A musical education is the foundation of early learning for infants and young children, and children are proven to learn best by exploring their environments and playing and watching their peers and role models. Matt’s Music Together, a program that offers music classes for families and their children age newborn to age 4, brings together research-based groups of children of a variety of ages that fosters a natural, family-style learning environment. Music Together is an international program with centers in most metro areas, so even outside of the Capital District of New York, visit www.musictogether.com to find classes near you.
Classes with Matt’s Music Together are completely non-structured class, with very few rules and where children are playing along side other kiddos. Here, there is not a focus on learning theory, how to play instruments or anything too structured but rather a chance for children to learn a broad foundation of musical understanding, exposing children to a huge amount of language, culturally diverse music and a bunch of music that is rhythmically different and in a different key than most other children’s music.
By playing around and observing people, children begin to learn the ABCs of music, how to sing in tune and play in rhythm. Director Matt Yaeger notes “I can say pretty much without fail that a child who stays in the program for a few years will be able to do these three things. Not to mention, every 10 weeks we use a collection of music that has about 25 new songs. Each year, that is approximately 75-100 songs being added to your child’s musical cannon that most others do not have.”
Meeting once a week for 45 minute classes, the groups incorporate songs, rhythmic rhymes, movement and instrument play. These activities are presented as informal, non-performance-oriented musical experiences that are developmentally appropriate for children and easy for parents and caregivers, regardless of their own musical ability. Sessions are held in the Fall, Winter and Spring for 10 weeks long, with a Summer session that is six weeks long and an upcoming early-Winter session in early-December that is three weeks long.
The early-Winter session starts on December 7th and costs $65 for the first child, and an additional $25 for the first sibling over eight months and additional siblings over eight months only $15 while additional children under 8 months are FREE. Each sessions comes with Music Together’s “Family Favorites” CD, a $15 retail value. Classes are held at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church in North Greenbush, NY and are held twice Friday from 9:30-10:15 am and 10:30-11:15 am.
“Learning the basics of music is like riding a bike. Once you’ve learned how to sing in key and play in rhythm you never forget… Except you don’t need training wheels.” – Matt Yaeger