frequently asked questions
Music Together® classes nurture a child’s natural enthusiasm for music and movement. We sing, dance, chant, and play instruments together in an informal 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 into 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.
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, early childhood development, and family relationships, as well as our 20 years experience in the field.
In addition, we do offer an infant class for non-mobile babies 8 months and under and a BIG KID class for the 4 1/2 & 5 yr olds as well.
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.
Throughout the semester, Music Together classes may be in session when older children have a school holiday and it is natural to want to bring them with you to class. Older siblings of registered students may visit 2 classes per semester.
You will receive a class confirmation email immediatlely after you register and pay for your class.
Each family is allowed two makeups per semester. Makeups are available at any location. To schedule a makeup, click on ‘For Enrolled Families‘ 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 session. Make-ups are on a space available basis and do fill up especially at the end of each term so try to book in advance.
Yes, we understand schedules change. However, for class continuity and community building, we can move a child to a different class pending space for the first 3 weeks of the session only. Once we close the term at the end of week three, there are no more class transfers allowed. Due to this, please try to enroll for a class that will work for the duration of the term.
No refunds are given after the session begins. If you cancel before the session start date, there is a $25 withdrawal fee.
Families are responsible for class attendance. Non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal, extra make-ups or credits for future terms and all tuition fees are forfeited.
Music Together will pro-rate tuition through the first 3 weeks of the semester. The cost will automatically be pro-rated when you enroll. Families do receive two makeup classes per semester. We close the session to new registrations in week 3 of the term.
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 in class 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.
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 to join in at home.
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, chants 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 tough to resist the impulse to give your child directives such as “Do what she is doing, hold your instrument this way” but children respond best by just seeing and hearing you doing (and enjoying) it yourself! 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!
Play your CD at home and in the car as frequently as possible, especially during the 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 storytime 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 music instruction, typically when they are school aged.
New Music Together parents receive our introductory DVD “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 video. 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 seen the new DVD, ask for a copy of the DVD today! You may be surprised how valuable it is, especially after having personal experience observing your child’s music development.
We know you are excited about class, but would ask that you wait until after the first week or two of classes so we can make sure that everyone is comfortable. Also, remember, it is so important that you model and participate during class, so please snap a few shots and then join right in with the music making!
Gift certificates for any amount towards classes can be purchased at any time. It makes a nice baby shower or birthday gift. Grandparents love to buy these for holiday gifts. Let us know if you would like it sent directly to the recipient or to the purchaser. Anyone can buy one on-line by clicking here or the icon located on the footer of each page.
Music Together of Portland follows PPS district’s policy with regard to weather cancellations. Should the public schools close due to inclement weather, our classes will be closed as well. If schools are running on a delayed schedule, our classes will meet as they normally would if they fall in the school start-time frame. For example, if schools are delayed two hours, our 9:15 classes may be cancelled/rescheduled but 10:15 and later classes would run. We will alert you to cancellations by text if you have opted in or email and on our facebook page as well.
If classes are cancelled due to inclement weather, we try to schedule a make-up class later in the semester. Occasionally we are unable to schedule a make-up class. In this case, we are unable to issue a refund for the missed class.