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Music Education

The education of a child is incomplete without direct experience in learning to make music. This suggested outline for a gradual development of musical skill is offered to encourage every family to include the nourishing magic of music in their daily lives. Music is considered by many the world over, as equaled only by the physics of nature, in being the purest form of universal language.

Singing/Dancing/Hand Drumming   First Instruments   Small Hands   Digital Pianos   Acoustic Guitars   Recorders   Backpacker Instruments   The Works!  

Music Maitri
Sixteen-year Developmental Plan
Music Maitri means making friends with oneself through music. Our Zen of Music Education is a year-by-year mindful experiment with tones; making rhythm and melody. This outline, for progressive and practical skill development, is offered as a guideline for anyone who can enrich a child's life with the gift of music. This step-by-step musical education shows how to build skills gradually throughout childhood. It is our experience that every child deserves the opportunity to sing and to dance and to learn the basics of the piano, guitar and recorder. Children inclined toward music, need continued support throughout their youth, to become proficient and to add other instruments as their talents expand. (Adults can use this outline as well, to give themselves an applied music education.) Remo 12

Singing is a human birthright. The best way to develop singing, is by singing. Learn songs from around the world, pass-on the songs we have loved from America, learn new songs. But most importantly, let children make their own songs and sing, sing, sing. The key to good singing is keen listening: to oneself and to accomplished artists. (Parents who can sing to their infant child are offering a priceless gift.) If you record your child singing, remember to do so in an appreciative but "no big deal" way. Nothing stops the true voice of a child as much as leading them into a false world of glamour, neuroses, and fragmented self-consciousness. If a child naturally loves performance, then let her/him do so, within their own abilities to maintain personal balance. Remember, you are not only helping children cultivate rich skills they will have in the future, you are mindfully enriching their days now in childhood, with step-by-step, progressive and thorough musical education. There is no rush to skip any steps, because each and every moment is our true life.

Dancing is the expression of rhythm and melody by the whole human body. The patterns of the movements are rhythm. The actual movement is melody. In tap dancing and flamenco dancing, the sounds made from movement are also melody. Rhythm, melody, movement and sound were expressed brilliantly in ancient dance, in ballet, modern tap, and now inspired by dancers like "Stomp" who make a collage of sounds, rhythm and melody on the floor and with things like brooms and garbage cans. Young children are the most natural dancers. Some of these young dancers, in terms of freely expressing rhythm and melody, manifest their musicality in the most brilliant ways. It is our job as adults, to allow children their birthright of musical experience through natural dance. Unfortunately, many young children who naturally love to dance, stop dancing freely if adults give them self-conscious dance instruction. We suggest that natural and spontaneous so-called "free form" dancing be promoted for as long as possible. Don't forget, the most trained and talented professional dancers strive to express dance as though their movements were all spontaneous and natural. How fortunate if natural dance were never squelched at all, but allowed time for expression, even in the lives of the most disciplined and accomplished dancers. Give a young natural dancer opportunities to dance freely. Help them feel free to move to music, without giving them too much attention and without any instruction what-so-ever, until specific demonstration is requested. As in singing, listening is the key to true musicality in dancing.

Hand Drumming A good drum will teach someone who can really hear the drum, how to play it. Hands and fingers become dancers that make patterns on the surface of a real hand drum. Melody and Rhythm are the results of the dance that hands do with the drum. Hand drum playing and dancing go together so well, because they are basically the same. (See Hand Percussion Instruments below.)

First Real Instruments:
Ages 2 1/2 through 5 1/2
(3 years happy play)
Sonor Chromatic Add-On for Soprano Small Glockenspiel
Sonor Chromatic Add-On for Soprano Small Glockenspiel
The brilliance in using Pentatonic Instruments, is that every note is harmonious with each other. The Pentatonic scale is the same as the tones of all of the black keys on a piano. With Orff Instruments, you can arrange the bars into a Pentatonic scale or choose to use only the tone bars that make up the tones in a chord of another scale. Thus, all tones play together beautifully, in a simple melody, one tone at a time, or sounded together as chords. This gives new players a big advantage to start developing their personal musicality. If you have two different Glockenspiels, arrange them in the same scale and be amazed at how much music you can make with a child. Listen and let rhythm come from within without premeditation. Once in a while add rhythm instruments and get the whole family going. You'll be jamming before you know it. Save exacting melodies with these instruments for later. The point here is to start playing by feeling melody and rhythm. That is musicality. Keep it all upbeat and gentle, without hard goals. Store the instruments in a special safe place and mindfully bring them out for making music. Play often.

