What should I do when my child is not participating the way I would like him/her to in our music class?
Children are unique and have varying styles of learning. While attending music classes, parents may find themselves comparing their child's performance with others in the class because he or she is not doing exactly what the teacher or other children do. Please be assured that each child is absorbing what is going on in the classroom, and she or he is learning - whether the child is an observer or an active participant! Children will eventually become accustomed to the structure of the class and participate in a way they are comfortable with. Usually children will imitate class activities at home before they will participate in class.
Above all, it cannot be stressed enough that our program is experience-based rather than performance-based. We, as parents and caregivers, can help most by not letting our doubts about ourselves interfere with our child's enjoyment and experience of music. Let's relax and appreciate the unique individual who is our child.
How should I use the family materials?
Music in the family is vital to the development of your child. The time to start is in early childhood; the place is in the family. Home is the first and most important school for a child. Involved parents are the most effective teachers for children.
Music provides an excellent springboard for interaction with your child at home. Included in all family kits is a CD of classroom songs and activities. We encourage you to play these often, to sing and move along to the music, and make music making a part of your family life. The collection of songs and rhymes is designed for musical play. This "musical playtime" might be a scheduled time - perhaps before a nap or after breakfast - or some other spontaneous times during the day. You can find ideas in the booklet included with the CD or the teacher will model how to use the materials.
We encourage you to designate a specific place for your music materials at home. Teach your child how to take care of his or her materials, and they will stay intact for years to come.
Once children reach the Music Makers series - Home, World, and Keyboard - there should be a more dedicated time devoted to using the family materials. These classes are designed sequentially, so that later skills are built on those learned earlier in the year. Your child will be much more successful if she or he is engaging in practice at home.
Why are patterns part of each class?
We use rhythm and tonal patterns throughout the curriculum, starting with the babies. These patterns are the building blocks of music and help your child develop a steady beat and an accurate sense of pitch. In addition to these areas, the repetition of patterns builds listening and memory skills. This repetition of patterns will help children identify phrases in music, create their own songs and move toward reading and writing music in a more natural manner.
What should I do if my child is being disruptive?
We expect age-appropriate behavior from our children. This means that babies will cry, toddlers will wander, and sometimes children will not want to participate. These behaviors are only inappropriate if they are distracting to other children or threaten the safety of your child or others. If your child is disrupting class, we ask that you attend to her or his behavior. You may wish to step outside of the class for a few minutes, but please come back and join the class when your child is ready.
Why do we repeat songs throughout the curriculum?
Repetition is essential to your child's learning. You will notice much repetition during a class, over the semester, and within the total curriculum. The curriculum is intentionally repetitive because this is a means by which your child:
- Stores songs in his or her long-term memory,
- Strengthens the muscular system so actions become more smooth and controlled over time, and
- Develops a mastery of skills.
A young child learning to walk will practice the mechanics of walking until he or she has mastered the skill. Then the child takes that skill to the next level and practices some more. The same applies in music. We introduce children to the fundamentals of music in the earlier classes (babies and toddlers) so that later in the program they can use that fundamental information and apply it to more cognitive activities such as reading and writing music.
My child has been sick. Is it okay for me to bring her or him to class?
The Children's Hospital parent advice line offers the following guidelines on typical childhood viruses. We hope this information helps parents take into consideration all of the families we affect at Early Childhood Music at Trinity, especially when utilizing the nursery.
1. Keep your child home if he/she has a fever >100 degrees, or nasal drainage that may contaminate sticks, scarves, etc. The child should be fever-free for 24 hours prior to attending class.
2. The child should be virus-free (vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) for 24 hours before bringing her or him to class. If your child is on an antibiotic, he or she should be kept home until 24 hours after the antibiotics are begun.
If you are in doubt, make your judgment based on how your child is feeling. Your child should feel happy and ready to participate in class.
Providing a haven where JOY of God, JOY of Family and JOY of Music Making are experienced.
© MUSIKGARTEN: Trinity Early Childhood Music