Nurturing the Love of Music
By Simone McGrath - Mini Maestros Glen Waverley/Mount Waverley Franchisee
The first time I ever heard of Mini Maestros was in a conversation I had with my brother a few years ago. He had recently begun taking his daughter to Mini Maestros classes. I didn’t have any children of my own yet, but as a primary school music teacher, was interested to hear about the program. I asked my brother how my niece was going and what the program was like. I remember him telling me that he felt that ‘Mini Maestros was really nurturing her love of music’. I remember at the time being struck by his use of the word ‘nurturing’. To nurture is to care for and protect, to help and encourage. It sounded to me like the perfect way to introduce the gift of music to a young child.
My next encounter with Mini Maestros was as a mother of 3 year old twin daughters. I had noticed that from a young age, the girls loved and responded to music. I wanted to encourage this and so I decided to join a music class. When I was googling options, I came across Mini Maestros, and thought back to the conversation I had had with my brother years before. The idea of nurturing this love of music – feeding it and encouraging it – appealed to me. And so we signed up.
I remember being quite nervous before our first class. The girls had never participated in any structured classes before and I didn’t know how they would respond. Their teacher, Jeanette, had explained to me on the phone that in her 3-4 year old classes she encouraged the children to participate independently, and I was nervous about how they would separate from me, as they could be quite clingy. I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep my 6 month old daughter quiet at the back of the room.
I will never forget our first Mini Meastros class. From the moment I walked in the room, I felt at ease. Jeanette was so warm and welcoming. She explained to me from the outset that it can often take children a few weeks to settle in to the class, and that it was normal for children to be shy initially. She reassured me that it was fine to have my baby there and that she was happy to help with the twins if needed. She took my little girls by the hand and they went and sat up the front with her. In hindsight, I can now see that it was me that really needed nurturing in that first lesson.
Fast forward a couple of years and I am now the owner of Jeanette’s franchise. Since my very first day of teaching I have really tried to keep the concept of ‘nurturing’ in my mind. We are so lucky to be entrusted to nurture a love of music in young children. The Mini Maestros program is so beautifully written as to make this very easy to do. The program is fun, engaging and full of activities designed to enhance musical development and nurture the innate love of music that all children have.
When I was initially looking for a music class, I had not anticipated all the other benefits of attending Mini Maestros. Now as a teacher, I see every day the wonderful range of social and life skills that are nurtured by our program. I am privileged to see the children in my classes learn to take turns, share, listen, follow instructions, and become independent and confident learners.
In each age group there are new steps to be taken and new skills to learn. In our babies groups, it is beautiful to see a group of new mums and dads nurturing each other as they discuss sleep cycles and feeding. We nurture confidence in our toddlers as we ask them where they are going after class, or to sing to bumblebee. In our 3-4 year old groups we nurture their growing independence by asking them to participate independently, and in our 4-5 year old groups we do our best to nurture these little people as they prepare to head off to school.
At Mini Maestros we definitely nurture a love of music in our children. But we also nurture the whole child as they grow, learn and discover their way in the world. We nurture each other as parents. We nurture the bond between parent/child or grandparent/child as they enjoy the class together.
I am so thankful that my children have had the opportunity to participate in the Mini Maestros program and feel so privileged to be given the chance to nurture so many of your beautiful children too.
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