The Signal Newspaper by Reina V. Slutsky, Signal Staff Writer
Mindy Cabral knows quite a bit about music.
She attended The Juilliard School and graduated from the University of Southern California. She has played with the Four Tops and the Temptations, on a variety of movie scores, and currently plays trumpet in Michael Bolton’s band.
However, her true passions lie elsewhere.
As the owner of the Little School of Music in Saugus, Cabral’s passion is music education – particularly for babies.
“The idea’s been there for a while,” she said.
Studies have shown that music training with babies will help them developmentally and academically in the future, not to mention aid their memory and language development.
When Cabral began to read these studies, she started to offer classes in her studio for babies as young as 3 months old, offering a variety of games and activities so they can learn music.
Although she gets one constant question from parents – “What can a baby do?” – Cabral knows that babies can benefit by remembering certain games and responding to activity as well.
“It’s amazing what they can learn,” she said.
It’s something that Cabral did when she was young. Although she didn’t start music education as a baby, she started learning at 3 years old – something which greatly impacted her life.
After she graduated from college, she did offer private lessons in music, but also called music schools to see if they needed her help.
“I had no intention of doing this,” she said of teaching.
However, like many teachers, she sensed that she had a strong connection with children that she was teaching, and was excited to pass on her knowledge.
Parents came up to her and told her that she should teach music full-time.
The Santa Clarita Valley was perfect for her, since it’s family-oriented and there aren’t a lot of music classes offered for children.
Cabral understands the importance of music education, especially as many schools have been losing funding for it.
“Music is getting lost because schools can’t afford it,” she said, and added that she has worked with local elementary schools on helping out their programs.
In addition, she has hoped to see that arts and sports would be balanced in school, although she understands that sports are heavily emphasized.
She was both an athlete and a musician growing up, and said both were important in her education.
“I hope parents will help them understand,” she said. “the importance of music as an ongoing process is a challenge.”
As for the babies who take classes at the school with their parents, Cabral said she has no problems keeping them enthused.
She takes out a little clown doll, hidden inside a cone, and begins to sing a song. Her melodic voice is enough to keep attention, and when the song asks for the clown to come out, it somehow makes the room brighter.
She said that the game could keep babies’ attention for 15 minutes, and they respond and try to ask the clown to come out.
“Music will make you feel brighter,” she said.
© Copyright 2007 The Signal