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14237 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA  91423

By Linda Pliagas

One of the best aspects of homeschooling is being able to offer children freedom and flexibility in their curriculum.  And with so many traditional schools cutting creative arts from their day, it’s comforting as a parent to know that companies like Piano Play Music Systems offer programs to spark a love of music to last a lifetime.

What makes Piano Play Music Systems unique is the fact that their programs are tailored for different ages and abilities. 

The earlier a parent introduces music into a child’s life, the sooner they can inspire their creative abilities, so Piano Play Music Systems created the Lowie Hija & Friends Program, an interactive DVD, to educate toddlers about piano technique through interactive play.

The main characters, a cute pony-tailed mouse and a cuddly lion with a gorgeous red mane, lure children into the world of piano and introduces them to academic piano technique, note reading, written theory, compositional analysis, ear training, rhythmic understanding, and repertoire.  All the while, singing and storytelling keep a child joyfully engaged.

Lowey Hija & Friends was created by Sharon Shaheed, B.M., M.M. and Phoebe Simpson, M.B.A., R.M.T. Ms. Shaheed’s educational background includes a bachelor’s degree in music education and a minor in voice from Xavier University and a master’s degree in performance and minor in piano pedagogy. 

Ms. Simpson, who also holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix, majored in music at Howard University and also obtained minor degrees in psychology, piano and bassoon.

Simpson says the duo created Lowey Hija & Friends so that parents who do not live near their local music store in Sherman Oaks, California, can introduce their children to the specific music methodology, which they have developed.

The interactive DVD has been so successful that plans are already in the works to create more software for older age groups, which is a natural expansion to the current programs they already have available for their older walk-up students.

Their brick-and-mortar music store, located on bustling Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, has seen a surge in popularity; however, Piano Play Music School gives plenty of individual attention because they maintain a small-class environment.  Their class size is limited to a maximum of eight.

After their specialized introductory toddler program, a child can graduate up to the Music Tales Program, created for kindergarteners.  The skill level increases to five-note reading in treble and bass clef; ear training, keyboard playing, theory basics.

Piano Play Music Systems has developed educational music programs for toddlers, children, and young adults.  The music store also offers private programs to tutor children aged seven and even adults.  Their 8-week music workshops are designed to give children general information and hands-on experience in the interest of their choice. 

When designing the programs, Shaheed and Simpson, specifically created them with a multi-disciplinary approach system, which they named the Layered Learning Environment (LLE).

All instructors at Piano Play Music Systems undergo an extensive three to six month training program that covers their special course curriculum and procedures.  The mission of Piano Play Music Systems is to become a globally recognized teaching method through its books, audio, products, software and other educational materials.

“We hope to inspire our students by elevating their social consciousness and dedication to the commitment of building stronger communities,” says Simpson.

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