Developed by Leaders in Early Childhood Music

Smart Start activities immerse every child in the musical experience, using specially designed teaching techniques that support the 4 key cognitive skills of attention, memory, perception, and cognitive flexibility. Our curriculum leverages a wide variety of songs, games, rhymes, and listening experiences, collected from musical traditions and cultures around the world. As children progress through the curriculum, they enjoy a fun, memorable, and musical experience filled with improvisation and movement. Along the way they’ll learn basic sight-reading, ear-training, composition, and how to play pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments.

Why Smart Start?

Exceptional early childhood music curriculum with over 266 lesson plans encompassing over 1,000 activities for ages 0-6 ready to be implemented at your school or studio.

The Research Centre at the RCM has conducted studies on the long-term outcomes of the Smart Start curriculum. These proven, measurable outcomes can help support you in grant applications and your fundraising efforts.

You’ll receive beautifully designed Smart Start marketing materials to promote your program. These materials are customizable so you can also include your own branding and logo next to the internationally renowned brand of the RCM.

Smart Start has been proven to grow enrollments at schools and studios. Parents and care providers are drawn to the unique cognitive and musical foundation of the program.

Smart Start is an excellent way to bring younger age groups into your school or studio, instilling in them a love of music, developing their skills, and acts as a feeder program for your instrumental programs and private lessons. 


Your teachers will receive access to free professional development through the Smart Start Institute for Teaching Excellence.

Want to learn more about the program? Attend a free online info session.

These live, online 30-minute info sessions include helpful information if you’re considering offering Smart Start at your school or studio. They also include a Q&A section at the end so you can get all your questions answered.

Current Materials Include:

  • 4 fully developed, 30-week programs
  • 4 smaller, 8-week summer programs
  • 152 complete lesson plans
  • 680 written activities
  • Digital Teachers Resource (with a printable PDF version)
  • A web-based Smart Start App for Care Providers that includes curated articles about childhood development, activities they can do at home with their children, and more.
  • Ongoing research and curriculum development at the Smart Start Institute

Who Can Become A Smart Start Teacher?

  • Musicians of all backgrounds who are open to teaching young children
  • Teachers who work for a music school
  • Teachers who want to expand their studios

Prospective Smart Start teachers should have strong musical skills and an interest in educating young children, though previous early childhood experience is not required. This course is ideal for music educators who wish to expand their teaching profile.

Learn more about joining our growing community of Smart Start educators.

Are you a school district or early childhood education center interested in bringing Smart Start to your students?

For Teachers and Parents! Download our Free Smart Start Handbook which includes:

  • Musical activities from the Smart Start curriculum
  • Curated articles about the connections between music, language, cognition, and learning
  • A handy guide to enrollment and getting started with the SmartStart app