Policies and Guidelines

Thank you for taking time to review our Guidelines. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Ann Benson at (512) 803 - 0871 or at musicalbeginnings@yahoo.com.

Classes with young children can flow easily or have many distractions. Here are some "time tested" guidelines that have proven to work:

ATTENDANCE: Come every week to your class! Each class experience builds on the one before. Don't' let the simple nature of the songs and activities fool you - they have been carefully designed to work together step by step to produce the overall results. The goals and purpose of our program are stated in the "Classes" section of the website http://www.musicalbeginnings.info/ and in the Music Together® website http://www.musictogether.com/. Read these points over carefully to be conscious and aware of the results we are creating together for you and your child. Please notify me if you are going to be absent if you know ahead of time so that I can schedule families that need a make-up class or for families that would like to come visit. Extra adults are welcome anytime; feel free to bring husbands, wives, grandparents, etc.

ABSENCES: You will discover over time that your music class will become  a "little family" for you and especially for your child. If you are out of town or there is an illness, please call ahead or email your teacher that you won't be attending so that your class friends and teacher won't worry about you! 2 make-up classes are offered on a space available basis and may be taken in either Music Together or Somos Amigos. Make-up classes must be taken in the same session.

PUNCTUALITY: Please do your best to arrive 5 to 10 minutes ahead of time so that you can calmly place your belongings on the area provided, find a place to sit down in the circle and greet the other families. It can be intimidating to a young child to arrive after the class is in motion. Class will start on time. The first segment of class is geared to singing to each child individually and allowing him to feel a part of the group and ready for the activities.

PERSONAL BELONGINGS: Please leave your personal belongings such as your purse, shoes (if you choose to remove them, it's optional), diaper bags,etc. in one of the cubbies provided at the far end of the DXP lobby. Your belongings will be secure, there is always a staff person at the front desk. Since there are no shelves inside the music studio to place your things it's less distracting for the children for them to be kept outside the room. 

FOOD: Eating and/or drinking, with the exception of sippy cups or a bottle, are not permitted in class including drink and food for adults (with the exception of a water bottle, if you have coffee you can leave it with the staff person at the front desk they will happily guard it for you!). 

TOYS: Please avoid bringing toys from home. Children are easily distracted by the toys and will not have their hands free to interact with the materials offered in class.

DRESS: Dress in comfortable, loose fitting clothes that allow freedom of movement.

SIBLINGS: Unregistered siblings are not allowed in class. On occasion, however, if you have an older sibling that is on a holiday from school please call ahead to see if there is space in class for him to attend.

CD'S AND SONGBOOKS: Participation with the "home materials" at home and in the car are strongly suggested. Bringing the activities into the home play a vital role in each child's musical growth.

SAFTEY CONCERNS

1. We try for a "no running" policy but if your toddler is a mover that's okay, just keep a close eye on him,  I really like to avoid the "running game", especially with the older/larger/stronger children. Safety first! (that's my main concern. If possible, give your child an opportunity to run freely and stretch his legs before class begins.

2. Out of respect for each other and the class instruments, parents and children are requested to wash hands before class.

3. Do not bring your child to class if they are sick (fever within 24 hours, green mucous from the nose, sneezing and/or coughing). A clear "runny" nose is usually all right since its is often associated with allergies or teething. Two make-up classes are offered each session, on a space available basis.

PARENTS AS PARTNERS: The instructor and the parent must work together as a team if outstanding results are to occur for your child. Here are some pointers:

* Participate and have FUN! Give your FULL attention to the instructor and your child. Chatting with other parents during class will distract you and your child. Be a positive "listening model" for your child to imitate. Participate with the instructor, don't wait for your child to respond. Your child at this age, mostly learns through imitation and exploration - be a positive role model for your child to imitate and show him how much fun music can be!

*Trust the program of instruction being offered, trust that the teacher will guide you to the goals of the class.

*Do not force your child to participate. Most children will just sit and listen in their first classes. This is a very important beginning phase in music and language development. Do not distract them from it or get discouraged!  Young children also need time just to get comfortable with the newness of the room, the other parents, children and teacher. This process could last a week or even up to a year, depending on the child. I encourage you to be patient and trust the process.

*If your child moves away from the circle, it's fine! Just let the children "be kids" and roam the room at will, explore, move, and fully express. Over time his concentration will allow him to stay for longer and longer periods time during focused activities. Take comfort in the fact that as long as he is in the studio, he is hearing the music and sounds of the class and is therefore "getting" the material he needs. There is no requirement for him to be "looking" at the teacher to integrate the lesson since we are primarily working with the auditory sense.

*Reinforce activities at home, especially when children initiate an activity. The educational value of Music Together primarily happens at home with you and the rest of the family while "making music" together. Most importantly, sing, sing, sing to and with your child - including making up your own songs and chants.

*Be committed to and focus on the long-term goals of music and movement since these skills develop over time. Children can not understand how their entire life will be transformed by these gifts. It is up to us as adults to stay committed over the long haul. Even on days your child might want to stay home, consistency is the key, try to attend every class.

*Observe your child at home:  Your observations of your child at home, when he doesn't know your watching or listening give you the best insight into how your child is benefiting from music class. Is he singing or humming, or chanting in any way? If he is, then it is really time to celebrate because your child is demonstrating his own independence in his ability to express himself musically.

*Step by step:  Understand that your child will go through developmental steps as he grows musically, creatively, socially, mentally, physically. First steps in music sometimes can look like a child sitting quietly in mom's lap for many classes or just toddling around.

*Freedom: Allow your child to just be himself in class. Children may move around freely in the room except for running and if they do begin to run just redirect them into another activity. Try not to judge him or yourself or compare. The young child learns primarily through imitation and exploration - therefore just participate yourself, enjoy the class and  your child will feel inspired to respond and develop in his own wonderful, unique way.

HOLIDAY CLOSURES AND INCLEMENT WEATHER CLOSINGS:

Holiday closures will be announced at the beginnings of each session. Classes may be canceled due to inclement weather, teacher illness, and for extraordinary circumstances. In case of inclement weather, please call (954) 383-5057 or check our website home page for class information. We will also send out an e-blast. Should your class be canceled because of a teacher illness, or for some other extraordinary circumstances, you will be notified by phone. Canceled classes will be made up by the end of the session.

CANCELLATIONS:

Full payment, including a non-refundable registration fee (waived for Summer Session), is due at the time of registration (unless you are on a payment plan).

A $45 cancellation fee will be charged if a class is dropped before the start date of any Session. No refund will be made after the first day of class. In addition, there are no transfers of tuition made to future sessions. Refunds are made by check only.

At times, the class you reserve may have less than the minimum required enrollment (6 children) in which case your family will be transferred to your second or third class preference. If no other class choice is listed, then you can either be transferred to the following Session or you can receive a full refund, which ever works best for you.    

PHOTO RELEASE:

There is a selection question at the bottom of the page about photography release. Occasionally, Musical Beginnings may take recordings, films, videos photographs of its programs and children participating in its program. These materials may be used for educational, training or promotional purposes. By agreeing to allow your child's photo to be taken, you consent to your inclusion in these materials. No names of parents or children will be used without additional consent.


Please come to me with any questions or concerns that you may have. I have found in my many years of teaching parent/child music classes as well as teaching in private and public schools, that there is absolutely no problem that can't be resolved by working together as a team for the benefit of your child. Thank you for you support and trust! 

Sincerely,

Ann Benson

(512) 803 - 0871

musicalbeginnings@yahoo.com