Bay Chamber Music School invites parents and caregivers to find out how important and fun their role can be in nurturing the musical growth of children via Music Together.

Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarteners 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.

Central to the Music Together approach is that young children learn best from the powerful role model of parents/caregivers who are actively making music. The program brings families together by providing a rich musical environment in the classroom and by facilitating family participation in spontaneous musical activity at home within the context of daily life.

This fall, Music Together classes at Bay Chamber’s Music School offer specifically designed mixed-age classes (newborn through age 5) with parents or caregivers. The Music Together experience includes songs, rhythmic rhymes, movement, instrument play and more, presented as informal, non-performance-oriented musical experiences — developmentally appropriate and easy for parents and caregivers, regardless of their own musical ability.

Music Together classes build on each child’s natural enthusiasm for music and movement.  Classes will help provide children with the basic musical skills needed to enjoy school and social musical activities; and to study an instrument should he or she choose to do so.

Also this fall, Bay Chamber Community Music School will offer a Music Together class tailored specifically for 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds. Music Together Big Kids is a 60-minute class geared to the interests and abilities of older children.  The program blends the elements of Music Together that parents and children love with new activities, skills and challenges that are developmentally appropriate for this age group.

Music Together Big Kids classes lay the foundation for basic music literacy, complementing music instruction in school or instrument lessons, and helps lead to a lifetime of joyful music-making. The curriculum includes solfège, solos and ensembles, folk dances, harmony singing, vocal development and drumming. In a safe, fun environment, your child can experiment with new activities like conducting and improvisation, story songs and game songs.

Parent attendance is welcome but not required (except for the first and last classes, which parent/caregiver must attend). Each family receives a Big Kids songbook, CD, solfège cards and HomePlay activities, so that the entire family can continue the fun and learning at home and parents can stay connected with what the child is learning in class.

Scholarships are available to those who qualify. To register, call Bay Chamber’s Music School at 236-2823 or visit baychamberconcerts.org. For more information on the classes themselves, contact Midcoast Music Together teacher Jessica Day at 593-6645 or midcoastmusictogether.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.