KIDS & MUSIC (Pre K to Grade 2)

Pre K to Grade 2

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“Kids make great music… Music makes great kids!” KIDS & MUSIC is an innovative, dynamic music education program using games, movement and creative teaching to enhance learning and make it FUN! Small classes ensure that your child receives individualized instruction as well as benefiting from healthy interaction with other children. KIDS & MUSIC is a progressive four-level program designed to develop musical abilities in children with some, little or no musical background. The program is divided into age-appropriate levels for children ages 3.5 through Grade 2. Developed in 1992, KIDS & MUSIC has enjoyed tremendous popularity for the following reasons:

  • A unique curriculum designed with the young child in mind;
  • Excellent, qualified instruction; and
  • A child-centred, fun approach to music education.

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Program Fee Equipment Fee Bldg./Maint. Fee Total
Pre-K $485 $25 $25 $535
Kindergarten $510 $25 $25 $560
Grade 1 $535 $25 $25 $585
Grade 2 $560 $25 $25 $610

Note:  there is a 10% discount if registered before June 30th 
Payment plans are available.

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Location

Performing Arts Youth Centre
1371 Hastings Cres. SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 4C8
CANADA

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Great Beginnings with KIDS & MUSIC

Your Questions Are Answered Here

About the Director

Naomi Williams, B.Mus., is an energetic performer, conductor and educator, with over 10 years of experience working with youth of all ages. Her love for music and skill in singing is reflected by the success of her students. In Calgary she has performed professionally in opera, musical theatre, dinner theatre, and rock/pop, and has been the musical director for Morpheus Theatre’s G&S Jr. Program, and Storybook Theatre’s Glee Club. In 2016 she began conducting choral workshops for the MRU Conservatory. In 2017 Naomi joins Cowtown Opera as a member of their Roster Singers. For more information on Naomi, visit her website at www.aviddiva.ca.

Pre-K PROGRAM (3.5 years old*)

Let your young child enter a world where learning is FUN! Creative play, movement and singing help your child acquire the tools to make sense of music, themselves and others. In this small group setting,your child’s singing voice will emerge and your child will discover the rudimentary elements of music. The nurturing environment, caring instruction and age-appropriate materials, activities and program ensure the freedom to discover and grow!
*Must be 4 years old by next February 28.

Rehearsal Times:

Class Times: 45 minutes, once/week
Pre-Kindergarten Tuesday 10 – 10:45 AM
Pre-Kindergarten Saturday 9:15 – 10 AM

KINDERGARTEN PROGRAM (5 years old)

This program serves as an entry level for the slightly older beginner or a second step for the Pre-K graduate. It engages your child’s musical interests in such a way that the acquisition of skills and concepts seems effortless! This young musician is starting to get ready for a faster paced program with age appropriate repertoire that is a little more sophisticated. They are now ready to deal with some of the symbols and vocabulary of the language of music. As in the Pre-K Program, the Kindergarten Program capitalizes on repertoire with great kid-appeal, award-winning instruction and an environment that lets your young musician thrive and shine!

Rehearsal Time

Class Times: 50 minutes, once/week
Kindergarten Tuesday 1:30 – 2:20 PM
Kindergarten Saturday 10:15 – 11:05 AM

GRADE 1 PROGRAM

This program may also serve as an entry level for the older beginner. It builds on the skills and concepts of the previous years. Seasonal repertoire and games still are prominent in the first term of the program. But, as we move through the year, this more mature musician starts to explore activities, which prepare the way to two partsinging, sheet music and the exciting world of choreography. As they become more and more comfortable with singing and moving simultaneously, your child’s musical spirit really shines though and making music becomes even more exciting and meaningful in their life.

Rehearsal Time

Class Times: 55 minutes, once/week
Grade One Wednesday 4:20 – 5:15 PM
Grade One Saturday 11:20 AM – 12:15 PM

GRADE 2 PROGRAM

Grade 2 offers many challenges and new experiences. It is also a time at which many aspiring young musicians are ready for something more. KIDS & MUSIC – the Grade 2 Program is a preparatory choir experience. It is mindful of the kinesthetic leanings of the young student therefore choreography plays a bigger role in this program. Here we learn a variety of repertoire which allows these developing musicians to be both musically sensitive and creative musical story-tellers. The students are introduced to the musical score,a very important building block to ready them for the next step. The highly appealing repertoire, commitment to worthwhile group goals and the subsequent sense of accomplishment make this Grade 2 Program an intrinsically motivating one.

