltan Kodaly and Emile Dalcroze.

Kodaly (1882 - 1967) was a Hungarian music educator who believed that teaching, learning and understanding about music was best done primarily through the voice, our natural 'instrument'. He also believed strongly that musical skills should be developed in a logical progression.

Dalcroze (1865 - 1950) was a Swiss pianist and composer who believed the source of rhythm is held in the body and that musical concepts will be best understood if taught and experienced through movement.

The Benefits:

Making music is a social experience. Our approach promotes confidence and competence, the ability to listen and co-operate with others.

In order to co-operate, children also have to listen to themselves and evaluate what they are doing. They are faced with choices and have to make decisions.

They return to an initial idea and make improvements. To do so, they have to understand what they are doing.

They have genuine freedom of expression. Behind this is the notion of experimentation, of flexibility, of having a go. Children develop their capacity to communicate ideas and to present these to others.

Most important of all, they come to understand the pleasure of enjoying music. They have begun to make music an integral part of their lives.