Just received my hard copy of Robert O. Gjerdingen’s “Child Composers”. I think parents would be fascinated to read about how children learned music in 18th century Naples. They had an amazing music education and this provides a great curriculum model to follow for our kids today.
The first classical conservatories were orphanages in Italy designed to teach these children a marketable trade: music.
They started at these conservatories age 7 and stayed for 10-11 years.
Sang Italian solfeggio for a least a solid 3 years (Very different from fixed or move-able do). They weren’t allowed to play instruments until this was good. They could read 7 clefs in all keys.
Then they had partimenti classes (improvising on sketches, usually basses for beginners), written counterpoint classes, keyboard classes and more stuff, in the book.
They had no ear training classes, didn’t use roman numerals and considered harmony a consequence of counterpoint.
It was creative music education from dawn to dusk.
Their graduates could write full operas in a matter of weeks, improvise fugues, sing, and generally do things that would intimidate professional musicians today.