Melissa Ayotte

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The Methodmayotte

Kindermusik for ages Newborn to 4 Years

Kindermusik International is the world’s leading publisher of music and movement curricula for parents and their children, ages newborn to 6 years old.  More than 5,000 licensed educators use the Kindermusik curricula in 66 countries, reaching 1 million families.

Kindermusik has more than 25 years of experience creating curricula based on new and proven research in child development. The award-winning books, CDs, games, and instruments nurture skills in the whole child: cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and language.

In a Kindermusik class, parents learn more about their child’s unique developmental process, and the shared learning experience creates a unique bond as the child associates learning with fun, musical play.

Kindermusik Village, for children newborn to 1.5 years of age, incorporates the most current research on early childhood development and provides families a special place for learning and connecting with other parents and babies through music and movement. High quality, professionally created class and At Home materials include Kindermusik Foundations of Learning, insights based on current research that educate parents about their babies’ unique development. Through a unique blend of multi-level activities that includes creative movement, vocal play, object and instrument exploration, American Sign Language and a colorful literature component, baby’s growth and development are stimulated and all of his senses engaged.

Kindermusik Our Time, for children 1.5 years to 3 years of age. Along with an accompanying parent or caregiver, children enjoy singing, moving, listening and interacting socially, and playing instruments. Our Time encourages the child to uncover an engaging musical world while building confidence, self-control and communications skills. Singing, imitating sounds, rhyming and object identification foster language skills. Creative movement to various musical “moods” develops a sense of balance, timing and spatial awareness. Listening and turn-taking encourage blossoming social skills.  Our Time makes a wonderful “preschool – prep class.”

ABC Music & Me, for ages 4 to 6, provides a pressure-free, developmentally appropriate transition to musically succeed before taking on more formal instruction. Kindermusik provides the opportunity to explore voice development, rhythm, notation, musical symbols and authentic keyboard, string and woodwind instruments.   Students explore many facets of the musical experience-speaking, singing, moving, dancing, listening, creating and playing instruments, as well as learning about reading and writing music. As the capstone to the child’s Kindermusik journey, ABC Music & Me broadens and deepens the child’s introduction to the fulfillment and excitement of musicianship.

Piano for ages 4 and up.

It was a Kindermusik Colleague who introduced Melissa to the MAYRON COLE PIANO METHOD FOR CHILDREN and she has been using this method successfully with children as young as 4 for the past 6 years.  This piano method has been lovingly developed at the Mayron Cole Houston Conservatory of Music over the past 20 years.  It is currently the nation’s #1 group method for children.

In order to be successful at playing piano and reading music, the child needs to enjoy the learning process, but not use “shortcuts”, like playing by finger number.  Mayron Cole is a traditional music reading method, so parents can be assured that the skills the child learns can be used later on to learn an orchestra or band instrument, or to advance his piano study.  Lessons are offered both privately and in small groups.

For Beginners ages 5 & 6 “Menehune Music”  — Menehune means “little elf” in Hawaiian, and this is the perfect course for Kindergarten students who can read printing. MENEHUNE MUSIC easily takes students through the first two steps of piano playing readiness: mastery of rhythm counting and keyboard geography.  Your child will learn to play and count correctly two-eighths, quarter, half, dotted-half, and whole notes as they sing along with original compositions. All of the white keyboard keys are used, plus several sharps and flats! Dynamics and legato playing are introduced. Beautifully illustrated theory FUN SHEETS compliment each lesson.<br><br>

For Beginners ages 6 to 10 “Level 1A”   —  Level 1A is one of Mayron’s all-time most popular programs! The practice pieces, recital/performance pieces, and analyzing theory fun sheets combined so that the theory taught in each lesson is the theory that is relevant to the lesson’s songs.  Beginner students love the big notes because they are much easier to read! Compositions include staff notes from Middle C up to G and Middle C down to A as well as harmonic seconds, thirds, and fourths. Eighth note rhythms are introduced in the first lesson! Fingering numbers not introduced until about week 12 to ensure that these beginner students are really reading notes and not reading fingering numbers!  The original compositions ensure that children will read their music instead of playing by ear.


Melissa Ayotte is from Mill Valley where she studied piano 15 years beginning at age three with Antonia Cippollina and then a few more with Paul Smith at College of Marin.  In addition to teaching and playing piano, she has been a competitive Irish Dancer almost all her life, dancing with Maureen Hall as a child, and currently with the McBride Dancers of California.

Melissa has been a popular piano teacher in Marin for over 12 years, and specializes in young beginners.  In addition to piano, she also directs one of the top 5% Kindermusik programs world-wide (infant – toddler – preschool program) and she is the Kindergarten Music Teacher at Hamilton Elementary School in Novato.

Melissa believes that her background in Piano and Irish Dance lead her to excel in Math and Science during junior high and high school, so much so, she skipped the sixth grade.

After college, Melissa worked for 5 year as an accompanist at Music Makers in Tiburon; she entertained diners at Benissimo restaurant in Larkspur, and she directed Musical Theater at Marin Horizon School in Mill Valley,

After becoming a mother in 1997, Melissa was inspired to become a Kindermusik educator. She completed her training program & became licensed in 2000 and has steadily grown an expansive Kindermusik program with locations in both San Rafael and Novato.

Melissa currently teaches piano at her home studio in the Hamilton, Novato area, and travels one day week to homes in the southern/central Novato area,

Teaching comes very naturally to Melissa as she is able to combine her loves of music and dance and her talent for working with young children.


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Music with Melissa