EDITOR’S NOTE: A warm welcome to our newest RCM contributor, Fran Munster. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be introducing several new local moms who will share their North Alabama parenting adventures in the hopes of making another parents’ journey easier.
My daughter Caroline and I started attending Music Together in 2009 when she was about 6 months old. Mainly it was as a way for us to get out of the house and for me to be around other adults, considering that my husband worked late hours and traveled often. All of my other mommy friends live pretty far away and at that age, my daughter just did not fare well in the car-seat for very long. I had been in some type of dance and/or musical performance from when the time I could walk until I was 16 years old. Music and movement played a really big part of my life and I wanted my daughter to share my love of that, so when I found out about this program, I was ecstatic! Little did I know what wonderful things would come of this experience!
At first, Caroline was extremely apprehensive with the new environment, loud sounds and people she’d never bet before. However, half way through the first 10 week semester, she would greet Miss Aime with a big smile when we entered the room, instead of clinging to me nervously. By the middle of the second semester, she was able to crawl, sit on her own and would mimic Miss Aimee’s gestures for the “Hello” song. My ultra shy girl eventually got brave enough to go and visit the other mommies and kids in the circle. Miss Aime’s warm personality, infectious laugh and her ability to calm down a child (*ahem* mine) that’s having a tough time, is something really special.
We’ve now been in this program for almost 3 years. Caroline still gets really excited when I say that “Hey, today is music class!!” Instead of having to carry her now, she dances around with all of us. The baby that was once afraid of loud noises now cheers “INSTRUMENTS INSTRUMENTS INSTRUMENTS!” when Miss Amie pulls out big box of instruments and also yells, “YEAH, A-HAAA, YEAH” when Miss Aime pulls out the parachute. She loves the cool down session of the lullaby before the “Good Bye” song and after class is over, always runs over to give Miss Aime a hug. She is apparently bound and determined to be a percussionist (oh no!!), she sings on key, can keep the beat, has her own set of musical instruments at home. Don’t tell her daddy but she’s getting her first set of electronic drums for Christmas this year. Yeah, I think I might just be in a little bit of trouble for that one.
Music Together offers classes weekly at Messiah Lutheran Church on Hwy. 72 in Madison as well at A Nurturing Moment in Huntsville. Their website is www.mttnv.com and they can be found on Facebook here.
The Holiday Fun Music Camp starts on November 28th to December 20th. The cost is $60 per child and duration of 4 weeks.
The Winter Semester, “Bells” Collection starts on the week of January 3rd and ends on the week of March 9th. Ten weekly, 45-minute classes include songs, rhythmic rhymes, movement, and instrumental play. These activities are presented as informal, non-performance-oriented musical experiences–developmentally appropriate for children and easy for parents and caregivers–regardless of their own musical ability. 2 CDs and Songbook are included! ($150/$95 siblings)
They also offer a “Big Kids” class which consists of: Ten weekly, 60-minute classes include songs, rhythmic rhymes, movement, and instrumental play. These activities are presented in a more structured class setting. It is developmentally appropriate for children 5, 6, and 7 years old. This is the only class where parents may choose to drop their children off or participate in the Music Together® class. Materials include: 2 CDs, Family Songbook, set of HomePlay pages, and set of Tonal Solfege cards. ($165/$95 siblings)