The Yamaha Method
Fundamental to the Yamaha Method
Teacher + Children + Parents
are taught to a group of students (typically 8 to 10 per class)
and, in the case of the Junior Music Course, one parent attends
with each child. This format motivates children and provides an
opportunity to develop ensemble skills and cooperation within a
supportive community of friends and parents. With their peers,
children become part of a musical team making music together. With
their teacher and parents, the group becomes a musical community.
The group format,
in conjunction with the musical content, brings joy and fun to the
learning process. Students who attend class with their friends
have extra-musical reasons to return every week. The camaraderie
that grows contributes to tight, expressive ensemble performances
at advanced levels and promotes long-term involvement in music.
facilitates accelerated growth. The parent/child partnership is
active, not passive. Each partnership develops into a
mini-ensemble, where co-learning, co-practicing and co-discovering
can be enjoyed in class and at home. The entire family hears music
shared between two members and often is motivated to join in the
fun. In fact, when younger siblings of students become students
themselves, we often find their sense of pitch is more developed
than that of other entering students. They have heard the language
of music at home and already have begun to absorb it.
Music is a
awareness of four- and five-year-olds is more developed than their
manual dexterity and visual skills. Therefore, the Yamaha approach
for this age group focuses on aural training versus emphasizing
piano technique and reading. While early lessons cover the basics
of keyboard technique, technical study is more actively undertaken
in upper- level courses when students are developmentally ready.
Likewise, the introduction of reading and theory takes place
gradually in a timely and contextual manner. When students are
intellectually ready, it is explained in academic terms what they
have sensed and experienced musically at a young age.
Solfege is the
core of the Yamaha Method; students absorb this musical vocabulary
and use it in both beginning and advanced courses. Solfege
becomes each student's first musical voice. In every class,
teachers sing melodic patterns and chords that children imitate.
Solfege sessions at the teacher's piano account for approximately
15 to 20 minutes of a 60minute class. Through singing solfege,
students begin to acquire a sense of pitch, rhythm, meter,
harmony, form, phrase structure, key, articulation, dynamics and
By the end of two years in JMC, students have built a substantial vocabulary of solfege, having sung 50 melodies and numerous chord progressions using the I, IV and V7 chords in the keys of C major, G major, F major, D minor and A minor. Aside from developing musicianship, these solfege experiences prepare children to play in these five keys. In fact, children experience singing in a key for approximately one semester prior to playing in that key.
Yamaha Music Academy Hamburg