What is Music Together®?
Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, first and second graders, and the adults who love them. First offered to the public in 1987, it pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement. The Music Together Curriculum now serves 2000 communities in over 25 countries around the world. Find out more at the Music Together curriculum website.
What makes Music Together different?
Music Together classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning. By emphasizing actual music experiences rather than concepts about music, Music Together introduces children to the pleasures of making music instead of passively receiving it from CDs or TV.
Central to the Music Together approach is that young children learn best from the powerful role model of parents/caregivers who are actively making music. The program brings families together by providing a rich musical environment in the classroom and by facilitating family participation in spontaneous musical activity at home within the context of daily life.
Are Music Together teachers certified and trained?
All of our teachers have successfully completed Music Together’s training program and an additional internship. Teachers enjoy ongoing skill development workshops and support throughout the year, and they become part of an international teaching and learning community on the cutting edge of music education.
What does a Music Together Mixed-Age class look like?
In a Music Together class up to twelve children and their parents or caregivers meet weekly in a 45-minute class to sing songs, dance, play with simple percussion instruments, have fun with chants, finger plays, rhythm games and a rich variety of other music and movement activities. Classes are informal and designed to be lots of fun, so the adults, regardless of their musical ability, feel comfortable and encouraged to sing, dance, and play as part of the group, giving the children a joyful experience of community music-making. The children are free to participate in any manner which suits them that day; each child develops at his or her own level in a noncompetitive, nonperformance based environment.
What does a Music Together Big Kids class look like?
The Music Together Big Kids program helps your child take the next step in music development by blending the elements of Music Together that parents and children love with new activities, skills, and challenges that are developmentally appropriate for 5- through 7-year-old children.
Big Kids classes focus on Basic Music Literacy, laying the foundation for formal music instruction in school or in private instrument lessons, as well as a lifetime of joyful music making.
At Music Together, we recognize your older child's new capabilities and provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum that includes solfege, instrumental solos and ensembles, choreography, harmony singing, vocal development, and drumming skills. The Big Kids classroom is a safe, familiar, fun environment where your child can experiment with new musical activities like conducting and improvisation, story songs, "silly operas," and game songs. Parent participation is the hallmark of the Music Together program, but many children of this age are ready for more independence in the classroom, so parent attendance in each Big Kids class is welcome but not required. You and your child will receive a songbook, CD, and HomePlay activities so that the entire family can continue the fun and learning at home and you can stay connected with what your child is learning in class.
What is the age range of the classes?
Mixed-age classes are for ages 0 through 5 years (the activities in mixed-age classes are Parent/Child interactive rather than Child/Child interactive, so mixed ages are not an issue). Music Together Big Kids classes are for ages 5-7.
What programs do you offer?
Mixed-age classes are for children ages 0-5 and parent participation is required. Music Together Big Kids classes are for children ages 5-7, and parents can participate or drop off their child. Child development researchers recommend a mixed-age format because it fosters natural, family-style learning. Every child is given the freedom to participate as he or she chooses, without being burdened by age-specific expectations, and siblings can attend together in the mixed-age classes.
Is my child too young to get anything out of the class?
Absolutely not. Early childhood, a period of rapid change and development, is the most critical period in a child's musical growth and has been identified in the literature as the "music babble" stage (Moog, 1976; Gordon, 1988) or primary music development (Levinowitz and Guilmartin, 1989, 1992, 1996). Even the youngest infant is wired to receive music and discriminate among differences in frequency, melody, and stimuli (Bridger, 1961; Trehub et al, 1990; Standley and Madsen, 1990; Zentner and Kagan, 1996). Just as in language development, babies are taking in information and processing it, creating new understandings of the language and experience of music that will lead to later stages of development.
How many children are in each class?
There are normally 6-12 families enrolled in each class. Occasionally there may be one or two extra families sampling or making up a missed class. In mixed-age classes, each child or set of siblings is accompanied by a parent or caregiver.
Are Music Together classes appropriate for children with special needs?
Yes! All children are musical, and we welcome children with special needs. Our classes are structured to offer a wide variety of musical activities and experiences, which children can process at their own pace and developmental level, regardless of age or individual need. Further, research has shown that music can help to strengthen gross motor, fine motor, speech and socialization skills inallchildren and often proves an invaluable resource to parents, who through music find a deeper way of interacting with their child.
How many classes are in a session?
We offer a 12-week fall session (Sept-December), a 10-week winter session (Jan-mid March), a 10-week spring session (late March-May), and 8-week (June and July) and 4-week (August) summer sessions. For information about our current/upcoming session, please review our class schedule.
