What if music instruction were a joyful part of childhood...instead of a chore that takes away from it?


A new music program for children age three to ten.

We all want our children to have positive experiences with music that lead to a lifetime of enjoyment. But too often, the process of learning an instrument brings boredom, frustration, and guilt. 

Playground taps into your child's creativity, curiosity, and natural desire to learn, teaching them the language of music across a variety of instruments using the time-tested strategies of world-famous music educators -- all through play!

Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study. They would much rather play, and if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that what they have mastered is child's play. 

- Karl Orff, world-renowned German composer and music educator -

What makes Playground different?

Playground, developed by Eclectic Music founder Casey von Neumann, builds on the work of brilliant minds like Shinichi Suzuki, Karl Orff, Zoltan Kodaly, Maria Montessori, Carol Dweck, and Karen Pryor to create fun, engaging, collaborative lessons your child will love.

No nagging. We use positive reinforcement only. If you find time to practice outside of lessons, great! If not, no big deal. We'll still have fun and make progress.

Multiple instruments. We're learning the language of music: melody, harmony, and rhythm. Your child will become a versatile musician who can play songs on ukulele, piano, bells, and more.

Real songs. We use folk songs and other high-quality material that has stood the test of time. Kids learn to perform with authenticity and vitality, whether they're reading music or playing by ear.

Room to move. We're up, we're down, we're all around. Lessons go by quickly when you can dance and sing...and jump from activity to activity before anyone gets tired.

Immediate results. Too often, students are learning skills and exercises that won't pay off until years down the road -- which is a bit too late if they quit before then. With Playground, your child will learn stuff to show off today. It's a bottom-up strategy that builds success upon success.

What is Playground like?

Here's what a couple of our wonderful clients have said.

"Almost immediately, she began replicating at home what she was learning during lessons. We had never talked to her about any musical theory and it was wonderful to watch her figuring it out. Genevieve was learning even when she thought she running the show or being silly. Within a month, she was exploring composition and translating her new knowledge into multiple instruments. I loved that there was structure to the lesson when there needed to be but often, Genevieve could follow her instincts."

- Jennifer B.

"It was so, so fun! It was hard to learn so much new stuff but I was happy when I learned it because I love learning!"  

- Genevieve, age five

"Mars LOVED going to his lessons. He was always excited about the different things he was going to do. It became a fun family event to sing the various songs, and add silly words to them, especially in the car!  

"His progress was pretty astounding, actually. At first he would just practice on his bells, just like at his lesson. But as the weeks went on, he began to incorporate the musical ideas into all types of different activities. He would tap out the rhythms to his songs on the car seat, or I would hear him humming the songs to his stuffed animals. He would hear a song in the car and say - oh, that part is like "Let's go chase the squirrel." The best day was when he was coloring a picture of a xylophone, and he needed to finish two more keys. I heard him say to himself 'Hm....what else needs done? Oh, I still haven't colored do and re!'

"To a parent who is hesitant to try a different approach, I would say "prepare to be amazed."  

- Tafee P., mom of Mars (age six)

The story of Playground: Hi, I'm Casey!

After more than a decade of experience teaching music lessons full time, I began developing Playground as a way to help kids have more fun and make faster progress. The books and materials that were commercially available for beginning piano and guitar students didn't match the best practices I learned when I was obtaining my degree in music education. After lots of experimentation, research, reflection, and collaboration, a winning approach emerged. 

In development since 2011, Playground represents my vision for what learning music should be: Multisensory, flexible, and with just the right amount of challenge.  

Our Teaching Team

Succeeding in music is all about finding the right teacher. You want a knowledgeable, relatable, encouraging guide along the path. A person who knows how to break things down in just the right way, when to switch things up, and when to nudge your child to stick with something just a little longer. 

Though our teachers have varying degrees of professional experience as educators and musicians, they are all specially trained to meet the needs of beginners and young children. They use our unique curriculum to engage your child in creative ways, adapting the activities and pacing to your child's learning style and interests.

Our Playground teachers are role models of musicality, collaboration, and continual growth. Above all, they believe that everyone is musical and anyone can learn. We are excited to connect you and your child with a member of our team.

In Playground, your child will:

  • Play melodies, rhythms, and harmonies by ear and by reading music.
  • Improvise on and modify existing songs, and even compose new songs!
  • Practice performing with others, deepening concentration and communication skills. 
  • Learn the patterns that allow musicians to quickly figure out new songs and new instruments. 
  • Prepare for any school band, orchestra, or choir program or for specialization on a particular instrument. 

How to get started:

Step one: Book an introductory private lesson with one of our instructors (in your home or in one of our studios in Virginia-Highland, Morningside, or Inman Park).

Step two: Keep the music going by enrolling for the academic year, paying tuition in four-lesson increments. At any point, it's only two weeks' notice to quit. However, since Playground is designed to be sustainable and stress-free, you'll be happy to be in for the long haul! 

Look forward to:

  • Fun and educational half-hour lessons with a dedicated, encouraging teacher
  • The opportunity to learn instruments like glockenspiel, xylophone, piano, guitar, ukulele, harp, cajon, harmonium, and more
  • Parent coaching and support from the Eclectic Music team, led by Casey von Neumann
  • The excitement of group music-making in an ensemble class (included in your tuition)
  • Frequent celebrations of everything your child has learned at our kid-friendly recitals and parties

Building skill through joyful experiences with music