1. Is my baby too young for Music Together®?
No! Just as your baby is not too young to walk or talk with your baby is not too young to do music with. Research shows that babies can hear us even before they are born, recognizing the sound of their mother's voice at birth. It also shows that while music is inherent in all of us. Babies who are exposed to birth from an early age onward, tend to develop their musicality, while others who are not exposed to it, tend not to. Parents of young babies are often amazed at how their baby responds to the music and movement in the class.
2. Why aren't your classes grouped according to age?
Music Together is a research-based program, which supports a mixed-age approach. You don't have to be any particular age to learn music, and the songs and rhymes used in Music Together are appealing to all different ages for different reasons. We are about family music-making, and in a family we are not all the same age or the same size. It is also beneficial for younger babies and toddlers to see and appreciate what the older children can do as well as it is beneficial for the older children to feel a little bit like a "role model" themselves at times! Sometimes, when all the children are the same age in a class, it is very easy for the caregivers to worry and compare their child's "performance" to that of the other children in the room. Music Together is not about performance! The children in our classes are not expected to do anything but take in the whole experience, each in their own individual way. We are about voluntary participation and enjoying music with each other!
3. Do you use the same music every session?
No. Ken Guilmartin is founder of Music Together and the founder of The Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, New Jersey. Ken is a well-known composer who (along with others at Music Together LLC) has put together 9 different song collections. By rotating these collections every session, it takes 3 years to repeat the same song collection! Each session that you register for, you will receive a packet containing a Music CD along with an access code for the online Family Music Zone on the Music Together national website - to enjoy at home along with an illustrated songbook with lyrics and great family activities. New families also receive a DVD and a parent/caregiver guide entitled "Music Together At Home: Helping your Child Grow Musicall." which helps to give a deeper understanding of the program and how you and your child/children can get the most out of it! We hope that you will listen to the music in the car, in the house, or anywhere else and use the songbook at reading time, bedtime, or anytime!
4. My child doesn't seem to do anything in class. I wonder if I should take him out and do something else?
Please don't! Many children will "do more" at home than in class. It is completely normal that your child chooses to participate in music making at home instead of in class. That is his/her way of "practicing" and shows that he/she is observing and absorbing and getting something out of what we are doing in class! It often feels more natural for most of us, adults included, to be more comfortable trying out new things in our own homes before we will ever do them in front of other people! Our classes are really more of a means to an end than an end in itself, and the fact that your child is responding musically at home is wonderful and what we would expect to happen! The key to the success of our classes, and of the Music Together program, is that YOU DO PARTICIPATE! The teacher will lead you, and as the children hear all of us singing, and feel us rocking, and see us moving and dancing and playing the instruments and having a great time, they eventually start to want to get in on it too! So together we create a MUSICAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT, and then each child, in their own style, will plug into it and get out of it what they are ready to get out of it. And if they stay with the program over a period of time, they DO start singing in tune and moving in time to the music, which is what we call "Basic Music Competence," and THAT is what Music Together is about!
5. Will I be expected to participate?
Yes. Music Together is a family music program. You are expected to enjoy the music and movement during the class with your child. If you do not feel that you are very musical yourself, that is okay. Your child will learn to enjoy music by watching you enjoy music, regardless of how you sing or how rhythmically talented or challenged you may be (and enjoying music is a huge step towards musical competency.)