Anaka : Our classes are organized around developmental stages . They ’ re group classes , so our class for our youngest students would be for children from zero to 18 months and their parents or caregivers . Typically , we ’ ll have a group of about 10 families and the instructor . The classes involve a lot of obviously music activity like instrument play , singing and listening activities , as well as movement . The classes are organized by age , so zero to 18 months is the youngest group , then we have classes for 18 months to three years , then preschool age , then early elementary , so five to seven . We ’ re always working with the same developmental goals , but as the children get older , we sort of make those goals a little bit more age-appropriate .
CM : What are some of the results you see with the development of the children in your program ?
Anaka : I have a really interesting perspective on the Kindermusik program because I came to it as a parent first . I started my first Kindermusik class with my oldest when he was five months old in 2012 , so that ’ s how I came to the Conservatory . One thing we really notice is obviously musicality — our students are really well-prepared for future music studies and future dance studies . As well as school readiness , so the ability to not only have those academic skills like literacy skills and math and numeric skills , but also just the ability to listen to instructions , to pay attention to a teacher , to have the inhibitory control to be able to participate well in classroom routines or sport routines . The other piece is social as well . Not only do the families develop really good bonds with each other , the children develop really good bonds with each other as well , so we see a lot of lifelong friendships and confidence come out of the classes .
CM : Around recruitment season , what kind of people are you looking to recruit and what would you say about your program to recommend it to potential future students ?
Marquardt : We are striving to make our school accessible for anybody and everybody in our community . We do have bursaries that we offer for people that have financial need , we have an outreach program now as well , that is in combination with Saint George ’ s YouthNet , which is a non-profit organization representing underprivileged children , and I have to mention that the Maritime Conservatory is a non-profit organization itself . The school is meant to be open for the whole community , so we are trying to create programs that serve everybody . I think that is the best way to put this . We all strongly believe in the research that has come out about music education and what it does for the development of the brain . All our faculty has seen the amazing results that come from that exposure , especially in Kindermusik . Even one instrumental lesson open pathways inside the brain that otherwise won ’ t be created and open up . So , the wider we throw our net and the more people we can engage , and the more people can have access to our program , the better for all humanity . That is why we are in the arts .
CM : How have you each watched the Maritime Conservatory grow in your time there ?
Anaka : I have been at the Conservatory as a parent since 2012 and as an educator since 2016 . I have definitely seen tremendous growth since Sibylle has started , and just sort of growth throughout in terms of a really deliberate effort to , as Sibylle said , cast our net really wide and make sure we create a space that ’ s really accessible to the entire community . I think we ’ ve seen growth in terms of different programs we offer and different ensembles too .
Marquardt : One of the things we have to mention is that no school has gone through COVID unscathed . We are kind of pressing the restart button right now , so it ’ s really hard to compare the last two years and see an increase in revenue or something because this was a curveball that was thrown at every single organization and institution , especially for music or dance , because this is where you couldn ’ t be one-on-one and couldn ’ t be outside of your bubble , and we pivoted online and everything , but you still lose students . We ’ re on the East Coast in Nova Scotia , so we have that advantage of being in a good spot , so it ’ s looking good at this point ; it ’ s looking like we ’ re swinging back to where we were before everything went south .
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