May 2016 Newsletter

Hel-lo Everybody, May has arrived, the trees are green, and the land is getting covered by beautiful flowers. Mother's Day is only a week away and before it gets here we wanted to invite you to our free "One Little Owl" event. On Saturday, May 7th from 2 pm - 4 pm, A Minor Melody will open it's doors for cake and crafts! We will be decorating cupcakes and drawing animals in our very large oak tree. Come celebrate Mother's Day with your little one. Space is limited so please reserve your spot by clicking here.

Making the Most of Tambourine

Tambourine is flying by! I'm just not ready to stop singing this collection. Tambourine has so many amazing songs with great stories behind them, like Tricks with Sticks, Good News, and Scarborough Fair. The songbook is so rich in information about the collection. From the beautiful illustrations, to the fun facts about the music we're singing, I could look at it for hours with my children. I find that the best place for the songbooks are where you keep the rest of your children's books. This makes it easily accessible for your child which will encourage them to sit and study the book. Your child or even you may not be able to read music, but just like learning how to read we must first familiarize ourselves with the symbols.

Sometimes our songbooks aren't always around, which is why Music Together has created a great online resource with two ways to enjoy it. Through the Family Music Zone and the Hello Everybody app! The Hello Everybody app has so many great features like storybooks, karaoke, and it puts all of your Music Together songs in one easily accessible place. This year the Hello Everybody app received approval from Parents Choice® (a foundation established in 1978 as a 501c3, which is the nation’s oldest nonprofit guide to quality children’s media and toys.) Download it today in the App Store and make Music Together everywhere you go!

If you're on the computer, log in to the Family Music Zone and see if you can find the Bonus Track (Kakilambe) for the Tambourine Collection! While you're there you'll find new activities to enjoy Tambourine, from coloring activities to learning how to play "Hello Everybody" on the guitar. You can even download all of the Tambourine Collection right to your computer.

Musical Quote

"We are the music makers,

And we are the dreamers of dreams."

-Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873

Is It Time for Formal Lessons?

Families enrolled in Music Together classes will often see their child develop a strong love for music. Our classes give them the opportunity to explore, experiment, and observe the joy of making music. Many times parents will ask me "Is my child ready for formal music lessons?" That is a tough question to answer since every child develops their musical abilities at different times.

The first question you need to ask is "Has my child achieved basic music competence?" Basic Music Competence is the ability to sing in tune and to keep a simple beat. If you hear your child matching the tonal patterns on your Music Together CDs or clapping their hands to the beat of their favorite song, then they may be ready for formal lessons. You can use your Music Together Growth Chart as a guide towards formal music lesson readiness. Make music not just in class, but at home too. Remember you don't have to be a musician to show your child the love of music. Modeling for your child is the best way to help them reach their full musical aptitude. Generally, by age five your child will reach basic music competence and this will make formal music lessons far more enjoyable for your little one.

The second step is to find what instrument (strings, brass, percussion, woodwinds, voice, etc.) your child takes an interest in. Start small - don't go all out and buy the biggest and best instrument you can find. If your child shows an interest in an instrument, they will not care whether it's the best as long as it sounds and plays well. Remember our first car wasn't the best but we loved and appreciated it still.

Once you have found what your child is interested in playing, you'll need a teacher. There are so many great music teachers in our area and the best one is the one with whom you and your child can bond. Before you even meet a music teacher, it's best to write down what you want your child to get out of these music lessons. How many days a week do we meet for lessons? Will my child learn how to read music? How long have you been teaching music to children? Compile your own list and feel free to ask me for advice.

Sometimes your child has reached basic music competence but isn't enjoying the formal lesson setting. There are a few ways to help encourage your child. You can learn the same instrument and take lessons together. This may seem weird but remember you and your child have been making music together for quite some time and they may feel more comfortable knowing that their caregiver wants to be included in their musical journey. Ask questions about their lessons, even if you already know the answers. Give them the opportunity to share their new discoveries. If you see that he is having a hard time grasping formal lessons that doesn't mean he'll never get it, but it might be a good time to pause the lessons and reintroduce the idea a few months down the road. In the meantime make music at home, encourage them to bring out their instrument and maybe introduce them to a different one.

Summer Fun From crafting instruments to making music in the park, summer is looking bright. A Minor Melody will be hosting events all summer long to help keep you and your family cool on those hot sunny summer days. Stay tuned for more information on how to register for these fun filled activities going on in June and July. Aside from our summer activities we will also be hosting the Summer Songs 2 Collection from July 9th, 2016 - August 17th, 2016. Summer Songs is much like a Music Together Greatest Hits. We pull songs from all nine collections and package them up into 6 weeks of singing, dancing, and wherever else our imagination takes us. Registration will be open on June 1st so sign up early to reserve your seat.

The Party Is On

Birthday parties at A Minor Melody are a blast for the whole family! Come

celebrate your baby or toddler’s next birthday musically. We have everything you need to make your party a hit! Invite your friends and family to join in on our sing-and-dance-along as we gather around to celebrate your child’s big day. For more information on our birthday party packages, please visit us online and fill out our party request form or you can click here.

Spread The Word

Does your family have an activity that you do with Tambourine at home? If so, we want to hear about it! We love getting the opportunity to learn how each family enjoys the collections at home, on the road, or anywhere else. Find us on Facebook and tell us some of your musical moments. Give us a like and we’ll give you articles, activity ideas and more!

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