Created by Frances Balodis over 37 years ago, Music for Young Children has helped families develop a passion and fundamental understanding of music through a proven approach that prepares graduates for Royal Conservatory examinations. Through family involvement, engaging curriculum, and highly trained instructors like Christine Gardhouse of Summit Music Centre in Collingwood, Ontario, MYC consistently produces well-rounded students who pursue excellence in their studies.
At this year’s Conservatory Canada Convocation and Awards Ceremony, Maija Ferris graduate of MYC received a Medal of Excellence for achieving the highest mark in Ontario for Grade 2 Classical piano. Accompanied by her mother Vanessa Ferris who is also an MYC graduate and sister Sonja Ferris a current Sunbeam 3 student, Maija accepted her award and performed in a student showcase concert with other award-winning students.
We had a chance to speak with MYC teacher Christine Gardhouse to ask her about how she helps her students achieve excellence and the impact of the Music for Young Children Program:
What does being an MYC teacher mean to you?
Being an MYC teacher has defined my entire piano teaching career. As the youngest MYC teacher at the time of my training, MYC has helped me grow and develop as I have helped my students do the same. Being an MYC teacher is getting to do what I love while building relationships with kids and families by sharing the exploration of music with them.
Why does the MYC work so well for your students?
MYC is a solid foundational program that logically introduces all the key music components that students will need as they progress. MYC is the most effective of all early music programs because of the parent involvement, fun presentation of concepts, and the step by step approach that leads the child to develop the core skills that they can then build on in the future.
What’s the most important thing about being an MYC teacher?
The most important thing about being an MYC teacher is that I get to be a part of the family’s lives on a weekly basis and there is a great community that develops between families in the classes. Knowing that I am impacting students’ lives in so much more than just playing the piano is what inspires me to be the best teacher that I can be.
How do you help your students achieve excellence?
I help my students achieve excellence by constantly giving them specific, achievable goals as we go through the year. From something as simple as the “High Five Club” (five days of practice that week) to memorizing their piece by the next lesson, or preparing for the recitals. I believe every child is capable of great things if they are given the tools they will need and then challenged to do it. It is also my goal to give them a love of music and have them enjoy the classes and songs that we do each week.
What two words would you use to describe MYC?