Listening to music and singing with your child is one of the sweetest and most rewarding parts of being a parent, regardless of your child’s age. Music Together has taken that idea and enhanced it, with mixed-age classes and songs created to make your child a life-long lover of music.
Music Together will be at the New York Baby Show, on May 14 and 15, at Pier 92.
The nation’s biggest show for expectant and new families, the New York Baby Show is a wonderful family-friendly mega-event featuring everything to do with maternity, baby, and toddler. From top products to trusted parenting experts, the New York Baby Show welcomes thousands of expectant and new parents from New York City, the Tri-State area, and beyond!
Tickets to the New York Baby Show are $30 per family, and $20 per individual.
We spoke to a member of their marketing team to learn more.
For someone unfamiliar with Music Together, how would you describe the company’s mission and core offerings?
Music Together is a music and movement program for children, newborn through grade two. Since 1987, Music Together has introduced millions of children, parents, and caregivers to the joys of making music. Our research-based curriculum is now taught in more than 2,500 locations around the world, including dozens right here in NYC
The Music Together approach is rooted in research in both music and early childhood education and our programs are designed to teach very young children how to learn and respect the learning styles and developmental levels of all participants. In Music Together classes, every week a group of babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and their grownups get together to sing, play, dance, and jam along with our award-winning music. All classes are led by creative and highly trained teachers, and the environment is relaxed, playful, and non-performance-oriented: perfect to support the learning styles of even the youngest children. Just by joining in the fun, parents can make a huge difference in their children’s music (and overall!) development. That’s because children learn through experimentation and the model of the grownups they love.
Each semester, families receive a new collection of materials to use at home and on the go: CDs/mp3s, a songbook, parent education materials, and online resources through the exclusive Family Music Zone and Music Together’s mobile app.
What is the background of Music Together? When was it started? How has it evolved since then?
Music Together was founded in 1987, by Ken Guilmartin, who continues to serve as our Artistic Director. In 1985, Ken founded the Center for Music and Young Children (CMYC). Realizing the importance of music in early childhood, his goal was to create a parent-child music and movement experience in which children learn through playful, developmentally appropriate activities supported by parent education and materials for use at home. Ken was also teaching music at his daughter Lauren’s school, the parent-owned-and-operated Montclair (NJ) Cooperative School. As both parent and faculty member, Ken was learning firsthand the benefits of parent involvement in their children’s education.
While attending a seminar with Edwin Gordon in 1986, Ken met Dr. Lili M. Levinowitz, then one of Gordon’s Ph.D. students at Temple University. Impressed by her innovative research on tonal and rhythm development in young children, he hired her to consult on his early childhood music experiments at the Coop School. Shortly thereafter they began to create the Music Together materials and classroom techniques, which were first offered to the public in the fall of 1987; their collaboration continues to this day. Now, Music Together has expanded all around the world to enhance the lives of millions of children, and the grownups who love them. The program is now taught in more than 2,500 locations in 41 countries, and the curriculum continues to evolve and grow.
What are the most popular and/or the newest services from Music Together?
The hallmark of the Music Together program is our Mixed-age Class, which is offered at all of our licensed locations. Child development researchers have found that grouping together children of varying ages fosters natural, family-style learning, giving children the environment they need to grow musically while interacting both socially and musically with peers of different ages. Children, even babies, are inspired and stimulated through interaction with peers of different ages: younger children watch and imitate older ones, older children lead younger ones, and adults are happy because their children are in class together. Babies will engage at their own level, vocalizing, moving, listening, observing, and exploring musical instruments. Any or all of the child’s caregivers (parents, grandparents, nannies) can come share in the experience, both in class and at home. The whole family is welcome!
Some locations also offer a special Babies Class for infants under eight months. In this class, the activities are specifically designed to teach parents how to support music development in infancy and how to connect with their babies through music using methods such as “purposeful touch,” “sound-layering,” “dancing for baby,” and more. And since our Babies Class uses the same song collections as our other classes, you will experience a seamless transition as your baby grows into our mixed-age classes and beyond.
Since babies are musical beings even before birth, it’s never too early to get started; even newborns are amazingly oriented to become music-makers. Because they begin to hear and respond to sound in the womb, most babies’ sense of hearing is well developed at birth, and they are already alert to musical sounds—especially the voice of a parent singing! Just as your baby is prepared to learn language, they are equally prepared to learn music.
What sets Music Together apart from other children’s music programs?
We are a research-based and research-focused program. Music Together is grounded in research in music and early childhood development. When creating the program, coauthors Kenneth K. Guilmartin and Dr. Lili M. Levinowitz examined the field of music education, and then reached beyond it into the realm of early childhood learning. They realized that even the best song they could discover or compose would miss the mark if not presented in ways children can receive readily and process meaningfully. In addition, the Music Together program is frequently studied by independent researchers at institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, and by our own research and development teams. We’re committed to furthering the understanding of the powerful role music can play in early childhood.
Our award-winning music is not like typical children’s music. Pitched in the perfect range for children’s early voices, our nine song collections include a mix of original songs and traditional tunes from a variety of genres and styles, including folk, blues, rock, jazz, classical, and world music. It’s enjoyable for adults to listen to as well as children!
Our Teacher Training is world-renowned. All of our teachers must take and pass our live, in-person teacher training, where they learn all about how young children learn music as well as the Music Together approach. Teachers also have access to ongoing professional development to help them stay on the cutting edge of early childhood music education.
What can parents expect to see from Music Together at the New York Baby Show?
Come listen to our music and see some of our materials at our booth. You can also enter a raffle to win a free semester of classes at a convenient location in NYC and some instruments you can use with your baby as soon as they arrive! You can also come and meet some of our trained teachers and ask any questions you might have about your child’s music development. Every Music Together teacher is specially trained in the Music Together approach and would love to help parents learn more about their new music-makers!
To find a Music Together class near you in NYC, please visit musictogether.com/nyc!