1. Before Class: Set up your home music classroom.
Children get strong cues from routine and context. Creating a special place or setup for music time prepares children to transition from other activities and helps them engage with the class experience more fully. Here are some easy tips to make music class a special event:
- The optimal space for class is on the floor. Move furniture, if necessary, to make sure there is space to sit, stand, and move around a few steps, even if your child does not yet walk.
- Define the space by putting down a cheerful picnic blanket or throw to sit on and bringing out a basket with your musical instruments or props.
- Clear away as many distractions as you can from the space, especially toys.
- Create anticipation before class as you prepare the space. If your child is old enough to walk, involve them in setting up the space with you.
2. During Class: Model participation for your child.
Remember that you, the grown-up, are still the most important teacher and model for your child. This is especially true in a virtual class, where we are trying to create a meaningful, live experience for your child. We strongly recommend that, as much as possible, you:
- Sit with your child and react personally to what is going on in class. It is not important that the child maintain focus on the screen. YOU are the one who follow the teacher. Your child will eventually try to copy what you do.
- Do not be shy about singing. You will be on MUTE most of the time anyway, so only your child will get to hear your wonderful voice.
- Do not be shy about moving and dancing. Movement is a big part of your child’s overall development. If you want to dance more privately, just move yourself out of the camera’s view. WE don’t need to see you, but your child really does.
- Remember that even if you don't think of yourself as "musical," you can rest assured that you are, and your child is, too! You are your child’s model in class. In addition to modeling music making, you are modeling important behaviors such as openness to new experiences and enthusiasm for learning something new!