"My five year old granddaughter has been attending classes since she was eight months old. She has acquired so many musical skills as well as memorizing a variety of songs that will stay with her always. So many social skills are constantly learned. Now my one and a half year old grandson has started down the same path and loves attending music class. Often when we enter class he goes right to Miss Marla and gives her a big hug. Thank you for Seminole Music Together. The value has been outstanding!!!" ---------- Nancy Hastings
"Our lives changed when we began Seminole County Music Together. Our daughter has higher self-esteem and loves to sing or dance songs at home/in the car. We have been fascinated with how positive her development has been. Seminole County Music Together is our family and we are confident it will be yours too."
---------- Love, The Nieves Family
"I have been taking my Grandson since he was not quite 2 years old to Miss Marla's Music Together .. When he first started he had a speech problem and could not say one word ,but now he is not only talking but singing as well! He adores Miss Marla and looks forward to going each week .. I attribute his speech progress all to Music Together!" ---------- J Williams
"I started music class with Music Together after taking a free trial class. My daughter was under a year old at the time. I'm now about to have my third daughter and will definitely be bringing her up in music class! Both of my girls have thrived musically and sing/dance together, make up songs, hum when they are content. I believe this fondness of music of all types comes from our experience in Music Together classes. We have thoroughly enjoyed the last three years making music together as a family." ---------- Kristin Fortier
"My family has participated in Seminole County Music Together for over a year and would recommend it to other families with small children. Both of my children have had the chance to experience the family friendly classes with Miss Marla and we love it. The best part of the class is when you get to continue the learning at home. We can all sing the songs together in the car or around the house. It's one of the few things both my kids can do together and be entertained. Miss Marla is patient and friendly- we are lucky to have met Miss Marla." ---------- Maureen Genoa
During the early years, it is extremely important that parents and caregivers be the ones who create a nurturing environment. Children are biologically "wired" to respond most to those with whom they have close bonds. Music Together® classes help you build that bond. Best of all, it's fun!
We know it might be difficult to watch other children zealously participate in the group while your child does not. This is especially true if your child performs all of his class favorites as soon as you arrive home. Try to understand that he is very wisely "practicing" in private and will make his public "debut" when he feels more confident. Meanwhile, if you feel suddenly overwhelmed with frustration by the lack of your child's participation in class, just relax and participate yourself!
What should I expect of myself?
As well as participating in class, listen to the CD together and try the activities at home.
Some parents are somewhat disconcerted by the concept of being their child's most important role model, especially when it comes to music. You may feel that you are not particularly musical - perhaps you even describe yourself as being "tone deaf." Maybe you are great at singing, but feel unsure of yourself when dancing or trying to "keep the beat." Whatever the level of your technical skill, remember the most important things you can model for your child are simply pleasure, interest, and the desire to participate in music activities.
Many adults feel inadequate about their ability in music, as if it should be something effortless and natural. In fact, this is often the case. As your understanding of your child's music development grows in Music Together, you may come to understand that circumstances in your own childhood music experience may be at the root of some of these feelings. By participating with your child, you can begin to rediscover within yourself the natural human musicality that is everyone's birthright.
What about practicing at home?
Play your Music Together CDs at home. It's also great to play the CD while driving. Do not limit its use to the car, though - children are less able to move to the music while strapped into a car seat.
Many children will want specific songs repeated again and again. Try to accommodate them. They crave the repetition because it is necessary for their development. Repetition is one way they "practice."
Another way they "practice" is through spontaneous, playful imitation of the songs and activities they experience in class. These imitations will, of course, probably not be "correct," but they will certainly be fun!
Some children may not demonstrate interest in the recording. Right now, they may have different developmental needs and interests or simply have other current favorites. Perhaps they haven't adjusted to the class experience yet and are holding some enthusiasm in reserve. Just play the CD in the background, perhaps as they play or take a bath. Their interest in both the class and the CD will grow with familiarity.
The CD provides a way of reinforcing and following up on the live class experience of adults participating in musical activities. The more you can continue this kind of participation at home by singing the songs or doing the chants and fingerplays yourself, the better it is, as long as you do it in the spirit of fun and enjoyment. Nothing sets a better model for your child than doing an activity you enjoy yourself.
Remember to use the songbook, even if you don't read music! Use it like a story book and "read" the songs to your child, especially the ones with pictures. In time, you might suggest that your child draw his or her own pictures for the songs, especially for those that don't have one!
Notice the effects of your child's experience in class and note his listening habits with the CD at home during the week. Write down or remember any questions you might have about your child's responses and then ask your teacher and discuss with other parents in class.
What Our Families Say
My daughter has such a great time with Music Together. She is free to be a child in a fun and safe place. I enjoy the direct interaction and the variety of activities. Each week is a brand new music adventure!
Jed B., Oviedo
We love this class. It is a wonderful early musical experience in an encouraging environment.
Julie and Emily P., Oviedo
Max asks me almost everyday, "Music Class?" He is so excited when it is actually the class day!
Christy B., Oviedo
I wish you could hear Ellie and Jessica singing the MT songs outside of class. The other day, they were singing "Rolling a Round Ball" but changing the words to match what they were doing--throwing a round ball, bouncing a round ball, etc.--and giggling madly the entire time. Eleanor also loves serenading her little sister with "One Little Drummer Marching Up" and she sings the "Drip Drop" song whenever she is in the tub, splashing the water as an accompaniment.
Beth Y., Oviedo
Music Together combines all of the important ingredients for time well spent with your child: lots of fun, valuable learning, and an opportunity to make lasting memories. Music and movement are fun for everyone, adults and children alike. You need only look at the smile on your child's face as they groove to the music to know that you have invested your time and money wisely.
Stacey Dunn, Ph.D., Psychologist