Glockenspiels
Find instruments like these in the Sonor Glockenspiel section.
Sonor Soprano Standard Metallophone Chromatic Add-On
Sonor Soprano Standard Metallophone Chromatic Add-On
Sonor Palisono Soprano Xylophone Chromatic Add-On
Sonor Palisono Soprano Xylophone Chromatic Add-On
Sonor Tenor-Alto Standard Metallophone Chromatic Add-On
Sonor Tenor-Alto Standard Metallophone Chromatic Add-On

Mallets
Find instruments like these in the Sonor Mallet section.
Sonor Hard Rubber Resonator Bell Mallets
Sonor Hard Rubber Resonator Bell Mallets
Sonor Hard Yarn Soprano/Tenor-Alto Xylophone/Metallophone Mallets
Sonor Hard Yarn Soprano/Tenor-Alto Xylophone/Metallophone Mallets
Sonor Small Hard Wool/Felt Timpani Mallets
Sonor Small Hard Wool/Felt Timpani Mallets

Orff Instrument Sets
Find instruments like these in the Orff Sets section.
Sonor Primary Basics Orff Set
Primary Line Basics Orff Set
Sonor PJ1 Primary Junior Orff Set
Primary Line PJ1 Junior Orff Set
Sonor TW1 The Works Orff Set
Sonor TW1 The Works Orff Set

Hand Percussion
Find instruments like these in the Hand Drum section.
Remo 12
Remo 12" Pretuned Buffalo Drum
Remo World Wide Pretuned Hand Drum
Remo World Wide Pretuned Hand Drum
Tall Carved Jembe Drum
Tall Carved Jembe Drum

Small Hands: Ages 6-8 (3 years home study)
Beginning Keyboards, Ukuleles & Glockenspiels/Xylophones

Beginning Keyboards
Reading and writing music is based on piano keyboard fundamentals. Practical electric keyboards make a piano-like instrument available to every home. We recommend that just the piano sounds are used on this instrument, during these years. The sound effects and imitation sounds can be explored after a child has a grounded familiarity with the true sounds of instruments and of nature. Begin by playing all of the black keys (the Pentatonic Scale) and you can find your own natural rhythm and melodies. Next, explore every note and pick out familiar melodies, adding the natural diatonic scale (the white keys). Then gradually learn scales and simple chords, mindful of classic fingering. Whenever a student gets stressed with practicing, that is the time to breathe and rejuvenate with the ease of the delightful Pentatonic Scale. Play a little, 6 days a week.
Find instruments like these in the Keyboard section.

Yamaha PSR-273 Electronic Portable Keyboard
Yamaha PSR-273 Electronic Portable Keyboard
Yamaha P120 88 Key Digital Piano with Speakers
Yamaha P120 88 Key Digital Piano with Speakers
Yamaha P60 88-Key Digital Piano
Yamaha P60 88-Key Digital Piano

Ukulele
This cheerful little acoustic instrument from Hawaii, is perfect for beginning small hands.
Find instruments like these in the Ukulele section.

Johnson UK-120 Hawaiian Soprano Ukulele
Johnson UK-120 Hawaiian Soprano Ukulele
Johnson UK-200 Hawaiian Baritone Ukulele
Johnson UK-200 Hawaiian Baritone Ukulele
Martin S-O Ukulele
Martin S-O Ukulele

Glockenspiel and Xylophones
Find instruments like these in the Glockenspiel and Xylophone section.

Sonor Diatonic Tenor-Alto Large Glockenspiel
Sonor Diatonic Tenor-Alto Large Glockenspiel
Sonor SXP1 Primary Diatonic Soprano Xylophone
Sonor SXP1 Primary Diatonic Soprano Xylophone
Sonor Palisono Diatonic Tenor-Alto Xylophone
Sonor Palisono Diatonic Tenor-Alto Xylophone

Digital Pianos: Ages 9-12 (4 years home and/or private study)
Piano fundamentals are the basis of reading and writing music. Full piano keyboard familiarity is the single most helpful experience for a student of music. While it will assist all other forms of musical endeavor, piano could be a complete study alone. Learning to read music is easiest on the piano keyboard, because it is visual as well as tactile and kinetic. It is all right there. (We have experienced a direct correlation from piano accomplishment to learning reading, writing and mathematical skills. It is good for the brain.) Pianos are especially loved by the people who have direct experience with the richness and diversity that pianos offer. Now with digital pianos, the problems with having such a large instrument have been completely overcome. With earphones, a student can easily practice without anyone else hearing a sound, and that opens-up limitless opportunities of convenient practice time and place.
Find instruments like these in the Digital Piano section.

Yamaha DGX500 Portable Grand
Yamaha DGX500 Portable Grand
Yamaha YDP223 Digital Piano
Yamaha YDP223 Digital Piano
Yamaha PF1000 Home Digital Piano
Yamaha PF1000 Home Digital Piano

Acoustic Guitars: Ages 9-12 (4 years home and/or private study)
It is a huge musical advantage to study the guitar while already becoming grounded with keyboard fundamentals. But the acoustic guitar is more than simply a practical, portable, environmentally friendly and affordable instrument. It is the most popular instrument in the world, for good reason: The guitar is loved so, because it sings our human heart.
Find instruments like these in the Acoustic Guitar section.

