Summer Enrollment Open!

Come play and make music with

Gracenote Family Music this summer!

_MG_9950

Sing, dance, and explore musical instruments while creating magical memories with your children.  We are offering 2, 6-week long music classes this summer.  There aren’t many openings so sign up today here!  Classes are designed for mixed ages, 0-5 years old.

Summer Schedule:

Mondays at 9:30 a.m. – Rosenbalm Academy of Music – Edmond

Actual class dates: 

Monday, June 12th – Week 1

Monday, June 19th – Week 2

Monday, June 26th – Week 3

Monday, July 3rd – NO CLASS, 4th of JULY holiday

Monday, July 10th – Week 4

Monday, July 17th – Week 5

Monday, July 24th – Week 6

Fridays at 10:00 a.m. – Oakcrest Church of Christ – South OKC/Moore

Actual class dates: 

Friday, June 16th – Week 1

Friday, June 23rd – Week 2

Friday, June 30th – Week 3

Friday, July 7th – NO CLASS, 4th of JULY holiday

Friday, July 14th – Week 4

Friday, July 21st – NO CLASS

Friday, July 28th – Week 5

Friday, August 4th – Week 6

Songs Without Words

Happy Monday!

Have you noticed how many songs we sing that use non-sense syllables instead of words?  This week we will gallop to “William Tell’s Ride,” play with jingle bells to “Bim Bam,” click our sticks to “Dee Da Dum,” and hum “Cloud Song” as the lullaby.  All these songs use vocables instead of words and this is why:

  • Words in songs can get in the way of a young child’s ability to process the music

  • Singing songs with vocables can give children direct access to the melody and rhythm of the music without the distraction of language

You can do this at home with any tune.  Pick a fun vocable like “dee” or “la” and sing the tune together!

_MG_9984

Support Your Child’s Rhythm Development

You might wonder why we do so much movement in our Music Together classes. Research has shown that children must experience rhythm in their bodies before they can audiate it, or hear it inside their heads.  You can help them by:
1. Making your movements clear and purposeful, to help them see the beat.
2. Providing “beat feedback”:  Gently tap the beat of a song on your child while they play or when you are singing together.
3. Provide a kinesthetic experience by holding and bouncing or swinging your child to the beat.
Remember, have fun singing and dancing with your child every day.  The most important thing you will give your child is a love of music!
*Information from Music Together, LLC®
_MG_9931
Photo Credit: Tiffany Ortiz, 2017 at Rosenbalm Academy of Music

Music in the Silence

Music in the Silence
Does your child sing at home when she is alone in a quiet place?  Have you ever noticed your baby will often use his voice in the silence between songs in class?  Silences are powerful – sometimes more powerful than the music itself.
Children often respond to the music in the silence that follows a song.  In the silence, children are able to process what they just heard without any other sound getting in the way.  It is in this silence that they will begin to hear the music inside their heads – something called “audiation” – which is necessary for them to do before they can effectively produce their own music.  Audiation is a term that Dr. Edwin Gordon borrowed from learning specialists to describe musical thinking and it is fundamental to learning music overall. *information from Music Together® Parental Education Moments
Listen to your child closely at home and during music class.  Notice her tendency to sing in quiet times or in silences between songs.  When singing together at home, pause purposefully between songs and see if you can notice your child’s responses to long silences.

“The music is not in the notes, but in the silence in between.” 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

3 Ways to Create Musical Ritual Moments for the Benefit of Your Family

gracenote-pic
Greetings Music Families!
We all love and find comfort in pleasurable rituals woven into our years, months, weeks, and days.  Rituals help us recognize special times and feel bonded to those we love.  Our culture uses music to recognize certain celebrations such as singing “Happy Birthday” to the birthday girl/boy or singing the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the beginning of important events.  You can use the power of music to create your own unique ritual moments on a daily basis in your home!
#1. Sing Lullabies: Use lullabies at bedtime to help your family settle down and feel soothed.  Research has shown that lullabies help our bodies release  “feel-good chemicals” that are beneficial for our health.  You can use lullabies at bedtime, nap time, and during the day when your children may need a bit of extra comfort.
     In music class, we use a lullaby to signify the end of our musical activities together for the day.  We encourage bonding between the child and caregiver and the practicing and learning of new, calming lullabies for your family to share together.
#2. Make Daily Transitions with the Help of a Song: When transitioning from one type of activity to another (such as from play time to dinner time, etc.), use a song to signify the time for transition.  Sing the song with intent, look into your child’s eyes, smile, and join them in the transition.  You might have a favorite song for bath time, one for dinner time, etc.  Use the same melody each time and create your own words to fit your situation.  I sing “This is How We Comb Our Hair” to calm my 13-month-old son while I attempt to brush his hair.
     In music class, we use the “Bye Bye [instrument]” song to signify the time to put away our instruments and move to the next song.  The “Hello Song” means we are beginning our music-making time together and the “Goodbye Song” transitions us through the end of the class.  These songs serve as mental cues that we are transitioning together and they help children (and adults) feel more secure and more connected to our community.
#3. Sing to Get Your Child’s Attention: Do you ever have trouble getting your child to hear you?  Sometimes my children are distracted by their play and don’t even realize I am trying to get their attention.  This is when I start singing what I was trying to say to them.  There is something about using my singing voice in an unexpected way that suddenly grabs their attention.  Once I know I have gained their attention, I sing my message to them with a grin.  They usually respond with a grin and curious look.  Bingo!  I got their attention without raising my voice.  Over the years, my children have started responding with their singing voices at times.  You might notice that using this technique can add a little humor to what might have been a tense interaction between you and your children.  It can move an interaction away from the tendency to yell or raise our voice and into a playful banter with our singing.  I love any small moment in time that helps me bond with my family in a light-hearted way.
Sing with your family this week!

