Discover the Top 10 Secrets & Methods We Use to Teach Thousands of Kids the Language of Music
Discover the Top 10 Secrets & Methods We Use to Teach Thousands of Kids the Language of Music
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What You’ll Learn in the Training Video Above
Our Favorite 10 Methods & Strategies for Parents & Teachers
- With a focus on preschool & elementary school students, we’ll teach you the overarching principles that have made our music lessons a massive success with kids the world over
Actionable Insights for Raising a Young Musician
- You will leave the training with a ton of actionable ideas, games, resources, app recommendations, video tutorials & PDF downloads to jumpstart your child’s musical journey TODAY!
The #1 Ingredient to Developing a Strong Sense for Pitch
- By understanding our #1 tip, you’ll be able to guide your child toward a strong sense for pitch & music. Learn what to look for in a music program & how to make the most of your child’s critical period for auditory development.
Free Training Transcription
Hey Everyone! Rob Young here, AKA Mr. Rob. I’m here with my wife Sam today!
Hi! We’ve put together this free training to our top 10 secrets for teaching kids music: for getting your kids to sing in tune and even for developing your child sense of perfect pitch.
So I’m a long term preschool music teacher,
And I’m a classroom teacher turned curriculum specialist,
But since we started working together on our music curriculum for kids, Prodigies, we worked with thousands of classroom teachers, homeschool parents, and early childhood educators to make teaching music fun and accessible while getting some pretty amazing results.
The goal of this free training is to show you the guiding principles, methods, and research we use when we create our music lessons.
The ideas here are combination of strategies from popular methods like Kodaly, Taneada, and Orff as well as ideas and adaptations we’ve created along the way. The 10 strategies here are meant to be easy yet effective – whether you’re a trained educator planning lessons at school or a parent making music fun at home.
Even if you don’t know much about the musical alphabet or teaching music, you’ll be getting ready to jump start your child’s music education with these tips we have for you today. You can do this with just a few simple resources and activities, and if your timing is right, you might be able to even unlock the amazing musical ability of Perfect Pitch, but we’ll talk a little bit more about that later.
So if you’re working with kids and you want to teach them music, whether it’s in your home or school, then this is the training for you.
A quick heads up: this is not live, it is pre-recorded. This allows us to pack in all the best content without having to worry about connection issues, sluggish slides, and less than perfect explanation of this material. However you can reach out to us in the chat. We’d love to know where you’re from, what kind of setting you’re working with, in a homeschool or preschool classroom or anything like that.
If you’re watching this while we’re asleep, leave your question in the chat per usual and we’ll get back to you with a response in less than 24 hours.
Also you can email us at [email protected] or give us a call at 302-307-1997. Someone is usually in the office from 9 to 5 Eastern Time.
Before we dive in it let’s check out a quick overview of what you can expect in this training.
So the training is going to be about 45 minutes long, which might seem long, but it’s jam-packed with actionable insights and even some free bonus material talked about at the end, so you will be able to get started right away working on your child music education with a lot of new ideas and inspirations.
So the first few minutes will be a quick background about us, about how Prodigies came to be, and about how you can use what we teach at Prodigies with your kids to give them a positive, fun, and powerful musical upbringing. Then for about 20 minutes we’re going to give you our top 10 secrets for teaching your kids music including the number one ingredient that is missing from most music education programs.
We’re going to give you some free bonus videos that you can try with your kids right away.
After we go through all the tips, we will take about 5 or 10 minutes to talk about what’s inside our paid course. So for anyone who’s interested in investing in your child’s music education, stick around to the end – we also have a special discount a little bonus offer for you as well.
Then at the end, we will be answering frequently asked questions about this training, about our program, about the materials, and the methods that we talked about. So stick around for that as well.
We’ll be talking about things like fixed Do vs movable Do, things like what activities make sense for which aged kids, and common concerns like that.
How do I know if this training is for me? We’re going to be focused largely on early childhood and Elementary music strategies, research, and methods, so if you’re working with young kids, beginners, and maybe children with special needs, there’s going to be a lot of actionable takeaways for you.
If you work with older kids like with a middle school orchestra or a high school band, this training really is not for you, you can definitely learn a lot and applies to more strategies with older kids, especially if they are beginners with music theory. But again the focus here is on infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and Elementary School students.
First, a little bit about us. I taught high school English for 6 years. My experience with how children learn, instructional leadership, and curriculum design in EdTech helped us to lay the framework for Prodigies.
I’ve been a music teacher since I was 16 years old. I’ve also been a preschool teacher, a Gymboree teacher, a camp counselor, a Studio owner, a kids performer, and I’ve worked with thousands of students and teachers, including classrooms and churches all in the name of teaching kids how to learn music.
With those experiences, I started building Prodigies, and since then we’ve had thousands write to us about how amazing the program has been for their kids and their families: acing pitch tests, nonverbal kids developing language skills, and nonmusical parents developing the confidence and skills to teach music with great results. And all that is why we feel obligated and compelled to share our methods with you.
Keep in mind that your results will vary depending on the quality and frequency of your practice, but you can absolutely expect that your kids will start singing with better tone, singing more in tune, and learning the language of music if they stick with the program for at least a year or two.
Our ultimate goal with his free training and with Prodigies is to make it easier for kids around the world to learn the language of music in a way that’s fun, accessible, and effective, with the hopes of getting more of the world speaking music with a second language.
