Little Uncaged Musicians Classes

For children ranging in age from birth on up!

A lifelong love of music begins at -- or before! -- birth, and a playful, nurturing musical environment lays the groundwork for music as a source of joy and solace, an intrinsically rewarding form of active entertainment, and a safe way to channel aggression or frustration into productive creativity. The benefits of music on all aspects of life for all people, especially children, are beyond measure.

Why start your child's musical journey with Little Uncaged Musicians Classes? Children love to sing and play, clap and dance, create and explore. Little Uncaged Musicians use singing and movement to develop early understanding of pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics (volume control, a parental favorite!), written notation, emotional content, and storytelling through music. Classes draw heavily upon the Dalcroze Eurythmics and Musikgarten methods with a large dose of Suzuki and Piano Safari, so that children gain familiarity with many songs and concepts from the beginning Suzuki and Piano Safari repertoire.

Fairy Lights (for babies and toddlers)

Children thrive on a balance of familiarity and novelty. Each session of Fairy Lights classes has a theme based on the Musikgarten curriculum, a multifaceted gem of a teaching method that is a perfect match for our studio's Suzuki and Dalcroze Eurythmics-based approach. Each class has plenty of singing and movement, age appropriate focused listening activities, exploration of percussion instruments, and ear training in rhythm and pitch.

Fairy Lights classes provide a solid musical foundation in a sweet, playful format. Students find it easy to graduate from Fairy Lights to pre-Twinklers classes or to private lessons on the musical instrument of their choice.

Most Fairy Lights are 0-3 years of age, but older students who can move safely around babies are perfectly welcome and will be included fully in class activities with special modifications to reflect their age, temperament, and experience. Children must be accompanied by a familiar, trusted adult for the duration of each class. If one adult wishes to bring more than three children, an interview with children present must be scheduled before the session begins to ensure that an appropriate learning environment will be maintained. Class sizes are kept small, so when enrollment is high an additional class will be organized for that session.

Pre-Twinklers (for preschoolers and kindergarteners)

Music-making is just as much a physical experience as it is a mental and emotional one, and for young children it is important to have a strong grasp on the motor skills required for instrument playing as well as an intrinsic feel for basic melodic and rhythmic structures. Pre-Twinklers use a variety of games, props, and tools (and yes, real instruments, too!) to gain the experience that allows them to transition smoothly with confidence to the musical instrument of their choice.

Each class builds upon the previous one, so regular attendance is encouraged. No instruments or music books are required for Pre-Twinklers. Informal practice between classes is recommended but not required (children will tend to sing and play with concepts from class on their own initiative at home). There is an informal performance during the last class of each session that family and friends are invited to attend!

Pre-Twinklers typically range in age from three to five years. Parent/caregiver attendance is generally optional for students who are 4+ years old; by teacher discretion, a younger student may be allowed to attend without an adult or an older student may be required to have an adult present. Based on enrollment and age distribution, additional sections may be offered. Enrollment for students outside of the listed age range will be considered on an individual basis.

Twinklers

Embark on instrumental musical study in a frustration-free environment! Twinklers enjoy the experience of beginning their first musical instrument in a class setting, helping one another learn proper instrument posture and basic technique and master their first songs: the Twinkle Variations that are the cornerstone of the first Suzuki book on any instrument, as well as a few select simple tunes and exercises. Classes are lively, with lots of movement-based learning and games.

Each class builds upon the previous one, so regular attendance is encouraged. Short, near-daily child-led practice between classes is required. There is an informal performance during the last class of each session that family and friends are invited to attend!

Materials needed: All string students will need a properly sized violin/viola/cello, bow, case, shoulder rest (violin/viola only), endpin anchor (cello only), and rosin. All piano students need a piano or keyboard to practice on at home. All recorder students need a soprano recorder with Baroque (not German) fingering.

Twinklers typically range in age from five to ten years and play violin, viola, cello, or piano (not all instruments are offered each session; see above schedule for details and feel free to request the instrument you are interested in if it is not currently offered). Students under age six must have graduated from Pre-Twinklers or have proven a similar level of experience; students age six and up may enroll with no prior experience necessary. Parent/caregiver attendance is generally optional for students who are 4+ years old; by teacher discretion, a younger student may be allowed to attend without an adult or an older student may be required to have an adult present. Based on enrollment and age distribution, additional sections may be offered. Enrollment for students outside of the listed age range will be considered on an individual basis.

Fireflies

Fireflies forge on beyond Twinkle in the Suzuki and Piano Safari books. Classes are lively, with lots of movement-based learning and games, and build upon the interests, temperaments, and preferences of the students enrolled. Simple two-part harmony is explored as well as improvisation, composition, and conducting.

Each class builds upon the previous one, so regular attendance is encouraged. Short, near-daily child-led practice and CD listening between classes is required. There is an informal performance during the last class of each session that family and friends are invited to attend!

Materials needed: All string students will need a properly sized violin/viola/cello, bow, case, shoulder rest (violin/viola only), endpin anchor (cello only), and rosin. All piano students need a piano or keyboard to practice on at home. All recorder students need a soprano recorder with Baroque (not German) fingering.

Fireflies typically range in age from five to twelve years and play violin, viola, cello, or piano (instruments are taught separately; not all instruments are offered each session). Students must have graduated from Twinklers or have proven a similar level of experience. Parent/caregiver attendance is generally optional for students who are 4+ years old; by teacher discretion, a younger student may be allowed to attend without an adult or an older student may be required to have an adult present. Based on enrollment and age distribution, additional sections may be offered. Enrollment for students outside of the listed age range will be considered on an individual basis.

Sparklers, Intermediate Ensemble, & Advanced Ensemble

These classes function either as small ensemble coaching (for a group of differing instruments and/or ability levels) or as semi-private study (for a group playing the same instrument at the same level). A few intermediate or advanced students form a small class together to benefit from camaraderie, ensemble-playing, and a collaborative approach to learning music on either a permanent or a temporary basis. Please get in touch if you are interested in forming a new Sparklers class.