Chris Marti has been teaching music since she completed her guitar lessons at 12 years old. She is level 8 guitar, grade 10 piano, and grade 4 flute. She went on to study child development and psychology in university, completing her BA at McMaster and her MA at UBC. She was also a supply teacher for the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board for 10 years. She ran a full time music studio out of her home for 12 years, but as the business grew she needed to find a new location.
It has now been five years since Do Re Mi for Kids opened their doors at 4141 Sladeview Crescent in Mississauga. “I love being a music teacher because you make a lifetime commitment to each child and their family,” Chris explains. “You watch them through all stages of development and you see them excel musically.”
Music education is the main goal at Do Re Mi, as opposed to just instruction on an instrument. “We want the kids to understand what they’re doing to be independent learners as quick as possible.” This means they learn about all of the musical theories so that their knowledge is transferable between instruments.
Do Re Mi offers a broad base for music education. Each instructor has a Music Education Major and is a certified teachers. They are each masters of their own instrument, which ranges form vocals, to guitar, piano, and most band instruments including brass, woodwinds and drums.
Chris believes music should be a family activity and as a result, most of her programs are family based. ”If the parent is there then they understand what the kids need to learn and practice at home,” Chris explains.
Music Pups is an early childhood music education program for parents and their 8 month – 3 year old children. Children work on keeping a steady beat, singing on pitch, recognizing and repeating patterns while building a vocabulary in wide variety of sounds. At Music Pups Plus, children decode rhythms and melodies to prepare for piano lessons. Do Re Mi offers a 4 year long intro to piano, and at 8 years children can start on the guitar.
Chris encourages children to learn in a group setting. ”It’s more fun and gives ensemble skills,” she says. “If you want to be in a rock band, have to be able to play with someone else!” The theory lessons are also done in a group setting. Classes run once a week, 1 hour per group lesson and a half hour for individuals.
Do Re Mi also reaches out to local daycares and preschools with a half-hour weekly music program. These programs build on music skills that meet with Ontario Education guidelines.
Every second Saturday in June Do Re Mi has their recital. “It’s a huge production,” Chris exclaims. The students sing as choir, every child preforms a solo, and each class does a presentation together. They may even do some folk dancing. The children at the recital are also rewarded with a guest performance from a talented musician.
After the recital each year, Chris expresses how proud of she is of all of these kids. “I work them really hard, I have really high expectations. And they always meet those expectations.”
Chris explains how skills acquired as a musician are transferable to other aspects of life. ”Through music we work on their gross & fine motor skills and co-ordination. We also change their brain development and how they filter patterns. As kids get older, they’ve seen how the left and right brain connect more which keeps more cognitively alert.”
Do Re Mi for Kids is currently taking registrations for their summer theory classes. The deadline for the Royal Conservatory of Music is June 3rd, and classes begin on June 24th, 2014. They will offer intermediate rudiments at both 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm.
Sign up for a music lesson at Do Re Mi by calling Chris at 905 608 9636.