WHAT IS MUSIC TOGETHER?
The Music Together Program (founded in 1987) provides a wonderful introduction to music starting with infants up to 5-year-old preschoolers. The students engage in structured play, that includes singing, moving, playing with instruments, and playing with other objects - to help develop crucial spatial, aural, temporal, and mechanical cognitive skills. The program places emphasis on parental involvement and the freedom for the children to observe, move around, participate and create. Parents are required to sing and move to demonstrate for their children how to get involved, and to be able to continue instruction outside the class sessions. New songs are introduced with each regular semester (four semesters per year), and the program is three years in length. Parents receive a new songbook and CD with each enrollment (included in the fee). Summer sessions are shorter, and follow a "best of" curriculum, rather than a new book of songs. Families get special discounts for 2nd and 3rd siblings, and older children (over 5) may join in for free.
Infants participate closely with the parent(s), as they slowly learn the songs and games of the class. At this age, not only must the parents participate in order to demonstrate to their child how to sing the songs and move, they usually must aid their child in participation (such as moving their arms, helping them stand while moving, hold their arms as they play with the instruments, etc.). Research has shown that this interraction across the ages is beneficial to all the children, as the older children will often "perform" for the younger ones, and the younger ones happily enjoy being the audience. Slowly the younger ones learn to join in, as they desire to be like the big kids and they see their parents doing it too!
Toddlers are encouraged to move around, explore the space, sing and play with other children ages 0-5 and once they lose their initial shyness will usually "perform" for the others quite readily and will even help the younger to participate. Activities include a lot of movement (marching around, making shapes in the sky, imitating animals and other things, etc.) and the strongest emphasis is placed on individual creativity and personalized attention. Songs are customized with individual student names and "fill in the blank" spots where the children make up their own words.
Preschoolers may not always be ready for private music lessons. Shyness (especially toward a new adult, new environment and new experiences) can make private lessons a very difficult and slow start. Enrolling in Music Together (especially if the older child has younger siblings) is a wonderful way to ease the preschooler into music lessons. The less structured classes, being surrounded by other children, and parental involvement prepare the child for the more serious one-on-one private music lessons. Mrs. Whittaker is on contract with KMI to teach privately as well, so if the child forms a good relationship with her as a result of the class, the young student can sign up with Mrs. Whittaker at the KMI studios as an easy transition from the class to private lessons.
Mixed Enrollment: Once the older child is ready for private lessons, the family can schedule the private lesson at the same time as the Music Together Class, so that the younger sibling(s) can still participate and the family need make only one trip for music lessons. Depending on the age of the older sibling, one parent will need to be at the private lesson, and the other parent in the Music Together class. Since private lessons are shorter in length, the older sibling can participate in the class for the other portion of the hour for FREE.
FREE DEMONSTRATION: Mrs. Whittaker holds special demonstration classes on a regular basis, in order that new parents might try out Music Together before signing up. Several songs and activities are introduced, similar to a first class session, and the parents can determine for themselves if Music Together is right for them.
At KMI our qualified Music Together instructor is Lauren Whittaker, who joined our faculty August, 2006. For more information, to see the current class schedule or to reserve a space in the next FREE demo class, visit Lauren's Web Page OR contact Lauren directly:
Phone: (724) 515-7808 or (412) 508-5196