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I love music, I guess most people do in one way or another! However, I wouldn’t consider myself a musical person. I did start learning the piano when I was a child, but it didn’t come naturally to me.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this product for review, all opinions are 100% my own.
While I lost my interest in playing an instrument, this didn’t stop me from enjoying music, humming along. Our children take after hubby who plays multiple instruments. They love music and are always singing. They stay on tune and after a short time playing with a new instrument they are making their own songs. They enjoy music for simply enjoying it.
I was very excited to have the opportunity to review Music Together! Music Together is a program developed by Kenneth Guilmartin. Kenneth believes that all children can develop a basic complaisance in music, to sing in tune and keep a rhythm. This is best summarized in their mission and philosophy statements.
Our mission is:
To provide the highest quality music and movement experiences to as many young children as possible and to involve their parents and other adult caregivers, including early childhood professionals.
Basic Principles of the Music Together Philosophy
I. All children are musical.
II. Therefore, all children can achieve basic music competence, which we have defined as the ability to sing in tune and move with accurate rhythm.
III.The participation and modeling of parents and caregivers, regardless of their musical ability, is essential to a child’s musical growth.
IV. This growth is best achieved in a playful, developmentally appropriate, non-performance-oriented learning environment that is musically rich yet immediately accessible to the child’s-and the adult’s!-participation.
~ From Music Together
In times past many family’s from all different cultures around the world would gather together to sing and make music. In our more modern times, this tradition has often been replaced by listening to a radio, mp3/CD or watching music videos.
With this many of us did not grow up learning how to sing in tune with others around us. It is one thing to sing along to a recorded song, but it is another to sing and play music live in a group! Keeping time with others is a real challenge.
What I love about this program is it make it so fun to teach these skills to our children!
The Family Favorites CD has 19 of the most love songs from their 9 CD collection. It includes a 32-page song booklet with an activity suggestion for each song on the CD. This program is recommended for babies up to age 7.
The Songbook for Teachers is a 112-page oversized spiral bound book. This book is divided into 3 sections.
The opening section covers the philosophy behind Music Together. It covers many ideas on how to teach music to your children and includes suggestions for special needs children as well. Also covered in this section is how to use props and working with instruments.
The middle section is a collection of the 19 songs found on the CD. Each song starts with an introduction by Kenneth Guilmartin, a listing of what activities and concepts are covered in each song, sheet music, and activity ideas.
The final section includes more information on the Music Together program and how you can get involved. It also includes a glossary and guitar reference chart.
I absolutely love the Teachers Songbook! While I’ve picked up ideas throughout the program, to me the middle section is what I use most. Each song section starts off with an introduction, this covers some of why the song was chosen and the history behind it. Also in this section, they clearly lay out what topics and activities can be covered. This is divided into 3 sections, an example from the song Biddy Biddy:
Activities ~ Activities that will be covered.
Music ~ The Note and pitch the song is in.
Starting pitch: G
Recording ~ What instruments are used in the song.
Guitar, bass, steel drum, shakers, maracas, conga drums.
Next, you have activity suggestions divided by age group from infants to older children as well as special needs. Ideas are given for help with speech, sensory and physical challenges.
Many of the activities need simple musical instruments such as rhythm sticks, shakers, etc. These can be purchased from Music Together or you can make your own as we did.
Extra thick primary pencils make great rhythm sticks for little ones! We made shakers by placing dry beans between two paper plates and stapling them together. Others we made with paper towel tubes. The kids had fun seeing how many things around the house they could use to make music.
The Music Together Family Favorites CD has quickly become a REAL family favorite around here. My little ones ask for me to play it often, and yes even the big kids join in!
Songs included are some old favorites like “I’ve Been working on the Railroad” and “Splishing and Splashing”, and many others that I hadn’t heard before. There is a great selection of fast-paced songs and slower ones. The songs cover many styles of music, so there is always something one of our children will enjoy.
We have really enjoyed using this, and it will continue to be part of our circle time here!