Yes, I’m endorsing a product/service here. No, I am not being paid to do so. It’s called Music Together and two past experiences made me decide to recommend this activity.
Several of my friends had done Music Together for three consecutive “semesters” and then decided to skip a semester. During that period we met at the park during the time that many of us used to do Music Together and Sarah was saying how much she missed it, couldn’t wait til it started up again, and that not doing it made her see how much she values it. Our park-based playdate was simply filling the hole in her life left by abstaining from Music Together.
Ok, so Sarah (hearts) Music Together. Her enthusiasm made me think hard about how I feel about it. I had been thinking that it’s just too expensive, and then I decided that I agree with Sarah.
Later that day, I read that most North American families only know two or three songs to sing to their children when they are born, and one of them is often 99 Bottles of Beer. And here’s where I relate to how much value you get out of these classes. From Music Together, my husband and I have learned countless songs in that can be sung and re-sung in different ways. The class is designed to teach you, the parent, how to incorporate music into your kid’s life.* Each song can be changed around to include your kid’s name, interests or description of the activities you’re doing. Our teacher, Ryk, also gives great advice on using music to distract while diaper changing or putting on shoes. People, it works.
Julian was obsessed with the CDs that come with the class. He begged for us to put them on and then, as a baby even, would smile and wave when he heard the first song.
*The class is not about building music skills in your kid. In fact, they are welcome to sit absolutely still and silent. The parent or caregiver is the one participating. The theory is that you can develop musical interest and enthusiasm in children by enabling them to watch you have fun with sounds, songs and instruments. Given that we don’t have community music experiences in this culture, our kids will not pick up songs to pass down to their kids unless we make it happen.
So there you have it. My love letter to Music Together.
And again, this is not an advertisement.
[Photo from Music Together's website]