TOS Review: Music Together

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Our whole family is made up of music lovers. Hubby and I both play instruments, our extended family likes music, and the kids have always been exposed to different types of music and loved it. As part of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew, we recently received the Music Together Family Favorites CD and Songbook Combo. Here's some more information about it from their website:
Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners, first and second graders, and the adults who love them. First offered to the public in 1987, it pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement.
I enrolled Zeke in a toddler music class before Ellie was born when he was still pretty little. He didn't do so well. In fact, I would go so far as to say it was a disaster. Although he loved the songs and instruments, he didn't care for the structure of the program which required LOTS of sitting (not good for a rambunctious 2/3 year old), moved quickly from one thing to the next, and was rather specific on what you were supposed to do - i.e. creatively not really encouraged that much. He ended up running around wildly most of the time and getting upset so we dropped out of the class.
The CD we received features nineteen of the best-loved songs from the nine Music Together song collections. The CD has won multiple awards and also comes with a 32-page booklet with activity suggestions for every song for use at home, in the car, or in the classroom. The Songbook for Teachers has 112 pages of music and suggestions for teaching each of the songs on the Family Favorites CD. Each song is listed with a little background about it, followed by different activities for each age group and sheet music/lyrics. There are a variety of different activities suggested to go along with the songs including: fingerplays, using instruments or props, a lap song, large movements like galloping, singing rounds, small movements like waving, and much more.
Music Together has a very different vibe to it than other music classes we had been exposed to. I highly enjoyed the suggestions and philosophy and principles of the program. Instead of specific instructions the children are required to follow, you the teacher present the activities non-formally and then just gently guide them to join in. Children's suggestions for the songs are accepted rather than dismissed and "oops" moments (where you mess up the words or sing something wrong) are not a big deal. One of my most favorite things mentioned in the Songbook for Teachers is the "Silly Quotient." Teachers are encouraged to develop their own natural silliness factor to use with the kids when teaching - and that makes a lot of sense really because kids love to be silly and enjoy being around people who can make them laugh. (Don't we all?) Instead of perfection, the goals are...well, they're not really goals at all! Instead, the philosophy and approach presented is that children learn best in a environment that is free of pressure and interference and instead is chock full of play and creativity!
I have a seven year old and a three year old and they loved everything about this program. They thought the songs were fun and enjoyed making some little homemade instruments to go along with them. I was actually just thinking & realized that my parents have some musical instruments - egg shakers & stuff - from when we used to be in a praise band at church that would have worked excellently for this! {pregnancy brain} I'll have to borrow them next time we're up there... ANYWAY, we also enjoyed taking this CD with us in the car - it kept the kids pretty entertained driving to and from the library and other errands. I think this program would be good for any family but would also especially be good for a homeschool group or co-op class where the kids could interact more with one another.
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If you're interested in Music Together, you can purchase the Songbook for Teachers for $29.95 and the CD for $14.95. You can also download the individual tracks for 99 cents each or the entire album for $9.99. The Family Favorites CD and Songbook Set is available for the special price of $39.95 - a $5 discount. To get an extra $2 off, please use the coupon code: Schoolhouse. You can learn more about Music Together on their website here - {{Music Together}} Or to see what other crew members thought, please click the button below!
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Disclosure: We received the above mentioned product for free as part of The Old Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for our honest review. I was not compensated in any other way. Opinions are my own.

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