Why Music?What we do in music class.
FAMILY CLASS: 1-5 YEARS OLD
Our family class combines the activities of our 12-24 month class and 2-4 year-old programs. We teach to our oldest children so they are engaged and challenged, and modify all activities for our younger friends! Everyone gets something out of this fun, interactive class where we play instruments, move to the music, and learn fun finger plays and action songs. We incorporate fine/gross motor skills, social interaction, attention, following directions, and creativity.
ONE YEAR OLD CLASS: 12-24 months
This half-hour class includes tickling songs, fingerplays, playing instruments such as maracas, drums, and rhythm sticks, and movement to music. This class is more motor-focused than the infant class.
TOT/PRESCHOOL CLASS: 2-4 years
This forty-five minute class has a weekly theme, such as: Animals, Transportation, Motor Skills, Seasonal/Weather, Creativity, etc. This class is a bit more structured than the one year old class, and includes more challenging fingerplays, instrument songs introducing a greater variety of instruments, creative movement to music, sharing songs, and storytime.
VOCAL MUSIC WITH MS. STEPHANIE: 5-12 YEARS OLD
I am pleased to announce that singing classes for elementary and middle school children are now available at the Golden Community Center!
In the 5-7-year-old classes, we focus on group singing, learning about pitch, dynamics, and other foundational techniques, feeling comfortable singing “solos,” breath control, and performance skills. Repertoire is fun and familiar!
The 8-12 year-old classes take the technique a bit deeper, and involves more extensive vocal warm ups and breath work, as well as more difficult repertoire. We sing a variety of popular songs, Disney and movie soundtrack music, as well as traditional choral pieces. We explore the emotional and expressive aspects of singing as well as build confidence and camaraderie!
I hope you will find some helpful information on this website about what music class is all about, including class schedules, lyrics, audio recordings, and parent feedback. Please contact me with any questions!
Miss Stephanie’s early childhood music classes are music therapy based.
What exactly does this mean? Each music class, organized by age, has a focus on developmental skills, rather than an emphasis on obtaining musical techniques. While many children do acquire new musical skills, such as keeping a steady beat, developing their singing voice and sense of pitch, and gaining knowledge of different instruments, Miss Stephanie focuses primarily on teaching the children developmental skills through music.
By playing instruments such as maracas, drums, and rhythm sticks, children practice fine motor skills. Grasping a mallet and playing a drum incorporate eye-hand coordination and fine motor strength. By playing rhythm sticks with both hands, children practice bilateral coordination- playing with both hands simultaneously- a skills that can be difficult for toddlers. The instruments we play in class and the fingerplays we practice are helping to refine motor planning, bilateral movement, and coordination as well as increasing fine motor strength. Through movement to music, we practice a variety of gross motor skills, including balance, coordination, and agility. Our movement songs incorporate jumping, stomping, toe-tapping, and dancing.
The fingerplays and action songs we do in music class are great ways to help build your child’s ability to follow directions and develop attention skills.
For our younger age groups, music class may be one of the first opportunities for your child to participate in a group setting. Just being exposed to other children the same age can be a valuable social experience for a toddler. In our older classes, we introduce “passing songs”, in which the children take turns playing an instrument. Music class helps foster the ability to treat peers with respect and be part of a community.
Speech and Language Development
Singing is a wonderful tool for language building. Through song, we can practice articulation of sounds, vocabulary, and language expression.
Self-confidence and creativity
This may be one of the most important aspects of our class. Watching a hesitant child begin to blossom and feel good about him/herself is one of the most rewarding parts of class participation. As children become more self-assured, they feel more comfortable expressing themselves in class, moving creatively to music, using their voices to sing, and participating with enthusiasm. I honestly believe that helping children to realize their own uniqueness, importance, and potential is one of my favorite parts of teaching music class.
And of course, we do gain musical skills along the way. Here are a few of the music-related benefits of attending class:
Keeping a steady beat
Children often have naturally good rhythm, and it is rewarding to watch them playing their rhythm sticks on the beat, steadily playing a drum, or rhythmically clapping their hands to the beat.
Many children begin to develop a strong sense of pitch, and we hear them singing along to the music in tune! Music class helps to develop a pleasant singing voice, and more importantly, the confidence to sing along in class.
Introduction to and enjoyment of a variety of instruments and styles of music
Our class is a great introduction to different styles and genres of music, and we give children the exposure to many different instruments: maracas, bells, rhythm sticks, drums, and in the older class, we add xylophones, cabasas, tambourines, guiros, ocean drums, and many others.
And finally, there is often a benefit to the adults who bring the children to class.
A much needed opportunity for socialization with other adults
Taking care of young children can be extremely draining and isolating, and music class can be a supportive environment for sharing with other caregivers. We have often used the time before and after music class to build friendships, brainstorm ideas for parenting challenges, and simply vent our frustrations.
A structure for your week
There has been a lot of controversy about “over-scheduling” our children. I am a firm believer that too many activities is not always a positive experience for parent or child, but particularly with toddlers, having something to do that gets you out of the house can be a lifesaver. Many of the children who attend music class look forward to class all week, and talk excitedly about it at home. It makes them feel they have an “important” class that is just for them.