Learn Now Music, Inc.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's never too late Mom's!!!

Winter Break - Are they kidding? Any time the kids are here 24/7 it's definitely NOT a break for Mom. Am I right? :)

OK - so maybe you're thinking about New Year's resolutions - clean the garage out, reorganize the kids' rooms, clean out your husband's side of the closet so he can more easily find his things...Ah excuse me - did you forget about yourself? Too many of us do and it's not good for anyone. Not your kids, your husband, your relationship, yourself, etc.

Everyone knows to keep physically active (although we take a day off every now and then ;) but what about your mind? One of the biggest growing epidemics is that of early on set of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Learning new skills is a great way to start the fight against this. Music specifically is a terrific avenue to keep mind, body and spirit moving and growing.

It's never too late to start Mom's!

Happy Practicing!

The Music Momma

POP STAR !!!: Earl "Fatha" Hines Known as the Piano Man - Born T...

POP STAR !!!: Earl "Fatha" Hines Known as the Piano Man - Born T...: "Hines, Earl Kenneth (“Fatha”) Born: December 28, 1903, in Duquesne, Pennsylvania Died: April 22, 1983, in Oakland, California Vocations: Mus..."

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My child is 2 and LOVES music. Can they take music lessons yet?

More of your questions being answered:

Yes! When kids are very young it's an optimal time for learning!

Many people over look the enormous potential of these early years but it's a great time to begin music!

If you are looking for a private lesson situation, piano, specifically keyboard is a great starter instrument for ages 2 and up.

You want to make sure to find a music company that specializes in curriculum for this young age to keep things age appropriate and most important FUN for these little guys! Also important is choosing a company that can get you an accompanying instrument that is size appropriate for their little fingers!

Happy Practicing!

The Music Momma

POP STAR !!!: Biggest Pop Hits of 2010

POP STAR !!!: Biggest Pop Hits of 2010: "Check out the biggest Pop Hits of 2010!!!"

POP STAR !!!: Free Music Downloads - Download Free MP3 Music!

POP STAR !!!: Free Music Downloads - Download Free MP3 Music!: "Free Music Downloads - Download Free MP3 Music!"

POP STAR !!!: Send Your Friends FREE Musical E-Cards Today!!!

POP STAR !!!: Send Your Friends FREE Musical E-Cards Today!!!: "Send Your Friends FREE Musical E-Cards Today!!!"

To Suzuki or NOT to Suzuki? That is the Question.

The Suzuki method of teaching music -

The Suzuki method (スズキ・メソード, Suzuki mesōdo, (also called Talent Education, mother-tongue method, or Suzuki movement) is an educational method that strives to teach students using, primarily, a "play by ear" approach.

While the Suzuki method has been around a LONG time and, honestly, sounds fancy and gets young children up and playing it is not a method to rely on for optimal music instruction.

As a public school music educator for about a decade I saw student after student that came in being trained in a Suzuki fashion. These students had good facility on their instrument but no concrete reading ability and were usually years behind their peers in understanding musical terminology and symbols. The result were students that were highly frustrated and typically ended up quitting because the educational gap was too big for them to want to bridge.

The solution? Starting as early as age two, a traditional method of teaching combined with an emphasis on ear training will give them the best leg up on their musical education. Not only will they become versed in musical symbols and terminology at a young age but the "traditional method" will also help them with number and letter recognition as well as fine and gross motor skills.

Happy Practicing!

The Music Momma

POP STAR !!!: Free Music Downloads

POP STAR !!!: Free Music Downloads: "Download FREE Music Today!!!!"

POP STAR !!!: Lars Ulrich - Drummer for Metallica - Born Today

POP STAR !!!: Lars Ulrich - Drummer for Metallica - Born Today: "Lars Ulrich (born December 26, 1963) is a Danish Heavy metal drummer, best known as one of the founding members of the Ame..."

Saturday, December 25, 2010

New Instruments for the Holidays?

Did you get a wonderful new instrument for the holidays? Terrific! Now what? Right? :)

Now you want to find a quality music instruction service where your child will be given the opportunity to work at their own pace and share in the love and wonder of making music!

