What is the ideal age for my child to begin music lessons?

Expose your baby to music from as young an age as possible. Music is a language just like listening to mum and dad talking, they are assimilating the sounds always. And so it is with music, the earlier the better. Our informal Busy Babies classes start from 6 months while our Mini Music Academy curriculum starts at 2 years.

Why is Mini Music Academy Unique!

The methodology of the classes is entirely based on the Kodály approach to music education. The songs, methodology and class plans are all created specifically for the Mini Music Academy curriculum. The children singing the songs on the audio tracks were all Mini Music Academy students at the time of recording back in 2009.

If my child starts in Mini Music Academy, do they have to study an instrument immediately too?

We recommend at least one year in Mini Music Academy before your child should formally study an instrument. This gives the child the opportunity to develop music skills in pitch, rhythm, beat and reading.

When is the right time for my child to start an instrument?

CSM’s Mini Music Academy staff base this on your child’s concentration in class, how their musicianship skills are developing and also the size of their hand for playing. For example, if your child wishes to learn the violin, then it would be important that your child’s pitch is developing well because with the violin, you have to make the sounds by listening to the pitch as unlike the piano, you can’t actually see the notes.

When my child begins an instrument, do they leave Mini Music Academy classes?

No. It’s compulsory for all students at CSM to study musicianship in tandem with their formal individual instrumental class. So your child will have a Mini Music class each week and an individual 20 or 30 minute instrumental class once a week.

Should my child do a 20 or a 30-minute individual class in the beginning?

Between 4 – 6 years, we recommend a 20-minute individual class for your child. This is a long time for a very young student. From 7 years of age, we would recommend a 30-minute individual class as the child is that bit older and focus and concentration should be able for this lengthier class.\

Am I able to sit in on my child’s individual instrumental lesson?

We strongly support a parent / guardian sitting in on each instrumental class. It is a great support to your child to see what practice has to be done for the following week and it is also a great support to your child’s teacher and is much appreciated by CSM staff.

What happens after Mini Music Academy classes end at 7 years?

At 7 years of age, your child moves into formal Musicianship / Theory class. The first of these classes is called Prep Theory and is completely suited to 7-8 years both in terms of the content of the syllabus and the external exam at the end of the year with the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

What happens after Prep Theory class?

Theory classes are graded from Prep Theory up to Grade VIII. Students sit exams each year up to Grade II. From Grade III, theory students prepare for their exam over three semesters instead of two. The theory classes are carefully graded to suit the age and level of the child. Your child should be approximately 17 years of age when they finish Grade VIII.

Can my child join CSM at 7 years even if they have not been in Mini Music Classes?

Yes, absolutely no problem at all. Your child will then be enrolled in a 20 or 30-minute instrumental class and Prep Theory class which is geared for 7-8 years.

What is the earliest age my child can start an instrument?

A child can begin an instrument from as early as 4 years. However, we strongly recommend at least a year in Mini Music Academy to develop music skills in advance of a formal individual class.

Can my child begin with CSM if they are an older beginner?

Yes, that’s absolutely no problem. While it is compulsory for all students to study musicianship/theory, we would not expect an older beginner to join a Prep theory class with 7-8 year olds as this would be de-motivating. So, for the older beginner, we would recommend a 30 or a 40-minute individual instrumental class incorporating 10 minutes theory as part of their individual lesson.

What instruments do CSM offer?

We offer all instrumental tuition excluding brass instruments trumpet, trombone and tuba and traditional Irish instruments such as bodhran and banjo.

How do children choose an instrument?

The children get to hear all instruments in the Listening and Responding section of their Mini Music class. They get a feel for the sound of each instrument and generally have a good idea by the end of the year what instrument they would like to learn.

Does my child need to own an instrument when starting instrumental lessons?

Yes. Your child must own their own instrument before beginning instrumental studies as a daily practice is a key factor to success. Once the instrument is chosen CSM are more than happy to provide advice on the purchase of an instrument. It’s also important to speak with your child’s teacher regarding size of the instrument in the case of guitar, violin or cello.

What if my child wants to change the instrument?

This doesn’t happen very often but that’s no problem at all. CSM are more than happy to help your child choose a different instrument to learn.

Will my child get homework from their teacher?

A core aspect of the learning of an instrument is practice from day one. Each week the child will be given practical homework relative to the age and standard of the child. It’s really important to establish a good practice routine at home from the beginning. A little practice each day is important to build good habits and promote continued improvement.

Can you teach Leaving Certificate Music Syllabus?

Yes, CSM specialises in the LC syllabus and our team can prepare the student for LC practical and academic written syllabus. The practical syllabus is covered by your child’s instrumental teacher. The written syllabus is covered in a one or two-year group LC class. The standard of theory required for entry to the one-year course is Grade VI while the standard of theory required for the 2-year course is Grade II.

Are concessionary rates offered for children attending musicianship theory classes?

Yes, all students attending group musicianship theory pay the concessionary rate at CSM.

Older beginners/adults not attending group theory are at the full fee rate.