What to Expect
What to Expect in Class
A relaxed, non-performance-oriented environment!
Our relaxed classroom environment helps your child to relax, enjoy themselves and get the most out of class. The main reason for fostering this atmosphere in class is that it helps your child to absorb the activity and to make positive connections and emotions towards the activity or song. Their lifelong love of music is beginning! In every class, you can expect to see:
- children bouncing on laps
- adults singing and laughing
- dancing, moving, playing instruments
- lots of joy!
It sounds like a great deal of fun right? Many families tell us that our classes are the highlight of their week!
Lots of learning (and bonding too!)
While our classes feel informal, there’s nothing casual about them! Every note, step and movement is carefully planned ensuring that we’re tapping into your child’s natural music aptitude. In just one class, children in our program are learning:
- who’s the leader in this particular setting
- to anticipate actions and activities
- social cues
- to feel and find the beat
- there are many different ways of expressing themselves
- we all make mistakes and then happily try again
- new ways of playing with each song and that we can explore and develop the same song in a multitude of ways across the session
- ways of moving
Our music classes aren’t just another kids’ activity, in our informal, welcoming environment children grow and learn in a way that feels right for them. Each class is a musical experience your child can share with the grownups who love them, creating a bond that supports your child’s growing musical skills and understanding as well as their social, emotional and cognitive development.
Lots of fun and music making
In our classes, the fun is where the experience begins and subsequently works to build your child’s knowledge. The enjoyment springs from participation. We’re definitely not a sit-and-watch kind of program. We know from over 30 years of research that the invitation to participate in music-making brings a whole different conclusion for your child, they realize that they can do this too.
That’s why all of our classes are participatory, without insisting your child does what we are doing; we’re inviting them to explore the music with us and allow their development to grow. We know that in their learning style, they are taking in information and will use it when they need it; and in class, we’re supporting their natural development through play, exploration and joy while giving you, the people they love, the tools to continue that growth all week long.
In our classes, no one watches from the sidelines! Our family music program is just that: for families! It’s important for children to see the adults they know and love participating in class by singing, dancing, moving, and having fun! The best part is, you don’t have to be any good! What is more, there’s no judgement in our classes.
Your full and active participation in class will model music behaviors and attitudes that your child will absorb, simply because they want to be like you and pick up the disposition to be a music-maker by seeing the adults they know making music too. Modeling is much more powerful than telling, in fact you don’t need to say a word, children do what we do and not necessarily what we tell them to do. Your child is wired to respond to your voice so even if you feel shy about singing in class, do it anyway so that you are doing all you can to support your child’s musical development. Find a way to let your child know that you enjoy making music! Remind yourself too, that your child hears and sees accurate music making in many environments but what only you and the adults that love them can provide, is the reassurance that people they love make music too.
So much more!
It’s hard to describe the true magic that happens in class. Science tells us that when we get together to make music, we feel good! With all the other benefits of early music education (social, emotional, cognitive), our classes become not just a weekly event but a part of the lives of our families. The best way to know what to expect is to try a class before signing up! We look forward to showing you what we’re all about!
What to Expect at Home
Listen to the collection
As part of your tuition, families receive a beautifully illustrated songbook, digital music download and an optional CD. These tools are meant to be used along with your weekly music classes. Listening to the music at home is the very best (and easiest!) way to get the most from class. The more familiar your child is with the music, the more comfortable they (and you) will be participating in class, experimenting with the lyrics and the music to further develop and solidify their musical foundation.
Use the songbook as a storybook, for the illustrations, for substitution ideas and it has lots of suggestions of how to play with the music outside of class. You will also have access to the Family Music Zone with even more ideas plus crafts and games associated with the music from the collection.
Play with the music
Families often tell us that their child sings, dances and explores the session’s songs between classes! We know that children are absorbing everything they see in class and will often play with the movements and the music once they get home. At home, it’s important to support your child, giving them the opportunity to play with the ideas from class.
Use the music as a tool!
It’s no coincidence that families use our music outside of class not only to continue the fun, development, and exploration but also, when they need to navigate big feelings, or a difficult situation together! Try replacing the words of your favorite song with some that apply to your child’s feelings or ideas. It’s a wonderful way to show your child you are there for them, and switching from speech to song can re-engage your child in a new way.
Your Music Together teacher is an expert when it comes to using music to help your child with everyday tasks and activities? Bath time? Transitions? Clean-up time? You bet our teachers have a musical tip to help you use at home to make the whole process go smoother!
What to Expect in Your Child
The benefits of music for children is apparent when they’re actively engaged in our playful learning environment. Your little one will be immersed in singing and dancing, enjoying the music in their own, unique way. While at the same time, forging connections between their brain and their mind, body and emotions.
Our classes promote and enhance the development of your child’s language, cognitive abilities, emotional, social and physical responses, learning habits, and dispositions. You and your child will enjoy songs in a range of musical styles – lyrical to blues, world music to folk – through fun, developmentally appropriate activities.
Because children learn by watching others, playing, and experimenting, our mixed-ages class offers the ideal learning setting. We don’t expect your child to necessarily do what we’re doing in class. While this might seem counterintuitive to you, we know that children are absorbing information in class and that the same part of the brain is used to absorb information as to express themselves. For some children they are so busy absorbing information, processing it and storing it for use when they are ready to use it that we don’t see them express themselves in class. That doesn’t mean they aren’t taking everything in, in fact many, many parents have shared with us how much they see their child doing the actions from class when they are at home. In these classes, your child will grow socially and musically through interactions with children of varied ages. Research shows that a family-like learning style is crucial for music and cognitive development, so we encourage any or all of your child’s caregivers – parents, grandparents, nannies – to take turns joining in on the learning fun at a Music Together class.