ECE Program & Pre-Instrument Classes
Early Childhood Music Education
The Early Childhood Education Program is a small group program for children, that are pre-instrumental classes offered to very young children aged newborn until entry into an instrumental program, usually between 3 and 4 years of age. Classes meet once a week for an hour.
The ECE program consists of a weekly class in which the parent* and child participate together with the teachers in a group environment. There are generally 5-10 children and parents per class and 1-2 teachers based on class size. Currently, the class is held on Saturday mornings.
This program prepares both the parent and child for music lessons in the studio by teaching the parent how to work with their child in an unstressed environment, developing a sense of pulse/beat, rhythm and melodies through class activities and exposing both parent and child to a variety of instruments to aid choice of instrument. Ages and level of competency are mixed in the classes in order to expose children to the natural roles of leading, following and learning from one another.
Parents are encouraged to contact the administrator if interested in this program. You will then be invited to attend a class with your child to observe/participate and ask any questions.
The Suzuki ECE program was developed by Dorothy Jones, a Suzuki piano teacher in London, Ontario, who worked closely with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki to achieve Dr. Suzuki’s goals of laying a solid foundation for life long learning. The following principles are the basic philosophies that Dr. Suzuki formed the instrumental method from and what the ECE program is built on:
- Every Child Can Learn – There are no limits to a child’s potential.
- Ability Develops Early – This is shown by much present day scientific research on the brain.
- Environment Nurtures Growth – Hearing and observing other children play instruments and sing, listening to music and receiving or hearing others receive positive comments can all affect a child’s learning.
- Children Learn From One Another – All students can serve as models for others, regardless of age or level.
- Success Breeds Success – Children do not tire of repetition. Old skills are always being polished in new ways.
- Parental Involvement is Critical – You are your child’s most important teacher.
- Encouragement is Essential – Each small step in the learning process should be celebrated. There is nothing more rewarding than honest praise for a job well done.
*Expanded meaning of ‘parent’ to include any caregiver, guardian, grandparent, etc. who is supporting the child in the learning process.
New to The Hamilton Suzuki School of Music, beginning fall 2023, we will be offering a pre-instrument class for 3-4 year-olds who are not yet ready to begin instrumental lessons. This class follows in the footsteps of the ECE class and focuses on acquiring all of the skills needed for instrumental lessons.