Class Oﬀerings Most early childhood music programs serve children birth through 5 years old. Some early childhood music programs oﬀer classes for children in specific age groups. For example, there might be classes for infants (generally birth through 18 months), toddlers (18 months through 3 years), and preschoolers (3 to 5 years). Other programs oﬀer family classes where children of all ages can attend together. Several early childhood music programs oﬀer a class for children with special needs or children who need more support. The instructor of a class designed specifically to include learners with special needs should have some education and training in working with families and children with special needs. Information about the instructor’s qualifications should be readily apparent on the program’s webpage. Providers of early childhood music programs often oﬀer a variety of services ranging from semester-based classes using a pre-designed curriculum, birthday parties, and open-to-the-public family music nights, to clinical services provided by a qualified professional.
Philosophical and Educational Match Look for statements in the class descriptions that point to the program’s philosophy and approach to music-making. Some programs may have a more educational focus while others may be focused on family music-making as a way of spending time with
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Questions to Ask
Importance of Question
Are children with special needs and disabilities welcome in your classes? Some of my children don’t have special needs. Can we all attend the same class?
This question allows you to determine whether all the children in your family will be able to attend a class together.
Do you have instructors on your staff with experience and expertise in including children with special needs?
A gifted teacher’s bio may not reflect his or her successful track record of accommodating children with special needs.
How do you handle [insert a specific behavior like running, or loud vocalizations]?
You are interested in learning about the center’s approach to classroom management and how they balance safety with accommodating children’s unique learning preferences.
May we attend a class for free to see if this is the right fit for us?
Don’t underestimate the importance of the teacher-family fit! Investing the time to determine whether the teacher is the right person for your family prior to registering for a class is well worth the effort.
Does your center have access to additional training and resources to help instructors accommodate families like ours?
Centers that exhibit a commitment to professional development will often have access to a mentor with expertise in this area.
If we have to miss class for a doctor’s appointment, can we make up the class?
Center policies are important. An open dialog with the center director will let you know if there is flexibility to accommodate your family’s needs.
Table 1. Questions for Early Childhood Music Program Providers.
In this issue, over 70 authors from 12 countries share their dedication and passion for early childhood music therapy with imagine readers....