Especially if you have a busy family - you want to make sure the company you choose comes to you, takes care of all your musical needs (from instruments, to repairs, to music and instruction, etc.) and has a large staff of quality professional educators so your child's (or your) musical schedule is unchanged when illness ad vacations, etc. occur.

Happy Practicing!!!

The Music Momma



POP STAR !!!: Musician Jimmy Buffett - Born Today!!!

POP STAR !!!: Musician Jimmy Buffett - Born Today!!!: "Click Here for Jimmy Buffett's Official Website Jimmy Buffett's M..."

POP STAR !!!: FREE Christmas Music Downloads!

POP STAR !!!: FREE Christmas Music Downloads!: "Check out this site for FREE Christmas Music Downloads! Merry Christmas!!!"

Monday, November 29, 2010

What a professional athlete was doing at age 15...

Washington Wizards!!!

The Music Momma had the good fortune to cover a recent Washington Wizards game and watch them claim victory!

Do you have a child that loves sports - Ever wonder what a professional athlete was doing at age 15?

Al Thornton lets us know what he was like when he was 15 years old.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Music Momma: Your Questions Being Answered

The Music Momma: Your Questions Being Answered: "More of Your Questions being answered - 'We are going through a divorce and I am trying to cut down on expenses. My daughter currently ta..."

Your Questions Being Answered

More of Your Questions being answered -

"We are going through a divorce and I am trying to cut down on expenses. My daughter currently takes piano lessons and loves it. What should I do?"

Deliliah - Texas

This is a tough one. You need to do what is right for your family in this tough situation. However, if you have the ability to keep going you will want to do so. I can tell you from personal and professional experience that especially at a time of great dramatic change the best thing to do for kids, and for your self, is to keep as many things consistent as possible. These become the things people hold on to and give them strength to allow for the transition of the things they can't control to seem a little more palatable. Specifically something like music; which is such an individual and personal experience. It can become a real life line in times of trouble and woe.

I wish you the best in your tough time and best wishes to you and your family for a healthy and smooth transition to this new journey.

Musically Yours,

The Music Momma

Monday, November 22, 2010

Review - and Interview IMAX movie - Grand Canyon - River at Risk


National Museum of Natural History
Johnson IMAX Theater
10th and Constitution Avenue N.W.

Wade Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Named by the NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.”

The Music Momma had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Davis before viewing this extraordinary film!

Here are highlights from that interview:

Music Momma (MM) - "Tell me about your childhood...were you always an explorer?"

Wade David (WD) - "...I was really luck growing up. My family encouraged me and never placed limits on what I could accomplish. .....I grew up fighting forest fires as a young man and having many adventures. ....My parents sent me to Columbia for 8 weeks when I was 14. We came from modest surroundings. ....My parents paid half their savings to send me to Harvard....."

MM - "Did you have a mentor in college?"

WD - "Yes. At Harvard I met Richard M. Schultes. At 18 I went to him and said I want to go to the Amazon. All he said was, "When do you want to go?" He became my mentor and surrogate father and helped me all the way through my PhD. He was a wonderful teacher. He believed there are no limits and creativity does not exist in the abstract. It is, instead, a consequence of action. He did not guide you. He simply gave you the keys to heaven. I wrote his biography years later, "One River" which he kept next to his bed in his older years and referred to it often..."

MM - "Do you have advice for parents?"

WD - "Send your kids on new adventures and allow them to experience. More often than not, the experience will be positive as they are so wide open and that becomes a way they look at life in the future..."

The Movie was a spectacular combination of a family story interwoven with the majesty of the land and water. The images were breath taking and with the film playing on the largest IMAX screen in the DC area it's a fantastic and memorable experience!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Music Momma Covers the Washington Wizards Game Tonight!

The Music Momma Covers the Washington Wizards Game Tonight!

The Washington Wizards VS The Toronto Raptors @ the Verizon Center

Game Overview for tonight:
TIME: 07:00 P.M. EST
VENUE: Verizon Center
John Wall has been living up to the hype of being the No. 1 overall draft pick, bringing excitement to a struggling Washington Wizards franchise while leading all rookies in scoring.