This does already happen. There are countries and cultures with a rate of Perfect Pitch which are much higher than those here in the Western World. So these tips to share with you today are going to focus largely on bringing that kind of musical upbringing to those of us here in the English-speaking world.
Before we dive into the training, I want to clear up a few doubt that people often have about teaching their kids music by answering these three frequently asked questions.
1) Do I need to be a trained music teacher?
No, you do not need to be a trained music teacher to start developing your child early sense for music. We’ll use this analogy a lot today,
If you think about learning music like learning a language, you don’t wait until your child is in English class to start teaching English. This is exactly the mistake that’s costing many of us here in the English-speaking World a lot of valuable musical development.
You’ve successfully taught your child language from day one without a literacy degree. That’s why you can give them early exposure to music without a music degree. and arguably it’s this early exposure to music that’s truly critical to developing a lifelong sense for pitch.
2) Are my kids the right age to start music lessons?
So formal music training typically starts around age five or six, but there is a big problem with this. Ideally you want to start introducing the musical notes as early as possible with your kids. We’ll talk about age appropriate activities during the training, but the key is to try and get at least 2 years of serious musical exposure before age 6. Research shows that this will give your kids a strong foundation for music that will last a lifetime. Now while the window for absolute pitch may start to close around age 6, kids over the age of 6 can still of course benefit tremendously from a music education, but they’re more likely to develop a relative sense of pitch, which is something that most musicians develop throughout their life. Basically, people of all ages can benefit from a music education, but as is with most things, the earlier that you can start, the better.
We kept a set of bells on our infant’s changing table and she was beginning to hand sign and sing along with our videos by about 6 months or 7 months of age.
3) Do I need a lot of money to teach my kids music?
The short answer is no, and most of the principles will talk about are free or at least affordable; and of course instruments cost money, but there are some great free instrument apps that we can point you to as well. Traditional music lessons cost about $50 per week, but here at Prodigies, we give students months of access for that same price. For those of you who are interested in investing in your child’s music education, stick around for the end of this training where will share a big discount for our program.
Now that we’ve got those doubts out of the way, let’s jump into our Top 10 Secrets for Teaching Kids Music.
Secret number 1 is this idea of meaningful play with pitch during the critical period for auditory development. This is the one sentence answer to giving your kids a powerful musical upbringing. Essentially, this means that you need to teach your kid to memorize the musical notes individually.
Yeah, think about how we teach colors, numbers, and letters. We we give each of them a verbal label. We play games, we sing songs, and above all, we practice, practice, practice. these things – colors, numbers, letters – they’re the fundamental building blocks of art, math, and language, yet we so often wait until elementary school to teach our kids the fundamental building blocks of music, which are essentially twelve different sounds, Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La , Ti, plus their respective sharps and flats.
The folks who pioneered the Teneda method back in the 80s studied this kind of musical exposure, and more recently, professor Diana Deutsch has published fascinating research on this subject. Now perfect pitch is this musical skill of being able to identify a musical note without a reference, the same way that most of us do with color, but for the musical notes.
Now, while it’s often called perfect pitch or absolute pitch, it’s not really perfect. It’s more
of a memorized sense of pitch. Like all skills, it can be developed and honed and may not necessarily ever be perfect. Even a musician with absolute pitch is always refining her craft. Here’s what it looks like.
This amazing skill shows up in one in 10,000 people in the English-speaking world. However, in other countries like China, where the language (specifically Mandarin) is more heavily based on tone and pitch, the rate of perfect pitch is much higher. How did the Mandarin-speaking get so musically lucky? Well Mandarin is a language that is based on pitch and tone, so kids grow up surrounded by consistent and meaningful exposure to pitch. Some words are even universally spoken on the same pitch, which suggests that humans indeed can develop a sense for memorized pitch when it’s a regular part of their early childhood.
Professor Deutsch has shown that Mandarin speakers who receive this regular and meaningful exposure to pitch in early childhood can and will outperform English-speaking children without that kind of exposure by a factor of 6 or 7.
Yes science shows us that there is indeed a critical time frame to learn a language before age
5 or 6, and the same is true for internalizing the sounds of music.
And if you don’t get that formative exposure and practice when you’re in the very young, very impressionable years when your brain is rapidly developing auditory and speech skills, you will
likely never develop it.
So if you think of music like a language – which it is after all – it’s a series of sounds with common patterns and rules and exceptions and all of that, then it’s critical that you
give your kids meaningful exposure to pitch during the critical period for auditory development.
Secret Number 2: Fixed Labels.
The most effective and accessible way of making the musical notes more concrete is to use these solfege hand signs for Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti.
If you don’t grow up with meaningful exposure to pitch during your formative years, it can be hard to find a concrete way to talk about musical notes. And if you don’t have an instrument to use as a reference, it can be super difficult and abstract to try and pull a note out of thin air.
These hand signs help to connect the abstract sound of a musical note to a concrete and easy to remember motion. This, in turn, helps us to memorize all other musical notes.
Plus, the solfege hand signs are totally free, and you have them with you all the time, so there’s no excuse not to practice.
The hand signs also allow shy singers to engage in musical play without feeling totally exposed, if you’re working in a group, you’ll see how some kids love to sing while others are terrified. These hand signs do help those shy singers stay involved instead of disengaging, and slowly but surely you will start to see those kids sing with confidence.
