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 developmental level in singing, moving, chanting, listening, watching, and exploring musical instruments. The class provides a variety of adult-child activities that are fun and relaxed, offering new ways to play musically at home, or anywhere. The whole family is welcome to join in this important family music experience and any caregiver—parent, grandparent, nanny—can bring the child(ren) to class.
A Word About Mixed-Ages
Early childhood educators have long promoted mixed-age groupings as the optimal learning environment for children under 5 years. In this setting, the little ones learn by watching and imitating the older children. The older children love being the “big kids” and showing the little ones how it’s done. Older children also have the opportunity to develop empathy, as they learn to adjust their behaviour to relate to younger children in the room. Additionally, not all children of the same age are at the same stage of music development. There are two factors at work here, both aptitude and experience. Our family-style learning environment facilitates participation and involvement in the music for every child (and adult!), at whatever developmental stage they may be.