Q. May I bring both my 3 year old and my 10 month old to class together?
A. Yes you may! Music Together® has a mixed age concept philosophy and is designed for children anywhere from birth up to 5 years old. We are about family music, and in a family we are not all the same age or the same size, but we can all have a musical experience together. Studies show that it is beneficial for the little ones to see what their older siblings can do, and that it is equally beneficial for the confidence of the older siblings to experience feeling a little like a role model themselves!
Q. What if I don’t sing well or in tune? Will my model of not being in tune be detrimental to my own child’s sense of pitch and musicality?
A. Good question! Even if you don’t sing particularly well, (and most people have the ability to sing better than they think they do!), your singing and participation is a key element in nurturing your child’s musical growth.
It is possible to teach anybody a skill. But only the people that we love and with whom we have an emotional bond can pass along the disposition to love to do something.
For those of us whose parents enjoyed and participated in making music, that disposition is passed along to us. Your child will absorb the music from class that you are playing at home and in the car and will also absorb the music while in class, where most people are singing right in tune. Your child will be able to develop a right sense of pitch from these.
Q. My child is very enthusiastic about the music at home, singing, moving, and having a ball! But when they come to class they are very shy. Why don’t they participate more in class?
A. We know that most of the children will do about a hundred times more at home than they do in class. That is very much the norm, and in fact shows how much they are learning! Most of us, even as adults, will do more in private than we will in public in front of our “peers”. Children are no different!
More importantly, class is where the children are taking everything in! They do this in a multi-layered way, through listening, through watching, through movement, by playing instruments and dancing or simply by being there and absorbing it at another level.
Q. Is my child too young to learn music?
A. Is your child too young to walk and to talk with? From the time children are born, they are immersed in the language of our culture. That is how they learn to talk. In Music Together we immerse children in the music of our culture. That is how they will learn to sing!
Q. What if my child doesn’t pay attention in class and roams around?
A. Do our children sit at rapt attention and study us and take notes on how we are walking and talking? Do we stop walking and talking because they don’t seem to be paying attention to us doing it and are roaming around while we do it?
Once again, our children absorb learning how to walk and talk from being immersed in the atmosphere of people who are walking and talking. It is the same natural and gradual process in Music Together, only with music. Additionally, each child has their own unique learning style. Some children are more visual learners, some learn more by listening, and some are kinesthetic learners. For those children who learn through movement, and it is just fine if they do so in class, just as long as it is safe behavior. In Music Together we encourage and acknowledge each child’s need to learn in their own way, at their own level, and at their own pace.
As a parent, what is my role in class?
Sing, dance, and have fun! You might be surprised to hear that you are your child's most important music teacher right now—and it doesn't matter whether you think of yourself a great singer or dancer. Young children develop dispositions for certain behaviors, including learning to love music, by observing and imitating their loved ones. Simply by participating enthusiastically during class and playing with the ideas at home, you'll give your children the modeling they need to learn to love to make music. Please wait to socialize or use your cell phone until after class and instead help us create a music-only environment.
At Music Together, children are never required to sit in the circle or expected to conform to an adult's idea of participation. We know that children learn differently from adults. They learn instinctively and constantly, through observation, interactions with adults and older children, and through imitation, play, and, especially, movement. One hallmark of Music Together is the insight that children will naturally develop music ability simply when they are immersed in a community of families all making music.
Children's responses depend on their most dominant learning style and temperament as well as their age and developmental level. Some might follow the teacher right away. Many will simply want to watch and absorb, particularly in the first few weeks of class. Some might crawl or toddle around; others are stimulated by the music and respond more actively, running, jumping, or dancing. All are perfectly natural responses to the new, musically rich environment. Throughout the semester, your teacher will help you tune in to how your child learns best so you can support their music development in class and at home. Feel free to ask if you have questions!
Play your songs at home and in the car frequently, especially during the first few weeks of class. Make it available to the music available for your child to listen to while she is playing or before nap or bedtime. Create your account and download the Hello Everybody app for digital versions of the songs and more activity ideas to try!
Use the songbook to help you learn the songs and get new ideas for musical activities at home. The music notation is in the book if you happen to play an instrument and want to play along.
That said, you don't have to read music to be able to use the songbook! There are terrific suggestions written for each song in it for playing and interacting with your child musically. Try using the songbook and the beautiful pictures in them as a storybook at storytime instead of a regular book and sing through the songs as you go along. There is also a section in the back with blank pages where you may choose to keep a journal of your child's musical responses and your musical memories from class and at home or in the park or in the car, wherever you make music a part of your family's daily life and journey together!
Each class has between 6 and 12 registered children, plus their caregiver(s).
We offer up to four makeup classes during each semester session. Please visit our Make Up Classes page to learn more.
Requests for class changes must be initiated within the first three weeks of the semester. Depending on class availability, changes are made at the discretion of the center director and teachers involved. Changes are not made after the third week of the semester.
South Coast Music Together welcomes families up to week four of any semester! However, we do not prorate for classes missed due to late registration. Instead, families may makeup class(es) during the semester.
Please feel comfortable to nurse or bottle-feed your child in class, but we ask that you do not bring food or drink into classrooms.
Music Together® classes may be in session when older children have a school holiday, and it is natural to want to bring them with you to class. All guests must be prearranged with director Judy Woodson to ensure adequate space in the class.
Yes, parents, grandparents, or caregivers are welcome to attend class at any time—no need to ask!
Classes with children of different ages have intellectual and social benefits for both younger and older children. In fact, it's the learning environment recommended by many early childhood researchers. Older children learn empathy and awareness of others, while developing leadership qualities and gaining self-confidence. Younger children learn by imitating the older ones and often show more complex behaviors earlier than usual. Even babies benefit by being in an environment that gives them lots of opportunities to observe the behavior of children of varying ages. Plus, it allows everyone—siblings, parents, grandparents, caregivers—to share in the musical experience together.