RCM Smart Start

The Smart Start Program, designed by the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) combines music, movement, and play to enhance early childhood development. It offers play-based classes filled with diverse songs and activities in multiple languages, all backed by over 60 years of neuroscience research.

The curriculum targets four key cognitive skills:

  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Perception
  • Cognitive Flexibility

Experience the blend of culture and language in music education, backed by research for proven results. This program provides measurable developmental milestones, ensuring a rich, fun, and educational experience for every child. For more scientific insights, visit Smart Start Program.

VAM is currently preparing for the 2024-2025 academic year enrollment for the RCM Smart Start Program. 

Stay tuned for registration details coming soon.

Click Here ­čöť Get Notified About Enrollment Details


Sign up for our special RCM webinar on May 11th at 2:00 PM to delve into the Smart Start program, featuring a Q&A with neuroscience expert Dr. Sean Hutchins. CLICK HERE to secure your spot!

RCM Smart Start

RCM Smart Start: 0-12 months

Instructor: Chloe Hurst
Recommended for: students aged 0-12 months
Class Description: *class schedules to be announced Children are naturally curious about music from a very early age, and the positive atmosphere of this class helps foster lifelong connections with music, builds strong parent-child emotional bonds, and provides a weekly forum for social interaction. The goal of this course is to expose you and your child to the basic concepts of music through sensory awareness and self-creation, with particular attention paid to beat, rhythm, and listening skills. Infants are just beginning to explore the world around them, and that includes their musical world. Even before they are born, children can hear music all around them, and our classes start from the very beginning. In this class, you and your child will start to learn about the fundamentals of music through movement, singing, and play. The course is designed to foster basic cognitive skills through a musical framework, and to help parents and caregivers learn ways to interact with the child through music. A typical class begins with a greeting song, followed by gentle bouncing games, finger plays, movement, and many songs. The class concludes with lullabies or other songs for all to enjoy. A parent or guardian accompanies their child for each class for the full session.

RCM Smart Start: 12-24 months

Instructor: Chloe Hurst
Recommended for: for students aged 12-24 months
Class Description: *class schedules to be announced The active, music-based activities in this class help support your child's cognitive, social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development, while facilitating parent-child bonding. Coordination, body control, and spatial awareness skills are accrued through games built around walking, dancing, and age-appropriate percussion instruments such as shakers, drums, and bells. As infants grow into toddlers, their musical abilities and needs develop as well. This class works with toddler's ever-expanding cognitive skills through rich and engaging musical activities with the child and caregiver. Activities focus on topics such as musical memory, creative artistic play, and active imitation. Parents and caregivers both participate, providing further exemplars to interact with your child musically. The activities in this class have been specifically designed to develop listening skills and improve memory through repetition, as well as to enhance cognitive skills. The toddler's social skills are also developed through experiencing music in a group setting. A single designated care provider accompanies their child for all classes for this course.

RCM Smart Start: 2 years old

Instructor: Chloe Hurst
Recommended for: students who are 2 years old
Class Description: *class schedules to be announced Set your child on the right path by engaging them in music and movement based play. This class focuses on developing gross motor function in toddlers by encouraging them to move their bodies in time to sounds and music. At age 2, children are beginning to develop more complex cognitive skills that will aid them later in life. These classes focus on cognitive skills relevant to music, such as sustaining attention, remembering songs, and recognizing perceptual cues. Children in these classes will learn how to apply these skills towards musical exploration, and gain greater musical independence through basic musical skills. At this age, parents or caregivers assist their child's musical creativity and gain further skills for musical interaction with their child. With an emphasis on the fundamentals of listening and singing, playing simple instruments like maracas and drums, and taking turns, this course helps develop music competence and fosters confidence, belonging, and security among its weekly attendees. A single designated care provider accompanies their child for all classes for this course.

RCM Smart Start: 3 years old

Instructor: Chloe Hurst
Recommended for: for students 3 years old
Class Description: *class schedules to be announced In this class, children learn foundational musical skills such as tempo, meter, pitch, and volume together through educational, movement-based games and multi arts activities. By age 3, children are beginning to develop their singing voices, and as such, singing a wide range of songs is a vital component of the Smart Start curriculum. By age 3, children's basic cognitive skills are in place. Smart Start is designed to work with these cognitive skills through activities such as recognizing musical patterns, focusing on the most important aspects of music, and understanding connections across artistic representations. Children work in musical and artistic collaborations designed to foster basic musical knowledge and spur on individual and group creativity. Socialization and personal growth are strengthened via group engagement. Many children are ready for an independent music class without their care provider at age three. Generally, we recommend a parent or caregiver attend for the first few classes, until the child is ready to attend class independently. This decision is individual and flexible.