For kids with special needs, these hand signs can be super helpful and that they engage
more parts of the body, and help to channel the body into music. Every time we hear from a parent or teacher who’s just had a massive breakthrough using the hand signs with their kids who has autism, it almost feels like magic.
We’ve also got this free solfege hand sign poster that you can download. In the webinar bonus pack, I will have a little bit more information about that toward the end of this training session. You can integrate and use these hand signs in lots of different ways. You can do call and response singing with simple little melodies like Do Re Mi repeat Do Re Mi. You can also
write little songs together in the car or before bedtime using the hand signs and you can also
translate some of your favorite Nursery Rhymes into the solfege hand signs.
Besides the solfege hands, this idea of a fixed verbal label for the musical notes comes up with the colors as well. We do a lot of singing, about red orange and yellow, and it also comes up with the note names C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C, and it even comes up with the numbers, but that’s actually a little bit more movable and a little bit less fixed.
So to recap, tips number one and two are some actionable steps that you can take. You will want to teach your kids the musical notes like you would teach them colors or letters or numbers. This means lots of practice with fixed labels with songs about the notes themselves and with those solfege hand signs. Ideally, you would do this for two years prior to age six to take advantage of your child’s critical period for auditory development.
And if you can keep it regular and consistent for two years, there’s a good chance that your kids will come out on the other side with a much stronger ear for music. In the webinar bonus pack
you’ll also find this solfege hand sign poster. Hang that up in your practice space in your child’s bedroom even in the bathroom. We’ve heard from a couple of people that that is where they have hung theirs. you can hang it wherever you want and you can practice with those
solfege hand signs whenever you want.
Secret Number 3: Guided Play with Color Coded Materials.
Children learn through play and it’s our responsibility as parents and teachers to guide that play. By using color coded materials, whether they’re boom whackers or bells, or sheet music or colorful stickers on your piano or your xylophone, you will greatly increase your child’s
ability to connect the music that’s on the page to the instruments in front of them. Having a color coded instrument also greatly increases the predictability of your instrument compared to a more typical black and white instrument. So for instance, if you set your child up with some black and white sheet music and a piano keyboard with 40 plus black and white notes
there’s almost no chance that your child will be able to take those two things put them together and figure out how to play this song on their own.
This brings us to our favorite musical instrument, the C major desk bells. Imagine a scenario where instead of those 40 black and white keys and black and white music, you’ve now got some color coded instruments, some color coded notes, and the music you’re playing is also color coded to match, and maybe in this song, we’re only focused on three musical notes.
Now you’ve just greatly reduced the chance for error, and it’s reasonable to expect that your child will play the song and experience the correct notes that they’re reading on the page while
they are playing with that type of setup.
When you have a color coded instrument, or at least an instrument with clear and fixed verbal labels, your instrument becomes a lot more predictable. This means that the process of playing your instrument becomes more meaningful because you can predict what the note is going to sound like and you can trust that it’s going to be in tune. this is going to reduce frustration, increase enjoyment, and help solidify the sounds of the musical notes for your child.
It’s true that this is not as real-world as black and white music, but we can worry about that later after the critical period for auditory development, and for now we just want to make sure that
you’re giving your kids as many memorable and meaningful experiences with the musical notes as we can.
So actionable steps for getting color coded materials: well you need to start out by color coding your instrument, whether it’s a piano or a xylophone or some bells or boom wires you can use tape you, can get some stickers you can buy a color coded instrument. We use the Chroma Notes colored system, which is extremely popular due to the popularity of boomwhackers. Look for color coded sheet music and materials to go with it, and then allow your kids to free play with
these color coded materials. Also take some time to guide your child’s play through some of the materials like pointing to the music as they play and encouraging them to keep a steady beat
which we’ll talk about in a little bit. And alternatively, if you don’t want to color code your music consider at least labeling the keys with the note names C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C, or you’ll want to follow a more regimented method like Suzuki or find some private piano lessons to help guide your child’s musical play and keep them from confusing themselves musically.
Secret Number 4: Listening Games
One of the best ways to reinforce pitch development is through basic oral comprehension games. The simplest version is by taking a set of notes, telling your students what the options are: “Today we’re trying to guess did we hear red, yellow, or teal?” And then cover up the
bells and start quizzing them.
A slightly more fun take on this is to play your child a famous melody like Jingle Bells, and ask them what song is this? This is one of our most popular YouTube videos simply because kids love playing this game, and you can combine it with the solfege hand signs for a little bit of
extra fun. If you are playing this game, you’ll see your kids come to the realization that their favorite songs are more than just words. I love doing this around the holidays with jazz
versions of popular holiday songs where there’s no words but some pretty complicated arrangements of the music, and of course you can do it with any melody or song, just try to find an instrumental no lyrics version.
And the same principle can be applied to chords as well. This is a kind of longer discussion that we can’t really squeeze in here, but long story short, you want your learners to spend their first
three to four months mastering the sound of the C major chord, then spend the next few months comparing C major and G major chords. And then by the end of nine months or a year introduce the F major chord so that you can start practicing chord listening games with these three very important chords.
This progression for learning the chords isn’t something that I just made up. It’s been tested and
proven by the Teneda method with hundreds of students, and it is a big basis for how and when we introduce chords in our early childhood series Preschool Prodigies.
