Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many classes are there in a semester?

    There are ten classes per semester , for forty-five minutes each week. Please note: Summer Session is a shortened 6 class session.

    Do you do the same songs every week?

    Each semester we have a different Song Collection (families receive 2 CD’s and a songbook), so there is lots of material to choose from. During the ten week session, songs will be covered several times over the semester in order to develop concepts presented in previous weeks and so families can experience the songs in different ways (with instruments, as large movement activities, as part-songs or rounds, etc.) but no two classes will be the same. There is a ritual order of activities – children in this age-group need the routine of knowing what to expect (children love to anticipate the snuggle of the lullabye right before the “goodbye” song each week).

    How many different song collections are there? Will I learn different songs each semester?

    There are NINE different song collections (so 3 years worth!) of unique curriculum, as well as our compilation “best of” summer semesters. It never gets boring!

    If the song collection is called, say, “Bongos”, does that mean we will play Bongo drums each week? Or if the collection is “Fiddle”, do I have to purchase my own instrument?

    Each of the song collections is named after an instrument to distinguish it from the rest of the song collections. While we may not play the instrument itself, it will be featured in the recording, so you will certainly hear it!. The instrument is also featured in all the artwork on the CD’s and in the songbook. Parents are also always welcome to bring their instruments to play in class!

    What kinds of instruments do you use?

    We use a variety of non-pitched instruments (drums, shakers, bells, sticks etc.) and pitched (resonator bells) that are age appropriate for adults and children alike. In addition we have expressive movement props such as scarves, parachutes, balls, and wiggle ropes to add to our music play! Many teachers will play guitar, ukulele and parents and caregivers are welcome to bring their own instruments upon occasion to add to the mix!

    My child won’t sit still for 45 minutes!

    We don’t expect children to sit still! Children are welcome to learn in whatever style suits them best. For some, that means sitting and observing; for others, that means walking around; for others, that means doing what the grown-ups are doing. All of these styles are accepted and welcomed and we often find that even if a child appears to be doing something completely different in class (such as stacking instruments!), they will often go home and re-enact activities that were experienced in class. Children at this critical stage of development are learning ALL THE TIME, whether they appear to us to be doing so or not! Only unsafe behaviours (running or full-body contact) will be discouraged.
    The most important thing is that parents and caregivers come prepared to have a wonderful time themselves and be ready to fully participate and model their own enjoyment of playing with music. Prompt arrival will also ensure your child enjoys the entire class, from “Hello Everybody” to “Goodbye, So Long, Farewell!”

    What do we do in the classes?

    Forty-five minutes will zoom by before you know it. Each class consists of a carefully planned sequence of songs and chants – we dance, play with instruments, sing, explore tonal and rhythmic patterns, and ALWAYS include the highly anticipated instrument jam (“Play Along”). The lullaby brings things to a lovely closure each week, with the lights down low and parents nursing and/or snuggling their children as we all sing quietly together.

    What should I expect of my child?

    As you participate in class, listen to the CD together and try the activities at home. What kind of response should you expect? Some children are spontaneous singers and movers, others are careful and astute observers. In either case, after sufficient listening and observing time at home and in class, you may begin to notice your child singing or chanting parts of songs, sometimes with words, sometimes without. However, even when your child gives no response or seems uninterested in listening or participating, important unconscious learning is taking place.

    Keep in mind the following points:

    • Most children choose (wisely) to observe more often than to participate actively in class. They are taking in information, which they will act on later at home.
    • Most children become accustomed to the class routine and their classmates around the fifth or sixth week. At this point, their participation is likely to increase.
    • Children are assimilating important music information whether or not they are outwardly participating. At home, this means it may be important to play the CD or sing the songs yourself even if your child seems to be unaware or uninterested, especially during the first few weeks of class.
    • Remember that you are the most important model and teacher for your child. Your most effective role is to participate and enjoy the class yourself, even though your child might choose to sit back and observe. If you are enjoying yourself, your child will soon wish to share that enjoyment with you. We know it might be difficult to watch other children zealously participate in the group while your child does not. This is especially true if your child performs all of his class favourites as soon as you arrive home. Try to understand that he is very wisely “practicing” in private and will make his public “debut” when he feels more confident. Meanwhile, if you feel suddenly overwhelmed with frustration by the lack of your child’s participation in class, just count to three, relax, and participate yourself!

