The Mini Maestros Way
Commitment to Child Safety: all children who come to Mini Maestros have a right to feel and be safe. Nurturing the children who attend our classes is our first priority which means that the children’s welfare is paramount and any form of child abuse is not tolerated. We aim to create a child safe and friendly environment where children feel safe and have fun as they learn.
Children’s rights to safety and participation: Mini Maestros students are encouraged to express their views and make active choices about activities in class. Children attend our classes with their parents or, in the case of an early learning centre, in the presence of other carers. If the parents leave the classroom (and this would only occur in the 4-5 years age group) the teacher will ask and ensure that at least one parent remains in the classroom with the teacher.
Valuing diversity: Mini Maestros values diversity and actively demonstrates this through our repertoire. Mini Maestros welcomes children from all cultural backgrounds to our classes and indeed our repertoire is multi-cultural. Mini Maestros welcomes all children with a disability to our classes. Full participation in our classes depends on the extent to which it is safe for children with a disability and others to participate having regard to their disability.
Recruiting and supporting staff: Mini Maestros has a careful and thorough selection and training process for all staff. The selection process involves a number of interviews and reference checks. All staff must hold a Working with Children Check or equivalent and are required to comply with the Mini Maestros Child Safety Code of Conduct. Our staff are supported throughout their careers by ongoing training, reviews and open communication.
Reporting a child safety concern or complaint: any child safety concern or complaint may be reported to any member of staff or directly to the Music Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 9850 5566. Any complaint is thorough investigated and discussed with the complainant (should they wish to do so). Any member of staff must refer any child safety concern or complaint they receive to the Music Director.
Risk Management: the Mini Maestros Occupational Health and Safety Procedure provides for Annual Audits of every Mini Maestros venue, Venue Risk Management Plans and Daily Risk Management Checks. We also have in place an Emergency Management Plan and a Crisis Management Plan.
Confidence to speak in front of a child’s peers and teacher, confidence to participate in a classroom environment, confidence to share time and resources with others and confidence to perform in front of others are critical skills in today’s competitive environment.
Emotional wellbeing is also critical in building resilience, appreciation of the environment in which we live and an ability to reach out to others.
Enhancement and encouragement of a child’s normal development, setting the spark which ignites a child’s need for educational challenge and cementing the building blocks of learning and participation skills are equally vital.
Mini Maestros uses a program of music and joyful discovery to encourage confident happy learners.
A survey of Mini Maestros customers in 2015 found that 98% of Mini Maestros students experience a positive social outcome (such as confidence or group participation), a positive emotional outcome (such as enjoyment of learning or developing a love of music) and/or a positive developmental outcome (such as processing instructions or music skills).
These are skills which set our children up for life. We teach children the skills they need to swim through life, out of the water.
Learning music promotes whole child development as it helps children develop speech and vocabulary, listening skills, motor skills, social skills and cognitive skills.
Music education does not just make children more musical; it unleashes their creative powers.
Mini Maestros is a structured program, but it is this structure that creates a safe platform from which learning can occur through creative exploration into discovery. Mini Maestros aims to give children experiences which will:
- aid their physical development through activities which encourage development of gross and fine motor skills and coordination and relaxation techniques. Each lesson contains many opportunities for children to practise various gross motor skills such as jumping or hopping. Fine motor skills are practised through the use of finger plays with younger children and the playing of percussion instruments with the older children. Children are able to practise the skills introduced at their own level but they have the group support, which encourages them to strive for achievement in all skill areas.
- enhance their emotional development through activities which require emotional expression, role playing, dramatization sharing taking turns and allow children to feel emotional satisfaction through fun, play, wellbeing and achievement in musical activities.
- encourage their intellectual development through activities which will help children develop an understanding of music being a combination of these elements: beat, pitch, dynamics, harmony, melody, rhythm, tempo, tone colour, and form.
- allow them to experience group participation and thereby develop self-control, discipline and the skills of sharing and taking turns. Group participation also provides opportunities where children can experience feelings of success which assists the developing a child’s self-confidence.
- provide opportunities for the creative participation of each child by encouraging children to make musical decisions (e.g. which instrument would be the best to accompany this lullaby?) and to contribute and share ideas in simple and fun improvisation activities.
- relate to their present cultural heritage and future experiences.
Mini Maestros embraces the Australian Early Years Learning Framework guidelines as they reaffirm the foundations of our program.
Mini Maestros provides educational music classes that nurture and extend children’s learning and development. Our sequential, age-specific program employs a strengths-based approach centred around concepts such as ‘learning through play’, ‘continuity of learning’ and ‘high expectations’. These concepts are important principles and practices that underpin the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (Australian EYLF).
Mini Maestros sees children’s learning as integrated and interconnected. As such, our lessons are planned with a wide range of learning outcomes in mind. As well as learning musical skills, our program aims to develop the whole child and, therefore, actively encourages and fosters:
- Language and literacy skills
- Auditory and visual processing
- Social skills
- Gross and fine motor skills
- Inclusion and teamwork
- Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Spatial awareness
- Cultural awareness
Mini Maestros teachers follow detailed lesson plans with specific aims and objectives. Our sequential program means that each lesson builds on the previous one and provides worthwhile, challenging experiences for children that work within their zone of proximal development.
Mini Maestros is a flexible, stimulating and developmentally appropriate program for babies and pre-schoolers. Children learn musical concepts and develop a life-long appreciation for music in a playful environment. Mini Maestros is committed to developing the whole child.