Teaching


Little Stars Music School

Sarah started Little Stars School of Music in 2014 and has grown the venture from strength to strength, currently running early years music classes for over 70 children from 2 to 6 years in Castletroy and University of Limerick. Sarah is a qualified music teacher, and specializes in early years and primary level teaching. She runs primary level music workshops and choirs, and has completed many early years Kodaly and Colourstrings music courses in Ireland, England and Hungary.

What is Little Stars Music?

They are weekly group classes for the 2-3, 3-4 and 4-6 year age groups. Classes run from September to June each year and are tailor-made to the specific age groups.  It is a child-centredcolourful and fun way to introduce your child to music from a very young age, in an enjoyable, stimulating and structured way. Children will love singing, clapping, marching, playing games and using percussion instruments, while learning about core musical concepts such as rhythm, pitch, dynamics and melody. Participating in group music classes at a young age boosts confidence, aids speech development and motor skills and stimulates creativity and imagination.  Classes are quite structured and are a great way for a child to socialise with their peers. LittleStars Music is an ideal pre-cursor to learning an instrument and Sarah is the first in Limerick to teach using the Colourstrings approach. In Finland, Colourstrings has been a core part of the state music education for more than thirty years and is now an internationally respected way of teaching music to children. It is also fast becoming the UK's most popular early years music program. 

How long do the classes run for and do I need to book in advance? 

The classes run as a course and are usually 10 or 12 weeks in length and yes, advance booking is essential as classes tend to fill up quickly.  To maximise enjoyment and learning, ​class size is restricted to 10 children, and therefore it is not a drop-in class.

When are the classes?

Classes are on Tuesdays or Thursdays upstairs in Castletroy Shopping Centre, Limerick, from September to June. Saturday classes take place in Drumroe Village Hall, University of Limerick and usually run from September to April only. Contact Sarah for more details.

Tuesday/Thursday classes (dependent on numbers):

11.30-12.10  2-3 years

3-3.40pm      3-4 years

3.50-4.30      4-6 years                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Saturday classes (dependent on numbers):

11.30-12.10   2-3 years

12.20-1pm     3-4 years

1.10-1.50pm  4-6 years   

All up-to-date information is on the facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/limericklittlestars

How long are the classes and how do parents participate?

LittleStars Music classes are 40 minutes in length. Parents stay with younger children and enjoy the class almost as much as their little ones!  When children get to 4 years they can participate on their own.

What happens at Little Stars Music classes?

Children will be learning all about key concepts of music through singing, clapping and marching to the beat, rhymes, playing games, movement and dance and using percussion instruments. Younger children will have lots of bouncing, finger play, instrument games, movement (lots!), cuddle time and winding down with teddy at the end.  Children of 3 years + will be taking more of a solo role in class, practicing more rhythm, part & solo singing, reading musical symbols. participating in more challenging songs/games, recognising differences in tempo, etc.  Children of 4 years and up will start to read simple notation, rhythm and solfa symbols, use hand signs, understand and produce more complicated rhythms, follow songs/phrases of music either singing out loud or in their heads, recognise more instruments; develop more coordination and anticipate phrases, changes in tempo/dynamics in movement and dance, the list goes on!

Is there a book the children follow?

There are 3 sets of Colourstrings books and accompanying CD's we use during the year, one for each term, and they contain the core songs we use to teach all musical skills.  They are reused each year as the children progress to learning more challenging concepts.

How does Little Stars Music benefit my child?

Little Stars Music is different in that children will not just be enjoying but also learning all about music. Classes involve using most of the senses and ultimately lead to an intrinsic understanding and LOVE of music! Little Stars Music also boosts confidence, aids motor skills and stimulates creativity and imagination. It is an ideal pre-cursor to learning an instrument. 

Just like learning an instrument, the longer children attend classes the more they will learn.   If children continue classes from a young age up to 5 or 6 years they will for example:

  1. Have a strong knowledge and love of music
  2. Be able to sing confidently and with good intonation
  3. Be able to sing in parts and in canon, sing/play an ostinato
  4. Be able to look at a simple rhythm they see written down and clap, or tap on a percussion instrument
  5. Sing a large repertoire of songs, with words, in solfa (do re mi), using hand signs, saying rhythm words (Ta, Ti Ti)
  6. Be able to read simple notation and compose their own little pieces of music

Who is your teacher?

Sarah O'Kennedy, B.A., H.dip.Ed., ATCL, is a singer, voice coach and early years music specialist based in Annacotty. She trained in Colourstrings Kindergarten Foundation Level in London, has participated at various Kodály courses in Dublin and Hungary and is the first in Limerick to teach using the Colourstrings approach. 

"Such a great class with Sarah would highly recommend it!"

"Our little girl loves these classes and she can't wait to see Sarah again after summer break  

"I attended the Little Stars Music class with my daughter who is 3 years old. The classes were fabulous, as an Occupational Therapist who works with children, I just fell in love with them. Sarah brings so much fun to her music and dance classes and they are packed with cognitive, social, emotional and physical developmental skills for kids."

"My son enjoyed this class and Sarah very much. Sarah is great with children, she is very positive and upbeat, her music classes are very interactive, the kids get to use the musical instruments, to sing and dance. Cannot wait for the new term!"

 

*"The contribution that Colourstrings makes to early years' education has been invaluable… The part that Colourstrings will play in the future is of vital importance"
Nicolas Chisholm, former Headmaster, The Yehudi Menuhin School

"Colourstrings is an exceptional method in the training of young musicians and I have yet to experience a more successful approach to developing musicianship, aural awareness and solid musical principles in the very young"
Derek Aviss, Trinity College of Music


Voice Training

Sarah has been teaching voice for 13 years both privately and in the Irish Harp Centre in Castleconnell. She teaches singing to all ages, and students come for many reasons, whether it is an adult wishing to re-discover their voice, someone wishing to learn new songs and have some fun, or a student sitting their junior or leaving cert practicals or doing Associated Board, London College, Trinity College or Royal Irish Academy exams.