Most of us are familiar with the word ‘prodigy.’ We immediately think of child composers who created fantastic sonatas and arias at a tender age, and impressed the crowds with their musical grandeur before they ever hit puberty.
In general, the trope of the precocious child is a common theme in the parenting world. People living vicariously through their children want to believe that their little ones have these superb capabilities and unusual skill sets – and in a way, they are right. No student is the same as someone else. Each one is marvelously, wonderfully different! We are proud to help so many of these budding musicians to find their way on a fascinating trek through a world that societies have interacted with over the centuries.
It's okay to want children to succeed. That's desirable. But some parents are tempted to take these ideas to the extreme in trying to pursue objectives that might not make sense given a child's age and inherent approach.
There is a reason that we have music fun tied into our curriculum. Children, for the most part, are not out to conquer the world. They want to be amused, entertained and engaged. Sometimes that's at odds with this idea of the prodigy or genius. Sometimes it’s more about nurturing a young child’s will, giving him or her the tools that he or she will choose to use.
That's why we take care to stress music fun and autonomy in our studio.
You’re going to get further encouraging a child's own sense of wonder at music than trying to fit your student into some pre-existing concept of what a musician is or can be.
We encourage parents to be involved and rejoice at their student's capabilities. We suggest that you get rid of any arbitrary bar that you have for measuring their success. Instead, we welcome you to be inspired by your child's musical journey!
Recitals and other events are way to showcase student learning in a way that's positive and supportive. Also, at home, parents can stay engaged with their student’s learning and enjoy the fruits of what their young musicians have learned.
So in a sense, everyone's child is a prodigy. All come to the table with their unique skills and talents and take their own journeys through the world of music – a world that we believe is rich beyond belief. For more, take a look around the web site and get connected with a premiere music learning school in the Orange County area.
Does your child play baseball, soccer, or ice skate? If so, your little athlete may benefit from dance classes. In fact, dance has been proven to enhance sports performance for children of all ages.
Keep reading to learn about some of the benefits offered by dance classes for your athletes.
Participating in dance classes requires athletes to study movement patterns that require the use of their entire bodies. It brings awareness and focus that is unmatched in any other type of activity they do.
At an organic level, dance is performing controlled movements and actions in an efficient and smooth manner. This type of spatial awareness and coordination is quite beneficial for athletes and can help them gain a competitive advantage when participating in other sports.
Another benefit of dancing for athletes is that it helps emphasize stretching, which creates lean, long muscles. Athletes who participate in high-impact sports (i.e., football) find this type of cross-training extremely beneficial.
In fact, according to some information and reports, the 49ers NFL football team emphasized a stretching program that reduced total injuries when compared to other football teams. Teams that were not as focused on stretching saw injury rates that were as much as 176% higher.
During dance class, your child will constantly change movements and recall different patterns. From crossing the floor movements to learning a new combination each week, dance requires mental coordination. This remembering has been proven to help improve neuron connections. Because of this, dance isn’t just an effective physical exercise; it is a mental one, too.
Dancing is movement, and movement is a type of expression and communication that lets children release their feelings in a safe and fun manner. It’s important to remember that communication is a key element when someone is learning to work as a team in both sports and in life. Dance is also therapeutic. Your child can channel their feelings, learn how to work with other people, and grow as a person.
The mental and physical benefits offered by dance classes are endless. When you apply dance training and methods to other activities and sports, it can help to improve performance while preventing injuries.
You can keep your child healthy and help to give them a competitive edge if you invest in dance classes. You can choose almost any type of dance your child prefers and see these benefits.
Each person is different, and your child may discover that dance is the outlet they have needed for many reasons. The only way to know if it could be beneficial to your child is to let them try it out. Browse the list of classes that are available and call to register today. You will likely see all the benefits above – and more – by enrolling your athlete in a fun, structured dance class, regardless of what sport they play.
In some prior blog posts, we talked about incentives and achievements as ways to engage students here at Westminster Arts Academy. We talked about how this type of unique approach really helps to build those skills, and fosters the confidence that students need as they go out into the world.
One component of that is our musical ladder wristband system. Here, we offer students these brightly colored attractive wristbands based on their levels of achievement and objectives in their student plans. These individually-based incentives are an excellent way of showcasing someone's progress and achievement over time!
To pivot a little bit, we should also talk about the quality of our teachers and how they maintain our curriculum services. That's a core part of maintaining one of the best musical studios around the area.
Our teachers are always looking for solutions to improve what this school has to offer. They’re interacting with young minds and creating those kinds of positive skill-based self-images that children can take with them as they grow.
Also remember that students aren’t just bonding with their peers and with their instructors – they’re bonding to their instruments. That's why we take care to integrate specific instrument learning in our music lessons and sessions. In many cases, this will be a lifelong relationship between a student and his or her instrument as they learn not only music mastery, but the intricacies of a particular type of play.
