15 answers

Music Together Reviews

Hi Moms,

Our local park district is offering a Music Together class. I'm wondering if any of you have done this series of classes. I know it's rather commercialized and I've looked at their websites, etc. But I want real reviews... How does the whole age variation thing work? Also, my 14 month old son is not a lap-sitter AT ALL (can you blame him?!)- he is very much on the go...I wonder how this would fit with these classes. I've been places where they glared at me because he wouldn't sit still...come on, get real. For the cost, and I know when you break it out over so many weeks it's not as alarming, but still...I want to make sure it's something we'll enjoy. So just curious what you all might have to say. Thanks!

A.

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Hi A.,

It all depends on the instructor. We took the class in oakpark at oak-leyden developmental center and it was great. The teacher makes all the difference. Most places will let you sit in on a class and see if the mix of kids works for you. Just ask if you can try before you buy.

K..

More Answers

I LOVED our Music Together classes. And I'll be honest...I became very frustrated when my son preferred to play with the window shades in the room than sit with me and sing the songs. But then I saw that, once the kids got to toddler age, very few of them want to stay seated (and you really can't force them!) It's just part of the age.

Our instructor encouraged me not to be frustrated and to simply let my son move around as he wanted (the room was baby-proofed as best as possible). Forcing him to sit would have made him and me miserable -- and THAT would have been a waste of money. Her philosophy was that any positive exposure to music is a wonderful learning experience for the child. Now, in retrospect, I can see how much my son still loves hearing the music from those classes (Both kids still ask me to play the CDs in the car.) The class really had an impact on him -- and both kids remember and sing the songs.

Most of the class is spent with active play along to the music. You and your child may have a musical instrument to play, may have a scarf to throw in the air, may have a dance, may learn a game to the song, etc. These are the parts of class that even the highly active kids (like my son) were very involved.

For me, the best part of the class was the music. I'm not a huge fan of "silly" songs for kids. Music Together used real music from all over the world, as well as some American classics. My husband and I enjoy listening to the CDs and singing along with my kids when we are on road trips.

One last thought...the key to this class is singing along with the instructor. And your instructor will coach you: it doesn't matter that you don't have a professional singing voice (who does???) Your child loves hearing your voice and will be thrilled hearing you sing. It will encourage your child to use his own voice!

Sorry this was so long, but I hope this helps.

EDIT: This class is intended for the youngest of kids. Your son is the perfect age.

1 mom found this helpful

We did Music Together classes last year when we lived in Colorado. My son loved them. The instructor welcomed children to explore, run around, dance, whatever they felt like. She told us the first day the policy was to follow your child's lead - if they want to sit and pay full attention do the same, if they want to wander around a listen from afar that is fine too b/c they are still absorbing the music. I do not know if that was a Music Together policy or her personal policy but the kids were free to roam - however mostly they paid attention b/c they were given instruments and encouraged to dance and move anyway. Obviously the older kids (my son was 12 mo.) caught on quicker than the younger ones but the younger ones still had a lot of fun (which is my mind is the whole point!)

My 6 month old and I have been doing Music Together in the South Loop since he was 3 months old and we love it. He is so engaged by everything that's going on. Obviously he is still a lap-sitter, but we are in a class with toddlers and some of them sit, some of them run around and dance the whole class and all of that is fine. The teachers are very big on the kids enjoying the class in their own way so if that means they dance, great. If that means they sit in mom's lap, great. If that means they play in a corner by themselves, great. It's very relaxed and I think the kids get more out of it that way instead of being forced to sit still and "follow the rules." I can't wait for my little guy to be on the move to see how he acts in class.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you'd like more info.

I did not do this music class - but took a few classes with our park district. They were great - but my son was 3- 4 years old when we were taking music classes. I would suggest you wait - 14 mos. old is too young to enjoy and participate.

M.

My daughter and my "non-lap sitting" 2 y/o grand daughter have been going to the classes in Lockport for about a year. My daughter seems to enjoy it and my grand-daughter really loves it. I can give you my daughter's e-mail address privately if you'd like to talk to her directly.

During those long winter days I think a tot class would be great for you and your child. We go to the Carol Stream Park Dist. They let you try a class and if it isn't for you and your child they will refund the rest of your money. It is great!

Take care
J.

We did Music Together for several years in Naperville. My boys loved it. It is not a "must sit on your lap" kind of class by any means. The only rules are generally no running and if you are using something like music sticks the kids do have to sit. However, they can choose to not have the sticks and be up. It is VERY movement based. I definately felt that we got our money's worth. The nice part (I would assume that the class through the PD will be the same) is that if you have a second child they allow you to bring the sibling for free up until they are 8 months old.

