February 2021: Let’s Play Music – Presented by Steph Fairbanks

Steph Fairbanks is a Boulder music teacher who specializes in teaching music to very young learners. Steph began playing piano at 5, then added violin in the 5th grade as part of her elementary school strings program. Even before earning her degree in Music Education at the University of Oklahoma in 2003, she was teaching children to play string instruments in both public school and extracurricular orchestras. Since then, she have also taught piano and children’s choirs here in Boulder as well as in Santa Fe, NM and Melbourne, Australia. But her very favorite job has been teaching babies, toddlers, and preschoolers how to experience music in a way that will not only help facilitate curiosity and learning, but also nurture a lifelong appreciation and love for it. She is passionate about the role music should play in every child’s life at home, at school, and in the concert hall. Steph has four children of her own, including two who have autism. Steph is very active in the local autism community and loves to welcome children or all needs into her class who might usually struggle in typical settings.

At her east Boulder studio, Making Musicians in Boulder Valley, Steph teaches two classes: Sound Beginnings, a general music education class for children 0-4 years old, and Let’s Play Music, a beginning piano class for children starting at ages 4-6 years old. During her presentation, Steph will speak more about the Let’s Play Music program and its research-based approach to introducing children to music and the piano. Across its 3-year span, Let’s Play Music focuses on developing the complete musician through teaching ear training, solfege, beginning notation, basic chord theory, self-accompaniment, beginning piano playing, rhythm work, classical form and themes, and even composition. All of this is accomplished through movement, games, and play! Because of the emphasis on developing the complete musician, when a child graduates from Let’s Play Music, they are well prepared to continue on in private instruction in piano…or violin, trombone, percussion, voice, or any other musical discipline. Steph will be joined by Symone Lund. Symone Lund received her BA in Music from Brigham Young University. She has been a Let’s Play Music teacher for 15 years and has been a trainer for Let’s Play Music for 3 years. She is also the Connections Manager and will be the one to help you connect with Let’s Play Music! Symone lives in Gilbert, AZ with her husband Adam and their 4 children. Symone will talk more about the three-year scope and sequence of the Let’s Play Music program and what the transition into private lessons looks like. As our graduates need private teachers when they finish with our program, Steph’s hope is to help the teachers in BAMTA to understand a little more of what her graduates will already know how to do and what they have learned as they come into teachers’ private studios so that the transition will be as seamless as possible.