Mixed Age Class Family

Classroom FAQ

 

What can I expect from class?

Music Together is designed for children ages birth through kindergarten. At Music Together we believe that music ability is as much a basic life skill as walking and talking, and that all children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with pleasure and confidence in the music of their culture. Music Together classes nurture the child’s natural enthusiasm for music and movement as we sing, dance, chant, and play instruments in an informal setting that will enrich her musical environment and guide her towards a lifetime of music-making enjoyment.

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Why aren’t there separate classes for different age groups?

In the 1980s, Music Together pioneered the development of the mixed-age approach in early childhood music. 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: the babies are often fascinated by the older child, and the “big” children enjoy helping and sharing with the “little” ones. This approach is based on research from music education, early childhood development, and family relationships, as well as our 20 years experience in the field.

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What is the class size?

Each class has 6- 12 registered children plus their primary caregiver(s).

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Can I bring my un-registered older sibling to class?

Throughout the semester, Music Together classes may be in session when older children have a school holiday. Older siblings of registered students may occasionally visit provided the older sibling is HEALTHY and that the visit is prearranged with the school office. Visitation spots are available on a first come, first serve basis. 

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What if I miss a class during the semester?

Two make-up classes are allowed each semester for each family, on a space-available basis.  Makeups are available at any location. You can schedule a make-up online by logging onto your account and clicking "Make-Up a Class" on our home page.  (Please note: makeups do not carry over from previous semesters). If you know you’ll miss a class during the semester, please let us know and we will inform the teacher.

You may schedule your make-up as soon as you know you are going to miss a class. We often see an end-of-semester rush, so try to schedule your make-ups as early as possible to avoid disappointment.
 

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Can I switch to a different class?  What if I need to withdraw?

Check our Policies for this information.

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Can a grandparent, nanny, or other adult bring my child to class without me?

Absolutely!  A couple of important points to keep in mind if another adult besides you will bring your child(ren) to Music Together classes.

An absolutely essential component of the education value of our program is adult participation.  Please educate your child's caregiver on the importance of participation - no matter how engaging, fun, and warm the Music Together teacher is, the child will tend to model her behavior after her caregiver.  If Grandma or Nanny won't sing, it's likely the child will be reluctant to participate whole-heartedly.

A second absolutely essential component of Music Together is sharing the music *together* at home!   You're paying good money for this high-quality program.  Allow your child to glean the most benefit from it!  Listen to the CD with your child, and sing the songs as you go about  life together, changing the lyrics to fit your activities and moods (as we do in class).  Ask the adult who comes to Music Together class to fill you in on the class activities, and try one or two of them yourself.

If the attending adult wants to enroll a child who is not related to yours (i.e. the Nanny wants to enroll her own child), the children must be enrolled in separate accounts (not as siblings), so that each family will receive its own copy of the CDs and songbook.

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What if I start classes after the semester begins?

Late registration will be handled on a case by case basis. 

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Can we eat in class?

Please feel comfortable to nurse your child in class, but we ask that you not bring food or drink into classrooms.

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Is it OK for more than one adult or an older sibling to come to class?

Parents, grandparents, and caregivers are welcome to attend class at any time—no need to ask. Whole family music-making at home is extremely valuable to your child's music development, and attending class occasionally helps family members feel more comfortable joining in. If you would like to bring another guest (including an older sibling who may be home from school), this is often fine, but please check with your teacher first. Visitation spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be guaranteed.

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As a parent, what is my role in class?

Enhance your child's experience in class by remembering to sing, sing, sing. Your active participation is the key to your children learning and growing musically. Support the creation of a music only environment while in class by not talking to your children or other adults during the 45 minutes. Since it is difficult for a young child to mask out adult conversation please wait to socialize till after class, and instead contribute to the creation of a musical environment for the children to absorb.

Try not to give verbal directions. It can be tough to restrain the impulse to give your child directives such as "Do what she is doing, hold your instrument this way” but children respond best by just seeing and hearing you doing (and enjoying) it yourself! Wandering toddlers is fine, but If you want your child to come back to you, avoid calling to him from across the room. If necessary, redirect your child physically back to you or the circle. Of course watch out for your child’s safety, but mostly your job is to just relax, and have fun!

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How should we use the Music Together Materials?

Play your CD at home and in the car as frequently as possible, especially during the first few weeks of class. Make it available to your child to listen to while she is playing or before nap or bedtime. Use the songbook to help you remember the songs or to play along if you play an instrument. Try using the songbook at storytime instead of a regular book, and sing through the songs as you go along. Looking at the printed notes on the page will help children understand that music is something that can be read, like words. Familiarization with notation will help them when they are more ready for formal music instruction, typically when they are school aged.

New Music Together parents receive our introductory DVD “Music Together at Home: Helping Your Child Grow Musically”. During class your teacher will refer to topics and point out examples of things covered in the video. We are also happy to discuss your child's individual progress in obtaining musical competence at any time outside of class. If you are a returning student and it has been months or years since you have read the Parent Guide or seen the new DVD, reread it or ask for a copy of the DVD today! You may be surprised how valuable it is, especially after having personal experience observing your child's music development.

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Where can I buy some of the instruments we have in class?

Instruments are available for purchase for use at home or as gifts directly from http://musictogether.com/Store.  We also encourage you to support local music stores, such as Asheville Music and Art on Haywood Road.  Most of our local toy stores also carry musical instruments or kits.

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May I bring a camera to class?

Occasionally classes at Music Together are professionally photographed and/or videotaped. These photographs/videos are sometimes used for publicity purposes. Parents will, in instances where these images are intended for publicity purposes, be asked to sign the appropriate release forms. As our classes are participatory and educational experiences between adults and children, we ask our families to please refrain from taking photo or video during class time, however we welcome pictures before or after class.

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Do you offer gift certificates?

Gift certificates for any amount towards Music Together classes can be purchased at any time. It makes a nice baby shower or birthday gift. Grandparents love to buy these for holiday gifts. Let us know if you would like it sent directly to the recipient or to the purchaser.

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