What Can I Expect From Class?
Music Together® classes nurture a child's natural enthusiasm for music and movement. We sing, dance, chant, and play instruments together in an informal group setting. Young children get the opportunity to not only learn through play and experimentation but also watch and listen to the grownups they love and look up to. In fact, this modeling is essential to their growth in to confident music-makers. But don't worry, you already have the only skill you'll need: the desire to play and have fun with your child! Just being there as a role model and sharing the experience is enough to make a powerful difference. Our teachers are specially trained to create a safe atmosphere where you can happily join in, experiment, and even get silly -- all while strengthening the bond with your child.
Why aren't there separate classes for different age groups?
In the 1980s, Music Together pioneered the development of the mixed-age approach in early childhood music. 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: the babies are often fascinated by the older child, and the "big" children enjoy helping and sharing with the "little"ones. This approach is based on research from music education and early childhood development.
In addition, we do offer an infant class for non-mobile babies 8 months and under.
What is the class size?
Each class has 6-12 registered children plus their primary caregiver(s). Infant siblings 8 months and under do not count in the class numbers. Sometimes we must cancel or combine a class due to low enrollment. If we cancel your class before it is slated to begin, we will make every effort to place you in another class. If we cannot place you in another class, then we will refund your tuition payment in full. If we cancel your class after the semester begins, we will negotiate your refund on a case-by-case basis.
When can I expect a class confirmation?
You will receive a class confirmation email immediately after you register and pay for your class.
What if I miss a class during the semester?
Each family is allowed two makeups per semester. Makeups are available at any location. To schedule a makeup, click on "Make Up Scheduler" on the home page of the website. Please note: makeups do not carry over term to term and need to be completed during the current semester. Makeups are on a space-available basis and do fill up (especially at the end of each term), so try to book in advance.
What if I need to withdraw from a class?
No refunds are given after the session begins. If you cancel after the start date, you can get credit for a future semester. If you cancel before the session start date, you will get a full refund.
What if I start class after the session begins?
Heart & Beat will pro-rate tuition for you, on a case by case basis.
Can we eat in class?
Please feel comfortable nursing your child in class, but we ask that you not bring food or drink (except for water in a closed container) into the classroom. Fewer distractions allow more opportunities for children to engage in musical activities. In addition, we want to protect any children who have allergies to food products such as peanuts or milk. We also encourage you to remove your child's pacifier so (s)he is free to experiment with sounds during class.
Can I bring my sick child to class?
Please keep your child home if sick. Take advantage of our liberal makeup policy and make up the class when your child is well again. Do not bring a child with fever, a rash, a hacking cough, a streaming nose, oozing eyes, or lice or nits to class. If you are in doubt about whether you should attend class, please consult your child's doctor.
We have many pregnant women and newborns in our classes (some only weeks old) and we want to assure you we are taking every precaution that our classes stay healthy and that those who are at most risk, if exposed to measles, are protected. Although we do not have a policy in place with regard to vaccinations (legally we can not discriminate), we do have a very strict sick policy in place and are taking every precaution to keep all the instruments and the classrooms we use, clean.
We take the utmost caution and clean everything after class, to prevent any illnesses from spreading.
Is it okay for more than one adult to come to class?
Both or either parent, grandparents or caregivers are welcome to attend class at any time--no need to ask! Whole family music-making in your home is extremely valuable to your child's musical development, and attending class occasionally helps the other family members join in at home.
As a parent, what is my role in class?
Enhance your child's experience in class by remembering to sing, sing, sing and follow what the teacher is doing. Your active participation is the key to your children learning and growing musically. The songs, change and movements are easy and accessible. Don't worry if you can't carry a tune -- you can give your child a positive music experience simply by participating! Your child does not need to sit on your lap: children whose rhythm-side are more developed may be more kinesthetic and need to move around the room and express themselves rhythmically. Model positive parenting, make music and enjoy yourself!
Try not to give verbal directions. It can be touch to resist the impulse to give your child directives, such as "Do what she is doing" or "Hold your instrument like this", but children respond best by just seeing and hearing what you are doing! Wandering toddlers are fine, but if you want your child to come back to you, avoid calling to him from across the room. If necessary, redirect your child physically back to you or the circle. Of course, watch out for your child's safety, but mostly, your job is to just relax, and have fun!!
How should we use the Music Together materials?
Play your CD at home and in the car as frequently as possible, especially during those first few weeks of class. Make the CD available to your child to listen to while she is playing or before nap or bedtime. Use the songbook to help you remember the songs or to play along if you play an instrument. Try using the songbook at story time instead of a regular book and sing through the songs as you go along. Looking at 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 instruction, typically when they are school-aged.
New Music Together parents receive our guide, "Music Together at Home: Helping Your Child Grow Musically". During class, your teacher will refer to topics and point out examples of things covered in the booklet. 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 guide, ask for a copy! You may be surprised how valuable it is, especially after having personal experience observing your child's music development.
May I bring my phone to class to take videos/pictures during class?
We ask that families refrain from taking photos or videos during class time. Music Together is very much about creating community and it is very hard to do so if people are on their phones. We want the entire family to participate in class and phones become a hindrance to participation. In addition, picture-taking easily distracts the children from the musical activities. We do, however, welcome the taking of pictures before or after class.
If a caregiver is bringing your child to class, please let them know of our policy.
What is your policy on inclement weather?
Heart & Beat Music follows NYC school district's policy with regard to weather cancellations. Should the public schools close due to inclement weather, our classes will be closed as well. We will alert you to cancellations by email and on our facebook page as well.