Are the kids turning your pots and pans into drum sets? If so, they may be exploring their natural inclination to create music. If there is song in your house and you’d like to join in with the kids, the Lucky Beat Music School can tune you in!
Music is for Everyone
The tendency toward creating music is an important part of children’s brain development, assisting the mind in such areas as memory, learning, math, reading, logic, and discipline. Singing and drumming are great stress relievers, and music is especially powerful when created by parents and children together.
Lucky Beat is an expression of founder Maria Sukhareva and her team’s love for both children and music. Being a mother of four, and moving frequently as an international family, Maria found her career options curtailed. At home with her children, practicing together on the guitar, piano, and other instruments, Maria looked for ways to develop her children's growing musical interest and talent, “Lots of kids have an interest in music. One by one, each of my kids wanted music. I wanted to give kids a taste of all instruments, as well as singing, dancing and production – just everything about music so they could find their own path, to isolate what they like, and then focus on it.” To this end, she started Lucky Beat with a team of like-minded teachers, as “a small music school for my children and for other children who needed a place to have music lessons in English”. There are currently six teachers, including Maria, at Lucky Beat teaching a range of vocal and dance classes including:
- group and private classes
- songwriting and recording experience
- band sessions
- instrumental lessons (drums, keys, guitars)
- a variety of activities and workshops for teenagers
- birthday parties
Lucky Beat After-School Activity at the British School
Maria describes Lucky Beat's method of teaching as a fusion of a love for music and for children. “The method is new because kids can choose to create for themselves by finding their talents and keeping their possibilities open. It is important for me to see that they’re happy.” Maria’s children attend The British School, so Lucky Beat offers its program to students there on Wednesday afternoons. According to Lucky Beat's method, the students are able to try all aspects of music so they can choose which parts they would like to pursue. They are divided into two clubs, Pop and Rock, and Sound Engineering. They learn songwriting, recording, instruments, and performing. “First they try each part of the production. We ask them what they like and why they want to learn. We let them do what they like to follow their own natural abilities,” she said. Once the groups are formed and the children have decided which roles they would like to play within the group, they create a performance for their parents.
"The method is new because children can choose to create for themselves by finding their talents and keeping their possibilities open. It is important for me to see that they’re happy.” – Maria Sukhareva
Lucky Beat Classes
Last September Lucky Beat held an open day at the Toomler Comedy Club to introduce its approach more widely and make it available beyond The British School by providing Saturday music classes. They advertised through word of mouth through The British School and in its neighborhood, and were delighted to receive a large group of younger children. “We had 30 kids in two weeks,” Maria said. Since then, they have found themselves a permanent location and now teach classes throughout the week. Classes are divided into groups by age. The youngest group, Mummy and Me, for 4 to 6 year olds, runs for an hour and 15 minutes. There are two hour groups for kids up to age fifteen, and private classes are available for drums and piano. Part of Lucky Beat's teaching method involves the continued growth of the group. “Forming a cohesive group when they start young together means they can keep growing together as a unit,” she said. Her goal is to support the children’s talents, strengths, and instruments as they learn to go on stage and perform as a band. “Most of my teachers are multi-instrumental and can show all ways to play a song. In the band all levels of experience are combined. This is a new approach, and the kids have to work together to support each other,” Maria says. Part singing and dancing, part music theory, note reading, and instrumental experience, in each class there is also time for music-based games and a ten minute private lesson with the drum teacher. The lessons lead up to a final performance.
Experience Lucky Beat Yourself
Students aged 8 to 10 years old at the British School can participate in the Lucky Beat program on Wednesday afternoons. Many further classes for kids and teenagers run throughout the week on an ongoing basis at Lucky Beat's permanent location at De Boelelaan 1110, 1081 HZ Amsterdam.
This is an exciting time for Lucky Beat, as it settles into its new location and expands its program to bring music to Amsterdam’s English speaking children! Please check out their website and Facebook page to learn more!
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Mary Petiet is a reporter, writer, and storyteller. Her work is inspired by her native Cape Cod and her experiences in the Netherlands. Mary is the author of Minerva's Owls (Homebound Publications), finalist in the American Book Fest's Best Book Awards 2017, and she chronicles international life in Holland in her blog #DutchScoop.
Photo Credits: Anita Perminova Photography