Welcome to Armidale - Mini Minstrels

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Armidale Mini Minstrels






An Early Childhood Music program for children aged 6 months to 8 years


The Program

The Mini Minstrels Early Childhood Music Program offers classes for children aged from 6 months to 8 years. The classes provide opportunities to develop music skills that include: singing, chanting, moving, musical memory and inner hearing, playing tuned and untuned percussion instruments and improvisation. Children will also develop familiarity with concepts such as: pitch, beat, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, timbre, musical structure, metre, melody and accent. These skills and concepts are acquired through games, songs, movement, dance, speech and rhyme. Learning takes place in an environment that is play-like and fun.


While it is ideal for children to move through the different stages of the program, it is still beneficial for children to join at one of the later stages if they haven't had the opportunity to join earlier. The classes have a maximum of 10 children. Every child has the opportunity to have a turn unless they choose otherwise. Children are encouraged to look on until they feel ready to join in.


Classes for children from 6 months to 4 years:

Children attend these classes with their parent or carer. These classes are designed as a "music on the lap" program with both the child and their accompanying adult participating in the music activities. The program is based on the philosophy that every parent is their child's most important teacher and that the home is the most important learning environment. Many of the activities can be used at home during family time.


Babies (6 - 14 months)

The classes for babies focus on laying the foundations for musical development by providing an introduction to a wide range of musical experiences including singing, moving, and listening. The individual activities are carefully planned to stimulate the senses through a variety of songs and rhymes which encourage the development of aural perception and memory, vocal interaction, and general musical awareness. The lessons give you a smorgasbord of fun activities that you can enjoy at home with your baby. Music packs, containing a variety of sound makers for you to take home and enjoy with your child, are provided.


Toddlers (12 - 24 months)

At this stage of development, children are rapidly developing communication and motor skills. Activities are designed to complement this stage of development and include: developing communication skills through sound imitation and vocal play; development of fine and gross motor skills through body percussion, sound exploration and movement; development of a sense of balance through musical lap games. Music packs, containing a variety of sound makers for you to take home and enjoy with your child, are provided.


2 Years (18 months - 36 months)

The 2 year old's range of movement is expanding as they become steadier on their feet. They love to move to music and are able to understand stories and follow instructions. This group is ready to widen their range of musical experience and enjoy playful games that encourage co-operation with others. This is achieved through the support of the accompanying adult. The 2 yr old is given many opportunities to experience beat in

different ways. Appropriate song repertoire is explored through variety of repetition to assist the 2 yr old to find his / her singing voice. Sound exploration gradually moves into using simple percussion and there is a focus on careful listening which is crucial to music development.


3 Years (Kindergarten 2007)

At this stage of development, children are beginning to learn about playing together in a group, including taking turns; therefore music activities for this age are aimed at these developmental skills. The music experiences cater for active, whole body movement, crossing the mid-line, co-ordination and control. A repertoire of chants, rhymes, songs, games, listening and body movement is built up as a basis for further learning in the next stages.


4 Years (Kindergarten 2006)

Parents are still actively involved supporting children in this class. At this stage of development, children able to co-operate more fully in group activities and take turns. As their confidence grows, they begin to function independently. Music skills acquired in the 3 Year class are built upon as children are encouraged

to sing individually, create new movements, play percussion in a more organised way and participate in more complex music activities such as singing games that require sequence and better developed memory.


Classes for children 5 years to 8 years:

As children mature and approach new challenges with greater independence and confidence, the nature of parental guidance changes. One-on-one time is still essential but children need to be allowed to grow and learn as individuals. These classes encourage independence and are designed to empower children to take control of their own learning.


5 / 6 Years (Kindergarten / Year 1, 2005)

Five year olds are gaining even greater independence as they enter formal schooling. Parents have the opportunity to settle their child into this class. After 5 weeks children attend on their own as their attention span, endurance and confidence allows them to learn comfortably without the support of a parent. Children continue to develop their pre-music literacy skills as they participate in part work in percussion, play rhythms independently, and are introduced to rhythmic notation. They also develop partner work with singing and moving. The vocal repertoire is more complex and children are developing confidence in leading movement and improvising activities through percussion, song and movement.


Babies (6 -15 months) Friday 10:15 - 10:45 am  
Toddlers (10 - 24 months)  Friday 11:00 -11:45 am Saturday 9:00 - 9:30 am
2 Years (18 months - 36 months) Friday 9:00 -1000 am Saturday 9:45 -10:30 am

3 Years (Kindergarten 2007)

Wednesday 9:30 -10:15 am Saturday 10:45 -11:30 am

4 Years (Kindergarten 2006)

Wednesday 10:30 -11:15 am Saturday 11:45 -12:30 pm
5/6 Years Monday 4:00 - 5:00 pm Tuesday 4:00 - 5:00 pm
(Kindergarten or Year 1, 2005)    
Family Class Wednesday 11:30 - 12:30 pm  
Minisingers (K-2, 2005) Wednesday 4:00-4:45 pm  
Introducing Music Thursday 3:45 - 4:45 pm  


