While touted as an early childhood music program, I believe that it is great for ALL ages. I feel that even babies in the womb can benefit from the program. I loved the music and each of my children enjoyed it, too.
The songbook had so many great features. The beginning of the book introduces the reader to Music Together and their philosophy and research on early childhood music education. It talks about how it has been implemented through the years and gives great tips on how to use it for different age groups and settings.
When it was discussing the classroom setting, I loved seeing the pictures and reading the suggestions and ideas for multiple children. This certainly applies to a homechooling family with multiple children (like mine), because we automatically have a mixed age class of differing abilities and levels. There were several great bits of advice on how to incorporate everyone into the class that we made.
I tried to structure our classes at home very similarly to the classes we attended. We gathered around in a circle to sing the Hello Song, which my kids immediately recognized. Then I chose a variety of the songs to sing. We made some homemade instruments since I couldn’t find any real ones lingering around my house. We used an old Easter basket and some wooden spoons and plastic IKEA spoons as drums. We also used some Tic Tac containers and beans in empty water bottles as maracas. There were several times during our in-home classes where I encouraged them to play along with their instruments. They got very creative and came up with several other instruments as well.
We also danced quite a bit during the music time at home. My daughter liked dancing with her 3 year old brother most, and my 5 year old used the free dance time to show off martial arts inspired kicks and punches. I twirled the baby around, which he loved. He is soothed and comforted by music.
Besides just doing some in-home lessons with the songbook and CD, we also listened to the CD quite a bit in our vehicle while driving around. The music is so rich and beautiful, played with real instruments and sung beautifully by vibrant singers. The variety from song to song is refreshing. The songs TOTALLY get stuck in your head! We liked it, and my 7 year old daughter begged to look through the book while we were driving and listening. She liked looking at the music notes and lyrics while listening along. I look forward to using this more in-depth when we purchase an electric piano as I know they’ll enjoy playing the songs for themselves on an actual instrument.
We had a great time reviewing this set. Each child liked different songs, but they all liked “John the Rabbit” most, followed closely by “Splishing and Splashing”. My 5 month old responded really positively to “Allee Galloo” and “Biddy Biddy”. I admit, I can’t choose a favorite!
This set is just $39.95 (a $5 savings from buying the Family Favorites Songbook for Teachers and the Music Together Family Favorites CD separately). For an extra $2 off at the Music Together online store, enter coupon code Schoolhouse at checkout.
If you’d like to hear how other homeschooling families implemented this award-winning program into their studies, be sure to check out other Schoolhouse Review Crew posts.