Early Start

Invitation to Early Start Program

Pre-school, Kinder, and Elementary After-School

As a parent of two SMMUSD students and 10-year member of the SMMUSD Visual and Performing Arts District Advisory Committee, as well as being a professional musician with 30 years teaching and thousands of students taught here in Santa Monica, I’m very happy to share what I’ve learned for the benefit of all the wonderful children in our community. Music for all children, when introduced at an early age, can be a game-changer not only in developing musical aptitude and exceptional skill but in each child’s general development as well. Music is a mathematical language that speaks to the heart and soul, and when combined with learning an instrument it engages both hemispheres of the brain simultaneously, more so than any other single activity your child will be exposed to.

Research: a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that musical training before the age of seven has a significant effect on the development of the brain, showing that those who began early had stronger connections between motor and sensory regions of the brain. Much research and many important music educators also agree that there is a window of opportunity, from birth to age nine, for developing a musical sensibility within children. During this time, the mental structures and mechanisms associated with processing and understanding music are in the prime stages of development, making it important to expose children in this age range to music and musicmaking.

Early Start: Ideally, children should have regular musical activities soon after birth, and systematic music classes with introductions to instruments at 2-4 years old. The Santa Monic Bay Music Foundation and some of the best pre-schools can provide this preparatory musical education and then formal lessons can start on piano and/or violin as early as 3 years old with the majority of children ready by age 5-6.

Lessons: Typically, 5/6-year old’s start with piano, violin, guitar, flute (fife), cello and or voice, sometimes combining multiple instruments such as lessons half piano, half voice. By 8/9 years old, with increased strength and stamina, students can choose from the full spectrum of instruments including clarinet, trumpet and trombone.

After-School Programs: Young music students from an early age are also eligible to participate in one of our many after-school group classes, such as piano, violin/strings, choir, and guitar, adding a social element.

Music Camps: During school breaks the Santa Monica Bay Music Foundation also hosts 16 weeks of Music Camps for kids ages 5-9 and 10-13. Kids have a blast between 9am-3pm playing music for 3 hours per day, learning in a camp style environment that includes games and outdoor sports time, movie time, and electives including songwriting and arts/crafts. Each Friday concert for the parents produces results that amaze, and we’ve learned that when young music students have fun playing their instrument 3 hours/day, for a week, results are forthcoming.

To summarize: musical experience at an early age is extremely important in every child’s general developmental process. And specifically playing an instrument, like riding a bike or learning a language, is a skill that can be learned later in life, but it will never be as natural as in the early learner.


Please call for your child’s free trial lesson and lesson rediness assessment. (310) 576 3600

Sincerely,
John Redfield
smbmf.org

Please be advised that this event or promotion is not sponsored by the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and is not part of any school program or curriculum. No District personnel will be present to supervise students who attend this event or promotional activity. The District does not endorse this event or promotion and has not approved or qualified the vendor(s) involved in the advertised activity