This is the essential Music Together® class, one that a child can attend from birth through age four - and through all nine song collections. Child development researchers recommend mixed-age groupings because they foster natural, family-style learning. Younger children enjoy watching and imitating older ones; older children learn by leading younger ones; and adults are happy because the children in the family can go to class together. Each child participates at his or her own level in singing, moving, chanting, listening, watching, and exploring musical instruments. The class provides a variety of adult-child activities that are fun and offer new ways to play musically at home. Parents, grandparents, or nanny, individually or together, may accompany the children. The whole family is welcome for this important family music experience.
Why mixed ages? Early childhood educators consistently recommend mixed-age groupings as an optimal learning environment for children under five years. In this setting, older children learn from being in a leadership role (a role they may not take when they're in a group of their peers), and younger children benefit from the example of an older child. Classes have a family feel, rather than a school orientation, an environment your child will have ample opportunity to experience when he enters the world of formal education in a few years. In addition, children of the same age are not necessarily in the same stage of music development and a mixed-age environment creates a space for exploration and discovery, rather than peer pressure. The Music Together curriculum is designed to teach on many levels of complexity at once, and Music Together teachers are trained in the art of mixed-age learning.
Should my infant be in class with older children? Absolutely. Just as siblings in multi-child families learn from each other, so do the children in our mixed-age classes. Your baby will learn by watching and imitating you as well as the older children in the room.
Will my older child regress being in class with babies? No. You may notice your child revisiting some behaviors she has moved past but do not confuse this with regression. Your child will not UN-learn skills she has already gained. This process of revisiting actually affirms the progress your child has made as she recognizes that she no longer exhibits these behaviors. It also signifies empathy as she adjusts her behavior in order to relate to the younger children in the room.
May I bring both of my children to the same class? Yes! Not only may you, we encourage you to! In each class we strive to create a musically rich, developmentally appropriate environment where the whole family can enjoy music and nurture skills at the level right for each child. Mixed-age classes also provide a rich learning environment because children of different ages thrive when they interact with each other.