So actionable steps for listening games and oral comprehension: again practice short and
fun listening games with your learners, which you can do pretty much on any musical instrument or any instrument app. You can listen for random notes within the C major scale, specific notes within a chord; you can listen for chords against other chords, or you can even listen for a famous melody and play “What Song Is This?” Positively reinforce your learners and try to casually guide them toward the right answer. Teneda has some pretty specific tips about how they do this in their parent manual, so look for this book on Amazon if you want specifics on
best practices for oral comprehension games.
Secret number 5 has to do with call and response rhythms. Almost everything we’ve talked
about so far has to do with pitch, and that’s because there is not nearly enough of a focus on pitch development during early childhood, which again is when it has the biggest impact. That said, you will need a good sense of rhythm to really learn how to play any instrument. Which brings us to teaching basic rhythms through a fun call and response format.
The benefit of the call and response format is that we can get the kids playing the rhythm before they can actually read the rhythm, this way they don’t get turned off by trying to figure out what rhythm is instead they hear Ta Ta Ti-Ti Ta which is easy enough to repeat: Ta Ta Ti-Ti Ta, and then they can connect that with their rhythm they’re reading. This is a pretty universally understood method for introducing rhythm to kids. And we try to make it fun here at Prodigies with songs like Sweet Beets, Za Time, and Snow Day. And these tunes we use a simple course that’s really just two or four lines repeated over and over, and then for the verses we jump into this call-and-response format.
For those rhythms, you find different words, icons, or sounds to insert into that
Call-and-response section. So you might write a chorus that’s about cars, and then your rhythms are going to be something like “Ford Ford Chevy Ford.” Or maybe you write a little chorus about surfing and you sing “Sand Sand Ocean Sand.” The goal here is to get your kids comfortable playing with long and short sounds to help them develop an internal metronome. For some kids, this is pretty easy and natural, and they’ll be doing it from day one. For others, it can take a lot of consistent practice and that’s totally okay.
And again, like pitch, don’t stress reading traditional sheet music and rhythms on the page as much as you focus on practicing the process and the concepts through age-appropriate ways. Sure, maybe it’s not as real-world as reading black and white music, but it’s a lot easier and more effective with young kids.
So actionable steps for call-and-response rhythms: well, before you ever show your child’s what a rhythm looks like on the page, make sure that you have practiced it with some call-and-response. And then you can’t reveal it to them. Show them what they are reading and then try to read it together. You want to practice 4 beat patterns like “tah tah titi tah,” and then
over time you can pick apart that pattern and talk more specifically about the Tah versus the Titi and so forth. You can also write down some Ta’s or some Ti-Ti’s on some index cards or pieces of paper, and then arrange them to make new patterns that your learners can work their way through.
One of the bonuses in the webinar download pack is an episode of Sweet Beets, so you can definitely check that out. You can also check out a cool line of rhythm manipulatives called Note Knacks, or you can even practice some hand clapping and tapping games like Miss Mary Mack for some more rhythmic fun.
Secret number six: High information music.
This secret and the next one both have a little bit more to do with infants and toddlers, and we’ll circle back on preschoolers and school-aged kids in the final two tips.
So high information music is essentially music that’s unpredictable. It generally is music that has all 12 notes, and it’s pretty difficult to follow and understand.
Think Stravinsky or Rachmaninoff or Charlie Parker. I actually learned about this idea from Rick Beato and the folks over at Nuryl. So a huge shout out to them for all the work that they do. One
of the classic examples of this is an older improv from Aydin Esen. You can check out the link on YouTube: search Aydin Esen and look for this keyboard improv that looks just like this.
And without getting into a ton of detail, this more advanced kind of music is kind of like eating your musical vegetables. They might not taste as good as pop music ear candy, but they’re nutrient dense with tons of high-level musical information. Exposing your kids to this more advanced kind of music will help expand your child’s understanding of what’s possible with music and help their brains to get accustomed to more difficult and complex composition styles.
You might also try exposing your kids to music from other cultures, specifically sitar music from North India or African drumming. Both of these types of music are built on fundamentally different systems than we use here in the Western world, and so that will help to expand your child’s sense for what is possible with music.
Wrapping up with our actionable steps for high information music: basically you need to seek out and listen to high information music. Again, it’s music that’s unpredictable, it tends to feature all 12 notes and, and generally way more complex than most music on the radio. Again, think Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Charlie Parker. You can search Aydin Esen improv on YouTube – that’s a great example – or you can check out the app Nuryl, and maybe give Dylan and Rick Beato a search on YouTube.
Also a quick note we have no professional or personal affiliation with Dylan or Rick Beato, but they’re doing some amazing work and they’re absolutely worth checking out.
Secret number seven is Intraverbals. This is sticking with the theme of infants and toddlers for just another minute, but basically it is a complete-the-lyric type of situation. So even though your
six-month-old probably can’t sing and doesn’t have a ton of vocabulary just yet, if you teach them some simple songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” you eventually will be able to sing the song, leave the end blank, and your little one can fill it in.
Of course, you’ll need to sing the song to them a few times for them to actually learn what to expect. It might take a couple of days – it might take a week – but give that a shot with your little ones and see if it helps them engage with their music and learn some new words even.