How long are the classes?
Mixed-age classes are 45-50 minutes each. Music Together Big Kids classes are 60 minutes long. All classes meet once a week.
I'm worried that my child won't sit still for 45 minutes........
Music Together classes maintain an informal atmosphere in the classroom and we do not expect children of this young age to sit still throughout the whole class. Normally we have about 3 or 4 activities during the class where we all get up and move around the room. Also children are free to wander about the circle or around the room any time during the class as long as they are obviously still mentally engaged in the activities. We honor the fact that each child will have their own unique response to the music and to new experiences, and we welcome and encourage all types of learners, including kinesthetic learners! Parents are free to take the activity over to a child who has left the circle, to engage them or try to bring them back to the circle, but modeling their own participation in the group is all we ask of parents, and it's all your child needs from you!
What kind of instruments do you use?
We have a wide variety of unpitched instruments such as Drums, Triangles, Tambourines, Bells, Shakers and Rhythm sticks. The reason for using developmentally-appropriate unpitched instruments is so that the children will never feel they are playing a "wrong" note and can join in however they like. You too will be playing along on these instruments! We sometimes use chime bars pitched to match the songs and we dance with scarves and play with parachutes! The teachers sometimes play guitar to accompany the songs as well as using CD accompaniment at times. In Big Kids classes, we also do conducting games!
I’m not very musical, can I still attend the class with my child?
You are your child’s most important role model, no matter what kind of singing voice or dancing feet you have (or think you have!!). It is less important how well you sing than it is to model making the choice to sing. By your example, children will learn that music is a natural, enjoyable and important part of their lives. You, the primary caregiver, are the only one who can give your child the gift of a positive attitude to make music. No CD can impart that! What your child loves and needs most is to hear your voice at home or in class. Throughout the classes you will also get more information on how to best support your child’s musical journey.
Are the classes the same every week?
No, each week we do 10-14 songs out of the 30-40 song collection, and the class enjoys new and surprising song versions, activities and games with the songs each week! Big Kids classes do fewers songs each week, to dig deeper into each song than we do in mixed-age classes.
Can I bring family members and friends?
Yes. Any number of adults can attend and siblings under 10 months old can come for free. We encourage as many family members as possible to attend!
Do you provide a breastfeeding-friendly environment?
Yes, we totally support breastfeeding in class.
Do you allow snacks and drinks during class?
No. Due to an increase of food allergies in children, we ask everybody to snack before or after class and to leave all foods and drinks outside the class room.
What if my child is running around - do we have to leave class?
Children are encouraged to move and jump and spin and wiggle and explore the room (kinesthetic learners especially!). However, for safety reasons we have a no-running policy unless it is one of the song activities/games that the whole group is being asked to participate in by the teacher. For safetly reasons, we also ask children to stay seated or within reach of their parent when playing with rhythm sticks.
How should I use the Music Together Materials?
CD: 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. SING ALONG! Once you learn the songs well enough, you can sing them together without the CD, and make up your own, fun new variations and versions.
Songbook: Use the songbook to help you remember the songs or to play along if you play an instrument. Try using the songbook at story time instead of a regular book, and sing through the songs as you go along. Seeing 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 a Parent Education Guide and a growth chart. During class your teacher will refer to topics and point out examples of music development. 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, re-read it! You may be surprised how valuable it is, especially after having personal experience observing your child's music development.
What happens after we complete a session?
A different song collection is used each semester –there are nine different song collections- so when you re-register, you can look forward to expanding your repertoire with a variety of new songs and chants.
The mixed-age curriculum is designed so that families can continue classes for three years before revisiting a song collection. In three years, you and your child will learn over 375 songs! If you do continue in the program beyond three years (and we hope you will), your child will experience his or her first song collections in a brand new way, as a leader that can proudly model for the younger children once they've acheived Basic Music Competence.
The Big Kids curriculum utillizes songs found in the 9 collections, but leaves out the some songs that were created for younger children. Espeically when a child has already learned the songs by participating in mixed-age classes before, the songs provide the basis for exploring more advanced musical concepts, leading to Basic Music Literacy.
Can I sample a class with my child before I register?
Yes! You can come to one of our sample classes during a sample class week (see our sample class schedule), or sit in one of our regular classes during a current session. If you are cosnsidering joining a current session you mat attend the first, second, or third week of the session on a trial basis. RSVP is required for all sample and trial-basis classes!
What is the tuition for a session?
