All children are sound makers and movers, and their natural aptitude for music blossoms in a sufficiently rich music environment. In fact, when given a supportive music environment, children learn to sing and dance as naturally as they learn to walk and talk.
How is this possible? Children learn differently than adults. They learn instinctively and constantly. They teach themselves through imitation and play, through being immersed in their environment, and through every interaction with adults and older children. The family-like setting of Music Together’s mixed-age classes enables siblings to attend together, creating an ideal learning environment where infants, toddlers, and preschoolers can freely participate at their own levels.
What happens in a Music Together class?
- Fully trained, registered Music Together teachers lead groups of six to twelve children and their parents or caregivers (nannies, babysitters, grandparents, or relatives) in forty-five minutes of music and movement experiences.
- Each weekly class offers a dozen songs and rhythmic rhymes, including fingerplays, small- and large-movement activities, and instrument play.
- Children and their adults have opportunities to create and improvise making up new words to songs, offering movement ideas, making silly sounds, and sharing musical ideas from the family's play at home.
- The relaxed, playful, non-performance-oriented classroom setting respects and supports the unique learning styles, developmental levels, and temperaments of all participants.
- Each semester features a new song collection, and families receive two CDs--one for home and one for on-the-go--along with an illustrated songbook filled with music-making ideas for spontaneous music play outside of class.
- Music Together classes foster a strong sense of community, not just between parents and children, but among all the families in the group.
How Does Music Learning Support All Learning®?
Wiggling, singing, and laughing with your child is so much fun, it's easy to forget how much learning is taking place! Our research-based curriculum not only develops music skills such as singing in tune and moving with accurate rhythm -- it nurtures creativity, self-expression, and confidence while also supporting social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Because these benefits build over time, children enjoy the fullest growth in each of these areas when they participate as consistently as possible up through kindergarten.
Why Is Your Role Essential?
Young children learn through play and experimentation and by watching and listening to the grownups they love. Setting an example as an enthusiastic participator in music activities is the best thing any parent or caregiver can do to help set a child on the road to a lifelong love of music. Parents don't need to have music skills—they just need a desire to play and have fun with their children! Our teachers are specially trained to create a safe atmosphere so you can happily join in, experiment, or even get silly—and feel closer to your child while doing so.
Does my family need to speak English to benefit from Music Together?
No. Even though Music Together songs are recorded and sung primarily in English, families need not speak English to benefit from the program. Our common language is music and movement. The rich, diverse Music Together curriculum includes a mix of original songs and traditional tunes from the folk, jazz, and world-music traditions. From American to African, from Korean to Hebrew, families are exposed to a wide variety of international musical styles designed to provide engaging experiences of rhythm, song, culture, and community from around the world.
Although Music Together is not a language-instruction program, many families do appreciate the opportunity to be exposed to the English language through song. The illustrated songbooks offer visual cues to the meanings of songs which help to support pre-literacy skills for children learning any language.
Besides singing in English, Music Together teachers encourage children and adults to create new verses in their native tongue. This stimulates creativity and independence and supports families in learning ways to play with music outside the classroom, too. The curriculum also features many "songs without words"—sung on sounds like "la" or “doo”—which enable children and their adults to learn melodies without being distracted by the need to make sense of the words. This mix of English-language songs, improvisation in the native tongue, and "songs without words" provides people all around the world with many ways to play with and enjoy music together.
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