    What should I expect of myself?

    Some parents are somewhat disconcerted by the concept of being their child’s most important role model, especially when it comes to music! You may feel that you are not particularly musical – perhaps you even describe yourself as being “tone deaf”. You may be great at singing but feel unsure of yourself or “vague” when dancing or trying to “keep the beat”. Whatever the level of your technical skill, remember the most important things you can model for your child are simply pleasure, interest, and the desire to participate in music activities.

    Many adults feel deprived, confused, or inadequate about their ability in music, as if they have been denied something that should be effortless and natural. In fact, this is often the case. As your understanding of your child’s music development grows in the coming weeks, you may also come to understand that unfortunate circumstances in your own childhood music experience may be at the root of some of these feelings. More important, by participating with your child, you can begin to rediscover within yourself the natural human musicality that is everyone’s birthright.

    What about practicing at home?

    Play your Music Together CD at home. If there is a CD player in the car, it’s also great to play the CD while driving. Do not limit its use to the car, though – children are less able to move to the music while strapped into a car seat! Many children will want specific songs repeated again and again. Try to accommodate them by replaying their favourite track. They crave the repetition because it is necessary for their development. Repetition is one way they “practice”.

    Remember to use the songbook, even if you don’t read music! Use it like a story book and “read” the songs to your child, especially the ones with pictures. In time, you might suggest that your child draw his or her own pictures for the songs, especially for those that don’t have one!

    Notice the effects of your child’s experience in class and note his listening habits with the CD at home during the week. Write down or remember any questions you might have about your child’s responses and then ask your teacher and discuss with other parents in class.

    What can I expect from class?

    Music Together is designed for children ages birth through age 7. At Music Together we believe that music ability is as much a basic life skill as walking and talking, and that all children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with pleasure and confidence in the music of their culture. Music Together classes nurture the child’s natural enthusiasm for music and movement as we sing, dance, chant, and play instruments in an informal setting that will enrich her musical environment and guide her towards a lifetime of music-making enjoyment.

    Why aren’t there separate classes for different age groups?

    In the 1980s Music Together pioneered the development of the mixed-age approach in early childhood music. In each class we strive to create a musically rich, developmentally appropriate environment where the whole family can enjoy music and nurture skills at the level right for each child. Mixed-age classes also provide a rich learning environment because children of different ages thrive when they interact with each other: the babies are often fascinated by the older child, and the “big” children (3- and 4-year-olds) enjoy helping and sharing with the “little” ones. This approach is based on research from music education, early childhood development, and family relationships, as well as our 20 years experience in the field.

    What happens if I miss a class?

    You can make up 3 missed classes per semester. Makeup classes cannot be carried on to another semester and are not transferrable to another family.  When Making up a class simply look at our Calendar  and Times & Locations pages find a class that you can attend and email us at to ensure there is enough space for you to join the class.  We will always try our best to accommodate your requests!

    If the Session has already started, can I still join? 

    While your child(ren) would most benefit from the Music Together® program by attending the entire session, we appreciate that some families do not hear about our classes until after the semester has commenced.  If this is the case you can still join us and we can make arrangements to make up missed classes.

    What is your cancellation/ refund policy?

    • More than 1 week prior to 1st class: Full refund
    • One week prior to 1st class: full refund minus $25 cancellation fee
    • Prior to 2nd class: full refund minus $80 (materials + cancellation fee)
    • Prior to 3rd class: full refund minus $90 (class time + materials + cancellation fee)