ENCINO, CA —, an enrichment school that allows English-speaking children to “organically” learn the Chinese language while engaging in music, dance and drama, has opened its first location in Encino.
The studio’s co-founders, Casey Wu and Selena Lee, who met while working in the entertainment industry, saw a void existed in the region for youngsters to explore the Mandarin language and arts, which prompted the business’ concept and launch.
“I looked extensively for a Mandarin-language enrichment school for my children to learn Chinese and nothing existed within an hour’s drive,” Lee said. “In fact, nothing existed that fit what I was looking for. I saw a need and decided to create my dream studio.”
With a belief that speaking multiple languages is an advantageous skill that parents want for their children, Lee also noted that kids pick up languages much easier than adults, but the process should be as natural as possible and not forced “or it becomes a chore.”
As Mandarin is the world’s most spoken language, learning it in a fun and creative environment is optimal, Lee said.
MandarinArts hosts a roster of classes for music, singing, play-acting, drama, dance, arts and crafts — geared to students and their parents who may have no background or connection to Mandarin. Classes will have no more than eight kids, and piano classes will have no more than four. Private one-on-one lessons also are available.
And catering to moms and dads, the studio also features a parents’ lounge with free Wi-Fi and coffee.
As Wu and Lee worked on their business model and curriculum and long before opening the studio’s doors, they said word-of-mouth, alone, sparked multiple inquiries from interested parents.
The classes all are taught in Mandarin, and educational supplies are available.
“Our textbooks, activity books and flashcard series are all written and published in-house,” Wu said. “We are currently in the process of creating our own storybooks and digital materials as well.”
The founders hope to expand MandarinArts into more Los Angeles cities and, eventually, into every major U.S, Lee said, adding “We want to help the future leaders of America learn the Chinese language, one city at a time!”
Follow this link to learn more about MandarinArts. The studio is located at 16101 Ventura Blvd. near the Encino Place Carousel.