NOTE! Entry form for giveaway at the bottom of this post!
Having tried several types of mommy-and-me music classes over the years, the gold standard in my book is Music Together. Attending Music Together classes is honestly one my most favorite and treasured activities to do with my boys. I know I’m not alone either, in fact a reader’s comment on my recent post about children’s music mentioned the Music Together CDs as some of their family’s favorite music. There is something about the melodies, lyrics, and tones in Music Together songs that children really gravitate to and enjoy. My boys can memorize the entire CD of music within a couple of weeks, including all of the and the tonal and rhythm patterns, you know, the bum BUM bum at the end of some songs (which, by the way, are not just fun repetitive sounds, but according to Music Together, these patterns are the building blocks for developing basic music competence, meaning the ability to sing in tune and move with accurate rhythm).
The company, who recently celebrated their 25th year anniversary, is “passionately committed to bonding children and their caregivers through music and helping people discover the joy and critical educational value of early music experiences”. The teachers at Music Together are not just there to sing silly songs with your kids, they truly believe in the early educational benefits of music instruction. According to Founder/Director Kenneth K. Guilmartin, “All children are naturally musical. Just as they are born with the potential to learn to speak and understand language, they have the ability from birth to learn music. And nurturing this innate talent early provides the foundation for later success with traditional music or dance lessons.”
The folks at Music Together often talk about the “magical effect” of music, which is something I know all you parents have seen in action, usually by a preschool teacher or professional nanny. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, especially during hectic or time-crunch times of the day, but I find that when I do lighten up and sing with the boys at these times that everything we need to accomplish gets done with a smile. Here are some ideas from the folks at Music Together on how parents can change familiar songs to help their children get through the day:
- Help ease the stress of bath time. Try singing a bath time version of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” with “Wash, wash, wash your hair,” “Splash, splash, splash around,” “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, glub, glub, glub, glub, glub.”
- Help motivate your child to get dressed. Change the words to “Baa, Baa Black Sheep” to “Mary, Mary, where is your shoe? Here it is, and it’s going right on you” or “Joey, Joey, here is your shirt! Lift up your arms so you can wear your shirt!”
- Help your family get out the door. Make up your own version of “Wheels on the Bus” about your car with “The walk to the car goes stomp, stomp, stomp…” and “The wheels on our car go ’round and ’round…” or “The buckle on the seat goes click, click, click…”
If you haven’t experienced Music Together for yourself, it’s easy to find a class near you, they are found in over 2,000 communities and over 40 countries, and almost all offer a free preview class. Their fourth story book, May All Children, is currently on sale and includes song sheet and a free song download with the book purchase. The book includes fun activity suggestions designed to further stimulate learning, exploration, and music-making between child and reader. In honor of the United Nations International Day of Peace, all sales of the May All Children book will go to UNICEF from September 20-22, , so if you are thinking about purchasing, do it now to give UNICEF this great benefit.
And as if the contribution to UNICEF isn’t enough, the generous folks at Music Together have provided me with one copy to giveaway to one of you Luxe…With Kids readers! Simply use the form below to enter.
Thank you to all the founders and teachers of Music Together, and a special shout out to Andy in the East Bay (CA) and Emily in Houston. What a beautiful gift you give to so many families! xoxo