Scene And Heard In East Dallas: Front Yard Guitar Lessons
On nice days, guitarist Joel Pipkin teaches lessons in the lawn.
M Streets-dwelling aspiring musician Connor McNeil gets a lesson every Saturday morning. Says Connor’s dad, Dan, “everyone who runs, walks, bikes and drives by seems to get a smile on their face when they see them.”
April 09, 2012
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Modern music lessons especially for young people aged 5-12.
Child Play Music School is a comprehensive music education for children. It was developed in 2004 by Joel Pipkin of Texas Christian University and the University of North Texas. Joel developed the Child Play Music curriculum to fill the void in music education for young people. While there are a few other programs out there that successfully teach children the world of music, no other method is as complete nor as fun as the Child Play Music method. All of the other successful methods direct their students down a narrow path of playing the old classical repertoire. At Child Play Music School, we understand that the classical techniques and repertoire are extremely important (and beautiful!), but having fun playing music is even more important. Many genres of music are covered so that students can pursue their interests as those interests develop. "We don't desire to teach musical snobbery, at Child Play Music School we teach musical ability!"
Philosophy - Music must be fun!
Child Play Music School combines the formal "ivory tower" music instruction found in universities and conservatories with the informal "folk" music instruction found in musical families and cultures. We combine historical traditions handed down through the generations with modern teaching methods. We combine the intellectual language of classical music theory with the common "street" or "slang" languange of today's performing musicians. We do all this while never forgetting that music must be fun. At Child Play Music School we make learning so fun and easy it's Child's Play!
“The Child Play Music Difference”
At Child Play Music, parents are a part of the learning process. Parents are encouraged to attend the lessons with their child and help their child practice at home. “I have found a strong correlation between parental involvement and student success," says Joel. "Simply put, students with involved parents learn faster, go farther, and have more fun.”
To aid the parent in their participation each family receives a monthly email newsletter, weekly handouts with this weeks practice goals, and short video clips of new material.
Through an initial “Monkey See – Monkey Do” method, young students are able to start playing music quickly and successfully. Learning by rote allows the student to master the basic motor skills needed to play their instrument before introducing the cognitive skills of reading music.
Several times a year student recitals are held. While all students are encouraged to participate, we never force them. Learning music should rarely be stressful and should always be fun!
Once your child is ready he/she is invited to our monthly jam sessions, where we jam out to the blues and other popular tunes.
Although private instruction is at the core of the Child Play Music Curriculum, some skills are better mastered in a group setting. Once students are ready they are invited to join a band with other students.
Each song the student learns is recorded once it is mastered. Personal Albums are then cut. They make great gifts for aunts, uncles, and grandparents!
Each performance opportunity is professionally filmed and burned to DVD. They are provided to families as souvenirs and posted on the web to show off our students’ success.
Real Gig Experience
Our instructors keep a family friendly weekly gig that even beginner students are invited to attend and sit in with the band!
Posture and Hand Position
Instructors are trained in physiology of the hand and ergonomics of the body. This ensures that each instructor will recognize a natural and relaxed use of the hand, and a safe and comfortable posture, preventing any problem associated with incorrect playing positions, such as tendinitis and chronic back pain.
Students are taught the high-skilled Classical Techniques that have been handed down through the generations from teacher to pupil. This is a style of playing that does not limit one's ability to improve. However, don't believe it when a classical teacher tells you, "Once you can play classical music you can play anything." This is a very misleading statement and unfortunately a very misguided belief held by many excellent classical music teachers. What is true however is that the classical techniques, once mastered, make learning other genres easier. A student must still learn the Blues and Jazz vocabulary and she must still master the rhythms and grooves of Funk and Salsa.
Modern Teaching Aids
The Child Play Music curriculum combines proven historical methods and modern teaching technologies. Instructional DVDs, play-along CDs/MP3s, and web based programs are all part of the learning process. This maximizes the speed at which new material can be learned and ensures that practice at home is as productive as lessons in the classroom.
Every musician sings! It is how we internalize the language. It is especially important for non-wind instrumentalists to sing. Those that do not, run the risk of merely memorizing finger movements. Just as we read out loud to learn to read English, we must sing out loud to learn to read music. We will sing everything we learn from the very beginning. Singing increases the speed at which we learn and memorize tunes. Singing develops our internal ear, builds confidence, and obviously makes us better vocalists. At Child Play Music School, we want to create talented performers, not shy musicians. Singing is a fundamental part of reaching this goal!
Primary Instrument and Secondary Instruments
Students focus on their primary instrument of choice: guitar, violin, piano, or percussion and all students also spend a little time learning a few secondary instruments: congas, cajon, shakers, melodica, bass, guitar.