Frequently Asked Questions - got one?
What happens in a Music Garden Class?
The activities in class are a mixture of singing and spoken nursery rhymes that develop fundamental musical skills such as ‘keeping the beat’ as well as guided use of instruments such as the woodblock, triangle, glockenspiel, xylophone and drum. Our emphasis is on developing good listening skills and sensitivity, so we make sure that we teach how to make a beautiful tone on the instruments rather than just bashing away at them! Every class incorporates opportunities for development of social skills like sharing and supporting others, critical personal skills like waiting, impulse control, choosing, counting exercises, and ends with 'story-time', nurturing a love of books, story and reading, laying a solid foundation for future literacy success. Don’t be fooled into thinking all those nursery rhymes and songs with their occasionally curious lyrics are harmless fun – they are a powerful learning tools with all the ingredients necessary for creating skilled learners and speakers.
Why the mixed aged classes?
We deliberately have babies and toddlers together in class as this is how children often experience life in a family setting and gives the opportunity for age appropriate social development. In this environment, he older children inspire the younger ones with their advanced development, while the younger members give the older children the opportunity to experience being the ‘leaders’ of the class, and develop sensitivity to the needs of the little ones.
What is the best age to start?
As soon as you can get out of the house is the best time to start! While it was never too late to start, we believe the earlier the better: the longer a child is in our program, the more profound the learning and skill development. Music education is one of the only activities that parents and babies can actively participate in from before birth, and we have had many mothers who loved doing pre-natal listening with their unborn babies. As we understand the unpredictable nature of life with a newborn, we don’t charge for babies under 4 months of age.
After seeing hundreds of children and families in this program, it is very clear the different between someone who starts at 2 years old compared to someone who starts at 2 months old. Starting young means that extended time that a child spends in the 0-3 program ensures a deeper absorption of fundamental skills of rhythm, awareness of tonality, pitch, volume, tempo, beat division, listening skills, focus and sensitivity that is clearly evident when that child moves to the Pre-school 3-5yr class, comes to learn an instrument, or moves into a formal learning environment.
How do the different programs relate to each other?
The three Music Garden programs are designed sequentially: a mother can start Pre-Natal listening in the third trimester of pregnancy before her child is born, then join our Babies & Toddlers 0-3yr class as soon as they are able, and then continue on to the Pre-school 3-5yr classes until the child is at school full-time.