Teaching


LittleStars Music Classes

What is LittleStars Music?

LittleStars Music is a music program for children from 1 up to 6 years and is taught by a qualified music teacher who is trained in the Colourstrings approach.  It is a child-centredcolourful and fun way to introduce your child to music from a very young age, in an enjoyable and stimulating but structured way. Children will love singing, clapping, marching, playing games and using percussion instruments.  Children are learning about core musical concepts such as rhythm, pitch, dynamics and melody.  It also boosts confidence, aids motor skills and stimulates creativity and imaginationLittleStars 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 for 2016 will be starting again on the 20th/22nd of September 2016, on Tuesdays or Thursdays, and will be upstairs in Castletroy Shopping Centre, Limerick. Go up the stairs on the left, pass Marbles Hair Salon and the door is straight ahead of you.  It says Limerick Dance Academy and Embody on the door.  Follow the blue corridor and you will arrive at the studios.  

Times & classes (to be confirmed and dependent on numbers):

Mornings

10.45-11.15  1-2 years

11.30-12.10  2-3 years

Afternoons

3.10-3.50     3-4 years

4-4.40         4-6 years                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Saturday classes will take place in November for a 4 week course and then will run again for a term in January, February and March 2017.  Details to be announced October 2016.

Class places are limited so please contact Sarah to make a booking: 085-7170729 or sarahokennedy3@gmail.com. Family rates available.  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 30 minutes for 1-2 years and 40 minutes for older children. Parents will be very involved 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 LittleStars 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, cuddle time and winding down with teddy at the end.  Children of 3 years + will be practicing more rhythm, part singing, singing solo using 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, start singing in canon, recognise more instruments by listening only; develop 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 Singing Rascals books and accompanying CD's we use during the year, one for each term, and containing the core songs we use to teach all musical skills.  Each year we re use these books.  Some parents like to buy the books and/or CD's for listening to at home, but as the teacher uses them all the time during classes it is not essential.  

How does LittleStars Music benefit my child?

LittleStars Music is different in that children will not just be enjoying but also learning all about music through a fun and playful environment. Classes involve using most of the senses and ultimately lead to an intrinsic understanding and LOVE of music! LittleStars 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 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 and voice coach based in Annacotty. She trained in Colourstrings Kindergarten Foundation Level in London, has participated at various Kodály courses in Dublin and is the first in Limerick to teach using the ColourStrings approach. 

*"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 10 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.  She also does a number of harp and voice workshops each year in the Harp Centre in Castleconnell, in conjunction with the renowned harper Dr. Janet Harbison.