Monday, September 24, 2012

Music Together (a TOS review)






When my littlest was just a toddler Early Intervention treated us to a local Music Together class.  It was lovely.  We enjoyed our special time moving and grooving together.  What I didn’t know is that Music Together offers SO much more than classes – including programs that can be implemented right at home! 


The Nutshell

  • Music Together is an internationally known and award winning music program aimed at families with children between infant and 7 years of age.  Their program focuses on rhythm and encourages parental involvement.  There is little more bonding that silly dancing together with your kids!  Or maybe it’s just my kids?!  That’s what Music Together is all about.  In fact, their motto is – Bringing Harmony Home.
  • Music Together might have my five favorite teaching principles ever:  actions - not instructions, accept and include, build relationships through music and movement, silly quotient and ooops (because accidents happen)!!!  Found in the Family Favorite’s Songbook for Teachers. 
  • You can become a Music Together teacher yourself.  Learn more here
  • Music together has two models:  family classes and preschool programs.  Find a local class here
  • Check out their store to see all the wonderful products they offer.  I love how sensitive they are to special needs!
  • We were given the Music Together Family Favorites CD and Songbook Combo ($39.95) for review purposes. 





The Review



From the minute I opened the kit I was impressed.



I know the colors aren’t the highlight of the program, but I feel the need to share how much I loooooved the soothing greens! 




The song book is beautifully bound and well organized.  All of the information you could possibly need to use this program is found in the pages. 



This is so much more than just a song book!  As I read through the introduction, philosophy, principals of the program and techniques to use…I felt like I was learning so many rich and wonderful skills.  Skills that I could implement immediately!



I love that one of Music Together’s grounding principals is the belief that all children are musical.



And if I loved that, then you can consider me absolutely over the moon with their passionate approach to accepting and including!!!!



Trevy is a music lover.  But he has special needs.  Those needs can sometimes create chaos and be a challenge to manage.  The songbook gives teachers tips and practical activities to help support children with special needs!  I even learned a trick or two myself.



So how did we use the program?



I created an instrument sensory bin.  In the bin are shakers, blowers, sticks, tambourines and other little music-y items I already had.  When we had our “music circle” we would pull out the sensory bin and place it in the middle.





Even though it was just three (myself plus my 5 and 7 year olds) of us, we would start with the Hello Song.  Trevy responds really well to routine.  So having a special opening song works for us.



We would then get to exploring the various songs and activities.



Each song has its own pages with the music, lyrics and special information to create the best experience with that particular song.  I can’t emphasize enough how rich all the material in this program is! 



All of the songs are fun and engaging.  I love that many of them don’t have difficult lyrics but focus more on rhythm or sounds.  This is especially great for Trevy who has significant speech delay.  In fact, some of the songs were like having musical oral motor therapy!



The kiddos enjoyed the music so much that we would also take the cd with us whenever we were running errands.



Our two favorite songs were One Little Owl and Obwisana (listen to samples)!



I know I keep coming back to the special needs angle.  I can’t help myself, though.  I always get excited when I find products that I can use with Trevy.  Even more exciting is when a company has a passion for the inclusion of children with special needs!  



Music Together’s Families Favorites is a product I would highly recommend to ALL families!






**This is my little space to disclaim that I was given Music Together’s Families Favorites Songbook and CD Combo in exchange for my honest review shared on my blog.  All opinions expressed are my honest own.  I hope that you enjoyed and found my review at least a smidge helpful.  Because my voice is just one, I highly encourage you to read what my fellow TOS Crew friends thought about this product.**

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