Q: Will your classes help to make my child smarter?
A: There’s a growing body of research suggesting that early exposure to music not only enhances your child’s ability to create and enjoy music, but increases brain plasticity. Plasticity is flexibility in brain function and enhances many aspects of brain activity, and also facilitates recovery from brain injury.
Q: Why do your programs involve parents and caregivers?
A: Parents and other primary care givers play a critical role in their child’s music development. We not only provide parents with music and activities to take home and repeat throughout the week, but we also encourage meaningful social interaction around the music.
• Mirror: Observe closely and acknowledge your child’s emerging musical expressiveness. When you see your child doing something new, imitate and enlarge upon those ideas to reinforce your child’s creativity.
• Model: Provide a shining example by modeling an enthusiastic engagement with music. Adapt the songs to suit your everyday routines and create musical conversations with your child.
• Touch: Physical touch provides powerful stimulation to neural pathways. Bounce, lift, tickle and dance during music time.
Q: My child won’t sit still in a circle. Can he still benefit from your class?
A: Some children want to run; others want to spend the class no more than a foot away from the teacher; some will sit in laps; while others want to observe from a cozy corner in the room. At The Music Class we recognize that there are many different learning styles, and we encourage parents to let the children be where they are comfortable. A typical class may have all of these different types of children, but all children have one thing in common: they are all watching, listening, and learning from us.
We have found that regardless of your child’s learning style, the more frequently your child listens to our music at home, the more likely he or she is to stay focused in class. So be sure to do your homework by listening to the music every day!
Q: How do you keep such young children focused for 45 minutes?
A: One of the secrets to teaching music successfully is to maximize the amount of active participation involved. When children are moving their bodies, actively singing, keeping the beat with their hands or instruments, dancing, or acting out a song—it ensures that they that are optimally engaged in the music experience. In fact, research shows that infants can perceive the beat more readily if bounced to it. With the variety of active participation activities we experience in class, children stay focused and time flies!
Q: My baby is 4 months old. Can she benefit from class now, or should I wait until she can walk?
A: There is a growing body of research to that suggests the younger a child is, the more she is learning. Even though a baby cannot run, clap or sing in class, her brain is developing at a faster rate than the brains of the big kids. Additionally, research suggests that during the second 6 months of life the brain is already prioritizing: discarding the neural information pathways not stimulated by its environment. So yes, the best possible time to start Music Pups is when your child is a baby!
Another way to think of this is to compare learning to speak with learning music. In the same way that talking to your baby from birth is critical to your child’s language development, exposing your child to music from birth benefits her music development. Of course your baby cannot show you how much she is learning now. Be patient! Let her feel the beat, listen to you sing, and observe in class. Absorbing musical sounds is the first step in music development. When she becomes a toddler she will surely blossom. Then you will see first hand the benefits of coming to class during that precious first year.