Some great songs that we love to do with our daughter are “Mr. Sun” by Raffi, “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” or really any song that has a decently strong rhyme scheme. Because that rhyme helps to really prime the child’s ear for the upcoming word. Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you … and then Lil fills in the blank… “are.” So it helps with language acquisition and music engagement.
Alright, so actionable steps for intraverbals are practice simple songs with your kids, which means that you have to sing them to them a lot. Just the way you would normally sing them a
lullaby like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” You’ll want to keep practicing and singing those songs. Don’t overload your kids with tons of different songs. Maybe pick 3 to 5 songs you’re going to really focus on to start, and then eventually you leave the end of the phrase blank, and prompt your learners to try and fill in the blank. It might take a little time. Even babies and toddlers though will start to do it, and the more fun you can make it, the more you can positively reinforce your kids, the quicker they will be singing along and filling in those blanks.
Secret Number 8: Music and Movement
This leads us to a very popular and familiar strategy which can be summed up as music
and movement. This is probably what you immediately think of when you think about kids music: “The Wheels On the Bus,” a freeze dance, “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” ‘Where Is Thumbkin,” “The Eensie Weensie Spider,” the “Hokey-Pokey:” all these are meant to get your kids doing hand motions, to dancing in certain patterns – essentially moving a certain way to the music.
These songs are great for teaching simple concepts and vocals, they’re a ton of fun, and a great way to do some indoor physical activity.
What they’re not so good at is actually teaching kids about music: especially through the lens of our number one tip: meaningful play with pitch during the critical period for auditory development. Movement songs will help your kids learn more songs and appreciate music, but they don’t actually teach anything about pitch or really that much about music in general. They
can though help reinforce rhythm and they really are an absolute must to have in your back pocket for an early ed music class. They work as a great warm-up activity, as a good transition, and they’re especially good when you’ve got some calories to burn on a rainy day.
Actionable steps for music and movement: well you could learn the classic finger songs and movement games like “Where Is Thumpkin,” “The Wheels On the Bus,” and engage your kids by using those hand motions; using those finger games. You can find a ton of this material on Youtube. You can also attend a local kids a gym of some kind. You’ll likely end up doing lots of music and movement there. And if you want, you can enhance your music and movement activities with boom whackers for things like “The Tubes On the Bus,” to try and get a little bit of pitch development into your movement games.
Secret Number 9: Modeling
So this is an important one, even for non musical parents, and it’s the simple idea of engaging with your kids and learning music alongside them, at least to some extent. If your children see you enjoying music or singing or learning an instrument yourself, they may be much more willing to give music a try. Our little ones love to copy our behavior, for better or worse. By playing music with them, your children might learn that it’s okay to be a beginner, to try something new, and have fun with learning. Teachers model activities in classrooms and it’s a really effective way to communicate our expectations to the children. As an added bonus, if you’re the one playing along with your child, they’ll associate those positive early learning experiences with you.
Actionable steps you can take around modeling music for your child: well you could learn an instrument alongside of them. I’ve seen mother and daughter duets at piano recitals, and I recently saw on Facebook that a whole school worth of parents learned string instruments with
their kids as part of their orchestra concert. That is super cool, obviously a little bit more extreme, but really really inspiring, and proves this point exactly.
You can also find a private teacher to provide your child with a close musical mentor, or find a local studio or music class. Even if you are using Prodigies, this will be someone who can get them involved in recitals, performances, maybe even get them their first couple of gigs. I said earlier that I was a music teacher at age 16, and that’s because as soon as I had my driver’s license, I was helping my drum teacher out by working with his youngest students on the drum set and even filling in for some of his dance classes.
So finding a local musician or music studio for your child to connect with is definitely a smart move. Even beyond the actual weekly lesson, which is obviously valuable in its own right. And finally take your child to concerts or folk festivals or a local Battle of the Bands or anything where they can see other musicians performing. Ideally you can find shows that your child is interested in. Even if it means a more expensive concert tickets every now and then, it will help them connect with music as an artform to understand it as a form of self-expression, and ideally they will develop a sense of self-worth based on their own musical ability.
Secret Number 10: Regular Practice
Our final tip for today is to make practice regular and consistent. Making music a part of your routine is one of the best ways to ensure that your child is getting the benefits of a music education, and just in case you forgot, there are a ton of cognitive emotional and social benefits
to music lessons. But again, that’s really a topic of conversation for another day. If you take private lessons for one hour every week, that’s going to help you learn more about your instrument, but actually memorizing the musical sounds and honing those technical skills means
that you should be trying to practice at least five days a week, and ideally for fifteen to thirty minutes at the minimum. If you can practice more that’s even better, but this idea of five days a week and 15 minutes a day is a practical yet effective way to stay on track. And it’s not really asking for too much time out of your day.
You can also download The Prodigies Bells app. This is our free instrument app, that way you’ll always have a colorful instrument to practice with in your back pocket at any time, and don’t forget about those solfege hand signs. You can easily sing and engage with those and you’ve always got them with you so there’s really no excuse not to get lots of regular practice.
Actionable steps that you can take to help ensure regular practice are: getting a practice calendar – maybe it’s a superhero calendar, maybe the printable one that we have here at
Prodigies – but try to track your practice and encourage yourself to mark five X’s or checks each week on that calendar, even if it’s just for 5 or 10 or 15 minutes each day. I’ve also got a little bonus tip coming up – I’m gonna share some of my favorite apps with all of you – but getting going with lots of musical instrument activities and apps will help keep your practice fresh for your kids.
