1. Why are classes mixed-ages?
Mixed-age classes provide a rich learning environment because children of different ages thrive when they interact with each other: the babies are often fascinated by the older child, and the “big” children enjoy helping and sharing with the “little” ones. This approach is based on research from music education, early childhood development, and family relationships, as well as our 25 years experience in the field.
We also want to create an environment of family music-making. Siblings can participate together, as well as moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers. (No need to get a baby-sitter!)
2. Do infants really benefit?
Yes! Infant participation will seem passive at first, as they actively absorb what they are seeing, hearing, and feeling. As their bodies and nervous systems mature, infants often show progressively more complex musical responses and evidence of song recognition. Parents will learn in class how to enhance their child's music development and to create or enhance the musical bond with their child.
Babies Classes are often offered as a one-semester introduction to non-walking infants. Babies also respond well in the mixed age classes.
3. As a parent, what is my role in class?
Try not to give verbal directions. It can be tough to restrain the impulse to give your child directives such as "Do what she is doing, hold your instrument this way” but children respond best by just seeing and hearing you doing (and enjoying) it yourself!
Enhance your child's experience in class by remembering to sing, sing, sing. Your active participation is the key to your children learning and growing musically.
4. What if my child can’t sit still for 45 minutes?
No problem! Many children are kinesthetic and learn through moving and touching, so your child is free to move around the room as he/she is inspired as long as it is safe for him/her and others. Research shows children learn best when they are able to follow their curiosity. Music Together® classes are informal and designed to draw children in, rather than require them to sit still and receive "instruction". Occasionally your child may become over-stimulated and/or want a break. When this happens we encourage you to take a break outside of the class circle area, attend to your child’s need, and re-join the class when your child is ready.
5. How should we use the Music Together Materials?
Play your CD at home and in the car as frequently as possible, especially during the first few weeks of class. Make it available to your child to listen to while she is playing or before nap or bedtime. Use the songbook to help you remember the songs or to play along if you play an instrument. Try using the songbook at storytime instead of a regular book, and sing through the songs as you go along. Looking at the printed notes on the page will help children understand that music is something that can be read, like words.
New Music Together parents receive our introductory DVD “Music Together at Home: Helping Your Child Grow Musically.” If you are a returning student and it has been months or years since you have read the Parent Guide or seen the new DVD, reread it or ask for a copy of the DVD today! You may be surprised how valuable it is, especially after having personal experience observing your child's music development.
6. What if my child puts an instrument in his/her mouth?
Children who are around the teething age learn by putting instruments in their mouths, so don’t worry if this happens. We carry special wipes, so the instruments can be disinfected.
7. What if I miss a class?
We do not want you to come to class if you or your child is sick, and we understand that sometimes other conflicts come up. Families are allowed two makeups per semester. You can schedule a make-up class by emailing us or calling us to speak with someone personally. If you know you’ll miss a class during the semester, please let us know and we will inform the teacher.
8. How many adults may attend with a child?
Both or either parent, grandparents or caregivers are welcome to attend class at any time – no need to ask. Whole family music making in your home is extremely valuable to your child's musical development, and attending class occasionally helps the other family members to join in at home.
9. Where can I buy some of the instruments we have in class?
Instruments are available for purchase for use at home or as gifts directly from http://musictogether.com/Store.
10. Can I bring my un-registered older sibling to class?
Throughout the semester, Music Together classes may be in session when older children have a school holiday. Older siblings of registered students may occasionally visit provided the older sibling is HEALTHY and that the visit is prearranged with the school office. Visitation spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
11. Do you offer gift certificates?
Gift certificates for any amount towards Music Together classes can be purchased at any time. It makes a nice baby shower or birthday gift. Grandparents love to buy these for holiday gifts. Let us know if you would like it sent directly to the recipient or to the purchaser.