Melodies & ABC’s is a registered trademarked program created by Michelle Lawrence. Michelle started teaching early childhood music class over 13 years ago, however, she was disappointed with the music programs that existed for the ages, birth through five. As part of her music therapy internship/Masters thesis, she spent a lot of time working in preschools, daycares and the community providing music programs for children of all ages and abilities. It was during this time in 2006/2007 where she began to develop a curriculum which people were excited about and felt that it was developmentally appropriate for young children.
Melodies & ABC’s is a parent-child music program for children starting at 6 months to 6 years of age, separated by ages. The purpose behind having small age ranges is so that the curriculum can provide a focus not only on age appropriate musical concepts but also developmental milestones. Michelle believes, with large age ranges, the programs become more of a music recreation program and less of an educational one.
The curriculum uses a variety of hand held musical instruments (shakers, bells, tambourines, drums, xylophones, Boomwhackers, musical bells, etc) which are age appropriate for each level, along with a variety of other manipulatives (scarves, balls, cooperative rope, parachute, etc.). Every week there is a musical story that is utilized, which ties into the academic or musical concepts being taught. Repetition is the key to early learning and Melodies & ABC’s strives for mastery of concepts. It tries to balance the need for repetition in order to master a skill and the novelty of new songs, activities, etc. Every age group and every semester has a different musical and academic focus. While it is not crucial to participate every semester, it is creating building blocks for success in private lessons and in kindergarten.
Academic and musical concepts are always a part of learning objectives for Melodies & ABC’s, however, the information is taught at a conscious or a sub-conscious level, dependent upon the age of the child.
If you continuously stay in the program your 4-5 yr old will have working musical knowledge of pitch/melody (musical scales), rhythm (quarter notes, half notes and eight notes), harmony (chords), dynamics (piano, mezzo, forte) and tempo (largo, andante, presto). Academically your child will have covered all of the necessary academic concepts to be more than ready for kindergarten (letters, numbers, rhyming, following multi-step directions, fine/gross motor skills etc.).
Our 5-6 year old program is unique, as it is geared towards helping you and your child determine which instrument they are interested in studying. In order to be eligible for the Intro to Instruments Sampler classes your child must have a minimum of 2 semesters of the 4-5 year old program, or have had a meeting with Michelle to determine if your child is ready for the program. This ensures when we are learning about the instrument, everyone in the class has already mastered some musical concepts and are ready to apply those concepts to an instrument.
During the course of the Intro to Instruments Sampler year, you are not required to purchase any instruments for home. It is a chance for your child to be exposed to piano, ukulele and violin and see which instrument they prefer. Upon completion, your musician will be ready to start private music lessons.