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Little Musicians for your Littlest Ones

Given that numerous studies have proven that involvement in music can aid concentration, language development and the ability to recall information, it might seem strange that Dubai has not yet seen a music instrumental teaching programme aimed at children under five years old. The formative years from birth until this age provide some of the most intense cognitive and emotional developments in a human life, and music may be used to give kids a little push.

This is a question that professional musician and qualified music teacher Kieran Ballard-Tremeer asked when she set up Little Musicians earlier this year. Her teaching programme is aimed specifically at babies, toddlers and children up to five, and incorporates classical and world music, along with elements of jazz, to give her students a broad sense of music from an early age.

I’ve been based in Dubai for six years now, and I’d noticed that there was a demand for an early learning programme taught by a professional,” said Ballard-Tremeer, Bachelor of Music and Psychology, LRSM, UTLM.

Ballard-Tremeer is introducing several novel ways in which to get young kids involved in music. She hand-sources specifically-designed, child-friendly instruments for the kids to play, while also placing an emphasis on music from around the world, to match Dubai’s multicultural atmosphere.

The programme runs in conjunction with the school term, with around 10-11 weekly classes happening in a term,” Ballard-Tremeer said. “I’ve noticed that there’s a broad range of nationalities that turn up, and, though I’d been advised to separate some nationalities, I think it’s better to bring different types of music to every nationality, which is more appropriate for somewhere like Dubai.”

I have about 1,200 instruments at the moment, which are mostly percussion. They range in size according to the age of the child that should be using them, and are all very colourful, shaped like bugs or teddy bears, just to make them more child-friendly. I also have some woodwind instruments, such as several types of recorders geared specifically for young children.”

With these instruments, Ballard-Tremeer focuses on helping kids with musical development, so they can learn about different pitches, timbres and rhythms, as well as how to distinguish between different kinds of sounds. According to the accomplished musician – as well as to countless researchers and academics – the benefits of learning musical instruments to kids include improving the attention span, refining gross and fine motor skills and building a greater capacity to listen. And, perhaps most importantly, it is fun.   Watch one of Kieran’s classes on Gulf News!

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