27 September 2012

Music Together: a Review

We are music lovers here in this house!  All kinds of music!  We often incorporate music appreciation into our homeschool as well.  Recently we have been enjoying Music Together, our latest review product from the Schoolhouse Review Crew.  

This award-winning program is designed for children ages birth to 7 years old.  Traditionally it is designed for parents and children to come together in a class setting with a recognized Music Together teacher to lead the class in musical fun and activities.  However, we received the Family Favorites songbook and cd combo to review for use in our homeschool.

The basic philosophy of Music together can be wrapped up into 4 main points:
  1. All children are musical
  2. Therefore, all children can achieve basic music competence--learning to sing in tune and move with accurate rhythm
  3. The participation and modeling of parents or other primary caregivers is essential to a child's musical growth
  4. This growth is best achieved in a playful, musically rich, and non-performance-oriented learning environment
The songbook we received was a great accompaniment to the cd.  Even if you don't read music, it gives you all kinds of additional tips and ideas for sharing music with your children.  Each song has suggestions and ideas for infants, preschoolers and older children, special needs children, ways to teach rhythm, sensory suggestions, and more.  There is also a section that includes history and information about the song, many of which are international (those were really fun!).  Each song in the songbook is numbered according to the track on the corresponding cd so it is easy to navigate.  

As for having or not having instruments to play along with the songs, these are definitely optional.  If you don't already have simple instruments such as egg shakers, rhythm sticks or a drum, you can always use items from the kitchen.  A spoon on a pot makes a great drum!  I think you'd be surprised at how many things from around our house my kiddos came up with to use as a rhythm instrument--and we even have plenty of real instruments to choose from.  They just thought it was a lot of fun to try out other things, too. 

Even though my son is on the tail end of the age recommendation for this program (age 7) he really loved the music--as did my 9-yr-old daughter.  Yes, a few of the songs were a little "young" for them, but most were just really fun folks-y tunes with a great beat that they had fun keeping rhythm to and singing along with the sometimes silly lyrics.  

I would give them a little intro on each song (what country it originated from, it's language, etc.) and then just let them enjoy it.  We often would just pop the cd in and listen along while doing our schoolwork.  Sometimes the kiddos would listen to it in their rooms as they played or cleaned.  It has some very unique and catchy tunes on it--which I would find myself humming or singing at all hours.  Our family favorite has probably been the track titled Goin' For Coffee, a wonderful jazzy tune!  You can have a little listen to all of the songs on this cd collection right here.

This songbook and cd combo--which is a NAPPA Gold Award winner, a Distinguished Achievement Award winner and has received the Parent's Choice Silver Honor Award--is available on the Music Together website for $39.95 (you save $5 when you purchase the book and cd together!).  

If you are looking for a very enjoyable and easy way to introduce your young child to music or to simply add in the element of music to your homeschool, this may be just the thing you for your family.  I would encourage you to visit their website and listen to the song samples.  I think you'll be in for a treat!

Also be sure to visit the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog to see what other homeschool parents had to say about this product.


Disclaimer: I received the Music Together songbook and cd through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.  No other compensation was received.

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