Rehearsal Time

Class Times: 60 minutes, once/week
Grade Two Tuesday 4:20 – 5:20 PM
Grade Two Wednesday 5:30 – 6:30 PM


ABOUT THE PROGRAM

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VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS & CONTINUING EDUCATION

Team

Naomi Williams Program Director & Instructor
Accompanist
Lisa Ryan Choreographer

KIDS AND MUSIC

Since music has so much to do with the molding of character, it is necessary that we teach it to our children. — Aristotle

There still lingers in the thinking of many parents and teachers the assumption that “musicians are born, not made.” However, the predominant opinion in recent years is that a musical environment does have great effect upon a young child’s musical development. In other words, the environment helps to develop and extend what is already genetically present. A quality music program then becomes a rightful part of childhood education. It provides much more than the rote singing of a few songs. Besides increasing the range and flexibility of their voices, it provides:

  • for the first social experiences in which a child shows inclination to participate and share with others,
  • an introduction to their cultural heritage through song,
  • cognitive operations such as learning the alphabet and musical symbols,
  • rhythmic coordination of hand with eye, and perhaps most importantly,
  • the development of a sensitivity to the feelings, impressions and images that music can convey.
We strongly believe that music in the life of a child needs to be nurtured from year to year. Music as part of a basic education is not merely a one-shot experience, or only for a gifted few—it is the right of all children. KIDS & MUSIC is a program that provides the rich environment in which young children thrive and grow into their own musical selves. – Malcolm Edwards

Malcolm Edwards was the Principal Conductor of the Youth Singers of Calgary as well as the previous Director of the ACT3 Division & the current sessional director of the SECOND CHANTS Division.


Why choose music?

First, contrary to popular myth, the ability to sing and to discriminate pitches is not dependent upon genetics or talent – but rather upon environment, exposure and education. In school we do not reserve mathematics for a select few, we know it is important for all. The same can be said for music.

Second there is ample evidence that a developmental window opens wide during the ages of three to six. This is when musical concepts are absorbed in the most fundamental sense – in the body, in the muscles and in the voice. What the body learns at this age, it is slow to forget. There is little doubt that active participation in music stimulates development in many different areas of the brain and for all children, music is every bit as important as reading and writing.

Music has a strong connection to memory, to events, and to eras. It promotes a healthy lifestyle and mental mindset. Music provides an emotional release – especially singing, because it is so closely tied to speech – it allows children to express themselves with their voices in a healthy and safe manner.


Why choose movement?

Our current education system is meant to educate from the waist up, and an excess of technology in our lives is dulling our kinesthetic awareness. Movement can increase focus and retention, and supplies the mind with another way to ‘remember’. Light movement brings a sense of joy and play to what we do in the class – the engagement of the student to the material can be clearly seen in their body language and in their facial expressions. Almost all the songs taught in class have a movement or rhythmic component to them.


How do I know if music is for my child?

The short response is that music is for all. Music is part of a basic education. Our singing voice is our first instrument and musical pursuits provide nourishment for the whole person throughout our lifetime. Music is not just for the eager and dramatic performer who is instantly a superstar! The more introspective child may be as deeply moved by the process of making music as the child who constantly seeks an audience.

We are aware that parents strive to give their children a taste of many different activities and sports during their formative years and beyond. This “full menu” approach sometimes works against the child’s best interest as many activities demand a long term time investment. Over a single year, growth is certainly observable but over many years one truly experiences the power of music. Admittedly balancing what is best for each child is a difficult task that parents confront. Worthwhile ventures often require more than a one shot approach.


What will my child learn?

Pre-K Program
1. beat, rhythm, phrases, form
2. singing in tune with teacher, and individually
3. age appropriate rhythms
4. loud, soft
5. fast, slow
6. being encouraged to sing and move simultaneously
7. being musically sensitive within their egocentric worlds
8. music making is telling a story
9. taking turns, the rights of others and learning what it means to be in a group working towards a common goal
10. action songs, games and creative movement

Kindergarten Program
1. as above
2. introduction to new musical form
3. building our understanding of rhythms
4. preparation for two-part singing – melodic obstinati, rounds, partner songs
5. singing & moving simultaneously with confidence & ease
6. introduction to longer songs in Term 2
7. building our repertoire of creative movement
8. distinguishing between playground and singing voices
9. singing in an expressively appropriate way
10. an introduction to choreography

