Which class should I take? To see the schedule, click here
watch an incredible video courtesy of our colleagues in Goshen, Indiana
You can enroll your newborn and infant in our regular classes because babies are born into a world of bigger people and they know how to learn from the world around them.
Younger siblings of enrolled children can attend class for free up to 8 months.
You may also decide to enroll in our BABIES class for one session. This class is for newborns and infants up to 8 months old. In this class we spend more time addressing the specific developmental aspects of your newborn's brain. After this class, we ask that you "mainstream" into our regular, mixed-age classes.
Why music classes for babies?
Because babies begin their musical processing earlier than you think:
- babies start developing the auditory system and musical memories(!) in utero
- the rate at which a baby learns during his/her first six months is NEVER achieved again
- by 6 months a child is already filtering out music not of their own culture
Should I wait until my baby is bigger and can do more?
NO! (see Why music classes for babies)
- You'll be missing an opportunity to support that developing brain when it is most primed for musical input.
- First we have to take it in, then we can put it out there. Children can only express their musicality in a purposeful way after they have developed some degree of musical competence Waiting until a toddler is able sing and dance before coming to class means having missed an opportunity to support that child’s early music development.
- Babies love watching those older kids, why wait until they are the bigger kids?
- There is an advantage to starting early and for families to make a point of engaging musically with their kids from the time they are born. Music is forgiving, and children who have not had the benefit of a rich musical environment in the first year of life can make up for possible delays, so if you've missed that early window, no need to panic, you can still get going and help get your child to basic music competence. But for parents whose children are still infants and who are considering waiting, perhaps knowing there is a real developmental advantage to starting early could tip the balance in favor of getting started and not delaying.
- It's also about the grown-ups who come to class who we hope get inspired with new repertoire of songs and activities to carry the musical interactions into their home lives. Coming to class is only part of the picture when it comes to supporting a child's musical growth. Much like with whole language acquisition, immersion is the key. 45 minutes once a week is not enough. Whatever carries over into a child's world OUTSIDE of the classroom will surely register. If there is no follow-through at home, it's a real question whether the child's musical growth will be adequately supported. When a child comes into the world, the baby makes their parents into a family. Becoming a musical family- which we all have the potential to be regardless of the quality of our singing or dancing- is something we can all do! And it's a musical family that helps a child reach inborn musical potential. Isn't it a wonderful opportunity to set these habits (purposely singing and dancing often) at the point that mommy and daddy become a family? Why wait?
Is a baby music class a class with baby-ish music?
NO!- not at Music Together!
- The Music Together repertoire consists of a well-rounded complement of tonalities and rhythms and world musics. The recordings highlight different instrumentations and often showcase interesting melodic layerings and rhythmic variations.
- your baby's brain can and SHOULD be exposed to a rich variety of music. Consider this: between 6 and 9 months is the period of the greatest visible number of neural synapses in the brain. After that, there seems to be pruning. This is good reason for exposing very young children to lots of different kinds of music.
Is the music too grown up?
- just as we speak to our kids using words that are more sophisticated than the expressive vocabulary of child, so we should immerse the children in music that they are not yet able to produce themselves.
- we don't just talk to our children with one part of speech like nouns or just verbs- we give them the whole syntax. So we should also immerse the children in the full language of music so they can eventually become fluent!
Do I want my baby in a class with bigger kids?
- Humans aren't generally born in litters. Instead, children have evolved to learn best in a MIXED AGE environment.
- Your baby is learning in a developmentally appropriate way- he/she is watching and perhaps mouthing the instruments. He/she is cooing, kicking or bouncing in response to the music. The big kids are doing their thing, and your baby is enthralled. Babies love to be with you, that's for sure, but let them be with those other children- because they really love that, too!
- The grown ups are modeling how to sing and dance and follow directions- the bigger kids are modeling the next step for your baby. And perhaps they are choosing to engage your child in a way that only an older child can.
Is this a Mommy and Me Music class? Or can I sit back and watch?
You've got to participate! Music Together is an “Adult and Me” activity where participation from the grown-ups is a must.
- children learn best from having the adults with whom they have a bond model the music making for them. That’s why our Music Together classes rely on the adults to sing and dance. The children learn by watching and soon enough by experimenting themselves.
- Music Together is an INFORMAL learning environment. For the CHILDREN, activities are FREELY CHOSEN- but in order for them to understand what is going on, they have to see YOU DOING IT!
- Music Together is a NON-PERFORMANCE oriented program. We don't make the children do anything! But you have to copy the teacher :-) to model the behavior. When your child does something musical or reaches a musical milestone, we celebrate it!
- Your child may choose not to participate in class- and surprise you by doing everything at home! Wonderful! But if you don't model the behavior in class, your child may wrongly learn that only teacher sings and dances. He/she may not be inspired to try to do it him/herself!
My child's sleep schedule is erratic. How can I keep to a specific time?
- It's hard! Try your best- but if you miss your appointed time- know that:
- Our make-up policy is UNLIMITED! (Who does that?!!) Naomi is a mom. She understands
- In the alternative, you can come to class while your child is still sleeping. Parents do it all the time. The kids usually wake up. And they wake up happy- because it's so interesting in class!
- Remember, part of what you are learning in class is a repertoire of things to do with your child. Don't miss out on that if you can help it!
- Naomi will try to accommodate your changing schedules to the best of her ability. Keep your eyes on the prize: learning to sing on key and to keep a steady beat. The process to get there will be during those early years. Your child will go through lots of phases during that time. We'll do our best to keep the music-learning going throughout it all.
I still have questions you haven't answered
Well, please don't hold back! Contact Us
So don’t wait to take your child to a music class! Enjoy the mix of ages and stages in the room! The music can and should be interesting! Be a beloved adult who sings and dances for your child. It’s good for your soul and good for your child’s developing brain.