There are many babies music classes out there to choose from. What makes the Suzuki Babies classes so special?
SECE classes are much more than just music classes
The SECE class structure, in addition to teaching rhythmic and melodic awareness, helps develop important life skills such as:
- Building memory capacity from repetition of repertoire
- Building vocabulary with song lyrics
- Developing counting skills through song activities
- Experiencing social interactions with classmates at other developmental levels
- Cultivating self-soothing techniques
- Growing comfortable with independence
SECE classes teach listening skills
SECE classes include moments of only instrumental sounds. This focuses the children’s attention on musical cues. These cues are used to transition from one activity to another, and the children learn to anticipate them. Also, SECE teachers are trained to keep verbal directions to a minimum so that families are constantly immersed in vocal or instrumental music.
SECE classes require parental participation
SECE classes are designed for one parent and one child to participate in the musical activities together. Parental participation is required. Young children love to mimic what their parents do. Parents who model singing and dancing will encourage children to join in song and dance. With the 1:1 parent-child ratio, the child can freely focused on experiencing the class knowing that they have the full support and attention of their participating parent.
Parents also spend time at the end of each class reflecting on the activities each week by keeping a journal. Teacher(s) also may add their own observations to these journals. These reflections highlight and track each child’s growth musically and socially so that parents and teachers can better support that journey.
SECE classes keep children engaged with one to two adults throughout the hour
SECE classes are always taught with two partner teachers. The curriculum is designed so that one activity flows into the next, with smooth transitions from one partner teacher to the next, without breaks. While one teacher engages a specific family, the other teacher continues to guide the rest of the classroom. At any point in the class each child has the full attention of her/his parent, or the full attention of a parent and a teacher. SECE classes are limited to 12 families and the classroom management responsibility is shared between two instructors. Classes will not grow unwieldy or experience situations where any child is without supervision and support.
SECE classes are based on the Suzuki Method's fundamental principles
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki analyzed and developed the mother-tongue approach to learning, and applied the same characteristics to the study of music and other subjects. This approach includes frequent listening, repetition, praise and performance. SECE class was developed based on Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy and with his support.
SECE teachers are trained to apply and encourage parents to adopt this tried and true method. Properly applied, these principals sprout generations of successful instrumental students. The fundamental principles are:
- Every child can
- Ability develops early
- Children learn from one another
- Encouragement is essential
- Parental participation is critical
- Environment fosters growth
- Success breeds success
SECE classes are backed by research
Researchers at McMaster University collaborated with SECE classes and discovered that very early musical training benefits children even before they can walk or talk. With this training, babies showed better early communication skills such as pointing at objects that are out of reach and waving goodbye. Socially, these babies smiled more, were easier to soothe, and showed less distress when things were unfamiliar or didn’t go their way.
If you are interested in learning more about this research, continue reading here.
SECE classes are recognized by professional Suzuki organizations
The International Suzuki Association and Suzuki Association of Americas are active communities of music educators across the world. These teachers dedicate their lives to educating children and families using Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s philosophies. These organizations regularly review Suzuki curriculum and institutes to ensure that the teachers and materials are held to the highest standard of excellence. SECE classes are recognized and supported by both the ISA and SAA.