Every child in Primary and Middle Years Programme plays an instrument!
The school offers a unique opportunity to the children in that every child can learn to play an instrument. Specialist teachers offering violin, piano or guitar collect the children from the classroom at a time when it does not interfere with a presentation from the classroom teachers, thus fitting naturally within the daily structure. These instrument sessions are included in the school fees and the children receive individual or groups lessons depending on their age, instrument and music studied. The music can be heard all week including the lunch breaks!
Why do we put such an emphasis on musical development for all children? First of all music touches the heart; it can make one happy, upbeat or relaxed. It touches us on an emotional level and influences our mood.
Secondly, music effects the functioning of the brain. The human brain has two halves, the left and the right hemisphere. Traditionally experts have argued that most of our logical, analytical and strategic thinking happens in the left hemisphere and that this is the only side we need to develop. The theory of ‘Phrenology’ by Orson Fowler is a very good example of this. Consequently in traditional education academic subjects take 80% of the school day and creative subjects only 20%. But now recent research overwhelmingly shows the a creative problem solving human needs equal strength in both hemispheres of the brain. The left and the right side of the brain need a continuous cross over between the two halves.
Musical abilities are located mostly in the right hemisphere, however trained musicians are likely to draw upon the left hemisphere. This is proof that through the right side, the left side is also significantly developed and stimulated. This cross over of brain functioning is the reason behind the concept of logical musical intelligence. Music affects logic; music affects math; and music affects language!
For more information on Musical Intelligence please click here: Eight Intelligences – Musical Intelligence
The school has more than 75 violins available for rent to families who do not wish to buy their own. Young children grow fast from one size to the next and therefore we have violins available from size 1/16 to a whole!
The Children of the Children’s House can also be enrolled and learn to play the violin. Also piano is sometimes available to 5 year olds, this depending on the size of their hands. These sessions are optional and invoiced separately. Families receive application forms at the beginning of the school year. Children as young as age 3 can start the violin and more than 70 children join these sessions on a yearly basis during which they learn how to handle the bow, play initial melodies and rhythms on the violin, sing the notes, clap the rhythms, learn music theory, learn to listen to each other, and build up concentration. All of this is achieved in a fun and stimulating environment!