Classes are active, so dress comfortably for moving around the room and sitting on the floor :-) If you need other accommodations in order to participate--for example, if you need a chair, just let us know.Please leave drinks, snacks, pacifiers, and toys at home or in the car, so your child's hands are free to explore our musical activities, and the mouth is free for vocal production.
Feel free to attend to your child’s needs. If you need to feed your baby or change a diaper or move out into the hall with a crying child, do so with complete comfort and confidence. The comfort of you and your little one is first and foremost. But please don’t leave altogether--come back into the classroom and rejoin the activities as soon as you are comfortable doing so.
Because you are your child's most important teacher, it's vital that you are engaged in the activities. Sing with us, echo with us, move and participate in all the ways we do. If you automatically do what I do, then we will need very little verbal instruction. When we participate, we are showing our children that we think this is important and fun.
Remember, babies often just observe and absorb, and don’t appear to join in for months (even though they are busy processing things). It is normal for toddlers to drift in and out of the activity, get distracted, run off to explore and experiment. Preschoolers may participate, but sometimes go off on wild tangents as their wonderful imaginations take over. This is the important part: as long as their adult stays actively engaged in the class activity, the child sees the example, and over time will better learn to focus. (Some children catch on quickly that if you jump up to bring them back, they can engage you in a game of "chase me around the room" or “interrupt the grown-ups” which has its own novel appeal!) In general, I will count on the magic of the music to draw your child back to us, but I may gently direct your child back to you if I perceive it's needed, or ask for your help.
Resist the temptation to talk to your child during a song or activity, or to “narrate” our activities to your child, which can interrupt the musical flow and make it hard for others to "be in the moment." Many parents don't even realize that they're talking over or during the music to their child because they're so accustomed to giving a "running commentary" to their child. But talking during music or singing sends children the message that the music is just a "background" activity--instead of being the focus of our time together; and it can make it harder for other children to hear and focus.
Though it’s natural to want to take a photo or video capture of class, I will ask that you “park” your camera/cell phone for the duration of class and just enjoy. We will have a day where, after that particular class time is “formally” finished, we can do a few extra songs so that families who want photos can take them, and families who may not want their child photographed are able to decline gracefully.
Feel free to socialize before or after class. One of the joys of Musikgarten is the friendships that families form with one another. This is a wonderful part of the Musikgarten experience! However, grown-up chat adds an additional layer of sound and makes it more difficult for little ears to focus on the music. The transition between activities or songs may be silent, and that’s on purpose--to give ears a rest and processing time.
RELAX AND HAVE A WONDERFUL TIME! This is not about the beauty of your voice, your dancing ability, or how quickly you can memorize words to songs. All children develop at their own pace, so try not to compare your child’s ability with others. This is about growing your relationship with your child, and helping him or her develop a love of music and, in time, the ability to express it. Everything that you do will be perfect and beautiful in your child’s eyes, so have fun!
- Families enrolling siblings or foster children will receive a 50% discount on each additional sibling or foster child's tuition. (Please note this cannot be combined with other offers such as tuition sale prices, but we will honor whichever discount is greater.)
- Full tuition is due before the first class session for family classes.
- Tuition may be pro-rated if a family registers mid-session.
- Tuition is non-refundable except in extraordinary circumstances (such as moving out of the area, job loss, etc.). Refunds or credits are not issued for missed class due to illness, vacation, weather, or scheduling conflicts; however, we will certainly work with you so that you can join a make-up session another day or time if possible. Class materials are not refundable if opened/used.