The Baby Artist – Hellenic Roots program is a program especially designed to bring infants, toddlers and preschoolers of the Hellenic Diaspora and their parents/grandparents/companions, in contact with the Greek culture while at the same time nurturing the development of their musical talent. The cornerstone of the program is that through singing, moving and playing from very early on, infants, toddlers and preschoolers can absorb, learn and assimilate the Greek language, music in and culture in a much more immediate, instinctive, and efficient way, than it will ever happen in the years after preschool age.
The Baby Artist – Hellenic Roots program aspires to eventually bring families from the Hellenic diaspora in face-to-face contact and spending time together with families from the mainland of Greece, through especially designed Baby Artist summer holidays, trips, exchanges and other activities that will promote ‘parea’, community and sharing in the unique Greek way.
The Baby Artist program is an early childhood music program aiming at developing children’s talents, based on the premise that the first years of life and the environment we create around children are of utmost importance for their musical, cognitive and emotional development. Based on the same basic principles, emphatically proven by research in the last 30 years, the Baby Artist- Hellenic Roots Program, aims at children of very young age and their parents, grandparents or companions, to provide deep, immediate and natural immersion into the Greek music, language and culture while bringing them in contact with other people of Greek origin from the Greek mainland or abroad.
The Baby Artist- Hellenic Roots program is designed for infants, toddlers and preschoolers and their parents/grandparents/accompanists of the Hellenic diaspora around the world. It takes place through synchronous, interactive distance teaching and learning. Each virtual classroom is a small community comprised – on a semester basis – by a steady group of 6 – 10 children and parents from the Hellenic diaspora but, optionally, also children and parents from the homeland of Greece. These ‘music communities’ aim to promote immersion and socializing, to provide ground for lifelong relationships and friendships, while intensively working on children’s immersion in the Hellenic music, language and culture and on the development of their musical talents. In an atmosphere of respect, love and acceptance, a small fiesta (‘panigyri’) is created and recreated in each class, in the context of which children and adults rejoice music learning and life’s beauty through chanting, singing, moving and deepening feelings of community and unity in the Hellenic spirit. The Baby Artist- Hellenic Roots program places great emphasis on parental education and preparation for the synchronous e-learning context to achieve its best results for children’s and parents’ development, learning and wellbeing.
- The Baby Artist Hellenic Roots program is based on Edwin Gordon’s Music Learning Theory and more than 50 years of research in the USA and around the globe, according to which language and music development are much alike.
- A spiral method of teaching and learning is provided, through which children and their companions are being immersed in a wealth of repetitive singing, moving and chanting from which each individual absorbs what corresponds to his/her level of music/language readiness.
- Teaching takes place combining holistic and analytical learning, group teaching and individualization of instruction to allow for optimal growth of all members of the class.
- Participants are free to interact with the learning environment as they feel like.
- Classes take place in an atmosphere of celebration and joy; learning can truly happen when learners feel safe and happy!
- A “Parental Education Session” will be held before the beginning of the winter semester to inform prospective parents of the program, answer questions, etc.
- The program cannot accommodate make-up lessons that are missed because of parent/child responsibility. Make-up lessons for lessons missed due to the responsibility of the teachers/ the program are guaranteed.
- Tuition is paid in two parts; 1st payment before the beginning of classes, 2nd payment in the middle of the semester.
Lida Stamou, Professor, University of Macedonia, Greece
- Lida Stamou was born in 1971 in Crete, Greece.
- She is professor of music education at the Department of Music Science and Art, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece.
- She obtained her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in the U.S.A., studying early childhood musical development. While in the US, she was trained in early childhood music guidance, in Edwin Gordon’s Music Learning Theory as well as the Suzuki Violin Method. She had taught at the Michigan State University Early Childhood Music Program and at the Nevada School of the Arts as an early childhood music and Suzuki violin teacher.
- Throughout her stay in Michigan, U.S., Lida had been teaching the Greek language through music and dance at the East Lansing Greek Orthodox school.
- While an assistant professor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she established and operated the UNLV Early Childhood Music Program with great success.
- Upon her return to Greece in 2000, she initiated the first early childhood music program in Greece serving infants from the age of 4 months old.
- Lida Stamou is currently:
- Director of the Baby Artist early childhood program at the University of Macedonia
- Director of Graduate Studies in “Music and Society” [specializations (a) Music Education and Community Music, and (b) Music Therapy] at University of Macedonia
- Director of the project “Music and Culture Serving Health, Wellbeing and Social Inclusion”
- Director of the lifelong learning programs: (a) “Music and Art for Socially Vulnerable Groups”; (b) “Music education for infants and toddlers”
- She has been president of the Greek Society for Music Education.
- She has been presenting in numerous international conferences and publishing in numerous scientific journals and books.
- Lida Stamou has been a Fulbright scholar.
Baby Artist operates since 2001, when it was first established in Greece by Lida Stamou & Christos Yermenoglou under the name of “Program for the Musical Guidance of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers”. Since 2014, it operates under the auspices of University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece and with the support of the Municipality of Pylea – Hortiati, a great historical municipality in the region of Thessaloniki. Today, Baby Artist is the biggest early childhood music program in Greece, serving more than 300 children and families. It consists of four programs: (a) Early Childhood Music Program for Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; (b) The Violinists (Suzuki violin method), (c) The Pianists (Suzuki Piano Method), (d) Baby Artist Choir, and (e) Baby Artist – Hellenic Roots Program. During the Covid-19 pandemia, Baby Artist run all its programs through teleconference with great success, proving that through appropriate pedagogical approaches e-learning may as well function very effectively for young children and their parents. Baby Artist is internationally known for its educational activities as well as the innovative research it produces on several subjects, such as the musical and other development of young children, parental involvement, effects of virtual communities on children and parents, etc.