So to come back to the musical wristband system, curriculum ideas like this support these excellent instructors with the tools and resources to keep students engaged and happy in their journeys.
None of this happens by accident. It requires dedicated planning, which our teachers and administrators do together. But when you have these systems in place, you can bank on the success of certain learning programs to get the outcomes that families want. Since 1991 we have been providing that type of experience in the Huntington Beach, CA area.
What we think about above all when we’re designing our individual and group music lessons is how to bring quality to the equation. We learn about this, too, by working with local families, and evolving how we work in this innovative music studio. Come in and take a look – and talk to us about getting your little ones started on a lifetime journey in music.
Have you ever heard of social-emotional learning? If not, it’s a good time to learn more about it. It is something that is essential for early childhood development. Today, music can help improve and accelerate this growth.
What you may wonder is how educators can use music to improve social-emotional skills today. This is especially problematic for those who are still learning in a virtual or physically distanced classroom. Some tips to help make this possible can be found below.
One of the most important parts of social-emotional learning is ensuring kids connect. This is true, no matter if they are in the same room or miles apart.
To do this, have children engage in the same music-related activity. This could be clapping in time or tapping out a beat with wooden spoons. When this is done together, it means the children are synchronizing their music, along with their bodies, spirits, and minds.
Experts agree this is a huge part of the social-emotional learning process. Children must learn effective ways to overcome barriers (i.e., being in different locations) to play with one another. This exercise makes this possible in a fun and engaging way.
Most children are full of energy. With stop-and-go music activities, you have a method of expending some of this energy and controlling their continual movements.
A top concern in early education today is making sure that sedentary learning is not an issue. Do you need an effective and easy way to help students get their “wiggles” out? Do you also want to find a way to teach them self-regulation at the same time?
If so, play an instrument or song and have the children move around until the music ends. Doing this helps them learn the cues to follow to know when to start and stop moving. Even better, this is a fun activity for kids of all ages.
It’s never too early to share multicultural tunes. Children will not put the pieces together until they reach age five (in most cases), but cases of cultural awareness will start much earlier in their lives.
Even younger toddlers will be able to recognize and enjoy authentic music from around the globe. Also, most preschoolers have impressive and intelligent questions about the different characteristics that help to make each person unique.
It’s important to note that parents can use the same tips to help improve social-emotional development at home. Use the tips above to do this. Music is a huge part of any educational program and is invaluable for children of all ages. If your child is not engaging in these types of activities now, it may be time to integrate them into your daily routine. It will pay off and help ensure your child is a well-rounded, confident, and accepting adult.
We know the value of local music lessons in Huntington Park, California. We've seen how local families in the community have benefited from having their little ones enrolled in a school that can really help them to develop their music skills and shine.
Today let's talk about some of the most popular classical instruments that our students pick up, many of which have some amount of established legacy in the Huntington Beach community. Any of these can be an excellent choice for outfitting a young person with something with which they can expand their horizons and broaden their worlds.
There's an amazing community of classical guitarists in Huntington Beach. You'll see evidence of this online, and in real life as musicians celebrate the music of Segovia, Tarrega and others. Classical guitar is, in a way, coming back into vogue, and it's a great way for your young student to mix an instrument known for more modern music with a classical style that's steeped in musical tradition. There are also many opportunities to “play out” at local cafes and other public areas.
Piano is, of course, the preeminent classical instrument for some of the major composers of all time. We have many students at all levels of piano instruction, learning their way around the black and white keys and developing their own talents, techniques and styles with passion and great interest.
Whether your student wants to focus on rigorous attention to sheet music, or explore improvisation, we can provide structured lesson plans that help them along in the right incremental way, to be confident and enthusiastic about this progress.
There's so much to say about the violin. It's been the key vehicle for so many cultural styles and types of music over the centuries, and there are so many sounds you can get out of this instrument!
This is another very popular classical instrument where you see graduates and others practicing classical violin anywhere that live music is played. Huntington Beach has its share of violin and fiddle players who can play heartrending traditions of favorite classics or call the tunes at a local barn dance.
For more, check out the rest of the website for the kinds of music that your young one can get involved in to build music technique skills, social skills and overall confidence. Ask us for a tour of our studios and more information on how to get your child signed up.
When children study at school, usually a great deal of emphasis is placed on subjects like science, math or language. While these fields of study are no doubt incredibly important, especially while a child is developing the foundational base for their future advanced studies, many conventional curriculums in Orange County and the rest of the United States fail to recognize the importance of the Arts. Music, dance, and visual art classes typically don’t receive the same amount of attention as other school subjects, and many people even think that the Arts are less important than other subjects.