Grade 1 Program
1. as above
2. age appropriate rhythms drawn from our repertoire
3. preparation for two-part singing through rounds and partner songs
4. singing and moving simultaneously
5. further building on our repertoire of creative movement
6. introduction to longer songs and memorization
7. continue awareness of musical form
8. creating original texts
9. singing in the group with sensitivity while making each song their own
10. broadening their choreography repertoire

Grade 2 Program
1. building our vocabulary and understanding of the rhythms we sing
2. round and minimal part singing
3. exposure to a greater variety of music stylistically
4. introduction to the music score and the language of music
5. specific choreography and blocking play a bigger role
6. presenting singing & choreography with a greater ease and comfort
7. opportunity to be featured in a small group
8. longer attention spans allow for longer rehearsal segments
9. being even more accountable as a musician in this smaller choral context


How do I get the most out of this program?

Regular attendance is the best way to reap the full benefits of the program. Missed classes mean missed content and for some children this can be a little overwhelming. Because KIDS & MUSIC is a once weekly program some word review practice at home is useful. A few minutes a day is more productive than one longer session. This word review becomes even more important in term 2. Some parents tell me that their children are intrinsically motivated to spend time with the music in their binders because of the great kid appeal of the songs and of course – THE STICKERS. Also, those in the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs like to color their handouts.


Will my child get a chance to perform?

Each program of KIDS & MUSIC has the opportunity to share their accomplishments twice in the year. Please note the dates and times – they appear in your calendar. It is an expectation that your child attend these presentations. Details will follow as those dates approach and we hope you are able to plan family holidays accordingly to allow your singer the chance to participate. The first presentation brings together both classes of each program within KIDS & MUSIC. The year-end presentation showcases all classes together so that everyone feels part of the bigger KIDS & MUSIC family. This latter presentation will be off-site.

We are also invited to participate at the Fall Fair, which is usually the last Sunday in October. It is a great way to catch a glimpse of what the other divisions are working on.


How early should we arrive?

Your child must be ready to go in to class at the class start time. Please give yourself enough time to deal with outerwear, changing of shoes and a bathroom break prior to the start of class.


May I make videos or take photos of my child during presentations & observation times?

We encourage parents to be “in the moment” and observe their child in the larger context rather than viewing them through a camera lens. Therefore during observation times, we ask you to refrain from recording the event. However, at the presentations there are no restrictions.


What do I need to know about dropping off/picking up my child?

It is imperative that you check your child in prior to class and also check them out at the end of class at the admin desk. It is not acceptable to merely drop your child off unescorted. The Performing Arts Youth Centre is a very busy place. Parents are required to supervise their child until class starts. Running is not permitted in the rehearsal hall and entrance area. Office and kitchen areas are out of bounds.

Please do your best to arrive on time and collect your child at the appointed time. Some children become distraught arriving late or being picked up late. Please note that Miss Katheryne will collect and escort the class to the rehearsal space and back to the admin desk at the end of class.


What does my child need to bring to class?

Nothing except a positive attitude, a smile, and a willingness to learn. A music binder is provided which children need to bring each week to regular class (binders may be left at home on presentation days). In the Grade 2 program sheet music is the property of Youth Singers and is collected towards the end of each term. A fee is assessed for any lost music.


Is there a place to wait during class time?

For all of the classes – yes. It is in our entrance/admin area. If you bring any younger, “vocal” siblings, we ask that you have quiet activities to keep them busy. Parents may also check on the availability of the boardroom as an alternative waiting area. For any families who do not stay on site during rehearsal we need an emergency contact number and an update of any changes.


Do I get to observe classes?

Yes. For Pre-K, Kindergarten and Grade 1 programs we have set specific dates for you to join us for the last 20 minutes of class and see your child in action – please refer to your Calendar of Events.

For the Grade 2 program parents are welcome to join us for observation classes through the month of September. Observation classes will be held again in January for new January registrants ONLY. Please refer to the class calendar for these dates in September and January.

NOTE: When entering the rehearsal space you will be asked to remove outdoor footwear. Also, please be “in the moment” and refrain from camera use.


What should I expect during observation times?

Your child’s behavior during these times may not be consistent from observation to observation, nor even consistent with what is seen in a class. Please be patient over the year and you will see their progress. Remember that this is a time to observe. Disruptions are difficult for both Miss Naomi, her accompanist, and the students.

