Childbloom classes meet weekly for a half hour and consist of two to four students working together at similar skill levels. Classes are scheduled between 3 PM and 7 PM each business day.
Each student receives in-class personal help, which the other students benefit from watching, in conventional master-class style. The group then often plays together, focusing on musical ensemble concerns. For younger students, games and activities are included that encourage focus, poise and enthusiasm.
A parent is urged to attend the class. The parent thus becomes a teacher’s assistant at home, helping the student remember exactly what and how to practice, regardless of the parent’s musical background. “We have found,” says founder Kevin Taylor, that the more parents are involved in this process, the faster the student learns, the more the student learns, and the more persistent the student will be.” Regardless of the parents’ musical background, they can, with the help of recordings, materials provided, and a monthly newsletter, help the student stay inspired and on track.
Membership in Childbloom is monthly. Annual class schedules are predetermined. Rescheduling missed lessons is usually possible. Much music is played, and much fun is had!
Q: Where is 1510 S Grand Ave? Is there ample parking?
A: It's my home. From Willson Avenue turn West onto Lincoln. (If traveling South on Wilson, away from Main toward Kagy, Lincoln is one street beyond Grant. Take a right onto Lincoln.) Lincoln dead-ends onto Grand. Turn left (South) onto Grand. Mine is the second house on the left, a long, low brown house. Park in the driveway if there's room. If not, park in the street and borrow a hang tag from me (hanging just inside the door.)
Q: Do you teach beginners?
A: Yes. Not only do we love to teach absolute beginners but we also teach at every level of ability.
Q: What size and type of guitar should I get for my child?
A: It depends on your child's age and size. Generally children ages 5-7 are best suited with a 1/4 size guitar, ages 8-9 a 1/2 size, and ages 10-12 a 3/4 size. Please make sure it is a nylon string classical guitar, rather than a steel string folk guitar. You can borrow a guitar from me for a few weeks while learning exactly what guitar to buy. These guitars are in the $150 ballpark, less for 1/4 size and half size. Eventually, toward the high school years, appropriate guitars are more like $500 to $1000. Music Villa in Bozeman carries these guitars, and Eckroth Music can order them.
Q.: When should my child begin music lessons?
A.: There is no research that suggests any age is better than any other. However recent research from University of California indicates that the positive effects of learning to play a musical instrument on cognition and brain development in children is most dramatic before the age of 12. The best time is when a child wants to learn. The Childbloom Program specializes in teaching children between the ages of 5 and 12.
Q.: What is better, private lessons or group lessons?
A.: For children a one-on-one private lesson with a teacher is often stressful and inefficient. The small group lessons used in the Childbloom Program allow a child to learn ensemble musical skills as well as solo skills. There has been shown no discernible difference in learning pace between Childbloom classes and private lessons. However, the Childbloom lessons tend to be enjoyed more by the students who stick with the learning longer and develop to higher levels of skill than in the other formats. The Childbloom classes have been characterized by leading child and family psychologist, Dr. Harold Grotevant as "...a positive learning experience in a low-pressure environment."
Q: How long does it take to learn the guitar?
A: “About 150 years, give or take, if you hurry” estimates Craig Hall, ‘judging from the fact that I’m almost 40 years into it and feel that I’m off to a good start.” But the fun can begin immediately. Like speaking eloquently in a non-native language, the process can be a life long enticing adventure from the first “hello.”
Q: As a parent, how can I best help my child’s musical ability?
A: Even if you don't have any musical background you can ask the teacher for advice on how to help your child practice. By simply encouraging your child, showing interest in their playing, and helping develop the student's practice habits your child will improve. Parents are encouraged to attend their child's music lessons to get an idea of how songs should sound and what the student should be practicing.
Q: What are the biggest benefits of the Childbloom program?
A: Our instructors are trained to understand and appropriately work with the dynamics of a child's specific emotional, intellectual, and physical development level. The Childbloom curriculum and teaching techniques have been developed over the last 30 years using thorough research into child development theories and a central philosophy that children learn best through play. This solid foundation of training and tested teaching tools allows us to create a learning atmosphere in which students consistently experience success. We give parents tools to be involved directly in their child's learning process, which has proven instrumental in helping students make music an integral part of their lives. Our lessons are affordable, our location is convenient, and we offer lesson scheduling with the needs of busy families as the priority!
Student recitals and concert events take place several times a year, giving your child the opportunity to perform in front of enthusiastic, supportive audiences. All performances are voluntary. In addition to recitals, student performance ensemble opportunities are available for motivated students