I love teaching little students however it’s a big job preparing them for a solid 15 minutes of sitting on the piano bench and learning! I started offering “Little Music” Classes and the graduates have proved the worth of the class. Starting a “Mommy and Me” type class is an investment and dedication on the part of the teacher. This blog post is one of many where I will give you free tips and ideas for starting your own class. You’ll eventually have a fresh crop of parents and students who are ready to learn!
Step One: Advertise. I understand you are afraid that you will invest money in a new venture that will be a flop! That’s okay though. We can’t expect immediate success, even though when we have it, it has been great fun! Head over to www.Canva.com and create Three Ads: A Facebook/Instagram “Social Media” type Post, a “Tear-Away” Poster and one other form of advertisement that will work well in your area (yard sign or digital billboard.)
Advertise at least ONE month to six weeks in advance. Make sure that the design MATCHES on all of your marketing. Here are the tear away posters and Social Media Ad I created using Canva with free elements:
Step 2 is to create a general information handout and policy for your class. If you’re having troubles, look at the policy letter you give to your other students. Be sure to include a photo release form so you can use the pictures of your fun classes to advertise!
Step 3 is to Create a Plan for your group class. I recommend that teachers use what they are familiar with. If you already teach wunderkeys, use it in these readiness classes as well! I personally use Music for Little Mozarts and use these in my classes. Each class can have the same basic structure. Plan it now and make your life easier! If you’ve never taught the preschool age (and younger) before you might find it easier to purchase a program that will offer training.
My classes are 45 minutes long. This is my schedule
5 minutes: Children explore the “instrument of the day” and play with the music for little mozarts stuffies. New parents can fill out information sheets and returning parents can sign in. Always keep a record of who attended each class. Parents can also fill out name tags for themselves and their children.
Five minutes after is my official start to class (40 minutes to go!). We gather and start with a “welcome-I am ready to learn song” and then an activity that has the children moving around and engages parents. This should take about 5 minutes. For example we learn that Beethoven bear likes the “low” sounds of the keyboard/music and Mozart mouse likes the “high sounds.” Teacher and parents take turns playing low and high sounds on instruments available. We have keyboards that make funny sounds, a piano and violins and violas in my studio. I have all the keyboards turned on before class and the violins and viola hang on my wall with handy string swing hangers. Babies can sit and parents can help them grab a ball and push it low to the ground for low notes and high to the sky for high notes.
Next (10 minutes) we settle down to listen to a story that the teacher reads. It can be a story about a musical instrument or any topic that you can relate to the lesson or general music, so almost anything works. For example, using the book “The Cows Are in The Corn” by James Young I encourage the class to mimic the sound of the animals in the story and at the end we can take turns banging and clanging (I keep a pail and ladle behind my back until the end of the story like the mother does at the end of the book) a nice FORTE sound to get the animals out!
You may want to utilize the public library to find books that are suitable for your class, but always buy a copy of books that work well for future classes.
Next (5 minutes)we can learn about the instrument of the day. I usually give a short demonstration and have each parent and child take a turn making noise with it. Be sure to encourage the children to clap after and be respectful, still and listen during each others’ performances.
Next (5 minutes) we sing one of a few songs that are popular in playgroups. I usually let the children pick. I have a list of songs and words that I send home with parents.
Last (10 minutes) we do a sensory bin, dough activity, apps or craft. I have a plastic under the bed type container that I fill with different materials. We use my rhythm measuring cup activity with different materials like colored rice, aqua bubbles or play snow.
We have the bin on a low table so everyone can reach with a plastic tablecloth underneath. I usually send the children home once a month with a homemade or purchased and decorated-by-them instrument like those pictured below and we listen to fun music while we do these activities.
Step 3 is to Purchase Supplies:
Generic Rhythm Instruments
A way to store and display your instruments
Step 4 is to enroll students. Follow Through is KEY!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post! I love to help teachers through my low cost confidential one-on-one consulting sessions. Information can be found here: https://violinjudy.com/joyful-noise-consulting/
If you need a quick boost, try out my book too! It will give you 60 different and easy ideas to be a creative, organized and successful teacher. You can purchase it from Amazon.com and read it on ANY device like PC, laptop, tablet phone or ipad using the free kindle app. https://www.amazon.com/60-Day-Makeover-Music-Teacher-ebook/dp/B01L8STY86
Please note that links are referrals! Thanks!