However, after Wall injured his left foot in his last game, the Wizards may be without their young star when they host the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday night.

After winning 45 games over the last two seasons, Washington (2-6) isn't off to a much better start in 2010-11. The Wizards, though, are excited about Wall, who is averaging team highs of 18.1 points and 9.8 assists to go along with 4.0 rebounds. He has four double-doubles and posted a triple-double in a 98-91 win over Houston last Wednesday.

Wall, however, was wearing a walking boot after a 103-96 loss to Chicago on Saturday. He suffered the injury in the third quarter and returned in the fourth, but could be sidelined for a few games.

"It's swollen a little bit," he said. "I sprained it. I just got to take some days off and get treatment on it."

Coach Flip Saunders said he would take a wait-and-see approach with Wall for Tuesday. Forward Yi Jianlian could also be out with a bruised right knee he suffered Saturday.

Washington did get an encouraging performance from Gilbert Arenas, who scored a season-high 30 points on 11-of-22 shooting and made seven of 10 3-pointers. The guard, who was dealing with an ankle injury at the start of the season, had totaled 10 points in his previous two games while going 3 of 21 from the field.

Arenas should be happy to be facing Toronto. He averaged 28.0 points in two meetings in 2009-10 before being suspended the final 50 games for bringing guns into the locker room.

The Raptors (2-8) continue their four-game road trip Tuesday after splitting the first two games. Toronto surprised Orlando 110-106 on Friday before losing 109-100 to former teammate Chris Bosh and Miami the next night.

Andrea Bargnani had 22 points and nine rebounds while DeMar DeRozan added 21 points to keep it close against the Heat. Miami shot 50.6 percent and led throughout.

"We know people are going to think, 'Oh we're playing the Raptors,' and OK, our record is not as good as it should be, but we're going to play hard for 48 minutes," said point guard Jose Calderon, who had a season-high 15 points. "And we're going to give teams a hard time. ... We're a better team than our record says."

The Raptors, though, continue to struggle defensively, giving up at least 100 points in four straight games. Opponents are averaging 104.5 points and shooting 48.3 percent against them - both among the worst marks in the league.

Washington lost two of three to Toronto last season, falling in 109-107 in overtime in the one game at the Verizon Center. That was the Wizards' third consecutive home loss to the Raptors, which have come by a combined nine points.

Four of the teams' last eight meetings in Washington have gone to overtime.

Check out the Wiz Kidz Club

And Check out Wizards Care - the teams community outreach program

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Music Momma interviews Wade Davis tomorrow! NEW IMAX FILM GRAND CANYON ADVENTURE: RIVER AT RISK 3D


The Music Momma interviews Wade Davis tomorrow. Stay tuned for that interview!!!!!

Wade Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Named by the NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.”

Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. He spent over three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among fifteen indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6000 botanical collections. His work later took him to Haiti to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies, an assignment that led to his writing Passage of Darkness (1988) and The Serpent and the Rainbow (1986), an international best seller which was later adapted into a motion picture.

His other books include Penan: Voice for the Borneo Rain Forest, Nomads of the Dawn, The Clouded Leopard, Shadows in the Sun, Rainforest, Light at the Edge of the World, The Lost Amazon and One River, which was nominated for the 1997 Governor General's Literary Award for Nonfiction. Fire on the Mountain, a history of the early British efforts on Everest, will be published in 2008. Sheets of Distant Rain will follow in 2009. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2002 Lowell Thomas Medal (The Explorer’s Club) and the 2002 Lannan Foundation prize for literary non-fiction. In 2004 he was made an Honorary Member of the Explorer’s Club, one of twenty so named in the hundred-year history of the club. In recent years his work has taken him to East Africa, Borneo, Nepal, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Vanuatu and the high Arctic.

