HAPPY MUSIC MONDAY…or as we say in these parts… #MTCharlotteMondays - that’s Music Together of Charlotte Monday (to distinguish music in our area from others parts of the country).  We hope the rising sun finds you singing a tune, dancing a jig and swaying along to some Carolina fine music this morning!

Here are a few things we think you need to know for the week:

 

DID YOU KNOW…..

This Sunday is Global Pay it Forward Day (read more about the history and what’s it all about here:  https://globalpayitforwardday.com).  It’s a day to #standforkindness by approaching the day with a fully open and kind heart.  The purpose is to have a day that inspires atypical acts of kindness throughout the world, with the the hopes that the ripple of good will continue throughout the year.  Seems like something we could use here in Charlotte!

On Sunday, from 1:00 - 4:00, the Mint Museum Uptown is celebrating with a Sunday Fun Day - Pay It Forward.  The museum will provide space for your family to work on art projects, engage in gallery experiences, visit artist demos and participate in some family yoga, among other things.  You and your kids can paint landscapes inspired by the photographs of Ansel Adams, make crafts for friends and learn how to use art to “give back.”  What a great way to Pay It Forward!

Children & Mint members are FREE, adult admission is $6 and it is drop-in

 

“CAN YOU DO THIS?  YES, I CAN YOU BET I CAN!”

Have you ever played “FREEZE DANCE?"

If the pollen has got you down or the weather just won’t cooperate, gather two or three (or, hell, gather ten) kids in a room for a romping game of Freeze Dance!  Pull up the “Hello Everybody” App, put your child’s favorite song on the speaker, and invite the kids to dance as the music plays.  You can press the pause button at any time, and once the music stops, the children get to freeze in dancing positions!  Up-tempo songs present different challenges than smooth and slow songs, so use a variety of songs whenever you play!  

TIP:  “Freezing” also builds inhibitory control, one of a set of important skills know as executive functions that develop rapidly throughout early childhood.  (Learn more about how music supports executive function here (https://www.musictogether.com/executive-function).

 

 

GIVE ME THE GOODS

Music Together® classes are MIXED-AGE CLASSES for a reason!

* Music Together pioneered bringing mixed-age groupings in parent-child programs, resulting in the “family model” of early childhood education, where all members of a family can learn - and play! - together.

* Mixed-age classes foster leadership, empathy and creativity - all of which support early music-learning and foster lifelong success in life.

* Recent research on mixed-age classes highlights additional surprising benefits:

Benefit #1: True Empathy. Babies are born with the raw material to develop empathy, which often shows up as a reflex to mirror emotion, like when one baby cries and others cry, too. But in order for this potential to become what researchers call “true empathy,” children have to receive and give caring. This is rare in same-age schooling, but opportunities for nurturing exchanges abound in mixed-age classes.

*Benefit #2: Meeting children’s unique needs. As a new parent, you may have joined a Baby Play Group to find support in parenting an infant for the first time. Finding community, comparing experiences, and sharing challenges all help new parents feel supported. (What a lifesaver these groups can be for parent and baby!) If, however, that baby never gets the opportunity to socialize, explore, and learn outside of this same-age group, key developmental needs will go unmet. As children grow, mixed-age settings provide the opportunity to be nurtured and mentored by older children, and to offer caring and leadership to younger children.

*Benefit #3: Learning by teaching, leading, and modeling. In mixed-age play, older children learn by teaching, become leaders, and model for younger children. The little ones, in turn, emulate older children’s skills. You probably learned to tie your shoes by watching an older sibling, neighbor, or friend—one who took the time to patiently show you how to make loops, cross over, and pull until you got it right. In mixed-age groupings, younger children naturally turn to older children for guidance, and older children instinctively offer help to the younger ones.

*Benefit #4: More creativity, less competition. When children of multiple ages play together, the focus shifts from competing for limited resources (like toys and attention) to having fun! Children have more chances for deep, imaginative play, for exploring new ideas, and for working together in novel ways. Parents, too, in a mixed-age classroom are less likely to compare their child to others. Nagging questions like, “Should my child be clapping, too?” are more likely to move into the background. Instead, they catch a glimpse of what’s ahead for their child and mentor other parents with a little “been there, done that” wisdom. 
 

Sources:  

Anderson, L.S. (2018). Building Empathy, Strengthening Relationships: The Benefits of Multiage Classrooms for Young Children and Their Caregivers. Young Children, a NAEYC publication (https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/jul2018)

Gray, P. (2011). The Special Value of Children’s Mixed-Age Play. American Journal of Play, 3(4), 500-522.

 

AND DON’T FORGET….

We want to see how music (even on a Monday) is playing out - forgive the pun - in your lives!  Share your child’s favorite musical activity, video or photo or just the family’s favorite Music Together song on social media using #MTCharlotteMondays OR tag us on Facebook @MusicTogetherofCharlotte or Instagram @mtofcharlotte.  


AND HAVE AN AMAZINGLY MUSICAL MONDAY!

Carrie and Phyllis