Mixed Age (birth - 5 years)
This is the essential Music Together® class, one that a child can attend from birth through age four - and through all nine song collections. Child development researchers recommend mixed-age groupings because they foster natural, family-style learning. Younger children enjoy watching and imitating older ones; older children learn by leading younger ones; and adults are happy because the children in the family can go to class together. Each child participates at his or her own level in singing, moving, chanting, listening, watching, and exploring musical instruments. The class provides a variety of adult-child activities that are fun and offer new ways to play musically at home. Parents, grandparents, or nanny, individually or together, may accompany the children. The whole family is welcome for this important family music experience.
During the Fall, Winter and Spring semesters, classes meet once a week for 9 weeks. During the Summer, classes meet once a week for 6 weeks.
Why mixed ages? Early childhood educators consistently recommend mixed-age groupings as an optimal learning environment for children under five years. In this setting, older children learn from being in a leadership role (a role they may not take when they're in a group of their peers), and younger children benefit from the example of an older child. Classes have a family feel, rather than a school orientation, an environment your child will have ample opportunity to experience when he enters the world of formal education in a few years. In addition, children of the same age are not necessarily in the same stage of music development and a mixed-age environment creates a space for exploration and discovery, rather than peer pressure. The Music Together curriculum is designed to teach on many levels of complexity at once, and Music Together teachers are trained in the art of mixed-age learning.
Should my infant be in class with older children? Absolutely. Just as siblings in multi-child families learn from each other, so do the children in our mixed-age classes. Your baby will learn by watching and imitating you as well as the older children in the room.
Will my older child regress being in class with babies? No. You may notice your child revisiting some behaviors she has moved past but do not confuse this with regression. Your child will not UN-learn skills she has already gained. This process of revisiting actually affirms the progress your child has made as she recognizes that she no longer exhibits these behaviors. It also signifies empathy as she adjusts her behavior in order to relate to the younger children in the room.
May I bring both of my children to the same class? Yes! Not only may you, we encourage you to! 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.
Babies Class (infants, not crawling yet)
Every child’s music development benefits from early exposure to music and movement. Because the early months are so important, Music Together® offers two options for babies. Infants may attend a mixed-age class, whether registered on their own or attending free with an older sibling. They may also be registered for the special “Babies Class” offered as a one-semester introduction to Music Together. The music activities and materials are specially designed for parents who want to learn as much as possible about music development in infants. Meet other parents of newborns and learn fascinating music activities you can recreate at home with your baby. Babies should not be crawling on the first day of class. Most babies in this program range from 3-5 months at the start of the semester. This class cannot be repeated.
What age are the infants in a babies class? Infants range from only a few weeks old to several months in this program! Babies will range anywhere from 3-5 months at the start of the semester. We recommend infants older than seven months register for mixed-age classes. The babies are non-mobile for the majority of the semester. If your baby is crawling before the start of the semester you may want to consider a mixed-age class. Feel free to contact the office to discuss: 704-449-6761.
My baby is under 7 months. Should I take a babies class or a mixed age class. What’s the difference? The Babies class is structured in much the same way as a mixed-age class. In both classes your teacher will lead you through a variety of activities, facilitating fun and creative ways for you to interact musically with your baby. The main difference lies in parent education. Because the infants are non-mobile, there is a calmer energy in this class which allows the teacher more opportunities to explain the ‘whys’ behind the ‘whats’ and to point out emerging musical behaviors.
I have already taken a babies class but my child is still under 7 months. Can I register for a Babies class again? No. The Babies program is a one semester introduction to Music Together, the primary goal being to give adults the tools they will need to interact with their babies in a mixed-age environment. Once you have those tools, you will want to integrate your baby into a mixed-age class where she can learn both from you AND by watching and imitating the older children in the room!
At what age should I start class with my baby? Now! Babies learn music the same way they learn language; by being immersed in it. Just as it is never too early to start talking to your baby, it is never too early to start singing with your baby.
Rhythm Kids Level 2 (Kindergarten - 2nd Grade)
Interactive drumming for kids. Created for children in kindergarten through second grade. Parents sign up to attend at least 3 classes during the trimester.
Children integrate and assimilate rhythm into their lives, as they:
- Learn multicultural dumming patterns
- Develop new repertoire on various percussion instruments
- Explore movement and dance while singing songs - play games based on music and drumming
- Have fun with a host of rhythm activities
Rhythm Kids follows through on the Music Together® vision to help children complete the pathway of early childhood music development from birth through age eight. A special part of the Rhythm Kids class experience is the play-along videos and other materials available online. With the help of a grownup, as needed, children can have drumming play and practice sessions with Rhythm Kids creator Tom Foote himself!
Weekly, 45-minute classes
2 CDs each semester
Access to online in-home activity pages
Access to online video tutorials and play-alongs
Learn, create, discover and explore music, movement and drumming
Enjoy age-appropriate ways to play rhythm instruments (shakers, tambourines, etc.)
Explore traditional drumming patterns through animal names and movements
Experience drumming, song, and dance from around the world (Mali, Puerto Rico, Turkey, etc.)
Find new ways to connect mind, body, and voice through rhythm
Develop skill in improvising, soloing, conducting, composition, and improvisation
Participate in active musical games that are both enriching and totally fun!
Students should have their own hand drum for use at home (and for use in class whenever needed or desired), but is not required. Information on where to purchase a hand drum will be available upon registration confirmation.
In senior residential and day programs across the country, people of all ages come together to sing, dance, shake shakers, and swing scarves during weekly Music Together intergenerational classes. As the children’s music-learning is nurtured, babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and their grownups also foster new and important relationships with "Musical Grandfriends." These unique and powerful classes are also greatly enjoyed by the seniors and staff. Seniors look forward to the children's lively visits, the chance to share memories, and the sheer fun of these playful music-making experiences. The additional cognitive, physical, and emotional benefits for both children and elders make the Generations class a win-win for all participants.
Program Partners Say:
"On Monday morning the residents start asking: 'what time are the little ones coming?' It means so much for us to have members of the greater community come visit and bring joy and laughter to the enthralled senior citizens. Our residents have given so much to their communities, and to see it come back full circle is incredible. Although many are dealing with the difficulties of aging, during class they become as carefree as the children."
—Jacqueline Johnston, Engage Life Director at West 86th (An Atria Residence), New York NY
Music Together Parents Say:
"My children love music. We used to attend a regular class and then decided to change to something new and they appreciated the warmth of the intergenerational setting. They especially loved the free-dance segment where they had a chance to meet and greet the residents. I like the idea of including intergenerational groups because children bring such a spark of sunshine even on the gloomiest of days to those who may not have young ones in their lives on a regular basis."
—Angie, parent in intergenerational class
Music Together Center Directors Say:
"Everyone simply loves the class. A 96-year-old resident pointed out to a visiting mom and dad how much their younger child (who usually attends with his nanny) had developed during the months he had been attending. She also pointed out to me that two of the residents who were sitting on the couch were sleeping, and that I should... move them out of the way. She doesn't miss much!"
—Jean Young, Music Together Teacher, Larchmont NY