A native of British Columbia, Davis, a licensed river guide, has worked as park ranger, forestry engineer, and conducted ethnographic fieldwork in northern Canada. He has published 140 scientific and popular articles on subjects ranging from Haitian vodoun to the global biodiversity crisis. He has written for National Geographic, Newsweek, Premiere, Outside, Omni, Harpers, Fortune, Men's Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, Natural History, Utne Reader, National Geographic Traveler, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Globe and Mail and others. His photographs have been widely published. His research has inspired numerous documentary films as well as three episodes of the television series, The X-Files. A professional speaker for nearly twenty years, Davis has also lectured extensively for institutes, museums, universities and corporate clients.

Davis was the host and co-writer of Earthguide, a 13 part television series on the Discovery Channel. Other television credits include the award winning documentaries, Spirit of the Mask, Cry of the Forgotten People and Forests Forever. He produced, wrote and hosted Light at the Edge of the World, a four hour ethnographic documentary series, shot in Rapanui, Tahiti, the Marquesas, Nunuvut, Greenland, Nepal and Peru, which is currently airing in 165 countries on the National Geographic Channel. He is host, co-writer and co-producer of a two hour special inspired by the books One River and The Lost Amazon, currently in production for the History Channel. Filmed in New Mexico, Oaxaca, and lowland Ecuador, it will air in the spring of 2008.

Davis’ book Grand Canyon: River at Risk—a photographic accompaniment to MacGillivray Freeman’s IMAX Theatre Film Grand Canyon Adventure: River At Risk—will be published in March 2008 by Earth Aware Editions. The book features stunning photography by National Geographic photographer Chris Rainier and a Foreword by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Davis is married to Gail Percy and when not in the field they divide their time between Washington and a fishing lodge in the Stikine Valley of northern British Columbia. They have two children, Tara aged 19 and Raina who is 16.


I WANT TO BE THE NEXT POP STAR !!!: Patriotic Songs - HAPPY VETERANS DAY!!!: "Download Patriotic Songs and Icons on this most important of American Holidays. Happy Veterans Day!"

I WANT TO BE THE NEXT POP STAR !!!: Legendary Canadian Musician and Painter Joni Mitch...

I WANT TO BE THE NEXT POP STAR !!!: Legendary Canadian Musician and Painter Joni Mitch...: "Canadian Musician and Painter Joni Mitchell was born today, November 7, 1943 CLICK HERE for the full story"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010



National Museum of Natural History
Johnson IMAX Theater
10th and Constitution Avenue N.W.

Check back in to THE MUSIC MOMMA as I will be covering the premier screening this weekend and having an interview with Wade Davis.

Wade Davis is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. Named by the NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.”


Celebrated river advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will introduce the D.C. premiere of the film Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk 3D, in which he appears, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History


In the visually stunning film, Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk 3D (45 min.), Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and author, anthropologist and explorer Wade Davis set out to witness the majestic beauty of the canyon and uncover the fragile state of one of the nation’s most iconic bodies of water. The film explores the challenges to preserving the supply of clean, fresh water and presents realistic solutions to improving access to clean water in an uplifting and stimulating format. Narrated by Academy Award winner Robert Redford and featuring original music by the Grammy Award winning Dave Matthews Band, Grand Canyon Adventure 3D is the fourth feature in MacGillivray Freeman Films’ Oscar-nominated aquatic-themed film series and is directed by two-time Oscar-nominated director Greg MacGillivray (The Living Sea, Coral Reef Adventure).

For more information on the film and water conversation,
The News Desk

Grand Canyon Advernture Films

AND Ocean ED

Did you know?

The Extent of the Crisis

• More than 1.5 billion people today lack steady access to drinking water – that’s approximately one in every five people on the planet. (Source: United Nations Environment Program)
• Each year, approximately 250 million people worldwide fall ill due to water-borne disease. It is estimated that every 15 seconds, a child dies of water-related illness. (Source: World Health Organization)

How Water is Being Used . . . And Lost

• The average person needs two quarts of water every day just to survive. (Source: American Red Cross)
• The typical American household uses 145 or more gallons of water daily. European household average half of that. The average African household uses about five gallons, about as much as an old-fashioned American toilet uses in a single flush. (Sources: American Water Works Association, Riverkeepers, Aqua-Africa.)
• Despite using less water, residents in developing nations pay on average 12 times more for water than people living in industrialized countries – and many cannot afford enough for basic sanitation and hydration. (Source: World Commission on Water for the 21st Century)
The State of U.S. Rivers

