Fun-Key Music classes are designed for primary and pre-school-aged children to learn singing and some dancing as an extra-curricular activity. The main focus of this performance-based program is to teach basic music concepts in a non-threatening environment.
We define the basics of singing, music and performance as:
- breathing techniques;
- vocal hygiene, proper use and care of the voice so as to avoid damage and injury;
- proper vowel placement;
- microphone technique and performance skills;
- choreographed and modern dances;
- basic harmony;
- understanding basic rhythms and time signatures;
- understanding musical terms such as the treble and bass clefs, ‘piano’, ‘forte’, etc.
The overall aims of the program are to develop confidence, self-esteem and social skills in those children attending; and to nurture an interest in music through performance and other activities.
Each 45 minute session is structured so that a number of songs and exercises address each of these factors in different ways. This means that if individuals start in the middle of a term, it does not affect the sum of their learning at the term’s end. The musical knowledge and singing techniques are constantly being taught in various ways and used as a reference.
To make the content of the sessions accessible to children of primary and pre-school age, we use and sing examples of modern music. The children may already be familiar with the songs through radio and television. We also include songs from musicals of the modern era.
Along with learning some basic singing and musical knowledge, children learn to gain a repertoire. They are provided with opportunities to perform at school assemblies, and two annual Fun-Key Music concerts, staged in June and December.
We feel that the Fun-Key Music program allows students to learn in three ways:
- visually, through imitation and reading exercises;
- aurally, through imitation, repetition and new sounds;
- kinaesthetically, through movement and motion.
We feel through attending Fun-Key Music sessions, learning singing and dancing, the children's self esteem and confidence grow.
We believe that it is most important for children to enjoy the musical experience, and we feel that our choice of repertoire is the best way for us to achieve this. In choosing modern, and often very contemporary music, we can connect with children in a way that other styles of music do not provide.
We feel that this is perhaps even more relevant with young boys. At an age where participating in music classes may not be considered ‘cool’, the repertoire we choose is particularly relevant and most important.
Although the Fun-Key Music program is not designed to teach dancing per se, we feel that movement is an important part of performance,
therefore we choreograph simple movements to the songs in which we feel dancing is appropriate. The actions we choreograph also help the students to remember the song lyrics, add to the performances visually, and give the children an extra skill.
The Fun-Key Music program is never a competition between members of the group. Fun-key Music activities are for personal growth. Perhaps the most appropriate word to use about the purpose of our sessions can be taken from our title: FUN-Key Music.
The classes are designed in such a way that the individuals who participate in them have fun while they learn!