Frequently Asked Questions
Over the past 12 years of teaching, these are the questions that come up the most often.
*Please note- if you have any questions that are not covered on this page, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- How do I sign up for classes?
To sign up for classes in Westminster, call 303.460.9690 ext 111 or register online at City of Westminster Online Registration
To sign up for classes in Golden, call 303-384-8100 or register online at City of Golden Online Registration
- How much do classes cost?
Each rec center is different; to check current prices, go to the online activity registration at City of Westminster Online Registration and City of Golden Online Registration
- How long do class sessions run?
Class sessions are typically 4 or 5 weeks
- Are music classes available all year long? I teach classes all year- typically we take a 3-4 week break over the holidays and a 3-4 week break during the month of August. Some families enroll in every music class for months (or years!) and others just sign up for one 5 week session and then try something else. Whatever works best for you and your child!
- Is it OK to eat snacks during class?
As the mother of two children, I understand how essential snacking can be for toddlers! Sometimes it makes the difference between a positive outing and a disaster. That being said, whenever possible, please try to eat snacks before and after class.
- What should I do if my child has a meltdown during class?
Give your child a minute or two to calm down, and if they are screaming or crying loudly enough to distract the other children, you can step outside and watch through the window until they are calm.
- My child doesn’t really participate in class. What should I do?
All children are different, and they will feel comfortable participating in their own time. Some children jump in right away, and others wait weeks or even months before they feel secure enough to sing along or do the actions. Just allow them to watch- you would be surprised at how much they absorb just by observing! You can try taking their hands and “helping” them, but if they resist, just let them be. Don’t pressure them to “follow Miss Stephanie’s directions” or chastise them for not doing what they are supposed to. Many children are concentrating so hard on watching that they don’t even realize they aren’t doing what they other kids are doing! Be patient- they will get it when they are ready, and they may start doing the songs at home long before they feel comfortable doing them in class!
- I don’t know if my child is enjoying class- should we quit?
Again, every child acclimates to music class, or any class, in their own unique time frame. Give them some time to just observe, without putting pressure on them, and don’t allow a power struggle to develop. If they sense you are frustrated, they may develop a negative association with coming to class. Wait it out for a few weeks, and see if things improve; if it turns out music class is not for you, you can try a different activity! If you have been taking music class for a long time and your child appears to be getting bored, taking a break is often helpful.
- Do you teach private instrument lessons? No, I don’t teach privately. Though I play both piano and guitar, I feel that a teacher should be well trained in instrument pedagogy- basically learning how to teach in addition to just being able to play, and I have not studied piano or guitar pedagogy.
- Do you know where we can find a good piano, violin, or guitar teacher? I am in the process of compiling a list of local instructors- if you know a good piano, violin, or guitar instructor who teaches children, please email me at email@example.com and I will add it to my list. Thanks!
- We are looking for someone to provide music for my child’s birthday party. Do you play for private parties? I used to do birthday parties frequently, but since my second daughter was born, I don’t do very many anymore. Weekends have become very important family time. However, it never hurts to ask, as during less busy times of the year, I may be able to fit one in! *I only do parties for children who attend my class, or have attended them in the past. If I am available, I charge $100 and up for parties, depending on travel time, for a 45 minute class.
- I am really embarrassed by my child’s inappropriate behavior during class. What should I do?
Toddlers are very challenging creatures. In many ways, they are like wild animals. They can sense power struggles and respond by increasing their unacceptable behavior the more they realize they are pushing your buttons. However, that does not mean you should allow them to remain in class if they are throwing instruments, hitting other children, or being destructive to the property in the room or the property of others. If your child is doing something truly unacceptable, feel free to take a quick break/time-out in the hall. If your child is doing something marginally disruptive like running around in circles or playing with the cabinets, your response may depend on their age and how distracting their behavior is. In the one year old class for instance, there are very few “expectations”- the kids have just learned how to walk and have very little impulse control. Unless they are doing something that is actually dangerous or harmful to another person, we generally allow the 12-24 month olds to roam freely and return to the circle as they choose. In those cases, it is usually best to try to pay as little attention as possible to the distracting behavior. In the older class, 2 years and up, often these behaviors can affect the entire group, causing a downward spiral in the class. Often, I will announce when it is time to be seated, or remind people that it is not OK to run with sticks or throw sticks, and then parents can help by reinforcing these expectations. If you notice a pattern of distracting behavior emerging, you can discuss it with me, or remind your child in advance of the type of behavior you expect. If they are not able to comply with your expectations, you can determine a suitable “consequence”, such as missing their turn, leaving the room, or having to put their instruments away. For more ideas on addressing challenging toddler behaviors, check the Love and Logic Institute. Their website is extremely helpful, you can subscribe to their free newsletter, and there are parenting classes available throughout the metro area. My husband and I have both taken their class and attended several presentations, and we find their suggestions to be extremely helpful.
- I have missed several classes. Can I do a make-up?
Neither the Golden nor Westminster community centers offers make-up classes for missed classes. That being said, depending on class size and availability, I try to accommodate people whenever possible. Please talk to me before or after class if you have missed a class,and I will let you know whether a make-up class is possible.
- Is it okay for me to bring my child’s sibling along to class?
Babies are always welcome in music class. Both rec center policies do not allow siblings or extra children to attend class. Often there are too many children in class and not enough supplies to enable extra children to participate. Sometimes parents have paid for two children to attend class together, so in order to maintain fairness, unpaid siblings are not allowed to participate. I am very tuned into the fact that the community centers are family-oriented facilities, and “life happens”- sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control. Each rec center offers a childcare center with very reasonable fees if you would like to bring a sibling to the rec center and use this facility. Please talk to me if there is a special circumstance I need to be aware of, or if you would like to discuss the sibling policy further.