The Music Class Philosophy and FAQ
The Music Class songs are designed to expose your child not only to a large quantity of music, but also to a broad variety of music. You've heard that children who grow up in households where a large spoken vocabulary is used learn to speak with a large vocabulary. The same is true of music. Our songs include a wide variety of scales, rhythms, instruments and styles, to further stimulate your child's music development.
By enrolling your child in The Music Class, you are providing a rich musical environment for your child forty five minutes a week. Of course, that limited time is not enough. Young children learn throughout the week, mostly by imitating you. Our goal is that you will take the songs and activities you have learned in class home with you and model them for your child throughout the week.
Keep in mind that the most important things you can model for your child are the enjoyment of and enthusiasm for music. Children who see their parents having fun with music will naturally copy their behavior; that's how the learning takes place. Children learn through play.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. What's the point of coming to class if my child is too shy to sing in class?
A. Consider these wonderful first years of life as a time for musical development and musical fun. Please do not get confused between learning music and musical performance. A child's temperament may dictate whether he or she will want to sing out loud in class. A parent's pressure on a child to perform in class might only make the child uncomfortable, and may take away from the relaxed environment in which young children learn best. Children learn through exposure in a fun environment and need the freedom to experiment on their own. Instead of assessing your child's learning by how he or she "performs" in class, rest assured that if your child enjoys coming to class and enjoys doing the songs and activities with you at home that he or she is learning in as natural a way as possible. Remember, if your child sings at home and not in class - that's OK!
Q. When should my child start taking instrument lessons?
A. Before instrumental instruction can begin, a child must achieve "basic music competence." Basic music competence, which can be attained by all normal children, is defined as the ability to sing in tune and in rhythm, and to make rhythmically accurate movements. With proper musical stimulation, this usually occurs between the ages of four and six. Regardless of whether your child chooses to play an instrument at some point, the tonal and rhythm skills they are learning now will give them a lifelong understanding and enjoyment of music.
Q. What to expect of your child in class.
A. All young children need time to get used to a new room, teacher, songs and situation. It typically takes about four weeks to become familiar with the class environment. There is a wide range of responses children will display during the first few weeks. You will see that as the weeks continue the children will become more and more focused in class. It's important to listen to the CD at home frequently, particularly during the first weeks. Children like what is familiar to them and need a lot of repetition. If they know the songs, they will have more fun in class and learn more.
According to age
Toddlers learn through play; so class needs to be fun. They are watching and experimenting on their own, discovering what they like. They will enjoy playing instruments, singing and dancing. Though their efforts are not very accurate, they will begin to show improved musical skills as they grow older.
Two and Three-year olds:
These children have become more accurate in reproducing music, both tonally and rhythmically. They begin to interact less with their parents and more with their teacher and the other children. They are still busy observing and imitating. At this age they become more creative and develop their own ways of singing songs and doing activities. This should be supported and encouraged!
Four-year-olds: Some at four will have already achieved basic music competence, but still benefit from being in a creative and musically stimulating environment. While some children at this age may feel too old to be in class with babies, most do not care as long as they are having fun. Parents should refrain from pointing out age differences to their child, but should talk with their child to see if they are enjoying class. If so, parents should relax and enjoy it, too.
Some children want to march and run; others want to spend the class no more than a foot away from the teacher; some will sit in laps; while others want to observe from a cozy corner in the room. At The Music Class we recognize that there are many different learning styles, and we encourage parents to let the children be where they are comfortable. A typical class may have all of these different types of children, but all children have one thing in common: they are all watching, listening, and learning from us. So have fun and make music!