What is this?
Let's Play Music is a music theory course that emphasizes total musicianship through piano playing, singing, classical music, note reading and ear training... and it's accomplished through play!
Students Ages 4-8
I am interested in having my child enrolled in this course!
The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions. If you have a question about the Let's Play Music program that is not answered in this page, please contact us.
What is the cost of tuition? Semester tuition varies by region and is usually slightly less than beginning piano lessons. Visit the Cost of Program page for more information
What materials do I get? 1st Year materials include an 8 Tone Bell Set with carrying case and mallets, student binder with weekly Lesson Guides and Theory Assignments, Flashcards, Home Study CDs, and a Tote Bag. 2nd and 3rd Year materials include Piano Songbooks, Home Study CDs, Flashcards and new weekly Lesson Guides and Theory Assignments. 3rd Year set also includes a Connections Student Book designed to transition the graduating student smoothly into private piano lessons. Visit the Student Materials page for complete information including cost
What age is the program for? Ideal starting age is 4 or 5 in September. However, since the skills and concepts taught are quite advanced, many children have begun classes at ages 6 or 7 and finished successfully.
How is the curriculum calendar structured? The curriculum is organized into 6 sequential semesters spanning 3 years. It follows the regular school year (September-May). Visit the Curriculum page for complete information
How long and how frequent are the classes? Classes are taught weekly. 1st year: 45 minutes, 2nd year: 50 minutes, 3rd year: 55 minutes. Visit the Registration Info page for complete information
How big are the classes? Optimum class size is 6-7 children, though there may be anywhere from 4-8
Why are they group lessons? It has been well documented that children in group settings learn and perform better. They are more comfortable and stimulated in this environment. They thrive on the synergy and playful interaction of the Let’s Play Music class. Visit the Philosophy page for complete information.
What is the parent involvement? Parent involvement in music training is crucial. Parents are involved at home and in class. The 1st Year, parent/caregiver attends with the child every other week. The 2nd and 3rd Years, parent attendance is only once a month, though at home involvement remains high.
Is there any vocal training? Let’s Play Music adheres to the philosophy that the voice is the first musical instrument. Most of class time is spent singing. The voice is trained to sing in tune, to sing naturally and openly, to sing in harmony, and to sing accompanied. At ages 4-8, specific tone, placement or support instruction is not completely beneficial. Let’s Play Music is not a performing group.
Which is emphasized more: ear-training or note-reading? There is a beautiful balance of ear training and note reading in Let’s Play Music. Note reading is not delayed and the traditional letter names are taught so that graduates make a smooth transition to traditional private piano lessons.
Isn’t age 4-5 too young to learn piano? Research has proven that age 4-5 is an ideal age for music instruction. The ears are at prime listening capacity and the brain is busy connecting a network of neurons. Let’s Play Music captures this opportunity window by training the ears without requiring the finger strength or dexterity that a piano does.
How can you teach note-reading to a child who doesn’t know his letters? In the 1st Year, lines and spaces of the staff take on meaning as children are taught to read steps and skips; ups and downs. An awareness for how the staff works is internalized before children are required to memorize the letter name of specific lines or spaces. In the 2nd Year, intervals and chords are added to staff reading skills as well as select note names such as middle B, C and D. The 3rd Year adds the letter names of all the lines and spaces of treble and bass clef. Most children are 6 or 7 at this point and are ready for this letter labeling of staff position.
What are the main instruments for the 1st Year? Three main instruments are utilized in the 1st Year. The first is the singing voice. We sing, teach to sing in tune, sing in harmony and sing accompanied. The melody instrument is the Tone Bell set, which is arranged step-wise like a piano but does not require individual finger control or strength. For harmony training, children learn chord quality and accompanying skills by playing the autoharp.
Can I register for the 2nd or 3rd Year without having been through the 1st Year? No. Let’s Play Music is highly sequential, meaning that concepts are introduced and then built upon. Completion of the 1st Year is a pre-requisite to registration for the 2nd Year.
What are the main instruments for the 2nd and 3rd Years? The piano becomes the instrument for instruction and practice in the 2nd and 3rd Years. Each child plays on his/her own full size keyboard in class and needs one for practice at home. Because of the intensive training in staff reading during the first year, this transition to piano is smooth and natural.
What do students do after 3 years of Let’s Play Music? After graduation, students are prepared to excel in private piano instruction. They enter private lessons with knowledge of note names, rhythmic values, chord structure, etc, and with skills of playing scales and cadences in five keys, transposing, and composing.
How is Let’s Play Music different from other keyboard methods? Let’s Play Music is the only program that contains over 25 original songs, games and activities that teach precise musical concepts. It incorporates the philosophies of Kodaly, Orff and Dalcroze and adapts them specifically to the piano. Classical music is introduced in “puppet shows” that will forever endear children to this genre. There are numerous innovative, creative ideas for internalizing music. In addition to these items, Let’s Play Music differs from traditional piano methods in that musical concepts are taught through games and full body involvement, it is in a class setting, and ear training is emphasized from the start. Let’s Play Music also differs from other “ear-training” based methods in that note reading is emphasized from the onset and that the traditional letter names are used.
Why should I enroll my child in Let’s Play Music? Your child will LOVE it! You will love it because you will see him/her demonstrate advanced musical concepts and skills. Your relationship with your child will grow as you enjoy class time and practice time together, in a playful, nurturing environment. Your child’s talent will become evident as he/she develops into a musician with an in-depth understanding of music theory, classical form, harmony and composition. Your outlook on teaching children music will never be the same!
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