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.
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.
The Music Together Curriculum
Music Together® has developed nine non-sequential song collections, each characterized by its own graphic, color, and instrument. These collections each include a recording and songbook and are designed to be used one collection per semester. The collections are not sequential. A family can begin Music Together classes at any time with any collection. Each family enrolled in the program takes home a beautifully illustrated songbook and two CDs each semester.
The music is pitched in just the right range for children’s voices and includes songs, rhythmic chants, tonal and rhythm patterns, and instrumental play-alongs, all in a rich variety of tonalities and meters. Original songs and arrangements by the program coauthors make these collections especially unique. Each of the nine Music Together Song Collections also includes traditional american folk songs and chants, music from many other cultures, always including at least one song per collection in another language. Outstanding instrumentalists play a variety of instruments, such as guitar, bass, flutes, keyboards, and percussion. And all of the songs are suitable for mixed-age groups, perfect for childcare centers or families with children of different ages.
Music Together is a Research Based Program
Music Together is grounded in research in music and early childhood development. When creating the program, coauthors Kenneth K. Guilmartin and Dr. Lili M. Levinowitz, examined the field of music education—and then reached beyond it into the realm of early childhood learning. They realized that even the best song they could discover or compose would miss the mark if not presented in ways children can receive readily and process meaningfully.
So, the pair turned to the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and early childhood learning for valuable insights into how the brain processes and organizes musical material, how children learn, and how the surrounding environment can support this learning. Then they distilled their findings into four basic principles, which remain the cornerstones of Music Together's philosophy today.
Our Four Basic Philosophic Principles
All children are musical.
All children can achieve basic music competence—the ability to sing in tune and move with accurate rhythm.
The participation and modeling of parents and caregivers—regardless of their musical ability—are essential to a child's musical growth.
Young children’s musical growth occurs best in a playful, musically rich, and developmentally appropriate setting.
Ariel Elliot - Ariel is a mother of one with years of experience teaching groups of young children in both music & dance. Ariel has been an ukulele teacher for The Strum Shop's Ukes for Schools Non-Profit Program as well as The Roseville Police Activities League since 2014. Ariel is also a gifted singer with an entertaining personality, keeping kids happily engaged in the classes activities.