Confidence to speak in front of a child’s peers and teacher, confidence to participate in a classroom environment, confidence to share time and resources with others and confidence to perform in front of others are critical skills in today’s competitive environment.
Emotional wellbeing is also critical in building resilience, appreciation of the environment in which we live and an ability to reach out to others.
Enhancement and encouragement of a child’s normal development, setting the spark which ignites a child’s need for educational challenge and cementing the building blocks of learning and participation skills are equally vital.
Mini Maestros uses a program of music and joyful discovery to encourage confident happy learners.
A survey of Mini Maestros customers in 2015 found that 98% of Mini Maestros students experience a positive social outcome (such as confidence or group participation), a positive emotional outcome (such as enjoyment of learning or developing a love of music) and/or a positive developmental outcome (such as processing instructions or music skills).
These are skills which set our children up for life. We teach children the skills they need to swim through life, out of the water.
Learning music is unlike learning anything else. This is because learning and making music involves multiple components of the central and peripheral nervous systems including those associated with gross and fine motor skills, emotions, memory, intellect, paying attention, processing expectations and rules, relationships, creativity and cultural values. Making music is ‘superfood’ for a child’s developing brain.
Participating in musical activities is different from practising other activities because musicians – even very young ones – are constantly learning and making new music, thereby stimulating the entire brain. Applying, practising and seeking to improve a learned skill – such as a physical skill – does not have the same affect. Musicians continue to learn, and that learning stimulates ongoing development of the entire brain.
The Mini Maestros program, in particular, is designed to help students develop a higher order of thinking and listening skills, sensitivity, gross and fine motor skills, and a willingness to work together. Through their achievements in our music classes, students can develop a sense of self-worth and confidence and unleash their creativity.
A good music program, such as the Mini Maestros program, will foster the total development of the child and nourish the artistic qualities present in all children. In particular, Mini Maestros promotes:
Physical Development: the program provides opportunities for physical development through use of:
Emotional Development: the program provides opportunities for emotional development through musical activities that require:
role playing; and
Intellectual Development: the program provides opportunities to:
participate as individuals and as a member of a group;
develop children’s understanding of music; and
increase language, vocabulary and listening skills.
Social Development: the program provides opportunities to:
participate as individuals and as a member of a group;
help each child understand themselves better and to be more sensitive to their own self;
help each child develop an empathy for their peers and an ability to interact with sensitivity with their peers and the adults that they come into contact with;
experience feelings of success which lead to development of self confidence; and
help children develop self-control, discipline and sharing skills.
Creative Response and Development: the program provides opportunities by:
encouraging children to make musical decisions (e.g. discussing how best to perform a lullaby, “piano” or “forte”? or, which instrument would be best to use to sound like a train?; and
creating simple melodies through singing improvisations.
Fun and Happiness: The program provides opportunities for children to experience fun and happiness in musical activities.
Mini Maestros embraces the Australian Early Years Learning Framework guidelines as they reaffirm the foundations of our program.
Mini Maestros provides educational music classes that nurture and extend children’s learning and development. Our sequential, age-specific program employs a strengths-based approach centred around concepts such as ‘learning through play’, ‘continuity of learning’ and ‘high expectations’. These concepts are important principles and practices that underpin the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (Australian EYLF).
Mini Maestros sees children’s learning as integrated and interconnected. As such, our lessons are planned with a wide range of learning outcomes in mind. As well as learning musical skills, our program aims to develop the whole child and, therefore, actively encourages and fosters:
- Language and literacy skills
- Auditory and visual processing
- Social skills
- Gross and fine motor skills
- Inclusion and teamwork
- Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Spatial awareness
- Cultural awareness
Mini Maestros teachers follow detailed lesson plans with specific aims and objectives. Our sequential program means that each lesson builds on the previous one and provides worthwhile, challenging experiences for children that work within their zone of proximal development.
Mini Maestros is a flexible, stimulating and developmentally appropriate program for babies and pre-schoolers. Children learn musical concepts and develop a life-long appreciation for music in a playful environment. Mini Maestros is committed to developing the whole child.
Commitment to Child Safety: all children who come to Mini Maestros have a right to feel and be safe. Nurturing the children who attend our classes is our first priority which means that the children’s welfare is paramount and any form of child abuse is not tolerated. We aim to create a child safe and friendly environment where children feel safe and have fun as they learn.
Children’s rights to safety and participation: Mini Maestros students are encouraged to express their views and make active choices about activities in class. Children attend our classes with their parents or, in the case of an early learning centre, in the presence of other carers. If the parents leave the classroom (and this would only occur in the 4-5 years age group) the teacher will ask and ensure that at least one parent remains in the classroom with the teacher.
Valuing diversity: Mini Maestros values diversity and actively demonstrates this through our repertoire. Mini Maestros welcomes children from all cultural backgrounds to our classes and indeed our repertoire is multi-cultural. Mini Maestros welcomes all children with a disability to our classes. Full participation in our classes depends on the extent to which it is safe for children with a disability and others to participate having regard to their disability.
Recruiting and supporting staff: Mini Maestros has a careful and thorough selection and training process for all staff. The selection process involves a number of interviews and reference checks. All staff must hold a Working with Children Check or equivalent and are required to comply with the Mini Maestros Child Safety Code of Conduct. Our staff are supported throughout their careers by ongoing training, reviews and open communication.
Risk Management: the Mini Maestros Occupational Health and Safety Procedure provides for Annual Audits of every Mini Maestros venue, Venue Risk Management Plans and Daily Risk Management Checks. We also have in place an Emergency Management Plan and a Crisis Management Plan.