Unique Gifts for the Holidays Part IV of IV
The final school bells of the year are about to sound, which means children, oh so many children will once again be spending their daylight hours somewhere outside of school. Though the task of filling the hours of 7 to 3 can be daunting, we have some unique gift ideas in mind.
So far in our four-part series we have offered unique gift ideas ranging from assisting individuals in paying their bills, buying or preparing a meal for friends or neighbors and volunteer work. A lot of those options, however, may not apply as well to the school-age demographic.
For them we offer this last unique gift idea: the gift of music.
Music can be expensive. Much like purchasing cleats for soccer or pads and helmets for football, taking up music requires more than the desire to practice daily and learn new techniques regularly, it requires a little bit of purchasing power. Fortunately, for those who do not have the additional income to spend on an instrument they are not sure will be more than a passing obsession, there are schools like the DaVinci Center for Musical Arts.
DaVinci Center for Musical Arts has locations in Broomfield and Lakewood and they offer their Piano Playtime in several preschools, Montessori schools and Gymboree Play and Music.
They offer unique programs for students of different levels and ages and use techniques that go beyond standard music schools.
“The thing that makes our school unique, is that we really focus on what we call a whole musician,” said DaVinci Center for Musical Arts Founder and Owner Maria Hart. “Our students are able to improvise, compose and play by ear to create their own music, which is really a key to any language and music is a language.”
To further that language development, DaVinci Center for Musical Arts employs teachers to teach the students instead of musicians.
“My background is education and psychology, so I understand very clearly how music is learned and the different developmental stages of children through adulthood,” Hart said. “The program and the curriculum is designed specifically to meet the developmental levels of all students. It’s not just a musician coming in to teach a child how to play an instrument. The teachers that we have are educators and so they are very clear on the ‘How-Tos’ of education.”
Though children may not be excited about the idea of receiving the gift of music, they will likely thank those parents who gift it down the road as their cognitive abilities enhance during the process of learning to play an instrument.
Studies in neuroscience have shown that learning to play the piano during one’s youth can improve one’s cognitive and intellectual abilities while also helping to improve hand-eye coordination, reduce anxiety and, particularly for young children, build vocabulary.
DaVinci Center for Musical Arts builds on that.
“One of our biggest programs is Piano Playtime, which is ages 3 to 5-years-old for piano. We start them pretty young,” Hart said. “When you start piano before the age of 7, especially in the preschool years, you actually grow a larger brain size. There are just tons of well-researched benefits to that.”
Of course there is time to play for the kids as well.
“That’s where the educational piece of it comes in,” Hart said. “Piano uses more brain functions than any other activity we can do. It needs to be play, because everything for them is play. So what we do is task analysis where we analyze the task and put it in very small, small steps and do it in a playful way, so that it becomes play. Their learning becomes play.”
The DaVinci Center for Musical Arts offers classes in multiple locations throughout Colorado and for a wide range of instruments. For further pricing, schedule and location information visit davinciarts.org.
Consider the unique gift of enrolling your child today.