Learn about The Musician's Path
, our instrumental instruction program.
The Musicians' Path
WHY HAVE A MUSICIAN'S PATH?
At Cascade School of Music, we’ve designed a course of music instruction that gives your child the means to become a well-rounded musician. A clearly defined path gives kids—and parents—the motivation to stay the course and discover the innumerable benefits of having music in one’s life.
The path to becoming a musician is long and presents many challenges. There are no shortcuts. To make progress, a student must develop patience, perseverance, the ability to focus, and the willingness to defer gratification. Obviously, these are qualities that will serve kids well in life. We tell parents that if, together, we can teach their children to practice, their kids will be able to do anything. It is important for parents to understand that we are not aiming for Carnegie Hall. We are building life-long, well-rounded musicians who make music because it is a joyous, uplifting, satisfying pursuit.
5 STEPS TO PLAYING WELL
The Musicians’ Path is an integrated progression of classes, lessons, and performances designed to build well-rounded, lifelong musicians. The Path has five steps—beginning in early childhood and culminating in young adulthood.
MUSICIAN'S PATH STEP 1: Early Childhood
We welcome children to the Musicians’ Path with Kindermusik, the internationally-acclaimed program for early childhood music. Led by our skilled educators, Kindermusik's research-based programs will enhance your child's development and instill a lifelong love of music. We offer the full range of Kindermusik classes so you can engage when the time is right for your family.
MUSICIAN'S PATH STEP 2: Musical Skill Development
Children in first grade are invited to join the Path with one (or more!) of these four classes: Strum and Sing, Ready to Play, Rhythm FUNdamentals or Little Singers. All of these classes emphasize musical skill development that will make formal instrumental study more successful. Our teachers use a wide array of instruments— both pitched and non-pitched—and lots of movement to create a fun and challenging ensemble class.
MUSICIAN'S PATH STEP 3: Formal Music Study
At this step students choose their instrument (piano, guitar, violin, or percussion) as they begin formal music study. Our goal this year is to develop the all-important practice habit while having fun and making friends in a small group class. Musical field trips and performance opportunities round out an exciting year.
MUSICIAN'S PATH STEP 4: Private Music Instruction
After a year or two of group classes, students begin one-on-one instruction to facilitate rapid skill development and foster a deeper connection with their instructor and music in general. Special ensemble classes, Saturday Seminars and performance opportunities, help maintain social connections developed in earlier years.
MUSICIAN'S PATH STEP 5: Masters Program
The final step is our Masters Program, where students have access to our most advanced teachers and are eligible to participate in select resident ensembles. These students are hooked on music!
The Path addresses “playing well.” A good musician must learn how to:
Play well with others. There is a big difference between being technically proficient and being a musician. Musicians can compose, can communicate in the musical language, and can appreciate great music. Making music with friends is what it’s all about, so we also emphasize the social aspect of music-making.
Play well for others. Performance is part of the package. For some, it is initially a big challenge. For others, it’s fun from the outset. Being able to present yourself with confidence is an important life skill.
Play well, period. Of course, we do teach kids to play great!
“We are building life-long, well-rounded musicians who make music because it is a joyous, uplifting, satisfying pursuit.”