Now there is value in sticking to one instrument or method for a span and really learning that instrument or that method – you don’t want to just bounce all over the place as you learn music – but with the young kids especially, they have a shorter attention span. It’s worth having a deep bag of tricks for keeping them engaged and learning, even if it’s not on their main instrument the whole time.
If you stuck around for all 10 tips, I do have a bonus tip here. I quickly want to share with you a list of some of my favorite music apps for the iPad. This too really is a conversation for another
day, but maybe give this a quick screen shot because there are a bunch of amazing apps in here – mostly iPad, but also Android – and this will help you and your kids to explore the world of music even further.
So that’s it for the 10, tips but we’ve still got a bunch of value to share in the FAQ section so, stick around for that. Hopefully you learned some new insights about teaching your kids music. Don’t forget that number one tip of meaningful exposure to individual musical notes during early
childhood, and even if you don’t end up joining Prodigies Music, this should definitely give you a good outline of the key areas and avenues for teaching your kids music.
Now if you want to take a lot of the guesswork out of it and work with a method that’s tried, true, and produces amazing results, that I want to show you a quick look at what’s inside our paid course, Prodigies Lifetime.
This is our all-access pass, all of our courses and videos. You can find the videos broken up by series inside of the Play area, or you can follow suggestive course progressions and find more detailed lesson plans and guides inside the Teach area.
So going in age order: the earliest material that we have is inside of Playtime Prodigies, which is a colorful, fun and somewhat sillier section for infants and toddlers. The videos aren’t specifically about playing an instrument, instead it’s a lot of call and response with the hand signs, with simple rhythms, and with funny songs to help prime your learners for the more formal instruction to come.
Then in Preschool Prodigies, we have a longer program focused more specifically on singing, hand signing, and playing our bells with easy three note songs and nursery rhyme favorites. Each chapter of Preschool Prodigies has a corresponding workbook for more pencil and paper
activities like matching, handwriting, composing, patterning, sequencing, and more!
Following that we have Performance Prodigies, which tackle some of the same type of songs as Preschool Prodigies, but in a slightly more formal sheet music format. Most of these videos are
completely teacher free, but we are adding short lessons and more videos featuring us and the sheet music to the series right now. These videos feature multiple instruments, which is also great for group practice.
Next we have PSP Melodies, which is a collection of short and sweet sight singing activities that
just focus on the solfege hand signs. In this series, Mr. Rob sings a little melodic passage with the hand signs and then your kids repeat after him. These don’t require an instrument and they’re short, so they make an excellent warm-up, transition, or car ride activity.
In Primary Prodigies, we have our longest and most detailed series to date where we focus on more music theory, more formal vocabulary, more difficult concepts, and harder songs. We’re
currently wrapping up Primary chapter two and we had the next six chapters planned out, and they will be coming out over the next several years. This is also where the chromatic and extension bells become more important as we learn about all the musical notes – not just the ones in the C major scale.
Then in Recorder Prodigies, we focus on learning to play our first wind instrument with simple, fun, and step-by-step instructions to get your kids playing the recorder. The recorder has a bad reputation for being harsh on the ears, but with Recorder Prodigies, your kids will actually learn how to play the instrument correctly and you won’t have to worry about ear plugs for the whole family.
In Holiday Prodigies, we tackle twenty holiday songs that correspond with our Holiday Prodigies songbook. We’re also currently working on more videos for Playtime Prodigies, Primary Prodigies, and we’re working on new series like Ukulele Prodigies, and a music theory essentials course. We also have tentative future plans for bucket drumming materials, a piano course, drum set, and more so you can feel good knowing that Prodigies will continue to grow with your kids.
Prodigies Lifetime does include lifetime access to all the series that we just mentioned through legacy.prodigies.com, and you’ll even have the ability to download all the video mp4s for
continued use offline. On top of that, you’ll get three years of access to our iPhone, Android, and TV apps, which allow you to stream Prodigies content right to your favorite device.
Unfortunately, we can’t provide lifetime access to these phone and TV apps because they’re
actually built and managed by the folks over at Vimeo. However, as an added bonus, if you decide to renew the apps after three years, you will get 75% off the base price which means you’ll be paying less than five dollars a month for continued app access. Or you can of course just continue to use the website and the download hall and not worry too much about the apps – that’s totally your call.
Lifetime members also get access to our Ambassador Program which means you can start making money by spreading the word about Prodigies. Also with your lifetime membership, you unlock the ability to enroll students at a seriously discounted price. You can either include this in your studio or school offerings or you can use it as an upsell in your private music classes.
All right, well let’s talk a little bit about pricing. So as far as pricing goes, Prodigies Lifetime has a massive value and it’s growing by leaps and bounds every year. Plus it’s a massive investment in your child’s future – both their musical future and in helping them come to love the process of learning. Music makes it easy to see how fun it is to learn a new skill and musical study has been linked to all kinds of cross curricular benefits.