5 Ways to Support Your Child’s Music Development

We hope you are having a wonderful time listening to your Maracas music at home and joining our music-making in class.  Here are just a few tips for supporting your child’s music development:

#1. Echo your child’s attempts at making music.  Just as it is important to echo your child’s first attempts at speaking, you can endorse your child’s early attempts at music-making by echoing or mirroring her behavior.  This validates her musical attempts and she will continue experimenting and eventually becoming a competent music maker in her own right. As you observe your child, you will also begin understand and appreciate how your child needs to learn and develop musically.
#2. Provide tactile beat feedback.  When your child is playing an instrument, you can pat his shoulder, back, or knee to give him a tactile experience of the beat.  If your child is in your arms, provide a kinesthetic experience by moving your own body so that he can feel the rhythm and movement through you.
#3. Provide aural and visual beat feedback. When you child is watching you, give them a good visual experience by picking up your knees and feet to the beat.  Sing and chant along with music to provide the aural experience as well.
#4. Immerse your child in music-making experiences.  Children learn music the same way they learn language, by immersion.  It is important that children get many musical immersion experiences in a playful environment since children can teach themselves through musical play.  Music class is one kind of music immersion experience, but you can create musical experiences at home by singing with your child frequently.  Sing the songs from music class and make up your own songs.  Sing about what you are doing as you get ready for bed, etc.
#5. Model your love of music for your child.  Did you know that your children learn something from you that they can’t learn from anyone else?  They learn from you the “disposition” to make music, or the desire to make music.  They can learn skills from any teacher throughout their lives, but they can only learn the love of making music from you!  So let down your guard, release your fears of inadequacy, and have fun making all kinds of music with your child!
REMINDER: Next week (April 17th – 22nd) is our Stuffed Animal Musical Picnic!  Bring your favorite stuffed animal (or any toy) for a special musical picnic.
mt_banners_friends_250x250-blue

All Children are Musical

Greetings Music Families!

Did you know that all children are musical?
It is true.  The tenet of the Music Together® philosophy is that, like with all basic skills that we learn as we develop (language, motor skills, etc.), we all can learn basic music competence.  True, some people are born with higher music aptitude – we all know there are musical geniuses – but according to statistics, the 84% of the general population has an average-to-high music aptitude and even the rest of the population have some kind of music aptitude!  Unfortunately, there is a common misconception that most of the population is “non-musical.”
Research shows that we can achieve Basic Music Competence (the ability to sing in tune and move the upper- and lower-body accurately to a beat) if we are given the opportunity to learn music.  Just like with language, we must be immersed in music-making environments for optimal learning.  There is a critical period (birth to age 5 years) during which music aptitude is most malleable and open to influence.  This is why the Music Together program focuses on this age group.  Musical growth is best achieved in a playful, developmental appropriate, non-performance-oriented learning environment which is musically rich yet immediately accessible to the child’s participation.
You are giving your child the gift of a musically-rich learning environment so that he/she can develop to his/her fullest musical ability.  Remember to keep the music-making magic alive at home and play your Maracas music daily.  Refer to your growth chart and delight in the ways that your child is growing musically.
Play begins in delight and ends in wisdom.” —from Music Together
mt_banners_pattern_300x600-blue

Growing in Music!

Greetings Music Families!

Upon enrollment in your first semester of our Music Together classes, you should have received an important handout titled “Growing and Learning with Music Together.” The handout opens into one large growth chart titled “Your Child’s Journey Through Music Together.”
Can you find where your child is in his musical journey?  It is so much fun to refer back to this musical growth chart as you experience each semester and find out how much growth your child has expressed during her journey.
How about you, the parent?  Turn to the back side of the growth chart and see if you can identify with any of the experiences listed here.  Are you new to early childhood music education or a well-experienced veteran?
If you did not receive a growth chart or have misplaced yours, please let us know and we will make sure you get another one!
IMG_5972

Haven’t Tried Our Classes Yet?

Learn more about he internationally-known Music Together program and how it can benefit your family!

Try a class with no obligation!

Welcome to the Maracas Collection!

makebeautiful-phrasesmile_blue-web

Greetings Music Families!

We are thrilled to have you join us for our Spring Maracas Collection for the next 10 weeks.  This spring, you and your children will love riding on “This Train,” “Dancing with Teddy,” chasing “Five Little Mice,” and bouncing, clapping, wiggling and giggling to “Jumpin’ Josie.”
The Music Together program was carefully designed to create a rich, musical learning environment that is developmentally appropriate for children ages 0 through 5 years of age.  Our teachers are specifically trained to help guide parents and children through musical learning experiences while acknowledging that children will demonstrate normal developmental behaviors in the process.  For example, many of the children in class will want to explore the instruments with their mouths.  This is not just OK, but it is essential to their learning.  The mouth is like a “third hand” and a child’s brain is wired to collect information through her mouth as well as her hands and fingers.  After class, we clean all the instruments that have been “tasted.”
To some, our classroom might resemble something of a “barn yard,” but to the professional musical researcher, the classroom is a “gold mine” of musical immersion and learning for all who are present.  All types of learning will be demonstrated by the children in class from the kinesthetic learner who uses his whole body to learn and process information to the observer who only watches during class, but expresses music when in the safety of her own home.  The non-formal learning environment created by our teachers is designed so that all types of learners will feel comfortable and have the tools for learning basic music competence.  Our job, as teachers and adult caregivers, is to model active music-making in class, have fun, and enjoy our children in the process!
You are giving your children the gift of a lifetime!  Not currently enrolled in our music classes?  Enroll for a free preview class today and find out more information about how to join our musical family!