What is Music Together®?
Music Together® is an internationally recognized early childhood music program for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergartners, and the adults who love them. First offered to the public in 1987, it pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement.
Central to the Music Together approach is that young children learn best from the powerful role model of parents/ caregivers who are actively making music. The program brings families together by providing a rich musical environment in the classroom and by facilitating family participation in spontaneous musical activity at home within the context of daily life.
Music Together is committed to helping families, caregivers, and early childhood professionals rediscover the pleasure and educational value of informal music experiences. All teachers have successfully completed Music Together’s training program. Music Together applies the latest research in early childhood development to the program. Music Together: A curriculum pioneer since 1987.
What can I expect from class?
Music Together is designed for children ages birth through kindergarten.
At Music Together we believe that music ability is as much a basic life
skill as walking and talking, and that all children can learn to sing
in tune, keep a beat, and participate with pleasure and confidence in
the music of their culture. Music Together classes nurture the child’s
natural enthusiasm for music and movement as we sing, dance, chant, and
play instruments in an informal setting that will enrich her musical
environment and guide her towards a lifetime of music-making enjoyment.
Why aren't there separate classes for different age groups?
In the 1980s, Music Together pioneered the development of the mixed-age
approach in early childhood music. In each class we strive to create a
musically rich, developmentally appropriate environment where the whole
family can enjoy music and nurture skills at the level right for each
child. Mixed-age classes also 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 20 years
experience in the field.
Do Infants Really Benefit?
Yes! Infant participation will seem passive at first, as they actively absorb what they are seeing, hearing, and feeling.
By reading the parent guide and through parent education in class, parents will learn to recognize their infant's musical responses and observe them reaching musical milestones. As their bodies and nervous systems mature, the 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.
Why is Talking Frowned Upon In Class?
• Talking creates a distortion or a "buzz" that conflicts with the music that we are making. We want the children to soak up as much music (rhythm and tone) as is possible in our brief time together.
• Parent to parent talking, although unintentional, presents a negative role-model to all of the children in the class as we want to role-model music-making, not language. It may also convey the attitude that the parent is not interested. Please remember, a child's disposition toward music comes from their parents. Another interesting factor is that children are attracted to contrast, so they quickly notice and will closely observe that which is different from the rest.
• Parent to child talking (coaching such as "good job", "put your instrument away", etc.) detracts from the overall musical environment for all the children because of the noise-distortion factor. Instead, we encourage you to give your child attention through eye contact, smiling and nodding your head, demonstrate playing or putting your own instrument away, etc.
• When parents stay focused and participate enthusiastically, we increase the number of experiences we are able to provide the children in each class. Remember, you are not only a role-model for your own child, but for all the children in class. Music Together is truly a TEAM effort!
When Is A Good Age To Start Music Together® Classes?
As early as you feel comfortable bringing your child is when to start them. It is not important that they can’t hold the instrument, or walk, or talk yet. What is important, is that we stimulate them.
How Can I Help My Child To Get The Most Out Of The Classes?
Arrive on time for the classes so your child hears his/her name sung during the "Hello Song". Late arrival may keep your child from feeling connected to the rest of the class.
Be the "encouraging witness" for your child. Make music yourself and watch how your child absorbs what you do. Follow your child’s lead on when to interact and when to let him/her explore as you watch. Try waiting until your child signals that she/he wants to interact, then use non-verbal communication like a smile, singing to them, giving them a "thumbs up", or whatever you use in your family to signal "good job!" and watch how they begin to venture out in class, secure in the knowledge that you are "on duty" as their encouraging witness.
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. Familiarization with notation
will help them when they are more ready for formal music instruction,
typically when they are school aged.
New Music Together parents receive our introductory DVD “Music
Together at Home: Helping Your Child Grow Musically”. We are happy to discuss your child's individual
progress in obtaining musical competence at any time outside of class.
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