Sharla Dance

Sharla DancePlease describe your training as a pianist and musician:

I graduated with a Bachelor of Music with an emphasis in Music Education from Brigham Young University, Provo. I was a member of the BYU Young Ambassadors performing troupe and had the opportunity to tour with them all over the world. I play the flute and clarinet. I started piano at the age of 5 and continued private study through college. I have taught my own 5 children to sing, dance and play the piano. I have been responsible for teaching the children’s music at my church for 20 years.

Please list your post high school education including method conferences or workshops:

I am Orff certified, Level 1; Kodaly certified, Level 1 and 2; I have taken Improvisation workshops, Music and the Brain Workshops, and Musikgarten training.

Please describe your training as a teacher:

My degree is in Music Education from BYU Provo. I have continued post college courses in Music and the Brain, and Multiple Intelligences (Howard Gardner).

Please describe your studio environment:

My goal is to help others become musically literate: singing, dancing, playing, reading, composing, improvisation, and listening to music. I do this in group music literacy classes for all ages of children (from Baby Music classes to Music Maker Advanced Classes.) We dance, sing, play song games, listen to classics and have high concentration learning moments with musical elements extracted from the songs. (Kodaly emphasis) Beginning at age 4 ½ to 5 ½ we take the songs we know very well to the piano and teach our fingers how to play those songs in 5 different keys. We learn how to improvise on the pentatonic scale in different rhythms, first on the xylophone, then on the keyboard. (Orff emphasis) At ages 6 and 7, we learn to accompany the songs we know with tonic, dominant, and sub-dominant chords in each key and we learn to compose our own AABA songs with chords. Beginning at 7 ½ to

8 ½, we continue to learn other composition techniques, improvisation method, more transpositions to new keys and more sight reading. I teach classes of 6 to 8 children at a time using song games, rhythm instruments, windwands, maori sticks, puppets and dancing. When we use the pianos for the younger classes, I have two children at a piano. At age 8, we move to “centers” and rotations so that each child is at their own piano for part of the lesson.

To me, the attitude of loving music because it is so fun and beautiful is one of the most important life skills I can teach. Adding true literacy to that love of music will give the child a powerful gift for life.

Sharla Dance
7739 234th Place NE
Redmond, WA 98053

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