I had heard of Music Together from an old friend that lived in Roy and would take the train every week to Salt Lake to attend. This gave me the distinct impression it was worthwhile, even then. I have two daughters, one is just shy of 2 and the other is a 5 month old baby, so when I heard that someone was starting a Music Together at the Eccles Art Center on Monday nights, I had to go to my one free class to check it out.
Melissa Love Zuckerman runs the show. She is a vibrant, bright, and lovely human being. She has a background in early childhood education. When she was a nanny in San Francisco in 2007, she attended her first Music Together class and was absolutely in love with it, because it is special. After that she knew this was something that she wanted to do with her life. It isn’t a place for kids to sit in a circle and be told to do yet another thing. It isn’t a place to reinforce social norms or proper etiquette and civility. It is a safe place to explore music as a child from 5 years and younger with the gentle lead of their parents and caretakers. It is a place to learn music together (ha!).
My husband and I came to the class and were greeted by many other happy parental faces. You could tell pretty quickly that coming to these classes every week was something they look forward to. My older daughter was clingy and intimated at first, but I noticed that the other children were comfortable pretty quickly, as they knew what the next hour had in store for them.
The parents sat in a circle, with Melissa, but the children were not told to do something, thus I didn’t have to spend the whole time telling my daughter over and over again to remain still and listen, which would then have been the lesson of the day. Instead, she was free to wander the room, as long as she was safe, and if she felt the need, she could join in. Which she definitely felt the need. We, the parents, slapped our hands on the floor to the beat of the song we were singing. The songs are engaging and catchy. But this isn’t just a class where you sing the old well known songs. They have their own, in different counts and meters. Melissa even will leave out words or notes with pauses or beats to engage the children’s minds. Instruments were brought out and that was my daughter’s favorite part. The class progresses so perfectly for the attention of a toddler. Parents remarked to me that they play the music for their children in the car and their kids instantly become engaged and excited. One parent even said they attribute Music Together for their early speaking one year old, saying that after she began attending her first semester she became more vocal with her communicating.
And by the end of our first class, my 5 month old was happy as a clam, and my older daughter didn’t want to leave, ever.
The current Music Together semester ends October 21st. It’ll take a holiday break and jump back into Winter Semester on December 30th, which runs December 30th – March 17th. Families can come try a class for free any time during the semester.
All classes are on Mondays at 6:00 pm at the Eccles Community Art Center, though if there is enough students they will open up daytime slots. Tuition and more information can be found wasatchmusictogether.com (discounts and payment plans are available).
Melissa is also offering a non-Music Together Holiday Sing-along for four weeks running November 18th – December 9th. This non-Music Together class will be $40 for the full four weeks or $15 per class to drop in. All ages are welcome to join us as they sing about santa, reindeer, and sleigh bells and explore a little Jewish and Islamic music, too. A lot of my Music Together families are planning to bring grandparents and extended family to the sing-along.
Feel free to contact Melissa with any and all questions or conversations concerning Wasatch Music Together: firstname.lastname@example.org or 801-430-9058.