Music and Play began as Appassionato Music in 2008 when owner Colleen Lindenbach began teaching the Music for Young Children (MYC)® curriculum and fell in love with the benefits of group music education. As word of mouth spread about Appassionato Music, enrollment increased exponentially over the next 18 months. In year two, Appassionato began to offer the renowned Music Pups® program from the leading US music educator – The Music Class. These parented classes, for children aged six months through three years, also quickly filled and soon the Company had waiting lists for all of its programming. In late 2010, the company also secured the exclusive rights to offer the Music Pups® curriculum in Calgary and began to offer classes outside of their west Calgary location.
At the urging of parents, in early 2011, the Company took another step in its evolution, We incorporated and rebranded as Music and Play with a goal of continuing to offer leading music programs as well as launching new private lesson and vocal and theatre arts programming. This more robust arts education curriculum allowed students to continue their arts education through a variety of disciplines and on a variety of instruments including piano, guitar, strings, woodwinds, percussion and voice.
With this rebranding also came a move to a larger space – our 2,200 sf home in the Aspen Landing Shopping Centre. With almost 600 students coming through our doors in early 2013, there was still one piece needed to complete the overall performing arts approach that we had in mind for our students. So, in early May 2013, we added the final piece of the puzzle – a dance program for all ages. This completed Music and Play’s transition to a full, integrated performing arts school. In order to accommodate this programming expansion, we also added another 1,500 sf of space to our current studio and in the summer of 2015 undertook a minor renovation to address an increase in demand for private lessons from our continually growing student base.
At Music and Play, we have always sought out the best curricula for our classes and continue to look for new ways to challenge our young artists. Over the years, for music it has meant introducing older group piano classes as well as a new unparented Music Adventures program – for families who could not attend parented classes. In the fall of 2017, we transitioned to the newly revised Keyboard Adventures: The Safari™ program for our age 4-1/2 to 12 group music students.
For musical theatre and theatre, it’s always been about the individual growth of our students – not only one big performance – BUT WE HAVE THOSE TOO. All this means finding the right mix of teachers who can lead and inspire our young performers.
This can all sound huge and some might think it would then be impersonal and really commercial…however that couldn’t be further from the truth. At Music and Play it’s not simply about getting numbers through the door – however that does help to pay the bills when you run a school in the West Calgary area. As the owners of the Company, we come from extensive backgrounds in education and the performing arts and have high standards when it comes to blending the two. We know the joys, and struggles, of pursuing your dreams and this is why we make sure that our students come first. This means providing a nurturing, high quality learning environment where our students can achieve. Our stringent strandards actually pose one of the greatest challenges for the company as not every teacher is right to teach at Music and Play as much as we might need more bodies to address our growing numbers. At Music and Play we want our students to go beyond the notes, the words and the steps and into the world of creativity and the arts!
It can be pretty exhausting running a studio like this, but it’s all worth it when we see the growth and joy our students get from being a part of something they love! We would like to thank everyone we have worked with for all their support over these past nine years – we look forward to the next nine as we continue to grow together with our students, their families and our community and as we continue to change the way performing arts education is delivered.