I was thrilled when my two oldest children both seemed to love music at an early age and both seem to have some true natural talent in different musical areas. I was worried however, that I wouldn’t be able to successfully help nurture those talents as my own education is so limited so I am always on the search for resources that will help me in bringing out the talents of my children.
Music Together is one of the greatest resources I have found for fostering a love and basic music education for young children. Thanks to the Schoolhouse Review Crew we were recently given the opportunity to use this program with our children and I am so happy we were.
The Music Together program consists of the Music Together Family Favorites CD and the Family Favorites Songbook for Teachers. The CD includes 19 of the best loved Music Together songs and the accompanying Songbook is spiral bound and includes the scoring and wording of the songs as well as additional program information and tons of enrichment ideas and resources.
Music Together is a multi-award winning musical program for families with children from infant to early childhood age. Founder/Director Kenneth K. Guilmartin created Music Together out of the belief that young children have a unique ability to develop basic music skills as easily as they learn to walk and talk if they are given the right environment and experiences.
The Music Together program is based on a research backed four point philosophy that believes:
- All children are musical.
- Therefore, all children can achieve basic music competence; that is, they can learn to sing in tune and move with accurate rhythm.
- The participation and modeling of parents and other primary caregivers is essential to a child’s musical growth.
- This growth is best achieved in a playful, musically rich, and non-performance-oriented learning environment.
My children really loved the idea that we would have music time in the morning and the first morning brought much anticipation. I had sampled the CD before we began and chose a few fun songs to use that first morning. I have to admit, however, I was a bit worried about how my older children would feel about the simplicity of the songs and the music.
We started our time out with the Hello Song, and after the first time through, I knew we had a winner. Both of my older children were enjoying the song and enjoyed singing it with all their friends names included. The baby enjoyed the music and was very happy to bounce along with us sitting right next to me.
The additional songs we listened to that first morning were met with the same enthusiasm and the overall favorite for the day was the Biddy Biddy song, where the children were happy to add in their own silly phrases to the music. I think we listened to that one twenty times or so.
Each song in the songbook is accompanied by multiple enrichment activities that bring this program from simply a songbook and CD to a truly multi sensory musical learning experience. There are ideas for using the program with differing age groups, in family settings, and with special needs children.
One suggestion that is a standard in this program is adding in musical instruments- jingle bells, egg shakers, drums, etc. We do not own any of that sort of musical instruments, but I was thrilled when my children created instruments of their own to use with the songs. My son used a pair of chopsticks as drum sticks and put some of his matchbox cars in a shoe box for a shaker. My daughter found an old medicine bottle and put one of her beaded necklaces in it for her own unique egg shaker.
We have used this program for several weeks and my children seem to enjoy it more and more as we go along. I have even allowed each of them to take a morning to “lead” our family music time- letting them choose the songs and the activities that we do. This has been a special treat for them and I have loved watching them grow more and more in their love for music.
Overall I thought the program was a home run for our family. It gave us a great way to incorporate music into our day in an informal but still educational manner. It also gave us a sweet way to start our day together and I have seen this music time we spend together in the mornings really help the flow of our days. I tend to have more joyful and less argumentative children when we start our days with music and that is a great bonus to me.
I would recommend this program for any family wanting a grounded and well structured, yet still informal and fun musical learning experience for their children. I believe children of all ages can use this program with success and I know our family is better for having experienced Music Together.
Music Together Family Favorites CD– $14.95
(Can also be purchased as an MP3 download for $9.99)
You can purchase the Music Together program including the Songbook and CD together for- $39.95 (a savings of $5.00).