• Forty percent of American rivers are too polluted for fishing, swimming or aquatic life. Less than 2% of rivers in the U.S. are considered to be in pristine condition. (Sources: EPA and American Rivers)
• Seven million cases of mild infectious disease annually are credited to germs and parasites in U.S. drinking water. (Source: Natural Resources Defense Council)
• Thirty percent of the U.S.’s native freshwater species are threatened, endangered or in peril. (Source: American Rivers)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Your Questions being answered: Keyboards VS Pianos?

Anna, WV - "Keyboards VS Pianos?"

Ah...the great debate. Is it OK to start learning to play on a keyboard or do you NEED a piano? There are those in the music industry that like to make you believe there is something wrong with playing on a keyboard. There are even those institutions and schools that refuse to allow students to take lessons without the use of a "traditional" piano.

The answer? You can start on either. In fact, for the youngest of fingers we suggest a keyboard as apposed to an acoustic piano. The keyboard's keys are more easily manageable for the young musician due to their size and non-hammer action. A traditional piano is sometimes more difficult to push down with frequency and ease for their little fingers.

If you are in need of having the more traditional piano I would highly suggest a digital piano instead of an acoustic piano. The sound bites on these instruments are that of the exact acoustical instruments they represent. The sound quality is top notch! Not only that but they are very attractive pieces, don't take up as much room, are not heavy and are easily moved and never need to be tuned! With these instruments, you also have the option of hammer action or non-hammer action keys. Not sure what this means? Basically, the hammer action mimics the action and weight of traditional piano keys. The units are usually the same and the difference in price differs greatly between hammer and non-hammer action which gives you price options, as well.

Thanks for the question Anna!

Keep asking your questions!
Musically Yours, Shelly

After school programs

The importance of after school programs:

I'm sure we have all seen it in our own neighborhoods and social circles. The once stay-at-home Mom or Dad now has to give that job up and head back to the more traditional work force due to the current economic situation. Who suffers immediately, the children, of course. This is not a decision easily made by the family but a necessary one to help the family bridge these hard financial times.

So where does that leave the child? Well, simply, they are left with before and after care at school or another location. Now, more than ever, there is a serious need for quality after school programs and strong and generous people to over see them.

There are at least a few such schools in the DC metro area that are excelling in this particular venture. They have strong Mom's and Dad's volunteering their time and energy to allow the students at the school to reap the benefit of quality after school enrichment opportunities that range from learning a musical instrument to having cooking lessons.

These children are already staying after school and these brave parents have taken on the task of making sure the "extra time" these children spend bridging the gap between home and school is the most productive it can be.

I applaud these Mom's and Dad's who all have their own jobs to do and families to raise, etc. yet find the time to see an importance in making an effort in their community for the good of all.

Contact us for a list of schools in the DC metro area doing a terrific job with these after school enrichment programs! ShellySuarez@LearnNowMusic.com

If you are interested in starting or expanding your after school activities program at your school please contact us today and we can get you in touch with dozens of these fantastic parents who can help you begin building a quality enrichment program for your children and your community today!

Musically Yours,


Friday, November 5, 2010

I WANT TO BE THE NEXT POP STAR !!!: Sale of the Day - Electric Guitar

I WANT TO BE THE NEXT POP STAR !!!: Sale of the Day - Electric Guitar: "Sale of the Day Electric Guitar! Available in Black, White, Sunburst, Red $149.99 Click here and let us know you're interested in the sal..."

Your Questions Being Answered: My child wants to quit their music lessons. What do I do?

My child wants to quit their music lessons. What do I do?

