Do toddler music circles actually work?
Do toddler music programs really do much for your child? How can you tell the difference between a healthy, growth-minded music program and a glorified singalong? Here are a few things to consider.
First of all, your little one can often pick up on musical patterns before he starts talking (source). Music gives youngsters a chance to practice interpreting — and making — the patterns we hear in speech. Even as adults, we often respond to other people’s behaviors and tones of voice more than their literal words.
In other words, music is NOT above your toddler’s head. In fact, it’s one of the best pathways to cognitive development!
Music education has all kinds of payoffs right out of the gate, including increased cognitive ability, stronger communication skills, a better head for math and logic, and stronger hand-eye coordination.
But how do we present these skills? What should you look for in a growth-focused toddler music program? Here are a few telltale signs of a good place to learn and grow.
1. IT SHOULD INCLUDE LIVE MUSIC. If you go to a toddler music class and everything is through a CD player, run! At Learning Allegro, every toddler music class is led by a professional musician who incorporates his or her primary instruments into the program. That means that every Allegro toddler is hearing, dancing to, and singing along to quality music right out of the gate.
2. YOUR CHILD SHOULD GET TO PARTICIPATE. We make sure that each music class gets our toddlers playing along! We will hand out a simple instrument, like rhythm shakers, and use them to teach tempo and dynamics.
3. IT SHOULD BE MULTI-SENSORY. Hearing music is a big deal, but what about dancing to it? What about reading a book along to music? What about waving a scarf along to a song? There are tons of studies out there about the value of multi-sensory learning. At Learning Allegro, our toddler classes incorporate sight, speech, hearing, touch, and movement to help each child interact meaningfully with music.
4. IT WILL TAKE YOUR CHILD SERIOUSLY — EVEN WHILE HAVING FUN. There’s a huge difference between sitting around and singing for fun and exploring a theory-based curriculum. Your child is VERY capable, even before he or she can communicate effectively with you. We honor that at Learning Allegro by introducing age-appropriate theory concepts at every toddler class.
5. IT SHOULD BE A COMMUNITY EVENT. We are social by nature — even the shyest among us! A toddler music circle brings your son or daughter into a social atmosphere; it gives them an outlet for making noise, laughing, and singing with other kids and parents.
Are YOU ready to give your little one a head start musically, socially, and educationally? Give us a call (484-341-8842) or learn more about toddler music classes on the Learning Allegro website!