Philosophy at Hug Music

icon1Kana and Sasha’s primary focus is to nurture the love for music in each student. Teachers at Hug Music respect each student’s uniqueness and work hard to bring the best out of their students.

We appreciate and enjoy the differences of the students and are trained to modify and tailor instruction based on strengths, preferences, needs, and progress.

Below are the 5 fundamentals that comprise our teachings at Hug Music:

  1. Work with the innate resources and core strengths of each student.
    At Hug Music, it is essential to work with the students’ innate resources and strengths. In order to provide every child with the potential to have a successful learning experience, we carefully assess each child’s strengths, interests, and most importantly, preferred learning style.
  2. Nurture a love of learning.
    We strongly hope that we can help our students groom their love and interest for learning. As a board certified music therapist, Kana believes that once a child or student understands that he or she can learn through a successful learning experience and a trusting relationship with the teacher, that student will grow a love of learning which will carry through to activities outside of music. This will enrich the life of each student and open him or her to greater possibilities.
  3. Work closely with parents
    It is important to work closely with parents, especially with the parent that is more available to work on their child’s music skills. We continuously report to parents on their child’s progress and incorporate specific examples about what is observed during the lessons. We encourage dialogue and discussion from any and all family members. By communicating closely, parents can also learn about the process of the music instructions and how to best practice with their children at home. In most cases, this accelerates the child’s progress.
  4. Provide appropriate instruction for successful learning.
    It is Hug Music’s core belief that every child can learn if both the environment and the instruction are appropriate for the child. It is vital to provide appropriate instruction by basing the intensity on careful assessment of the child’s progress and emotional needs. This includes providing a step-by-step approach and a multi-sensory approach. Therefore, Hug Music places emphasis on tailoring the contents of the lessons with great consideration of each child’s unique learning style and strengths.
  5. Understand and meet the child’s emotional needs.
    Understanding children’s emotional needs and state – what makes them feel secure – is essential to providing the environment and instruction that helps them feel able to explore and learn. This in turn supports their motivation and their ability to learn, which enhances success, joy, and progress in the learning process.

    This principle is especially important for children with special needs because…..

    Children with special needs tend to have repeated experiences where they feel unsuccessful because they face difficulties in meeting the expectations of their parents and/or others. They may feel “not good enough” when children, siblings, and or peers of a similar age can easily do what they cannot do. Also, some children with special needs tend to be perfectionists and can feel a sense of failure when they do not perform perfectly the first time, not realizing that learning is a process. As a result they may have negative and fearful feelings toward learning and trying new things. Music therapist Kana Kamitsubo has observed that children often exhibit disruptive behaviors in sessions in order to avoid challenging tasks. Their anxiety and fear of failure take over in these situations, and by addressing this core feature of the behavior, the behavior can subside.

    Of course, disruptive behaviors may stem from other factors such as physical needs or problems (lack of sleep, side effects of medicine, or hunger), biological causes, or emotional reasons (the child may be sad because of a specific event that occurred before the session, etc.). In any case, it is fundamental to understand the child you are working with, meet emotional needs, and create an environment that fosters a strong sense of security, which then allows the child to feel safe and to explore. This is an indispensable step in order for the process of music instruction to be successful.