Introduction to Stringbabies
[This page is more about Stringbabies for individual tuition. To find out more about using Stringbabies in schools click here.]
All children love making music, and given the right opportunity, many can play a real instrument from a very early age.
Stringbabies provides just that opportunity for younger ones to:
- learn to play the Cello, Viola or Violin
- overcome the sight reading barrier
- acquire the very best techniques right from the start
- develop singing, rhythmic, composition and aural skills
- really enjoy themselves in the process
Stringbabies children learn to play their chosen instrument in a happy, relaxed atmosphere. They compose their own melodies, sing, and advance toward reading conventional music notation in a natural progression, but at a much earlier age than is normal - some even before they can read!
The program has been successfully transferred to the viola & violin with the help, encouragement and participation of leading UK viola & violin teachers.
Everyone knows that conventional music notation is very difficult for a pre-school child to grasp, especially when trying to learn the 'mechanics' of playing a stringed instrument at the same time. To overcome this, Kay devised her own simple notation so that the child can concentrate on becoming comfortable with his or her instrument.
The youngster is led on to perform well while confidently sight-reading & composing with conventional notation. This takes place at his or her own pace over a period of one to three years.page top
As the young player progresses through the Stringbabies programme for their instrument, they naturally develop strength in:
- early Cello, Viola or Violin playing [obviously!]
- early, confident sight-reading
- composing experience
- singing skills
- aural skills [listening]
- rhythmic skills
- posture, bowing and left hand skills
- presentation & performance skills
'Stringbabies' is designed to be fun and rewarding! No slave driving, no regimentation. Structured home practise is gradually introduced as the program proceeds.
Each child has their own workbook, with the simple lessons in large print plus space for the own compositions. There is a separate teacher/parent guide to avoid any confusion!
A typical session will include playing, lots of singing & musical games, all with a strong emphasis on enjoyment.
Groups, if used in private tuition, are kept very small; this enables the teacher to concentrate on each child and develop the best playing habits right from the beginning.page top
Stringbabies & exams
Stringbabies teachers will enter children for external exams, but only when a child is emotionally ready. Some children may be technically able long before that time arrives and that is fine. Exams are not the be-all and end-all!page top
Stringbabies session details
Stringbabies is based in the Horsham area of West Sussex [UK], but the teachers can be anywhere. Please have a look at the directory to see if there is a teacher near you.
Sessions last for no more than 30 minutes [less for the youngest], in cheerful & comfortable surroundings. Parents can stay or not as they please.
Children are either taught individually or in very small classes of no more than three. Your child won't get lost in the crush.page top
instruments for Stringbabies
A small child will need a small instrument - typically 1/10th or even 1/16th full size. These can be easily obtained from local specialist music shops.
NB One advantage of the violin is that they are much less expensive than a cello!
Recommended specialist suppliers:page top