Many people mistakenly believe that only a talented few are musical and the rest of us are doomed to sing out of tune and dance with two left feet. But the truth is, we are all born musical.
At Music Alley, our teaching is guided by current international research in music education; in particular, the Music Learning Theory of Edwin E. Gordon.
In all of our teaching, our central aim is to develop students’ audiation – the ability to hear and think music in the mind. Audiation is to music what thought is to language. It allows us to hear, play, improvise and compose music with meaning, creativity and comprehension.
Methods and Curriculum
At Music Alley we use the following programmes and curricula:
- The internationally recognised Music Together® curriculum for young children.
- The new Music Moves for Piano series developed by Marilyn Lowe in cooperation with Edwin E. Gordon
- The Jump Right In music syllabus for improvisation and voice.
See our Links and Affiliations Page for further reading and resources related to Music Learning Theory.
The importance of the early years
A child needs to be immersed in a rich musical environment from birth to age 5, to be musically ready to benefit from future formal instrumental or school music lessons. Neuroscience and music education research suggest that a child’s potential to learn is greatest during these early years.
Every child is born with the potential to learn music. Just as we know the importance of speaking and reading to them from birth, interacting musically with young children is fundamental to nurturing their musical aptitude. It is during early childhood that the window for learning is fully open, and we can make the most difference to their future musical achievement and enjoyment.
The participation and modeling of parents and caregivers, regardless of their musical ability, is essential to a child’s musical growth. This growth is best achieved in a playful, musically rich, and non-performance-oriented learning environment.
Our Music Together® Classes for young children provide the high quality environment necessary for each child’s musical development to be successfully nurtured. We support parents in cultivating a musical culture at home.
The ability to audiate – to hear and think music – is the basis of music aptitude, and is essential to learning a musical instrument. The Music Moves for Piano curriculum is a progressive audiation-based method, and follows the same learning sequence as for learning a language: listen, think (audiate), speak (improvise/perform), read, and write.
For more information, please visit the Piano Page.
Older children and adults who have not developed good musical language skills are often labeled as “tone-deaf” or “unmusical”, when, in fact, they have simply missed the crucial first stages of music development. Learning to audiate, and becoming musically competent at this age is not impossible, but it does require more effort and patience. A motivated and skilled teacher can support these students to work through the necessary levels of music development, to allow them to enjoy and participate in music.
At Music Alley we offer one-on-one voice lessons for those who may never have completed their journey through primary music development.
For more information, please visit the Singing Lessons Page.