When I was in middle school, I started cutting a few of my neighbors' yards in efforts of saving up for a new bike (I still remember that beautiful GT BMX bike to this day). I would charge $10 per yard, and I thought I did a pretty good job. Sure, I'd miss huge chunks of grass here and there... And sure, I'd scalp entire bed-edges as I went around with the weed-wacker... And sure, I'd often leave without blowing the grass off the sidewalk... Every lawn service business makes the same mistakes, right?
Actually, they don't. I just didn't have any other standard to compare myself to.
Then, when I was in college, I spent a couple summers working for a true, high-quality landscaping company, and I learned in a hurry all the drastic shortcomings of my little neighborhood business. I guess that proves right the cliche, "You don't know what you don't know, until you know it."
Here's the point:
In a world with an endless sea of options - some great and some awful, you really don't know if your student is getting the best music education they can be...until you know they are.
Vibe Music Academy has taken on a very unique, yet very simple and logical, approach to music education. It's a system that organically progresses through three steps in what's called a "spiral curriculum," meaning the steps are revisited cyclically over time, with increasing degrees of mastery each time.
Here are the three steps to our spiral approach to music education...
In order to reach your potential as a musician, you have to love playing music. That's why we have you play your instrument from your first day at Vibe. Both our lesson and ensemble curriculums center around helping students become great performers. And the frequent Recital Soirees at Vibe give our students goals to work towards as well as provide priceless experiences on stage. As students develop through the rest of the three stages, their fundamental proficiency is built on and expanded as they become a technically masterful musician.
Learning "the classics" is important for a growing musician, but at Vibe we also know that it is more important for a new student to connect with the music they play. That's why we focus first on helping students relate music to their lives. We do this by helping them write original compositions, encouraging them to listen to and play music that interests them, and giving them the chance to learn from the pros at our learning events.
All this aids in the process of finding their musical identity, helping them to view themselves not just as students, but as musicians. This connection grows deeper and deeper each time this step is revisited in the spiral curriculum model.
Once our students have a solid technical foundation and have connected with the music they play, we then guide them in increasing their knowledge of music and ability as a musician. It's at this point that students grow by expanding their repertoire, developing their knowledge of music theory and history, and continuing to gain a broad range of musical experiences. Growth is a result of invested time and experienced connections, so each time this step is revisited, students grow closer and closer to reaching their potential as musicians.
The best way to learn music is to enjoy it. And the only way to enjoy music is to experience it.
That simple idea is the basis of how we teach music at Vibe. Our hands-on approach meets students where they are musically, helps them identify with what they play, and provides an experience-rich environment for them to achieve their goals. Sign up for a free lesson today!
- John Gotsis, Owner and Music Instructor at Vibe Music Academy, Hamilton County, Indiana