Other online music programs cost schools over a thousand dollars a year, but with Prodigies Lifetime, you’re looking at this massive value with only one upfront cost. So instead of paying five to ten thousand dollars for music curriculum over the next decade, you can unlock Prodigies Music once and forever for less than half of that. Plus, while we’re still a young company and building out all the different series and courses, we’re offering lifetime at an even bigger discount as our way of saying thanks for checking us out. This is the price that you’ll normally see in our shop at Prodigiesmusic.com, though is going to be going up to an eventual baseline price once all of the videos and courses are complete. Again as I mentioned in the beginning, we’ve got an even bigger discount here just because you’ve hung out with us through this webinar training, and we do have a fast action bonus for you as well. This is another two hundred and fifty dollars that you can save on Prodigies Lifetime if you purchase within the next five days. Now this is a true fast action bonus that is only available here through this link for the next five days. After that the offer will expire and you won’t be able to access this particular discount again. Now it’s only a fast action bonus if you cannot get it at any other time, so please don’t email me or our team asking about getting the fast action bonus down the road a bit. We do offer payment plans on this fast action bonus offer and outside of that, we are happy to set you up with the webinar base price at any time, regardless of whatever it says in our shop. But again this is a true fast action bonus so it will be gone in five days from the first time that you sign up for this webinar. This is our way of trying to encourage you to take action now. Your child isn’t getting any younger and it also helps our team focus on making more videos, engaging with our Facebook community and our students, and of course tending to our own lives and families.
Every parent or teacher that puts off enrolling in Prodigies for another semester or so, that’s another person that we have to advertise to on social, or email market and re-engage. That all costs us a lot of time and a lot of money, so in the name of being efficient, this fast action bonus is here for you and for us, so please take advantage of that as our way of saying thank you for investing in your child’s music education. Plus we also have a price increase that happens twice a year with new series releases, so Prodigies Lifetime isn’t getting any cheaper.
Unlike most webinars where you only have an hour or two to decide, we’ve actually set this up so that you have five days. This way you can talk it over with your spouse, your co-workers, your purchasing department, and of course Prodigies Lifetime is backed by our 60 day money
back guarantee. So if you fall into the 1% of our Lifetime users who decide that they need to return the materials, we will take care of that for you. All returns and exchanges ship for free
here in the US. We just ask for your help covering International shipping.
This is the offer. It’ll be up for the next 15 minutes. Just click on that button and you’ll be taken to the sales page where you’ll see the discounted price and you can select exactly which version of Prodigies Lifetime that makes sense for you.
Once you pick your option, we’ll take you to the checkout page where you’ll be able to make an account or sign into an existing account on Prodigiesmusic.com, then once you’re enrolled you’ll be ready to start your child’s musical journey, and we recommend checking out our welcome module for a couple of good ways of getting started while you wait for your instruments to arrive.
Keep in mind that Prodigies Lifetime is the digital ownership and we also offer a lifetime bundle. Assuming everything is in stock, we recommend the bundle for the maximum value and bundled savings, if you need to purchase an instrument. If you already have an instrument, or you plan on getting your ChromaNotes desk bells elsewhere or getting color-coded stickers for an instrument you already have, then the digital option is there for you too.
Also our desk bells are backed by a two-year three bell replacement policy, which means that we’ll be able to send you up to three replacement bells within two years of purchase totally free if something happens to your bells. The only caveat is that for orders outside of the US, we ask
that you help us with international shipping costs.
And maybe more importantly, Prodigies Lifetime is backed by a 60 day money-back guarantee. So if you find that your kids are not connecting with the program or if something dramatic changes and you’re no longer going to be working with kids or music, you have 60 days to get a 100% refund, no questions asked.
It’s important to us to have happy, invested, and excited members here at Prodigies. It is not our intention to keep you around if you are unhappy, so no need for any of that.
Plus we have about a 1 or 2 percent return rate which is a fraction of the industry standard. So we feel confident that you and your kids will see the value within days of beginning the program.
Now before we dive in to the FAQ, I’m going to share with you the final free bonus: this little downloadable pack of Prodigies materials. So even if you don’t sign up for Prodigies Lifetime, you will have a couple additional free resources to help you jump-start your child’s music education. To download this free webinar bonus, simply click on the Prodigies Lifetime offer and then scroll all the way to the bottom of the page. Down at the very bottom of the page you can find the webinar bonus download, which includes a handful of free videos, a printable solfege poster, and our free ebook, “Raising A Young Musician.”
You can also find the webinar replay right on that page, so if you want to watch this again, you can do that right there as well.
So diving into the FAQ, here are some commonly asked questions.
1: When should I start this with my child? Well, assuming that your child is above age 2
or 3 the answers that you should probably start as soon as possible. Like we talked about, getting two years of pitch training during the critical period for auditory development is key
to long term musical understanding, and there really isn’t a good reason to delay.
If you have a one or two year old, we definitely recommend checking out Totigies, which is an audio series that comes with Prodigies Lifetime, or you can grab it individually in our shop. And of course, these desk bells and a songbooks are a great place to start with infants and toddlers too. But that said, infants and toddlers shouldn’t have a ton of screen time, and kids this young tend to have too short of an attention span to really fire up the curriculum side of things.
As business owners and work from home parents, our daughter does have a fair amount of screen time maybe more either of us would really like to admit. And while I don’t encourage that for young kids, if you’re like us and you find yourself needing the screen time babysitter every now and then, well then good news: Prodigies is ad-free it’s super wholesome and it’s super educational.
The episodes are also relatively simple compared to the flashy effects of popular TV shows, so we’re not hitting your kids with thousands of images and cheap graphics every minute.
