Q & A with Marlene Markard of Markard Music

MMM piano head shotsiteThis fall, the Museum is thrilled to host Musikgarten: Dance With Me, a 12-week class designed to instill a lifelong love of music and provide a foundation for success in the classroom and beyond. Led by Marlene Markard, a professional musician and certified music teacher, Musikgarten promises to offer families the opportunity to experience one the the world’s leading childhood education programs in a setting that’s both comfortable and engaging. We recently spoke with Marlene about her background, the benefits of learning music at an early age, and the role parents play in the success of the program.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background?

I received my BA in music and English literature from Barnard. I also studied at the Music Conservatory at Julliard, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes College of Music. I was at crossroads coming out of college and decided to go to law school. In 2014 when my son was born—after a successful corporate career as an attorney—I gave myself permission to do what I love. I became a full time musician and licensed Musikgarten teacher. I teach baby and toddler music, teach piano, and perform throughout the East End.

Why is being introduced to music at a young age so important?

What’s special about the Musikgarten program is that it’s so much more than just an music appreciation class. It teaches so many things. The skills that they learnactive listening, pattern recognition, impulse control, balance, coordination, fine and gross motor skills—are important facets that go way beyond music. They’re the foundation for success in life.

What are Musikgarten classes like?

It’s a very animated class and they’re varied every week. Each class is packed with activities that are designed for each and every aspect of a child’s development. And while the classes are structured and activities purposeful, I take cues from the children. We want them to find their own voices…to speak out…to sing out. They’re there to have fun!

What role do parents play in the class?

Parents are essential to the success of the class. We’re modeling for the children. And we want to model not just the music, but the fun and joy of playing together!