SCHEDULE of FEES 2005    


30-minute class

$80.00 for first term of enrolment (incl GST)

$60.00 for subsequent terms (incl GST)


30-minute class

$80.00 for first term of enrolment (incl GST)

$60.00 for subsequent terms (incl GST)

2 Years

45-minute class

$72.00 per term (incl GST)

3 Years

45-minute class

$72.00 per term (incl GST)

4 Years

45-minute class

$72.00 per term (incl GST)

5/6 Years

60-minute class

$84.00 per term (incl GST)

Family Class 60-minute class $84.00 per term (incl GST)

50% discount for subsequent siblings

Introducing Music 60-minute class $84.00 for term program (incl GST)
Minisingers        45 minutes class $55.00 per term (incl GST)

NB: A 5% fee reduction applies when more than one student from a family is enrolled.



Term 1 commences Monday 31st January

Term 2 commences Tuesday 26th April

Term 3 commences Monday 18th July

Term 4 commences Monday 10th October


The parent's role

A parent's role is critical in the music development of their children. A positive attitude and support is far more important than musical ability in determining a child's lifelong love of music. The Mini Minstrels program is based on the philosophy that every parent is their child's most important teacher and that the home is the most important learning environment.

Here are some guidelines to ensure the success of the program for your child:

• Participate fully with your child during class time. Sing along and join in the movement activities.

• Relax with your child and don't be anxious if s/he is not ready to participate. Children also learn by observing others.

• Children develop at different rates. Try not to compare one child's accomplishments to another.

• Children can sometimes be unresponsive in class and participate more freely at home. If you learn the activities you can share them with your child during more receptive times at home.

• During listening time support your child and help him / her to focus and concentrate on the task. Resist the temptation to chat to your neighbour!

• Support your child when instruments are being used. Ensure s/he takes care and uses instruments in an appropriate way.

• Take responsibility for your child's behaviour and ensure that s/he does not interfere with other children's learning. This might mean removing your child from the room for a short while if they become restless or disruptive.

• If your child is obviously unwell please do not bring them to the class.

• Invite a roaming child back to the group, but do not force a child to participate.

• Parents are encouraged to provide the teacher with feedback about what a child is doing at home especially if they are unresponsive in class.

• Please leave toys, drink and food outside the music room.

• enjoy this special snaring time with your child, Many of the activities can be used at home to share with the rest of your family.


Mini Minstrels 2005 Terms & Conditions


Enrolment and payment procedures

Payment can be made by EFTPOS, cheque/money order or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Bankcard). Please make cheques/money orders payable to NECOM Ltd and write the name of the student on the back. Teachers are not authorised to negotiate fee variations or accept payment.


Payment options

By Mail:

Send payment slip with payment to: New England Conservatorium of Music PO Box 1313



In Person:

During office hours:

New England Conservatorium of Music

CB Newling Building (Old Teachers College) Cnr Faulkner & Mossman Sts.

ARMIDALE NSW 2350 Ph: 6772 7203


Payment dates

Term payments are due by the end of the 3rd week of each term.


Fee reductions for multiple enrolments

A 5% fee reduction applies to tuition fees when more than one student from a family is enrolled.


Missed lessons, refunds and withdrawal from the program

Enrolment for the Mini Minstrels Program constitutes an agreement to attend a particular class at a Credit will be given for lessons missed by students only in exceptional circumstances (eg serious illness). In such cases, a request for credit must be made in writing to the Director of NECOM.


Student withdrawal

Unless otherwise advised, it is assumed that your child will attend class for the entire year. Should you wish to withdraw your child at the end of a given term, 4 weeks advanced notification must be made in writing to the Director of NECOM. In the event that your child is withdrawn during the term, the remainder of the terms' fees will be forfeited. Where such a withdrawal is due to extenuating circumstances (eg serious illness), a request for a partial refund should be made in writing to the Director. In such instances, a penalty of two weeks' tuition fees will apply.


Please print off, complete and post or deliver to addresses above:


Mini Minstrels Enrolment Form 2005

Child's Details  

Child's Surname:

Given Name(s)
Date of Birth:     /           / Age:     (years)     (months)
School (if enrolled) Year:
Account Details  
Parent / Guardian:  
State:  P/Code:
Phone (BH):

Phone (AH)

Mobile: Email:
Please find enclosed $  
Or please charge my credit card:  
Visa     □Mastercard     □American Express Amount: $
Card holder's name: Card number:
Expiry date:       / Signature
Class details  
Class: Day:                                 Time:


I have read and agree to abide by the Early Childhood Music Program Regulations of the New England Conservatorium of Music.

Signed (Parent / Guardian):


Photo / Film Agreement:  
I do / do not give permission for my child/ren to be photographed or filmed during music classes. I understand that the film / photographic material may be used for publicity purposes.
Signed (Parent / Guardian):   


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