2. Do you have a payment plan for Prodigies Lifetime and the Lifetime bundle? Yes, we actually do have several payment plans for Prodigies Lifetime and the Lifetime bundle as well. You will see them on the sales page. Head on over, click that button, you can check them out at the bottom of that page.
3. How will I fit Prodigies into my daily schedule? All of us parents and teachers are overwhelmed, we’re busy, we’ve got kids, we’ve got jobs – there is a lot going on – but Prodigies makes it easier than ever to get music lessons right in your home at anytime that you want. You can flip on your TV, turn on a Roku, Apple TV, fire up your smartphone, turn on the computer, whatever you want to do. You can fire up your music lessons and your kids will be singing, hand signing, and playing their way through some awesome music lessons in just a couple of minutes, even arguably a couple of seconds. It only takes about 30 seconds to fire up that lesson pull out your bells, and you are ready to go.
4. What kind of support will I get as I move through the program? Well, for starters, you can always shoot us an email. I’m [email protected], or you can hit us up [email protected] Often we’re also hanging out in our web sites live chat, so you can find us there and additionally you can call us at (302) 307-1997, and we will happily answer your call and walk you through any piece of the program that you might be struggling with. On top of that, we have an amazing community inside of our Facebook group. You can drop by the Facebook group to find lots of parents and teachers sharing tips, having discussions, and that’s another great place to take your questions or your ideas to connect with the community.
5. Does Prodigies use moveable Do or fixed Do? Here at Prodigies, anytime you see solfege, it will be in a fixed Do. When we work with moveable Do concepts, we use the scale degrees, the numbers 1 through 8. Inside Prodigies, there are over 300 videos in C-major, so it’s easy to do a lot of work with Prodigies before you ever need to worry about fixed Do vs movable Do. Why so much fixed Do? Fixed Do helps children develop perfect pitch while kids are still in the critical period for auditory development. This allows kids to learn how to speak music as they essentially learn the musical notes the same way we all learn colors, letters, sounds, and numbers.
I know for a lot of you music teachers out there you might be thinking fixed Do, no thank you! No way, I don’t live in Europe, and if you do live in Europe maybe you’re like Oh fixed Do, perfect! But here in the United States, a lot of us use movable Do. But I just want to quickly talk about why we believe so much in fixed Do though especially in early childhood education.
So if you’ve ever tried to teach a preschooler music and you teach them that Do Re Mi is C D E and the colors red, orange, yellow, and then all of a sudden you’re gonna tell them that Do is going to be a different note, that you’re gonna move Do and change the whole scale, you’re going to run into a ton of resistance a ton of confusion and it’s really going to damage all of the ear training that you’ve done up to that point. So what we do here at Prodigies, like Sam was just saying, is we try to focus on C major, so that way there really is no difference between movable Do and fixed Do. As we get into Primary Prodigies, we start talking about more moveable concepts, but at that point, we focus on the scale degrees, the numbers one through eight, and we use that relational system to talk about moveable concepts without confusing kids by throwing in moveable Do.
6. I’m already a music teacher. Do I really need to use Prodigies? Well, the big advantage
especially for all of you experienced music educators – you know what it’s like standing in front of a classroom and trying to get all of your kids to play together in time. You don’t really have any free hands, you don’t have the ability to move around the room, and if you were to stop conducting your ensemble would probably fall apart pretty quickly. With Prodigies, you can put on a performance track and all of a sudden you’ve got a melody part, a chord part, some percussion parts, and the solfege hands signs and even the lyrics. Which means that you can have your kids following along, getting their ensemble practice all together at the same time with the same video, and you can even be floating around the room helping out the kids who might need a little bit of extra help. This will also free you up to track your kids progress, set up the next activity or grab a quick sip out of your water bottle.
7. Can I really afford these desk bells? They seem expensive. We can totally empathize with the price shock of a $62 kids “toy” especially when we think of all the five to $25 toys that our daughter, loves but the thing about these bells is that they’re an instrument, not a toy, and a darn good one. They’re well tuned, they’re durable, they’re high quality, which means they sound great, they last a few years, and they never go out of tune. If you’ve ever looked at quality music classroom instruments like Orff xylophones or marimbas, they can cost five hundred to twenty five hundred for one instrument. Our deskbells are a fraction of that price, and they’re going to sound great, play easily, and last for a long time. You can set up an ensemble of twelve bells for under eight hundred and even bundle that with Lifetime for savings on curriculum and instruments.
We are getting close to the end here and I don’t want to eat up any more of your time. Thank you so much for sticking around for all of this! If you do have some unanswered questions, you can reach out to us at [email protected], or you can check out www.legacy.prodigies.com/help – that’s where you can find all of our documentation and frequently asked questions; or drop by www.legacy.prodigies.com/learn, which is essentially a
series of short video FAQ’s that get into the specifics of different implementations, settings, and strategies for using Prodigies. Also don’t forget to check out the bonus webinar download and
the webinar replay – they are both on the offer page for Prodigies Lifetime right at the bottom.
And finally don’t forget about that fast action bonus. You can save another two hundred and fifty
dollars if you sign up for Prodigies Lifetime within the next five days, that’s within five days from when you first watch this webinar. But that is it for our 10 secrets to teaching kids music.
Even if you don’t end up buying from us, we really hope this helps you to further your child’s music education.