This attitude towards the Arts and the study of music, in particular, is incredibly inaccurate. The study of music can be extremely beneficial to young children, especially as they develop as students and lifelong learners. Even if your child isn’t planning to become the next great composer or pianist, there are still an abundance of reasons why you should consider signing your child up for music lessons, especially while they’re in elementary school. Here are three reasons why all children should study music.
Music Helps Unlock Your Child’s Creative Mind
As children begin to learn about the world around them, their brains actually physically change in order to allow for the development of the various skills and abilities that children pick up at a young age in order to build off into more advanced studies later on. This process is called neuroplasticity, and while all human brains constantly shift between dominant neural pathways as we learn and forget skills, the neural networks formed during the developmental phase of childhood are the most important in determining how a child thinks and is able to achieve later in life.
Learning music from a young age has been shown to contribute to the development of complex neural networks as the brain is introduced to the unique cognitive patterns required in music. Children learn a variety of skills while learning to play music, such as critical and applied thinking, that can help them achieve excellence in other subjects, such as math and language. Music has also been shown to encourage “divergent thinking,” or the ability to create new ideas. This sense of creativity is vitally important to other fields such as the study of English or Humanities later on.
Music Teaches Your Child Important Life Lessons
The study of music can also teach children important life lessons, such as the importance of perseverance and how to deal with frustration and failure. Learning to play an instrument or to sing is extremely challenging. It involves learning an entirely new skill and tons of practice and error. Students will inevitably have to attempt and fail at playing a new piece of music multiple times. However, as students practice, the fruits of their labor are very apparent.
The feeling of finally being able to play through a difficult piece of sheet music without stopping in between provides students with an immense sense of accomplishment. Music teaches young students how to cope with stress and frustration in a no-stakes environment, as well as showing students that hard work pays off in the long run, important lessons to take away for future studies.
Music Encourages Positive Mental Health
Finally, music can be a fantastic source of mental health and wellbeing for students of any age. Studies have shown that music allows people to express their feelings and regulate their emotions, as well as acting as a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. Individuals who play music tend to report a happier state of mind and greater emotional regulation than people who don’t, allowing for a positive headspace and a better ability to cope with negative emotions.
Music is a universal language, allowing us to share a mutual love of this art. To learn more about our music lessons, dance classes, or any of the other fun and enriching programs we offer, please do not hesitate to call us or text us at (714) 902-6036, or simply sign up for lessons today!
At Westminster Arts Academy, we really do pursue creating a welcoming and empowering environment for all of our students regardless of their age, abilities and skill levels.
That's a fundamental part of supporting the student’s long-term development. It's not just about tackling music theory or mastering fingering – it's much more than that.
When students thrive, they thrive in a profound way. They learn, but they also develop, and those two words are different representations of what music training does for our students. A student’s parents were talking to us recently about that happy synergy, exclaiming about how the pursuit of skill in terms of music also builds social skills. It was a great conversation and just reinforces the idea that when you empower students, you’re doing something right!
It's important to have a right-sized instrument, so that the student’ s process feels natural and the student bonds to the instrument. We always take this into account in our initial music lesson plans with families. We found that it is an indispensable part of outfitting students for success, and making sure that the experience “gels” in a way that is positive.
The Right Accessories
It's also important to have the right accessories. Imagine trying to play the violin well without resin or accessories for the bow. Again, there are multiple aspects to mastering the instrument, and one of them is maintenance and conditioning. So we always keep this in mind to as we put together student plans, while we’re also looking at scheduling, scope and other aspects of music lessons to customize to the student’s needs.
Skill and Confidence
It's amazing what just a few weeks of music lessons can do for a young person.
Time and time again we see these young ones blossom as they take on a particular challenge and start to learn. Their social skills develop along with their technical skills and it's a great thing to behold.
So much of this is about keeping things on a positive trajectory. When we talk about the support that we give students, we’re talking about a philosophy of support where they feel good about what they're doing regardless of what their skill level is and they feel ready and excited to take that next step and climb that next mountain
Take a look at the website for more on how we operate a wide variety of classes from our Westminster, CA studio, and online. Get quality music instruction from a place with a great reputation in the community. We want your young ones to enjoy music!
Has your child expressed an interest in playing the guitar or piano? Helping your child learn music or dancing is a great way for you to keep them active and to engage them in fun activities.
Did you know that music goes beyond having fun?
Music and dance lessons provide many positive advantages that you might not be aware of. Let’s take a look at the 5 key benefits these activities provide.
You can utilize the right methods to ensure the healthy development of your child’s brain. Music and dance are great activities that help to increase cognitive development in children.
Through the power of music, children can learn and remember new things, develop reading and language skills, and other benefits.
