Sunshine I is a beginner piano class for 3- and 4-year-olds. The Music for Young Children program has the goal of creating the happy habit of learning music. Games, stories, keyboard and rhythm ensembles, and singing are used to introduce the many aspects of music to Sunshine students. Parents assist their children in the classes and so are well-prepared to help with home practicing. The class is fun, energetic and interactive: not your old-fashioned piano lessons!
In Sunshine I, students begin by learning keyboard geography, and are able to play a full C major scale by the end of the year. At the beginning of the year, we use a pre-staff notation using pictures of the keyboard “critters”, and by the end of the year, the students are reading from the staff up to five notes: middle C, treble clef D and E, and bass clef A and B. They also learn rhythm notation, dynamics and time signatures. There is a strong emphasis on listening skills for these young students.
Students entering the MYC program at the Sunshine I level will complete the program in five years: one year each in Sunshine I, Sunshine II, Sunbeams II, Sunbeams III, and Moonbeams III. Upon graduation from the MYC program, students are ready to sit the grade one piano examination from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and are exceptionally well-prepared to enter into private lessons and continue with the Royal Conservatory program.
Goals for Sunshine I. Students:
- Create a positive happy habit of learning music
- Develop their listening skills Master the music alphabet from A to G and play the same in the form of the C major scale on the keyboard
- Recognize and reproduce on the keyboard high, middle, and low sounds Recognize patterns and play patterns on the keyboard by ear
- Begin reading notes on the staff: By the end of the year the students will recognize middle C, treble clef D and E, and bass clef A and B
- Use 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 time signatures Use whole note, half note, quarter note and eighth notes in singing, clapping, dictation and music reading
- Become aware of their individual fingers and develop fine motor control in order to use fingers individually
- Learn the level of sound in the daily lives which can be incorporated into their music, using dynamics: ff, f, p, pp, crescendo, decrescendo
- Play in a recital