When we first welcomed our wee one, a friend suggested I try the children’s music classes at TCU. I smiled, nodded, and thought, What is a baby going to learn from a music class? Puhlease.
Six months later, I needed a break to the eat-play-nap-eat-play-nap routine and signed up Little Miss for a music class. What’s the harm, right?
It only took a visit or two before I was in love with the classes. We started with the infant class, meaning all the students are babies (and of course, their guardians), and it was wonderful. During each class you begin by sitting in a circle with your baby in your arms or on the floor in front of you. For the next 30 minutes, two teachers lead you in singing, dancing, chanting, and interacting with instruments in ways that stimulate the baby’s mind and motor function.
Since that first session, we’ve kept up the classes and are about to start her sixth semester. After the infant course, we joined the mixed ages groups–and adore it. Here’s why:
- The hubs and I can absolutely, without a doubt, see how the music classes have impacted Little Miss. She excels in finding rhythms; she associates music with a positive experience.
- And why does that matter? Because music is both mathematical and artistic. The exposure to music stimulates the brain to both these areas, creating a great foundation for further learning inside and outside the topic of music.
- It’s a great opportunity for Anna to meet other kids of all ages, learning to play, sing, and share music together.
- The CDs provided and musical instruments (two CDs per semester and one instrument per semester) allow for fun play at home. The music class is something she and I do together . . . at the actual class and at home.
- The music is not annoying. I can listen to it in the car all the time and not want to melt into oblivion.
- Classes are fun. My cutie enjoys attending. There’s no dragging her by her feet.
- The teachers are fantastic. I really appreciate how the class is not performance based and they allow the children to experience the music in individual ways. (Ms. Janis and Ms. Mandy are the BEST!)
TCU Early Childhood Music uses the Music Together curriculum. I chatted with Ms. Mandy, the Early Childhood Music coordinator, about why the program chooses to use Music Together. She said, “The philosophy of Music Together is listed in four simple points:
- All children are musical.
- Therefore, all children can achieve basic music competence, which we have defined as the ability to sing in tune and move with accurate rhythm.
- The participation and modeling of parents and caregivers, regardless of their musical ability, is essential to a child’s musical growth.
- This growth is best achieved in a playful, developmentally appropriate, non-performance-oriented learning environment that is musically rich yet immediately accessible to the child’s–and the adult’s–participation.
TCU Early Childhood Music strives to provide music classes that are modeled after this philosophy. Musical activities include singing, moving and dancing, chanting, listening, observing, and exploring instruments. Each child participates at this or her own developmental level. We accomplish this by grouping children of a variety of ages together, along with their adult caregivers and teachers, so that each child will discover the joyful world of music in a family setting.”
Registration for the spring semester (16 weeks with one class per week) begins on December 3. There are numerous classes offered Monday-Saturday at various times. So there’s a slot that could work for you! Also, each semester you have three make-up sessions in case you need to miss a class. Check out the TCU Early Childhood Music website to learn more or to register. And hey–I’ll see you in music class.
In what ways do you teach a love of music to your children?