From the Founder
A World Where Everyone Plays … Really!
As we continue to grow much is changing at Simply Music. We recently launched Play-a-Story, Lyndel Kennedy’s wonderful piano improvisation program (for 4 to 6 year olds). In addition, we have just announced the pending launch of Simply Music Rhapsody, Lynn Kleiner’s remarkable early-childhood music program (from birth to 5 year olds).
These programs are far more than mere additions to what it is that Simply Music offers. They represent a much bigger opportunity and possibility.
For many years I have talked about how extraordinary and exciting it would be to offer a “whole of life” program. In other words, part of my commitment is to be able to offer any person, of any age, a developmentally appropriate program that powerfully contributes to their musical self-expression.
We have made and continue to make great strides towards this becoming a reality.
Of particular interest to me at the moment is the role of music in fetal development. Certainly, we are discovering and learning more and more about the impact that it can have on a child, when they are regularly exposed to music while they are developing in their mother’s womb.
Let me paint a picture of one scenario as I see it. A woman learns that she is pregnant and either by having lessons with a Simply Music piano teacher or by using our Learn-at-Home program, within just a week or two she is playing complete, beautiful pieces of music. She is not merely playing pre-recorded music in the background, rather, she herself is sitting at the piano and lovingly playing directly to her child in utero. She truly is able to begin prenatal, musical communication with her developing child. Extraordinary!
Moving forward, her child is born and immediately, mother and child can participate in a beautifully developed infant’s music program that includes the pieces that mother played throughout her pregnancy and that her newborn child has already become familiar with.
Over the next several years, mother and child continue to be immersed in their early childhood music program and all the while mother continues to play the pieces that she learned during her pregnancy. Her child hears, feels and moves to these pieces during classes, then hears, feels and moves to these familiar pieces when at home.
At around 4 or 5 years of age, her child is now included in the Play-a-Story Program where the child develops a beautiful, fear-free relationship with the piano with their own musicality, their imagination and creativity as well as their profound connection to music.
Now, at around 6 years old, the child begins the Simply Music Piano Program and is immediately playing the pieces that they heard when developing in the womb, played at home, in class and throughout their early childhood.
With such a vast, rich musical experience, we have clearly provided a foundation that maximizes the likelihood of that child acquiring and retaining music as a life-long companion. With this as a basis, I see this same child moving into adulthood, becoming a parent and playing out the exact same process as described above.
I find something very whole and complete with regard to the integrity of this entire scenario. It is clearly such a natural progression from one stage to the next. When I stop to think about it and imagine its implications, I get very excited about our future and what we can contribute. I think its fulfillment is a major step in our journey towards a world where everyone plays!
Neil Moore – Founder and Executive Director – Simply Music International