Music and dance can also help to improve your child’s mood. These are special activities that can keep a child calm and cheerful throughout the day.
There is a strong connection between music and intelligence. Studies show that a child’s intelligence is raised by as much as 10 percent from their exposure to arts.
Therefore, it is beneficial for a child to learn to play a musical instrument or take regular dance lessons to raise their I.Q. Children who play the piano, violin, or drums are known for displaying better intelligence and being more successful in school.
Is your child mostly happy? Music and dance are effective tools that children can use to express themselves. If your child is not good at communicating with words, music and dancing make it so much easier for them to convey certain types of emotions.
A musical environment provides a positive way for elementary students to interact with each other. Social skills can be difficult for some children to develop. Fortunately, a musical environment is an effective solution that allows children to connect.
So, making music, dancing, and other forms of art an integral part of a child’s life can be very rewarding. This increases their engagement level and helps to nurture their social skills and self-confidence.
It’s More Than Just Music
Parents are constantly focused on the best techniques that will enable their children to excel in life. As a parent, you’re making the right decision to enroll your child in a music arts academy.
These classes are convenient and will fill your child with lots of engagement and entertainment.
Children can always reap the benefits of music and dance lessons whether online or in a physical environment. Regardless of the location, children have the chance to develop an array of talents that will help them to become successful in life.
Would you like to enrich your child’s mind with the power of music and dance art? Please contact us to learn how you can help your child achieve music-based learning.
When you think about helping students enrich their lives with music instruction, how do you visualize this happening?
In the old days, there were the traditional civic centers, government installations where communities invested in this kind of process of cultural enhancement through education. The civic center as an institution represents important things to many people, as a center of learning and exploration.
Nowadays, there's a lot more of a network of private studios and companies maintaining these spaces, even through challenges like the coronavirus and significant real estate market problems. In order to do this, these business leaders really need to have a lot of strategy, and ability to do problem solving to keep the doors open and keep things working well. We are lucky to have the right resources in place to keep the ship moving forward even in these troubled times.
A Child's Social Horizons
At Westminster Arts Academy, we accomplish a lot of what you would expect to happen in those traditional civic center environments or anywhere that a student spends time outside of regular grade school – in specialized enrichment programs that not only help that person to acquire skills, but help them to build community. What we mean is that this organic process of networking helps people to make friends, learn social skills and develop as a person. Working with range, working with notes, learning music theory, exploring the register of an instrument, these are all important, but so is the other side of music, the social and intuitive side.
All of that happens in our modern and professional environment where we teach music, art and dance all together in one well-maintained location. Our families love the convenience and benefit of using a local academy that cares about students, to allow their little ones to grow and learn for the future. We have developed our curriculum and business operations accordingly, as we work directly with local families finding out more about what they like and what best serves their students.
Browse the website to see more about our studio spaces, our music instruction, rehearsals and much more. Get special offers and more, and learn about the true breadth of what we offer from our Orange County location. Our commitment is to serve areas like Westminster, Garden Grove, Fountain valley, and Huntington Beach, CA with dedication, providing a safe, attractive and comfortable “center” for families to engage in the activities that build their kids’ skill sets, in a technical and in a social way.
Let's talk a little bit about the experience that your young student has when they stay the course on a music instruction program.
As we talked about before, the student gets a lot of technical music mastery and soft skills, like social skills, at the same time. In fact, one important part of this is that music instruction cultivates both a skill and an interest. This twofold track really enhances your young student's life in amazing ways.
But there is also another skill that your student learns, too. In fact, there are several, but let's focus on one in particular. Let’s talk about the value of active listening.
A good visual way to represent this is to think about that classic RCA Victor ad with the tiny terrier cocking his head to one side, and listening. That image shows the intent and the concentration that can be brought to the act of listening.
Active listening is something that can be taught, and it is something that's incredibly useful down the road. It helps students to get more out of what they are hearing, not just in the practice room or at a recital, but anywhere, at any time!
Music and Active Listening
In making his or her way through the program, your student is going to be actively listening to various sounds, and applying the knowledge that he or she gains in new and exciting ways, along with colleagues and friends!
There are many reasons why this is important, but some of them are more intuitive than scientific. Like an animal whose senses are keenly attuned to sound, your young student is going to be developing those auditory skills that will serve him or her well later in life. Developing the senses can be part of professional development. Some believe it can also be part of spiritual development. In any case, there are evident benefits to learning this type of skill.
There's a lot more to this, and we can talk a lot more about how music instruction works in your student's life, but we’ll save that for a future blog. There are a lot of resources that you can use on this website to explore your choices in music instruction for a range of ages, a range of instruments, and a range of skill levels. We have an excellent track record serving students and families in the Westminster and Huntington Beach area – we would love to see you at our studio!