Tuition varies for different programs and semesters (due to length.) Please review the current tuition on our Register page. Tuition at our community center partners (Brushy Creek and Lakeway) also varies, depending on whether you pay for their membership. Materials fees at these locations is paid directly to Music Forever Music Together, so the tuition level paid to the community center is reduced so that the program cost is equivalent at all locations, including the community centers.
What is included in my tuition?
- Weekly 45-50 minute classes (the number of classes per session varies, 12-week fall semester, 10-week winter and spring semesters, and a 8-week and 4-week summer session)
- Two professionally recorded CDs
- A beautifully illustrated songbook containing all the songs we'll be singing during the semester and ideas for home activities. The songs collections have been designed to offer a wide experience of different rhythms, tonalities, styles and instruments. They are a mix of traditional songs, world music, instrumental play-alongs, original music and rhythmic chants. There is a different song collection for each semester, rotated over three years. Having the CDs to play in the car, at home, or at grandma's lets the whole family share the joy of music making every day; these song collections quickly become family favorites.
- New families will also receive a Parent Guide DVD and booklet, outlining Music Together's educational philosophy.
- Growth Chart that helps you track your child's musical developmental
- Special family/community event each semester (puppet show or concert or similar activity)
- Magnetic picture frame with picture of you, you child, and their teacher!
- Access to special promotions from our marketing partners
Can I arrange a payment plan?
Yes, we offer payment plans (2 or 3 payments during a session) which you can manage by establishing an account through ourregistration page.
Do you offer scholarships?
In partnership with our community partners, we have a full-scholarship program serving up to 10 very-low-income families per semester. You must be nominated by one of our partners or by a currently enrolled family to be eligible for one of these scholarships.
Do you offer gift certificates?
Yes! Music Forever Music Together gift certificates can be used towards the registration of children for Music Forever Music Together classes. Please visit our Gift Certificates page for more information. Gift certificates make a nice baby shower, birthday or holiday gift. Let us know if you would like it sent directly to the recipient or to the purchaser.
How do I register for a class?
Review our current class schedule, select the class you want to register for, create an account or log in with your user name and password and register for the class of your choice. Alternatively, you may call 358-4278 to register by phone, or fill out a paper registration form, available from our teachers at class.
How do I create an account?
Go to our Register page, click ‘Create an account’ next to the username and password prompts, and follow the instructions.
What are my payment options?
You can pay online via credit card or mail a check.
We offer a $10 discount per-child if you pay by check. For more information, please visit our Register page.
Unfortunately, I have to cancel my registration, what do I need to do?
If you need to cancel your registration, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 512-358-4278. A cancellation fee of $40 will be charged for classes dropped before date of first class, and no refunds will be made after that date.
If, due to under-enrollment, your first and second choice classes are both cancelled by the school, your tuition is applicable toward another class during that or the following 2 sessions, or can be fully refunded if you prefer.
I missed a class, can I attend another class to make up for it?
As a courtesy, we offer families to make-up up to two classes (on a space-available basis) during a session by attending another class at another location, using our online make-up scheduler.
How do I schedule a make-up class?
You can schedule a make-up class online by using ourmake-up scheduler. Log in with your user name and password, click on ‘Schedule Make-Up’ and select your location, day, and time. A list of available dates will appear. Click ‘select.’ Once you have scheduled two make-up classes you will receive an alert letting you know you have scheduled all allotted make-ups for the current semester.
Can I cancel a make-up class?
Yes, you can. Log back into your account, go to our make-up scheduler and click on ‘Schedule Make-up.’ You will see your make-up class(es) listed under ‘Upcoming make-ups you’ve scheduled.’ Click cancel.
Can I switch classes mid-semester?
Consistency is important for your child’s learning, and that of all children in the class, so we require that you to commit to staying with one class throughout the session, as an integral musical community forms between families and the teacher. We do our best to accommodate your schedule and find a class that works for you and your child, subject to availability. Contact us via email at email@example.com or via phone at 512-358-4278.
What happens if a class is cancelled?
If we have to postpone for some unexpected reason (power outage, weather), we will email the class participants and call everyone who doesn't respond to our email within a short amount of time. When a postponement occurs, we normally tack the missed class on to the end of the semester, or else refund for the missed class if families are not able to make it up by attending another class at another location.
I lost my CD or songbook. Can I order another one?
Currently enrolled families in a Music Together class or preschool program may order replacement or extra copies of song collection CDs or songbooks by calling (800) 728-2692 x300.
I forgot my username and/or password, what do I do?
Under the username and password prompts, click ‘Forgot your Password?’ and enter your email address. Both your username and password will be emailed to you. If you do not remember which email address you used, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 512-358-4278.