Child Music Program

Music should be part of your child’s life from an early age. The right music program for your child is the key to develop a lifetime love for music in him or her.

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Choosing The Right Music Program For Your Toddler

Music is an integral part of childhood development. A simple Internet research yields thousands of documents supporting the importance of music in brain development. From the first sounds of a lullaby to the repetition of basic nursery rhymes, each child will respond to the simplest forms of music. Numerous studies report the basic fundamentals of music providing the foundation for learning math as well as building self-esteem and confidence.

Music classes can be an excellent venue to share music with your child. Not only do children develop a sense of rhythm, the quality time spent in a class with your toddler contributes to the bond that you share.

Finding the right music class for your toddler can be as easy as turning to your local city parks and recreation department. If the city does not offer a program, they might be able to recommend a private school or program in your area. Music schools advertise in the yellow pages and on the Internet. Once you have found the available opportunities there are several things to look for before deciding on the right program for your toddler.

Ten Important Questions to Ask any Program or School:

1. What kinds of programs do you offer? Schools may offer programs that are focused on vocal performance, instruments or a mixture of both. Music comes in so many forms, consider which form your child will develop the most from. A very energetic child may do better in a class where instruments (drums, cymbals, shakers) are the main focus. A shy child may flourish in a class that encourages vocal performance.

2. What are the age groups? What is the age breakdown and how many children are in a typical class? Choosing a class that suits your toddlers age range is important. You know your child best. If your child is above the developmental curve, you may consider requesting a trial day with the next class level. Look for a class that has the average age similar to your child.

3. How many times a week/month do you offer classes and what are the times available? Children are so diverse with their daytime schedules. A late napper might benefit from an early morning or mid-day class. Conversely, an early evening class might work better for parental participation when work schedules require night activities.

4. Do you offer a free trail class to attend? A great music program will encourage you to come in for a trial class. Use the free trial to study the interaction between the instructors and children. Are they engaging and enthusiastic? Do the other children seem to enjoy the class? Does the time work for your toddler? Talk to the other parents and get feedback about the curriculum. You will learn the most from other participants.

5. What are the credentials of the teachers? Before you commit to the class, you need to feel comfortable with the safety of the classroom and the dedication of the staff. Does the school/program offer the credentials of the instructors? Does the training require a particular education? Each program may have different requirements of the instructors some of which offer specialized training in their methods. If it is important to you that the instructors have childhood development skills, ask in advance.

6. Are there additional charges for materials? Some programs have kits that you are asked to bring to each class. These kits may have several different types of instruments. Other programs provide instruments to be shared during class. The kits are not always included in the class price.

7. Is there parent interaction? Or, what will be expected from the parent or guardian attending with the child? If you are a hands on parent and want to be sure that parent participation is encouraged, you should consult with them regarding how much or how little parents are expected to be involved. This activity could provide much needed together time so a class that requires a more instructor driven interaction may not be what you need.

8. Do you have any references that I may call? If you do not get a chance to view a sample class, ask them for references from past or present students. Ask the other parents to name the best aspects as well as any downfalls they found with the program. Remember children and parents share their own experiences, you may find more than one reference to be most helpful.

9. Do you offer a discount for buying a package? Like typical schools, some classes are offered on a term basis. For instance, if a term is 8 weeks and the sessions are available all school year, you may ask for a multiple term discount. Programs available through parks and recreation may not offer such prepaid discounts but it never hurts to ask.

10. Do you offer a payment plan? Music schools, independent or through the city, may offer scholarships or extended payment plans. Knowing in advance may save you valuable time and effort if you qualify.

In conclusion, asking the right questions during your search for the school, class or program is critical to setting up a great experience for both you and your child. The payoff might be watching your shy child sing the loudest or your rambunctious child sit attentively watching an engaging instructor. Music fills our every day lives, why not find a musical experience to share with your growing child?

Author: Kathie Papera, founder and owner of Lilypad Baby a premier site for stylish and unique baby gifts that can be personalized.

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