Pre-K, Kindergarten & Grade 1 Programs
Try to learn and sing our songs with us and join in any activity where your participation is requested. Find something specific about which you may praise your child. Watch for growth in interactions and how they respond to being watched. Being observed is a learned behavior.

Grade 2 Program
Provide specific feedback and encouragement. Reinforce the concept “practice makes perfect” and provide times for home practice. Help with word review even if you are unfamiliar with the tunes.


What if we can’t make it to class or my child is sick?

Unforeseen absences happen but we would still like to know if you cannot make it to class. To do so please call the Youth Singers office at 403-234-9549.

Should you be planning a family vacation, please refer to our Calendar of Events, and if you see a conflict with class times we would appreciate advance notice of your child’s absence.

Please do not call the Youth Singers rehearsal line as that number is reserved for the older performance divisions only.


Can we make up a missed class?

Feel free to join the other class that week, if applicable. Please email Miss Naomi at naomi@aviddiva.ca so she can plan accordingly. We hope that you take advantage of this option so your singer does not miss out on the weekly lesson.


What should my child wear?

Comfortable clothing which allows for uninhibited ease of movement; inside shoes are required – separate from outside footwear. No flip flops, crocs, sandals, slippers or other type of shoes that do not stay securely on the feet. We want to ensure your child’s safety while moving and doing choreography. Also, please check that the soles of your child’s shoes will not mark the floor.

Shoe Suggestions: Inexpensive running shoes or any dance shoe you may have at home.

NOTE: Stocking feet are not the safest, so your child may be asked to remove their socks if they arrive without inside shoes.


What should my child wear for presentations?

As the singers are excited about sharing their special accomplishments, I do ask that they dress up in their Sunday best attire. However, it is not our intention that families purchase something new just for these presentations. For those wearing skirts or dresses we ask that tights, leggings or shorts be worn underneath.

*Also – please ensure that footwear meets the safety first rule.


How can I stay up to date with announcements and events?

At the beginning of the season, you will receive a login for the Youth Singers Groupanizer page, a choral management software that acts as our information hub for the entire organization. Calendars, notices, handouts, and all other notes will be posted there for your convenience. We recommend that you log in at least once a week.

You will also receive the weekly Youth Singers email, which is an important way to receive information about the big picture of Youth Singers.


What if I need to contact the Youth Singers of Calgary office?

Office hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm all year (except holidays), and general inquiries can be made to yscadmin@youthsingers.org or by calling 403-234-9549.


Is there a volunteer requirement?

Yes, we rely on volunteers in a number of ways and we are always so impressed at how much parents are willing to help!

1. It is recommended that all parents sign up to be an Administrative Helper at least once in the year. There is a simple checklist to follow. The sign-up sheet will be at the admin desk each week. Administrative helpers should arrive 10 minutes before the class starting time.
2. We ask all parents to contribute snacks for our young performers and siblings in the audience for our term 1 presentation. For our year end presentation all families are requested to sign up to bring food for the reception following the presentation. There will be more information communicated as we approach these dates.
3. Many volunteers will be required for our year end presentation. Please note that all volunteers (regardless of their assigned tasks) will be able to enjoy all of the show.
4. Please refer to the registration form about the mandatory donation or gift in kind for our major fundraisers.


How does my child move from one program to the next within the KIDS & MUSIC division?

The majority of children usually move up to the next program within the KIDS & MUSIC Division. If you or Miss Naomi think it would be best for your child to return to the same program for an additional year, please be assured that there is certainly sufficient new repertoire to keep things fresh and exciting for your child.

By communicating openly we are able to ensure the best outcome for your child so that music making continues to be an important part of their week.

Of course if anyone requires further clarification or input from Miss Naomi before finalizing their decision, beginning the conversation over email is the best way to facilitate this. naomi@aviddiva.ca


What awaits my child after KIDS & MUSIC?

The KIDS & MUSIC program is under the larger umbrella of the Youth Singers of Calgary. The Grade 3 program, KIDAZZLE is a training ground for the youngest performance division – KIDZXPRESS (Grade 4-6). To understand how the Youth Singers meets the needs of all the divisions, it is encouraged that parents & students attend a mainstage show (December & May at the Jubilee Auditorium). A mainstage show brings together all the performance divisions and in this we see a professional level of music, dance and drama. KIDS &MUSIC provides a foundation on which to build. The passionate and highly skilled artistic teams of all the older division further your child’s pursuit of an enduring and lifelong musical education.