We just finished our first session of Music Together in Skokie - www.harmonious-horizons.com - and plan to sign up again. Our kids are now 23 months and 7 months, so we attended as a family (and kids under 8 months are free). It's been great for all of us. The class has enough structure to prevent chaos, but offers the freedom to encourage creativity. You receive 2 CDs of all the songs and are encouraged to sing them at home. We sing the songs at home all the time - in the car, lullaby at bed time, clean up song, etc. Our kids love playing with the instruments and various stuff the teacher brings (balls, parachute, scarves, running sticks). Little kids learn from the bigger kids and the bigger kids can be role models for little kids. I highly recommend the Music Together program.

Hi A.,

It all depends on the instructor. We took the class in oakpark at oak-leyden developmental center and it was great. The teacher makes all the difference. Most places will let you sit in on a class and see if the mix of kids works for you. Just ask if you can try before you buy.

K..

Okay I know that you want him exposed to music or you wouldn't be considering this. You also want the Mom social as well as the baby social. So how about forming a Mom's playgroup where you start off with playing a grouping of songs from various genre's at the beginning and end it off with some silly songs. Let the kids play in between and Mom's gossip, cheaper your child gets exposure to music and you solved alot of Mom's problems with a social outlet. I have 3 and would not enroll them in anything with a formal theme before 3 years old as attention spans are short and the actual intention of a class is to focus on one area.

Hi A.- I think 14 months is a perfect age for Music Together classes. We took our son to them in Hyde Park and he loved them. He was always the one running around and not sitting in my lap during the final lalabye song- but it was never a problem with his teachers or other parents. One would think he wasn't paying attention but his teachers would assure me that he was and was soaking everything in. They were 100% right. After class and through out the following weeks, months & years, he would sing all of the songs or recognize them. The teachers would always point out that the kids running around were actually running on the beats or micro beats of the song (and they were!)- then would encourage everyone to get up and do the same. The classes were very interactive & fun. Just the other day my son was singing a random song and it hit me that it was from one of his Music Together classes when he was only 1 1/2 years old. He's now almost 4.

Overall I think it's a good program- especially if you have a good teacher. I agree that the class could be a less expensive but looking back, I think it was worth it. Also, the age diffences between the kids seemed to work well- the little ones would learn a lot from the older kids. In our classes there were kids ranging from infants to 5 years old.

Good luck!

Hi, You've gotten a lot of feedback already but adding my two cents, I love Music Together. We are taking classes in Hyde Park through Marsha's Music so I can't speak to the park district program. But given that Music Together teachers are trained specifically to their curriculum, I'm sure the park district program is just as awesome. My son was an infant (3 months) when we started and now I have both my 2 year old and 1 year old loving it. Our instructor was great at pointing out developmental milestones so even when the young ones don't seem to be doing much, there is really something going on there with the vocalizations and such. Moving around, exploring the instruments, experimenting is all encouraged and fine. It's one thing for exposure and another thing for developing musical appreciation. Highly recommend as others have, depending on what you're looking for out of the program. Like other moms have said, if you're looking for more of a social outlet for both you and your son, then the playgroup route with music is a great idea, too.

Hi, A.! I just signed up for Music Together with Joan Walters. My friend has had her daughter enrolled for over a year -- she is now 3. they both loved it so much, they have beengoing continuously since. Kids are encouraged to be kids and can roam around in class. I think it says this on their website. I hope this helps!

I did Music Together classes with my 2 kids for a year (3 rotations of the class). Both kids were in the same session and my daughter was 8 months when it started and my son was 3. Both kids LOVED it! There was plenty of moving and singing and the teacher really understood kids. I'd recommend giving it a shot - especially since you get CDs for the car and house and the songs aren't bad considering they are for kids :) It's been 6 months since we were in class - purely b/c we moved and I can't find a class near our new home - and the kids still love singing and listening to the songs.

If you're unsure, I wonder if your park district would let you sit in on a current class for free, or whether you could withdraw for a refund after one class if you don't like it.

Good luck!

I don't know if you have them in your area, but have you checked out Musikgarten classes? That is what we attend, and they have a more age-zoned curriculum than it sounds like Music Together has. They have a lap-sitter baby class, but then the kids move up into the "Wandering Walkers" class where they're free to move around a lot more. Plus, if your kid wants to run around while everyone is in a circle, it's OK as long as they don't disrupt the class. You can find out if there's a location near you at www.musikgarten.org.

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