Music Together® is an innovative, research-based music and movement program that assists parents in sharing fun, accessible musical activities with their children from birth to five years old.
What is included in a Music Together session?
• Mixed aged classes for infants through five year olds with parents/caregivers
• 45-minute classes meet once a week
• 10-week sessions with new music for each session
• Class size – from 6 to up to 12 children plus infant siblings
• Tuition per semester: First child $130, Siblings $85/$70
• Tuition includes a beautifully illustrated song book along with 2 CDs – one for home and one for the car, and app login!
• Free Parent Guide DVD called: “Music Together at Home: Helping Your Child Grow Musically” for all new families.
• Each semester features a different collection of about 25 musical pieces
Where and when are the classes held?
Our location is at St. James UCC, 76 Main Street, Hamburg, NY, 14075. Please check the registration page for class times.
What are the classes like?
Our classes create a developmentally-appropriate musical environment that respects various learning styles of small children. They are well-structured with a lively progression of songs, chants, lullabies, dance, movement, and instrumental play-alongs. The music is selected to provide a rich variety of tonalities and rhythms, culled from the music of many cultures and traditions. Activities are focused on adult/child interactions rather than child/child interactions. This class is non-performance oriented with the emphasis on the learning process, not the product. Most importantly, parents participate as musical role-models.
Why start so young?
Research shows that babies can hear us even before they are born, recognizing the sound of their mother’s voice at birth. It also shows that while music is inherent in all of us, babies who are exposed to music from an early age onward, tend to develop their musicality, while others who are not exposed to it, tend not to. There is a window of opportunity for maximizing each child’s lifetime musical ability that begins before birth and essentially diminishes by age five. And while music making is wonderful for its own sake, it is also known that children who play instruments (including voice) do better in school, have higher self-esteem, and fewer social problems.
Ideally, to inspire a child to have a lifelong involvement in music and the skills to do so, music experience in infancy and early childhood is paramount. It is at this time that basic competence in rhythm and tonality can be laid down. More importantly, children can make the discovery that music is interesting, fun, and satisfying. This makes future success in acquiring high-level music skills much more likely. By focusing on the process, NOT the performance of these young children, we provide them with a solid foundation for future musical choices.
What is Music Together’s philosophy?
• All children are musical.
• All children can achieve basic music competence, which is defined as keeping a beat, and singing in tune.
• The participation and modeling of parents and caregivers is essential to a child’s musical growth.
• Young children’s musical growth occurs best in a playful, musically rich, and developmentally appropriate setting, free of direct instruction and performance pressure, where learning activities are accessible, interesting, and fun for both children and adults.
Why aren’t classes grouped according to age?
Our program is research-based, and the research supports a mixed-age approach. You don’t have to be any particular age to learn music. We are about family music-making. In a family we are not all the same age or the same size. In mixed age classes, the little ones can see and appreciate what the older children can do. It is also often good for the older children to feel a little bit like a “role model” themselves! When all the children are the same age in a class, it is very easy for the grownups to worry and compare their childs “performance” to that of the other children in the room. Music Together is not about performance! The children in our classes are not expected to do anything but take in the whole experience, each in their own individual way. We are about participation and fun!
Is it the same music every semester?
Music Together classes are taught through nine different song collections, all carefully designed to provide the children with a wide experience of different rhythms, scales, moods, styles and instruments. They are a balanced mix of traditional material, world music, instrumental play alongs, and original songs and chants written for the program by its founders and others. Many parents comment that they listen to the CDs for their own enjoyment, and really appreciate offering their children something other than “kiddy music.” Teachers also bring in their favorite free dance or play along music, ranging from classical to jazz. By rotating the nine Music Together collections every semester, it takes 3 years to repeat the same song collection! (Of course every song collection starts and ends with our beloved “Hello Song” and “Goodbye Song”! ) We hope that you will listen to the music in the car, in the house, anywhere, and use the songbook at reading time, bedtime, anytime!
What is the history of the Music Together program?
The program began in 1985 as a project of the Center for Music and Young Children® (CMYC). It was co-founded by Dr. Lili Levinowitz, one of the leading researchers in early childhood music development in the United States, and Ken Guilmartin, a composer and educator. Music Together is in its 33rd year of bringing music to families worldwide.