Julia, NY, NY

Hi Julia, thanks for the question. I have gotten this one a lot. There are many reasons students of all ages want to either start or stop something like lessons, etc. You know your child best. Typically, there is excitement that comes with starting an instrument due to the fact it's new, etc. The possibilities of the experience are endless at this point. About 6-8 months, give or take, into taking a new instrument students typically hit a stumbling point. Things are no longer "new" and the intricacies of playing their instrument have become more apparent and brought to the forefront. In other words, it's harder now! :) Now most students weather this storm by hunkering in and stepping up and possibly readjusting their own personal musical goals to be more realistic with the information they now have gained. Some students, however, allow this as an excuse to quit. Should you let them? Hmmmm...Again you know your child best. My professional opinion? Absolutely not. Not only is it potentially a bad habit that could be created (example - things get hard? Just quit and try something else) but they will miss out on the feeling of accomplishment that comes from sticking to something and finally conquering it! That is priceless self-confidence building that will transfer over to anything they do in life.

Now, there is another situation that is common with lessons. Sometimes things get "stale" as they have taken lessons for a while. The best cure for this sometime is a new book, a new take on the lessons, a new focus within the same musical experience. And, if that doesn't work, maybe consider that they may not want to stop music lessons all together but may want to try a different instrument. Sometimes it takes a while for someone to find their musical voice and which instrument that is exactly.

Either way, keeping music in their lives in a positive way is important. Before quitting, have a conversation with them and refocus and try something new!

Keep asking your questions!

Happy Practicing!


Monday, November 1, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

I WANT TO BE THE NEXT POP STAR !!!: Sale of the Day!!!!

I WANT TO BE THE NEXT POP STAR !!!: Sale of the Day!!!!: "Are you interested in being a pop star? Start today with a new Guitar! SALE OF THE DAY!!!! NEW FULL SIZE CLASSICAL GUITAR $45.00* WHI..."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More of your questions being answered: My child wants to play one instrument and I want them to play another. What do I do?

My child wants to play one instrument and I want them to play another. What do I do?

From anonymous in Great Falls, VA

Another great question! Here is the rule of thumb. If your child has a strong preference towards a specific instrument, don't fight it. The only thing you want to make sure is that the instrument is age appropriate (example: they may LOVE the tuba at age 5 but would not be able to hold it up! :) )

Remember this is their musical experience and they need room to be able to explore. Just because they try one instrument now does not mean they will never try another. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Most children who have played one instrument with confidence and success will be more open and willing to try out new instruments in the future. The best way to create that success and confidence is to support and embrace their unique interests!

Keep sending in your questions!

Happy practicing!


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guitars for Left-handed players

Ah the great debate! If you are left handed, do you need or should you use a left handed guitar?

The answer on the outside seems simple. Left = left. Not necessarily. As a young beginner there are no really good quality guitars that are made for the left-handed player. This means you would have to re-string the instrument upside down. This causes it's own problems not the least of which would suggest that you are compromising the instrument it's self by changing the layout into something that the parts were not set up to accept.

It comes down to this. The majority of the finger work on guitar is done in the left hand. As a lefty - you have an advantage! Why give that up? :)

If you have a left handed child or you are a lefty yourself; feel free to get that right handed guitar in confidence. You have the advantage!

Happy Practicing!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

How to choose a Pre-school

An EducationYour questions being answered:

From anonymous in Bethesda, MD - "What do I look for in a good pre-school program?"

This is a great question! I can answer this question using at least three hats. :) One as mother, one as an educator and one as a business owner and professional that has worked closely with many of these facilities.

I can tell you that a good pre-school will serve your individual needs while behaving professionally and keeping high standards for their teachers/other staff and for the safety of the facility. Everyone is different and you must determine what you and your child are looking to get out of the facility.

Do NOT be fooled by a pretty crest, the word academy in a title and a uniform. This does not create a quality facility. These things are a façade. You must dig deeper. I have experienced many “high quality” facilities that do not have a minimum requirement for their educators, their principals are not degreed in education or early childhood development and probably the most shocking were the facilities housing ages 0-5 yr olds that were advertising a safe environment yet had unlocked doors and little to no security concerning who was on campus, what they had access to, and poor pick up and drop off safety procedures, etc.

