Beginning Sept. 6, Converse College’s Alia Lawson Pre-College Program of Music and Dance will offer a family-centered guitar instruction course for children ages five to 12 that is growing rapidly in popularity throughout the U.S.
The Childbloom Guitar Program, currently taught in 17 other states, will be offered for the first time in the Carolinas. Weekly half-hour classes begin Sept. 6 with registration being held Aug. 22-Sept. 2. Enrollment for the sixteen-week program is $289.
Since its founding in 1980 at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, Childbloom has become wildly popular with students and parents alike. “Despite the guitar’s long history of popularity, it has been traditionally difficult to find effective guitar instruction for young people. The Childbloom Guitar Program was designed specifically to fill that need, and it does so very well,” said Michael Miller, who is known throughout the Upstate as a member of the popular Miller-Rowe Consort and is the instructor for Converse’s Childbloom Program. “I am particularly impressed by the enthusiasm for music that Childbloom generates among children. In my 30 years of teaching music, I have not encountered another guitar program that reaches them so successfully.”
The Childbloom method is comprised of several facets that translate into student success:
• Parents are encouraged to attend lessons with their child, and are counseled as to how to help with practice at home;
• Class sessions are limited to four students, which creates a low-pressure environment in which children more easily learn ensemble skills and become comfortable playing solo in a group setting;
• The limited rote/literacy method helps students learn to play music quickly and successfully. Instructors aim to help children achieve a learning victory in the very first lesson, and children enjoy being able to play music immediately;
• The program’s smaller sized guitars are more suitable for the arms and hands of children and allow them to develop skills without hand injuries;
• Recitals and contests are strictly voluntary. However, students are eligible to participate in performance and national creative contests and challenges that are open only to Childbloom participants.
Miller studied with Childbloom’s founder in Austin, Texas in preparation to bring the program to Converse College. “My training included instruction in child development, physiology of the hand, instruction in the use of the Childbloom curriculum, and many hours of in-class experiences,” said Miller.
For more information about the Childbloom Program, call Michael Miller at (864) 585-5774 or The Alia Lawson Pre-College Program at (864) 596-9022.