From Teacher Jo:
Besides teaching Music Together, another thing I really enjoy is giving talks to new mothers in parenting and birthing classes such as those offered at Baby & Co in NW Denver and also at the Lutheran Hospital Birth Center. Both of these places are incredible birth centers with a focus on educating and supporting new parents. We make music and we talk about the value of singing to babies and the joy, comfort, and emotional bond it can bring.
From teacher Jacquie:
I learned in the fall workshop about how babies's have a broad attention focus so they take in everything. Toddlers develop more of a specifc focus. We tend to think babies are not taking in anything because they often times "just sit there" but really they are taking in EVERYTHING.
The analogy used was that babies attention is more like a lantern; its vast & toddlers attention is more like a flashlight; more specific.
Parents think toddlers get more out of the class bc their toddlers can [show] more specifically what they are learning about. It's so important to understand that babies are getting just as much of a rich experience & taking in so much even though they may not show it.
From teacher Melissa:
My Parent Education this week was about deep communication. I set up from last week where I defined deep communication as heart-to-heart communication. So this week, I'm going to give you a challenge. Let's try our best to bring our verbal communication down to as close to zero as possible. Notice when you are compelled to talk to your child or talk to another grown-up and instead, perhaps choose to communicate with a facial expression or body language. Just see what happens! And this includes me! I'm going to do my best to lead the entire class with as few verbal cues as possible. Could be crazy, but who cares? Are you ready?And then I modelled with a thumbs up.
I saw many moments where parents noticed and tried something different, even as a kid was climbing on the window sill or other more challenging moments. I also noticed an increase in kid music participation. As we went into the Goodbye song, I asked How did it go? We processed about it and I concluded, it's not that talking to your child is wrong. But the more we try other ways to communicate, the more often we can drop down into that heart space, and communicate heart to heart!
From teacher Mathew:
If you peek into a MT class you'll find children and adults apparently just having fun together. While the adults are singing and clapping, various aged children are crawling across the circle, toddling outside of it, hopping energetically, or just sitting and watching. What kind of "music class" is this, it just looks like they are playing.
Well, it is a music class that works. Look again, that hopping child is right on the beat. The little crawler is rocking back and forth, making a sound that somehow matches the song. The toddler just went back to her dad and is imitating him as he sings. And the watching child, according to his mom, goes home after class and sings and dances all over the house. (all 3 classes today got a parent saying 'yep' after this last one).
Because parents and other caregivers are such important role models for their children, all adults participate in class.