Here are a few tips when choosing your pre-school:

Ask the questions -

- What degree and qualifications does your principal and other administrative staff have that aid them in running the facility?
- What are your safety procedures and who is responsible for making sure they are maintained
- What are the minimum educational requirements for your teachers (Note - when they say their minimum requirement is a Bachelor's or equivalent life experience that means there IS NO real requirement)
- What curriculum do they use (Note - Links of Learning is one of the main educational “curriculum in a box” programs some pre-schools purchase - this is OK but ask them how they implement it and if they also expand upon this cookie-cutter curriculum and who is responsible for creating and implementing this on-site curriculum component.)

Remember - you are paying a lot for these facilities and you are entrusting people with your most precious commodity. Your children. And not just for 30 minutes at a time but for upwards to 10 hours a day, 5 days a week in some cases.

Can you afford NOT to make sure they are all they advertise to be? The answer is no.

If you'd like a list of facilities I would personally and professionally suggest or NOT suggest feel free to email me!

Keep asking questions!
An Education

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Great Expectations!

NOW That's What I Call Music! 30

This is from anonymous in Burke, VA -

"How do I know what to expect from my child's music lessons?"

That's a good question! In our experience parents come to the musical table with a wide variety of expectations for their children's musical exploration. The key is this is your CHILD's musical exploration. The goals and direction should be made with your child in mind and involved. At a very young age the main goal should be that of enjoyment. This goal should not be put aside as they get older either. Music should be a positive part of each person's life whether they become an avid listener or a participating musician on any level. When we come to the table with preset expectations or personal experiences that may cloud the present circumstances and education possible we potentially set ourselves and our children up for failure.

An easy way to know if your lessons are working - are they engaged and having a good time in the lesson? Yes? Success!

The practice and dedication will come if it's built on a solid foundation of fun and excitement for the music its' self!

Keep sending in your questions!

Happy Practicing!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

What is the best age to start a musical instrumnet?

This question in from anonymous from Vienna, VA - "What is the best age to start a child on a musical instrument?"

Answer -

Starting at day one singing to and playing music and musical instruments around your little one is a great basis to form a life long love of music! Beginning at age two children are ripe for learning! This is a great time to start specifically keyboard/piano classes. Don't believe the "nay-Sayers" that state that children under 5 should not be in formalized instruction. The early years of development are the most fundamental to building strong learning and exploring skills. However, be reasonable in your expectations. At this young age the overall goal should be that of fun and exploration. There should be minimal to no "homework" and the instruction should be from a professional organization with experience with this age. You will know if the lessons are "successful" by the level of enthusiasm your child exhibits towards the instrument and the actual lesson time. If they are engaged and happy to be having the lesson this is what you want. It will build a strong foundation for a life long love of music!

Feel free to keep sending in the questions and let me know if you'd like your name mentioned, etc.

Have a musical holiday weekend everyone!


My Child Wants to Play an Instrument

Friday, August 13, 2010

What to look for in a Music Teacher/Music Service

So the school year is beginning and you're back into sign up mode!

How do you choose a good music teacher or music service? Here are a few tips!

Look for teachers or services that instruct for a living. Unfortunately, most music store locations employ instructors that teach "on-the-side".
And, many Private teachers are doing so to supplement their other jobs. There is no real criteria for their educational background, etc. And, since this is not their main occupation, the lessons become riddled with inconsistencies in terms of scheduling and instruction, etc. Also, the DC metre area, in general, is fairly transient. This means that eventually the teacher will move and you are then left with the task to find someone all over again on your own. To avoid all of this you can obtain a music company that hires only professionals with a minimum of a Bachelor's degree. The company is then in charge of scheduling, etc. and if and when a teacher does move on the company will then be able to transition from one educator to the next typically without changing your schedule and offering a consistency amongst the instruction by their own professional standards.

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me!

Happy Music Shopping!!!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Power of Music

PreSchools and Music

Still undecided on a preschool for the fall? There are still a lot of options out there in every price range. One thing people are becoming more and more aware of is what ELSE is being offered at their preschool. For example, many well-rounded preschools make a great effort to make sure ALL of your children's needs can be taken care of during the time they are at preschool (and you are at work). Some offerings are dance, karate, music, etc. We will be compiling a list of some fantastic preschools in the DC area that offer instrumental music programs for your youngest learners starting at age 2 and up!