Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sound Beginnings Class comes to Pittsburgh!

I’m Heather Ann – a mom to three boys and a little girl (just born in January!), a wife to a fun-­loving soccer fan, a recent Pittsburgher, a self­-proclaimed grammar geek, a chocolate ice cream aficionado, and a Sound Beginnings teacher!

A Place to Call Home

My husband was active duty in the Marine Corps for most of our marriage, and we lived in Japan, Washington state, California, Florida, and North Carolina. I have my teaching license for elementary school and for secondary English, but it can be difficult for military spouses to build a career since we move often (12 houses in 12 years for us!). On top of that, I wanted to do something that would allow me to be home with my kids while they are young. Teaching piano lessons was the perfect fit!

We relocated to Pittsburgh, PA, last year after my husband was medically retired, and I started teaching piano lessons just a few weeks after we settled in. A number of parents asked about having lessons for their preschoolers, and I wondered about a music class for younger children. 

Prepare for Music, Prepare for Life
Shortly after that, I was introduced to both Let’s Play Music and Sound Beginnings, and I was blown away by how much these young kids were learning!

I love that Sound Beginnings prepares two­ to four ­year­-olds for both future music classes and kindergarten, and it’s so fun to have parents participate with their children. There are so many songs, finger plays, stories, activities, and dances to keep everyone active and interested. It’s amazing to watch these toddlers and preschoolers learn letters, sounds, numbers, calendar concepts, rhythm, solfege, scales, and more all through music and movement! It’s also wonderful to watch a great sense of camaraderie develop within each class over the 15­-week semester, and I find that having smaller classes in a home environment helps that happen.

I’m so glad to have the opportunity to teach Sound

Beginnings, especially since my own boys have been able to take classes with me! I love the program as a teacher, but I also really love the program as a mom. After taking just one semester, my two­ year­-old knows most of his letters and sounds and can make the solfege hand signs, and my four­ year-old knows the months of the year and tracks notes in the hymnal as we sing at church.

We all know the songs for the semester (even my seven ­year-­old!), and we often have instruments, the gathering drum, or the parachute out to enjoy with friends or our family.

Something Special for Boys?

I’ve taught piano lessons for about 15 years, and I’ve recently noticed a huge increase in the number of boys who are interested in learning music. In my first year of teaching piano lessons, only three of 30 students were boys, but this year, half of my students are boys and I have one Sound Beginnings class of all boys! I’ve been thrilled to see this change, especially as a mom of three boys who wants to instill a love and knowledge of music. I’m excited to continue teaching Sound Beginnings classes and to have my boys start Let’s Play Music next year!

Learn more about registering for Heather Ann's classes in Pittsburgh here.

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