Saturday, August 4, 2012


Music News

Hear, Sing, Read, Play and Create

Chilliwack Academy of Music offers the Yamaha method to ages 3-7

Released by Graham Yates, Chilliwack Academy of Music


Kids practice on full sized keyboard in the Lidstone & Company Music Lab at the Cultural Centre.


n agreement signed with Yamaha Canada means that the Chilliwack Academy of Music is the home of the Yamaha Music Education System for the Chilliwack region.


This innovative and exciting program is an enjoyable, cost-effective and beneficial way for more young children to begin a life-long love of music. For families hesitant about private music lessons, the year-long group classes could mean a 20% savings over private lessons while gaining twice the instruction time.


When the time to exit the Yamaha program and enroll in those private lessons, Yamaha students will have the benefit of a well-rounded musical foundation that includes rudimentary theory, sight-reading, ear-training, singing, keyboard skills, improvisation, arranging and composition.

Debbie Cave has joined the Academy's faculty to implement and lead the Yamaha classes, which are offered to beginners aged 3-7, as well as a special class for seniors. "Ms. Debbie" has been teaching the method for 26 years and was even a national Yamaha teacher-trainer. She herself learned to teach it during several trips to Japan, where it was initially developed.

In Asia, the Yamaha method is as universal as the Royal Conservatory is in Canada. Ms. Debbie says she is looking forward to establishing the method in Chilliwack because "it's a very musical community," and it will enhance the community by "opening up another way of learning and sharing music."

The cornerstone of the Yamaha program is its simple teaching process: Hear, Sing, Play, Read, Create.


In group class, students learn through the senses and confirm what they hear by singing it expressively and musically. They then learn to reproduce what they sing onto a digital keyboard.


Regarding the group nature of the program, Cave said in a release last week that "Children love to interact and play with others, and ensemble play is another way that children learn about orchestration, arranging and musical form, all while having fun with their peers."

Finally, students learn to create their own music through improvisation and composition.


"Being able to express their own musical ideas and thinking creatively is truly a gift and an asset that will enhance their lives through adulthood," Cave said.


Indeed, improvisation is a skill that has largely been lost in classical music, which is seen as a disadvantage by popular musicians. The Yamaha method helps re-establish the lost art of classical-style spontaneous expression.

Though the method is often associated with the piano, Ms. Debbie emphasizes that students exiting the program can enter private lessons in any discipline, whether instrumental or vocal. The program will dovetail with the Academy's existing Kindermusik classes for babies and toddlers to form a continuous path of excellent music education and enjoyment throughout early childhood.

The program starts September 19 and runs for a full 36-week year. Classes for beginners are available for 3 & 4-year-olds (Music Wonderland), 4 & 5-year-olds (Junior Music Course), 6 & 7-year olds (Young Musicians' Course), as well as adults and seniors (Keyboard Club).


Yamaha classes will be taught in the newly furnished "Lidstone & Co. Music Lab" at the Cultural Centre on a fleet of 7 high-quality digital keyboards purchased through the generous funding of 89.5 The Hawk.


Registration information is available online at or by phoning 604 792-0790.

About The Chilliwack Academy of Music
The Chilliwack Academy of Music is a charitable organization founded in 1979 and is a member of the BC Association of Community Music Schools, a provincial collection of non-profit organizations that is unique among the provinces.

The Academy's annual student enrollment exceeds 500.

The Academy's teaching faculty has a high percentage of individuals with advanced music degrees and/or decades of teaching experience.

The Academy's community outreach initiative includes free music instruction for Chilliwack Community Services families, downtown elementary school students, free student recitals and professional summer concerts, bursaries for those in need who wish to learn at the Academy, and scholarships for graduating students pursuing music degrees.


Copyright (c) 2012 The Valley Voice