Fenderę CG7 Classical Acoustic Guitar
Fenderę CG7 Classical Acoustic Guitar
Martin D-15 Acoustic Guitar
Martin D-15 Acoustic Guitar
Martin 00-17 Mahogany Guitar
Martin 00-17 Mahogany Guitar
Fenderę DG-10 Left-Handed Acoustic
Fenderę DG-10 Left-Handed Acoustic
Martin 00CXAE Left Handed Acoustic-Electric
Martin 00CXAE Left Handed Acoustic-Electric
Martin DM Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Left-Handed
Martin DM Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar Left-Handed

Recorders:
Recorders are included in our Music Education program, as one of the three main instruments, because recorders offer a good introduction to all of the instruments played with human breath. Recorders hold a special place in music history and are loved by some artists as a main instrument. Recorders can be the most affordable instrument of all, but serious recorder lovers will be glad to know that more expensive fine wooden recorders are available. Simple melodies, recorder duets, and the unique sounds possible only with breath instruments, make recorders a must for this well-rounded music education program.
Find instruments like these in the Recorder section.

Yamaha YRS-24B Soprano Recorder with Baroque Fingering
Yamaha YRS-24B Soprano Recorder with Baroque Fingering
Aura Maple Alto Recorder
Aura Maple Alto Recorder
Yamaha YRA-64 Rosewood Alto Recorder with Baroque Fingering
Yamaha YRA-64 Rosewood Alto Recorder with Baroque Fingering
Yamaha YRS-61 Boxwood Soprano Recorder with Baroque Fingering
Yamaha YRS-61 Boxwood Soprano Recorder with Baroque Fingering
Yamaha YRA-83 Ebony Alto Recorder
Yamaha YRA-83 Ebony Alto Recorder
Yamaha YRBG-61 Maple Great Bass Recorder with Baroque Fingering
Yamaha YRBG-61 Maple Great Bass Recorder with Baroque Fingering

Backpacker Instruments:
These are all wonderful instruments that are practical to take along hiking, biking, and jet-setting around the world, or taken along when going on the subway to visit a friend or to spend the day in the park. We list a few favorites here. (Click each instrument.)

Hall D Crystal Flute
Hall D Crystal Flute

(Crystal Flute Book)
American Dulcimers SD1 Student Dulcimer
American Dulcimers SD1 Student Dulcimer
McNally D-33 Grand Strumstick®
McNally D-33 Grand Strumstick®
Rogue Travel/Starter Banjo
Rogue Travel/Starter Banjo
Martin Backpacker
Martin Backpacker
Aura Maple Alto Recorder
Aura Maple Alto Recorder

The Works! Ages 13-18 (6 years of further home, private study, band or orchestra.)
Recommended after completion of the ten developmental years of Music Education. Older students can fill-in their education with piano, guitar, and recorder during these later years. It is simply a harder way to learn. At the very least, every music student deserves the grounded foundation that the piano keyboard gives music, no matter which instrument eventually becomes the favorite. (Click each instrument.)

Schiller Student 401 Violin
Schiller Student 401 Violin
Vito Model 7131R Student Alto Sax
Vito Model 7131R Student Alto Sax
Engelhardt School Model Cello Instrument Only
Engelhardt School Model Cello Instrument Only
Fenderę FV-1 Electric Violin
Fenderę FV-1 Electric Violin
NS Design CR5 5-String Electric Cello
NS Design CR5 5-String Electric Cello
Gemeinhardt C Flute 25P
Gemeinhardt C Flute 25P

Drum Sets
Drum Sets for Kids     Drum Sets for Teens     Drum Sets Full Size     Drum Sets for Beginners     Electronic Drum Sets

Ludwig Accent 5-Piece Combo Drum Set
Ludwig Accent 5-Piece Combo Drum Set
Yamaha DS9XPSII DTXpress Electronic Drum Set
Yamaha DS9XPSII DTXpress Electronic Drum Set
Ludwig Classic Maple 5-Piece Drumset
Ludwig Classic Maple 5-Piece Drumset

Electric Guitars
Electric Guitars for Beginners     Fender Electric Guitars     Gibson Classic Electric Guitars     Other Electric Guitars

Fenderę Standard Jazz Bass®
Fenderę Standard Jazz Bass®
Fenderę American Deluxe Jazz Bass® FMT
Fenderę American Deluxe Jazz Bass® FMT
Fenderę Signature Series Jeff Beck Stratocaster®
Fenderę Signature Series Jeff Beck Stratocaster®

Music Education: DVDs
Musical Instrument Instruction: Books
Music Literacy/Listening 101


All Text © Deb Huntley 2003 - 2014 ~ All Rights Reserved