Using the 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 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.
Using the songbook: Each song is brought to life through colorful and engaging illustrations. The new book will inspire your family to play with music all week long. You’ll find it helpful to learn the lyrics, as a jumping-off point for creative storytelling, and to learn more about the songs you’re singing in class. Your child may enjoy snuggling with you and singing through the whole book at once—or opening to a page to tell you what song they want to sing! 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.
Other fun things to try are:
• Make up new words to tunes you know already and include your child’s name in the song – could be about what you see around you or related to activities like getting ready for bed.
• Have a play along jam in the kitchen with all of the pots and pans and big spoons and whisks etc. Put on the Music Together CD and jam along or choose one of your favourite bands and introduce some new music to your child.
• Pick at time of day and create a ritual moment where you make music with your child. Perhaps it’s a lullaby before bed, a song during bath time, a dance jam when mom and dad get home from work, a brushing teeth song, or a wake-up and get ready song.
• Sing in the car! This is a great place to play with part singing and rounds or singing along with your favourite music.
• Use props like bouncing balls, scarves or sheets to play with the rhythm and form of the music.
• Invite your child up on your lap and sing your way through a horsey ride, a crazy car ride or and airplane ride.
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.
Also, please log on to The Family Music Zone on musictogether.com to access (as an enrolled family) the extensive resources provided, mp3 versions of the songs for download, special activity ideas, videos, and more!