When sitting down to reflect upon the changes between our first and second Music Together® class, I realized that at this point there has been a bigger transformation in me than in my son. I don't necessarily think this is a bad thing. In fact, I think my increased mindfulness of music as a part of our everyday activity is the major point of the Music Together® philosophy. As a parent you are constantly aware of your child's development, encouraging them as they become more aware of their own body as well as their surroundings. We hold their hands and provide guidance as they learn to walk. We point to objects and help them sound out new words, repeating them endlessly to encourage language development. It makes sense that the same can be done with music. Not only have I have been playing the songs from class often, but I have made a conscious effort to incorporate more music into our routine. I find myself singing or humming while changing my son’s diaper or giving him a bath. Humming is a great way to diffuse frustration too (and I have my fair share of frustrating moments especially with a toddler who loves to “help” by upending the contents of whatever I have just finished cleaning up). Belting out one of his favorite songs also worked wonders as a distraction tool, successfully averting a meltdown.
While the bigger change so far has been in my own musical awareness, there was a noticeable difference in my son's behavior between the first and second class. Gone was the cautious observer nestled securely in my lap. Instead he was an enthusiastic participant, playing with egg shakers during one song, exploring the variety of percussion instruments available for play during another, and zooming around the room with zeal when the colorful scarves made their appearance. I believe by playing the songs at home he has become familiar enough with them to feel secure in the studio, which is the necessary ingredient for learning to occur.
What has impressed me most is that the class encourages each child to experience music through multiple senses. The songs covered in class and on the CD range from emphasizing tonal patterns (singing or humming a note at a precise pitch) to rhythm (tapping a precise pattern of beats). Instruments passed out during class encourage you to feel the music when you bang on the big drums or jangle the bells and to see the music when you dance and twirl with the scarves.
As a parent I have already grown accustomed to acting silly in public for the benefit of my son. It has honestly been a lot of fun to become reacquainted with the uninhibited and musically expressive side of myself. Now that I am conscious of making playful music a part of our everyday routine I am interested to see how this will be reflected in my son throughout the remainder of the course.
Music Together® is a parent-child music class of mixed ages from birth to age five. Classes focus on interactive play where both the caregiver and child share songs, play instruments, and participate in rhythm chants and movement activities. Classes of mixed ages foster family-style learning where the younger children watch and imitate the older ones, and the older children learn by leading the younger ones. Meryl's Music and Arts Centers offer a variety of classes for children (from birth to age seven) at studios in Harwich,
S. Yarmouth, Bourne, Eastham, and Sandwich.
Disclaimer: This review was made possible by Meryl's Music & Arts. All thoughts are the blogger's own.
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