Start Your Music Program DIY
Have you always wanted to start your music program?
It’s certainly possible to do it yourself and it can be a rewarding career change. Yes, you can set up and start your music program from your home (if you have a room with space for movement games) or a local community meeting room or hall.
You need a bit of daring and you need to know that you get along easily with people, especially very young children. You should be a competent singer who inspires confidence in others without overshadowing them. It’s important to have a strong musical background – but that doesn’t have to be a high-level formal qualification. There are plenty of wonderful musicians who didn’t have the opportunity to study in a course!
Most importantly, you should have some recent training and experience in early childhood development. If you don’t, find an online course in early childhood development and volunteer to work at your local playgroup. Child protection laws are getting stronger so you need to apply for some kind of authorisation to work with children and families – ask for advice at your local government office.
If you are going to rent a room and charge for classes, we strongly recommend that you get business advice and write a business plan so that you have an idea if it’s financially suitable for your circumstances.
Inspired — read on!
If you are still reading then you are up to the best part! If you are going to inspire others, you need to feel the same way. Are you inspired? If you feel a strong “Yes” then read on to find out how to get started.
You need a curriculum. If you are strong in both music education and child development you can write your own. If you are inexperienced or want to get started straight away, you can let us help you start your own music program. Follow our lead for as long as you like and make your own personal changes as your practice grows and your confidence increases.
Simply order your music lesson plans in our online shop. You can purchase them one at a time if you are on a tight budget. Or you can buy a half-semester program if you like to plan ahead. Or you can buy all four programs for an age level if you like discounts. Write and ask us if you don’t see a bulk discount in the shop.
Musical Child is not a franchise
Having looked into franchises we decided not to go down that path. Instead we settled on a more open business model where we are simply a publishing house that sells licensed downloadable music and music activities activities so that you can devise your own weekly lesson plans depending on your clients’ needs. This was on advice we received from the peak advocacy organisation, Early Childhood Australia. It’s a model that provides flexibility to the practitioner, whether s/he is in private practice, running a group as a volunteer or working in paid employment at a school, nursery or child care centre.
We supply the lesson plans that we have tried and tested in our own classes. If you have a qualification in education or childhood services and enough experience to feel confident with singing and playing simple percussion instruments, then you won’t want to be locked into a complicated business deal. From what we’ve seen in the marketplace, you are constantly being urged to buy things you don’t need and can’t afford. Our lesson plans are intended to support those of you who need a little structure while you develop yourself as a confident music educator. We also offer larger program packages for you to download and these include all the curriculum resources you need to start your music program.
You cannot call your classes Musical Child because it is our business name and has an associated trademark. However, we like you to say in your promotional material that you use Musical Child publications. The advantage to you is that your parents/carers can also buy the activities directly from our website to use at home and that way the children’s learning is reinforced without you having to outlay your money buying and selling parent resources.
Here are some FAQs
1. Q. What are the time and financial commitments involved with participating in our program?
A. You decide the time you want to devote to teaching. You can start with a couple of hours a week and work up to several classes a day depending on what your community of parents will attend. Financial commitments are: a) buying the downloadable lesson plans or activities from our website as you pick and choose; b) a couple of licences to your country’s copyright collection societies such as APRA /AMCOS or ASCAP; and c) equipment and instruments.
2. Q. What support do I receive in return for my investment? What materials am I provided? What materials need I provide on my own (either to start or later on)?
A. You are not licensed in an-ongoing relationship with Musical Child – you just buy our resources where ordinary copyright laws apply, so you do not receive formal support. (Unless you request and pay for personalised consultancy when you start your music program.) You can follow the blog and carry on a collegial conversation with us via the comments. You simply purchase downloadable activities which are described in detail in the product descriptions on our website. There are also sound bites for every song and backing track. All is explained there. You need to buy your own musical instruments, picture books and props for the children and parents to use. We provide all of this advice in our books inside our program packages. Click to explore the benefits and find out what you get for your money.
3. Q. What support networks are available in my area?
A. You can find other music teachers through Kodaly and Orff associations in your district or your national music teachers association. If you can’t find one, join the International Society for Music Education ISME. The other option is to find an early childhood support network with a special interest in arts and/or music.
4. Q. How does your program differ from others? In other words, why should I choose Musical Child resources instead of buying a licensed program?
A. 1) You get to keep your independence. Joining our community of music educators means you retain your autonomy – you are not locked in to licensee rules and regulations. It’s been our experience that if you are musical and you have training in early childhood you will quickly learn and grow the more you sing and play with the children. When you start your music program, we want you to find your own authentic way of providing rich musical experiences for your parents and children.
2.) Our resources are excellent – they simply work. Here’s a testimonial from someone who knows:
“This is the very best music program for preschoolers in the country!”
Dr Jula Szuster M.A.C.E.—Visiting research Fellow
Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide
3.) What’s more, we provide you with as much or as little as you need without strings attached.
4.) Oh, and our advice on the blog is free. We want you to be successful. It’s all part of our dream to make every child’s world more musical for the good of everyone and one way to do that is for you to start your music program in your local area. Have a read through other posts for more information and inspiration.
5. ) And finally, our customers are happy with our programs because they can modify them to suit the needs of the children. Here’s a comment from Valeska Bezuidenhout from Australia:
“I am so happy with your program. I am doing lesson 1 and 2 for the month of Feb then lesson 3 and 4 in March. The children have really taken to the music and are enjoying it. All that I have changed is I am not doing the circle dances as my children are pretty small and difficult to get them to go in a circle without parents’ help. I am also doing horsie song before goodbye as I find it difficult to draw them back to the music after running and being horses, that works well for me. I find it better if I do all the sitting down activities in the beginning and running around near the end. I keep their attention longer.”
Start you music program now!
If you have more specific questions about how to start your own preschool program and change your life, send an email. Or simply get going straight away by buying a half-semester music program. I suggest you look into it today while your inspiration is running high!