On February 16, 2017, The Globe and Mail published a feature story about The Royal Conservatory that detailed many of the digital initiatives we’re undertaking to increase the reach of music education across the country.
Among these projects is a new app that is being developed for parents of infants and young children. The app is based on Smart Start™, the acclaimed early childhood music education program developed at our Marilyn Thomson Early Childhood Education Centre.
The app is designed to help parents maximize the cognitive benefits of early exposure to music. The app will include 12 songs along with instructions to help parents teach the songs to their young children. It will be launched later in August. Many scientific studies have shown that music helps children develop memory, attention, and perception skills. So, as then-Vice President, Business Development Meghan Moore explained to The Globe and Mail: “the earlier you get kids in, the better.”
Another intention of the app is to close the opportunity gap faced by children in low-income or remote areas who otherwise might not have access to the transformative benefits of music education. In that respect “digital tools are a game-changer,” says Globe reporter Erin Anderssen, “especially for schools – and kids – without access to well-supplied band rooms and expert music teachers.”
The app represents the latest development of The Royal Conservatory’s digital strategy. The strategy involves the creation of digital courses, resources, and communities to meet the needs of music students at every stage of their development, as well as those of their parents and music teachers.
Through our digital strategy we have already launched a new online music history course and a virtual online professional development portal for our community of private music teachers. We have also brought our Koerner Hall concerts into homes around the world through live streaming. We believe in the power of technology as a vehicle for keeping the appetite alive for learning and loving music.