When Curly was tiny I took her to many Mommy and Me classes for music, art, and play. I would bounce around singing cute little songs and feeling really silly with all the other moms looking about as goofy as I felt. But, Curly loved it and I had fun with our time together. I miss it!
I’ve been trying to incorporate circle time with my kids in the morning. I wanted fun songs, finger plays, rhymes, and introducing a few simple concepts like shapes, counting, numbers, days of the week, and Bible verses. But circle time has not been happening! I spend way too much time searching for songs with finger plays or trying to make up actions to songs. I’m just not creative in that way and I’m not naturally a silly-song-singer. Enter Music Together! Now I have material for circle time and I never lack for ideas or songs. I have even stepped out into silly mode (but my kids’ level of silliness always has me beat)! Our time is reminiscent of those Mommy and Me classes and the kids are loving it!
What is it?
Music Together is an early childhood music and movement program for kids from birth to age 7. The program uses trained individuals to conduct music classes across the country. Music Together uses a research-based music program to encourage free movement, rhythm, and musical enjoyment in children with the belief that all children are musical.
In their store, Music Together offers additional resources such as training materials, songbooks, CD’s, and rhythm instruments to promote musical enjoyment and bring the experience to each child.
You can also visit Music Together on their Facebook page here.
And you can listen to samples of their music here!
What did we receive?
We received the Music Together Family Favorites Songbook and accompanying CD which retails for $39.95.
The Songbook outlines the Music Together philosophy as well as information regarding teaching principles, types of songs and activities, and using instruments and props with music. The next section of the songbook contains the words and music to each song on the CD. With each song, there are a list of activities broken up by age group as well as background information on the song and type of music. There are instructions for large groups, infants, preschoolers, children with special needs, and using props or instruments with the song. The ideas sometimes include motions or fingerplays to coordinate with the songs.
The CD contains 19 different songs beginning with a welcome song. The songs have various beats and a few represent music from other cultures, such as the Caribbean song Palo, Palo which is a Dominican folk song and the song Obwisana from Ghana, Africa.
How did we use this program?
We put our CD on our iPods and started enjoying the music right away.
After I read through the ideas in the song book, I decided to try a new morning routine. After Bible study and breakfast, we headed to the loft and sat in a circle. I put on some music and we sang, clapped, danced, twirled, and did motions to the songs. We made our own rhythm instruments or household items as shakers and rhythm sticks. Easter eggs filled with dried rice or beans, paper towel rolls with dried rice and toothpicks for a rain stick, toy blocks and sticks for rhythm instruments, tupperware drums, and pot and pan cymbals. Oh dear, was it ever loud!!!
I also found that the CD was my new best friend in the car. I turned it up and the kids sang along at the top of their voices while doing finger plays or motions while in their car seats. Talk about a wonderful distraction!
My kids loved the predictability of starting our music time off with the Hello song. We sang hello to each other and often the kids chose new names for themselves. Our song often sounded like, “Hello Athena, I’m so glad to see you! Hello, Hercules!” Sometimes they chose animals for names. Singing hello rhinoceros was particularly difficult……
The songs with the Caribbean sound such as Biddy Biddy were other favorites. Those were perfect with our shakers and rhythm sticks. We tapped and danced to those!
The girls loved the Dancing with Teddy song which is written like a waltz. They grabbed their bears and would sway and sing to them. Our song usually ended with Tiger’s bear attacking us. Typical boy….
And I can’t forget the Ridin’ in the Car song. When did we listen to that one the most? While we were in the car of course! The kids pretended to steer and made every kind of car sound effect you can imagine. Screech! Beep! Honk! Vroom! Even Ladybug has some car noises now.
What didn’t we like?
Well, I can’t think of anything. Isn’t that nice to be able to say? We had such a fun time with the songs!
I do plan to get some of our own rhythm instruments because I did not personally like making our own. I’d rather that be done for me! So, I’m going to look into some fun instruments for the kids for our morning time.
What did we like?
I loved the variety of types of music. Some songs are chants, some are slow waltzes, some are upbeat rhythms, and some represent music from other cultures.
The activity ideas to go with each song were wonderful. Actions, motions, instrument ideas, finger plays, and sensory ideas are listed with the songs. The lesson plans are simple, doable, and perfect for the target age ranges.
My kids enjoyed the songs, the motions, and the instruments. They now have all the music on their own iPods and they enjoy listening to them in their rooms. I hear them singing the songs throughout the day.
What did we think overall?
We really enjoyed this program and plan to continue using the CD with the songbook ideas. The program is flexible and has ideas for infants through preschoolers so the program can grow with us as we try new techniques with the songs.
This was the perfect addition to our morning circle time to get our day started on the right note!
Music Together is offering a coupon code for blog readers. If you purchase the Songbook and CD combo you can save $2 by entering the word Schoolhouse at the check-out.
See how other Crew members used Music Together at the Crew blog!
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.