Fitting in a 5-week session at the end of the school year can be tough!! There’s graduations, concerts, recitals, parties, vacations, holidays, track meets, and the list goes on and on! So, why push a class that might be poorly attended?
Instead, we’ve created an alternative that gives new families a shortened session they can use as a trial, provides our regular attendees a little break, takes into account conflicting dates that might be on everyone’s calendar, and all at a discounted rate. We know this is a busy time of year for everyone so we try to work with families to find a reasonable solution.
Last week, one of our parents sent us a photo of her daughter and another child in our Little Ones class, along with this message:
“If it wasn’t for music class they wouldn’t be this close! Met in music…discovered they have same birthday…then the same daycare…now we do play dates and events. Love them! And they both love music! You guys are awesome!”
Our mission is to help children learn and grow through music, and that is certainly the focus when designing and facilitating our classes. There are so many other magical things happening as a result: parents making special connections with their children, grandparents having precious one-on-one time with their grandchildren, siblings sharing instruments, and new friendships being formed.
Music brings people together in a way that nothing else does. So while we are teaching and strengthening important developmental skills through our songs and activities, the beautiful byproduct is stronger relationships between children, their grownups, and their peers.
I spend countless hours with my children, but there’s something special about attending music class with them. We interact in a different way than we do at home, and I love seeing both my toddler son and infant daughter interact with the other children and adults in class. It really is the highlight of our week, and I hear from other families that the same is true for them.
We are now three weeks into our new social skills class called Let’s Get Social, and it has already been a wonderful adventure. Although “adventure” might be an accurate term for most classes, this one has called for a much different perspective.
Up to this point, our primary focus has been on our Listen and Learn for Little Ones Classes, which are created to support and encourage development for children birth to age five within a rich musical environment. In those classes our approach is broad and reaches many domains. That being said, the structure of a social skills class, focusing on one domain, calls for a different approach.
Every social skills class and session will be different. Every session is planned based upon what is best for each group as a whole and the individuals within in. At the beginning of this session, I decide to search for the big question.
The big question is essentially the goal for that group to achieve by the end of the session. This could be anything from “How can I support them this week to achieve team work and collaboration?” to “How can I facilitate a session where they make eye contact and communicate verbally to one another?”. This is an achievable adaptation to traditional assessment, planning, and documentation, because our sessions are only five weeks I made our focus specific and inclusive of everyone.
In this structure I have seen a great response from clients and families. It is amazing how quickly an idea can be applied and put it into practice. Those are the moments that stick with me: when I see individuals apply themselves and they see the success happen right then and there. I am so grateful to share in those moments with them.
We have a class for everyone now. Whether you are an adult looking to learn a new instrument, a caregiver wanting their child to explore instruments or work on social skills, or a mom or dad looking for a class for your newborn or toddler, we have something for you!
It was only two years ago that Rachel and I sat down and first talked about starting an LLC, leading weekly classes, and opening a studio space together. It was simply an idea two years ago and now things have taken off!! We are so excited by the incredible growth we have experienced and the immense support we have received from the community!
We want to continue to support the needs and requests of community members so we are continually trying to improve and expand our services. As the year progresses, we will work even harder to provide the services you want!!
We are so excited about the next round of classes, which begins in less than two weeks. Not only are we offering our usual classes, but we have added several new ones: an introduction to guitar and social skills classes for two different age groups.
This session, there truly is a class for EVERYONE, no matter what age. I can’t tell you how many times a parent has said to me, “I really wish I had stuck with those piano lessons when I was a kid,” or “I’ve always wanted to learn the guitar”. That was our motivation for opening classes up to adults, and we are really looking forward to seeing them in action.
Our Mid Winter session begins the week of February 15, and classes are either 5 or 8 weeks in length. Registration is open now and space is limited, so we hope you’ll join us in you are located in central Illinois! Click here for details and to secure your spot.
Shelbi approached us in the early fall to ask if we were hiring an administrative assistant. At that point, we hadn’t even thought about it. Shelbi asked for a position that didn’t exist and we created it. She helped us realize that we really did need the help! Since then, she’s been coming into the office once or twice a week to help with all of the behind the scenes activities that take place and we are soooo grateful for all of the help she provided!
Shelbi saved Rachel and I numerous hours creating packets, burning CD’s, prepping materials, emailing families, scheduling lessons, communicating with teachers, and more.
We are deeply saddened that this is Shelbi’s last week at MTC but are thrilled that she will be moving on to an exciting new adventure working full time in her field in St. Louis.