Since 2007, Park Slope Music Lessons has been delivering quality music education to children as young as 3 and 4 years old, grounding them in the basics of keyboard skills, music theory, harmony, solfége, rhythm and reading music. The instruments range from piano/keyboard to guitar, ukulele, strumstick, dulcimer, recorder and basic percussion.
The school is owned and operated by Andrew Ingkavet, who has created a unique way of teaching young pre-literate students called the Musicolor Method™. He is now training music teachers all over the world in a comprehensive training program.
What do you like most about the teaching methods at Park Slope Music Lessons?
The “system” – colour coded music sheets, and how easy it makes it to learn music. I also love the fact that it starts off with songs that children can easily sing along with. Finally I love the fact that it adapts teaching to the student and is playful about it. – Parent to a 5 year old piano student
What To Expect In Private Music Lessons
- Personal, one on one 30 minute lessons customized to your child’s natural inquisitiveness and curiosity
- Unique system of graded lessons that build upon each other using the Musicolor Method™
- 2 recitals per year (optional) – one in the Winter and one in the Spring to further propel your child to performance level preparation
- Starting with playing music and then gradually introducing music theory and reading
- Organized lesson notes with parent and/or student log-in that provides billing history, lesson notes, invoicing, payment and calendar.
Here’s a video from an iPad multi-touch book which every student is encouraged to purchase. There is an online course version as well.
Expectations of Students and Parents
Studying music is a commitment of both students and parents. Unlike other activities at this young age, music requires daily practice and listening away from the teacher. It requires lots of parental involvement. And, given the expense of lessons and instruments, wouldn’t you want to ensure your child’s greatest success? Here’s some things that will make the entire process go smoothly.
- Sit with your child when they practice. Help them when they don’t understand. This may require you to pay attention in the lessons and/or send an email to me for further clarification.
- Organize your lesson materials. Use a 3 ring binder for your notes – bring this and your book(s) to lessons every time.
- Daily listening – this can be “passive” background listening but just as important. Music is like language, we learn it by listening first.
- Praise and celebrate every accomplishment (and even mistakes!)
- Have family concerts – make music a part of your family’s greatest values
- See live music – living in New York, we are blessed with access to the finest concert halls and musicians on the planet.
- Place the instrument(s) in a central part of the home – ideally the area where you spend most of your time as a family. Practice becomes natural when it is the focus of your home.
- Set practice time at the same time every day. Make it become a habit and a routine.
Children have a natural curiousity, wonderment and openness that allows for experimenting, discovery and play. Through music, and the strategies, processes and methods learned and discovered, children are naturally stimulated to carry over these gains to other fields of endeavor outside and inside of music.
Teaching children usually doesn’t require fixing bad habits or out-moded thinking. Yet, it does requires patience, bite-sized lessons and plenty of encouragement and positive feedback. Lessons are like games with stars earned and high fives for effort.
A recent study finds a true correlation between music lessons (in or out of school) and academics. See my recent article on this.
At What Age To Start Lessons?
Children naturally respond to the sound of music in voice or instruments or recordings from in the womb. From 0 to 4 years old, it consists mainly of play, discovery and exploration with instruments like a xylophone. From ages 4 and up, more formal piano studies can take place as their fingers are large enough and strong enough to push down the keys. I take children usually from around the age of 4 through teenagers. If your child can sing the ABC song, and order the letters properly, then we can do some great things. I’ve written a more detailed blog post about the proper age to start music lessons.
Before this age, I would highly recommend Music Together of Park Slope where we had our son for several years. I’ve also heard good things about Music for Aardvaarks, and John Carlin’s Kids Music Underground in Brooklyn Heights. If you want a Spanish class that incorporates music and art, you must go to Juguemos A Cantar – maravilloso!
A portion of proceeds is donated is annually to local PTAs and the Brooklyn Public Library