At the Victoria Conservatory of Music, one of the top questions we hear is how to find the best music class for your child. We offer a variety of classes for all ages and abilities and are excited to be a part of starting your child on their journey of loving music!
Meet Johanne Brodeur, Head of the VCM’s Children’s Music Department
We recently connected with Johanne Brodeur for her thoughts on finding the best music class for your child. Dr. Johanne Brodeur holds a Doctorate in Health Science, Music, and Music Therapy and is an accredited music therapist in Canada. She is the Head of the VCM Music Therapy Department and also the Head of the Children’s Music Department. Dr. Brodeur has been a clinician specializing in pediatric music therapy for over 35 years.
What should a parent consider when finding the best music class for their child?
I believe that providing a child with a foundation in music is one of the most valuable things a parent can do. Studies show that when children take part in music classes, their social and cognitive skills are impacted in extremely positive ways. Music facilitates learning, instills respect and pride, and increases self-esteem and positive social interaction.
When should my child begin taking traditional music lessons?
The best age to start varies from child to child but from my experience, the earlier the better! The youngest student the VCM ever had was in a “Families Making Music” group class and was only 17 days old! At the VCM, music education for very young children – from babies to three years old- starts in group settings. By age three or four, children may continue in groups, but this is the time to start thinking about specific instruments, such as piano or violin, if you feel your child is ready to do so.
What’s the best instrument for your child?
The first thing to do is to expose your child to as many musical opportunities as possible. Sign up for a trial lesson at the VCM, meet with the teacher to ensure this is a good match for your child, come to our Open House and meet the teachers and try the instruments, enroll in a VCM summer music camp and attend one of our amazing music concerts!
What instruments do you use in the group classes?
In the Early Childhood group classes, the instruments we use are of high professional quality letting the children play with a large variety of small and big melodic and non-melodic percussion instruments. All the classes are held in the same studio so the children can access the same instruments. Your child will let you know about his/her interest. And this is where you should come in. Voice, violin, piano, pocket trumpet, guitar, percussion, flute… the list is endless. You can guide your child, but your child will know what they like for sure.
What group classes does the VCM offer for kids under 5 years of age?
The Orff Program– birth to 9 years of age
The Orff program is based on the philosophy that the gift for sound, rhythm, movement, problem-solving and creative expression is innate in each individual, and that each child is capable of artistic expression, reasoning, learning and creating. It is a child-centered approach where music-making is experiential, non-competitive and performed in an atmosphere of fun, joy and discovery. Orff classes embrace all facets of creative music education through speech, poems, body percussion, dance and creative movement, instrumental play and composition. Helping a young child to discover and develop their ability to be creative, and express themselves through music and movement, is proven to be one of the most essential components to ensuring a well-rounded social and cognitive development leading up to and throughout the primary school grades. Modules are offered throughout the school year at both our Downtown and Westhills locations. Each class is age specific.
Families Making Music – birth to 5 years of age
A fun music program for the whole family! Sing, dance, try new instruments and play fun musical games. Bring the whole brood for an interactive program at a great family rate. All classes at VCM’s Downtown location.
Still have questions? Give us a call at 250-386-5311 or learn more online at VCM’s Early Childhood Music page.