Learn, Bond & Socialize at Erie Music Program for Kids and Families

Plus, hear from Erie parents what they love about Music Together© With Ms. Mary

September 21, 2022

Have you heard of Music Together or visited a class yet? You are in for a real treat! And a treat that LASTS! Earlier this year, Music Together© with Ms. Mary opened here in Erie, PA, and it is growing and flourishing. Families have been making amazing music together (literally!) with their children and creating memories with their little ones and new friends from class that are priceless. 

You just have to try it! Sign up for a free preview class in Erie now!

What is Music Together?

Music Together is an early childhood music program, established in 1987, where – from babyhood through the early elementary years – your child’s natural musicality is nurtured. It is now worldwide and in over 40 countries.

Children and their beloved grown-ups come together once a week to a musically rich, playful, and age-appropriate learning environment. Your at-home experience in the program is supported as well. Enrolled families receive a wide array of constantly evolving take-home resources… it is not just a once-a-week class! Our research-based music classes are designed to be non-formal and non-performance oriented, so your child can learn at her/his own pace in a way that is developmentally appropriate. You’ll experience a whole semester of classes led by Ms. Mary and you’re guaranteed to learn new songs and music activities to inspire you to bring music into your family’s everyday life.

Why an entire semester? Why not just drop in sometimes?

It is a whole semester because the curriculum is designed to support the child’s development over time. It is like immersion in a foreign language: what leads to musical fluency (or language fluency) is consistent exposure and use. Our curriculum not only develops music skills, it nurtures creativity, self-expression, and confidence while also supporting social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development. Because these benefits build over time, children enjoy the fullest growth in each of these areas when they participate as consistently as possible up through kindergarten.

In Music Together, we know that a child’s play is their work and that children are learning instinctively and constantly. They teach themselves through imitation and play, through being immersed in their environment, and through interaction with adults and older children. The family-like setting of Music Together classes creates an ideal learning environment. Learn more about the research behind Music Together. 

Tell me more!

Especially in a BABIES ONLY or a MIXED AGES class, the grownup’s role in class is essential! No need to have any music skills, either! Grownups just need a desire to play and have fun with their children. It’s through this experience, your child will be set on a road to a lifelong love of music. Our RHYTHM KIDS™ classes are designed especially for early elementary students: preschool to 2nd grade. It bridges the gap from the Mixed Ages classes into a learning stage where the children are almost — but maybe not quite — ready for formal, private music instruction. As they drum, sing, participate in music-based games, and move to different rhythms, children naturally build musicality that helps them prepare for formal music lessons as soloists and leaders in music. Rhythm Kids is a parent participation optional class as children may attend on their own if they’re ready.

Finally, with our award-winning songs, the children are not the only ones who love our music – grownups do too!

Click here to register now for a FREE preview class in Erie with Music Together with Ms. Mary!

Let’s meet some of the Erie families who have been taking Music Together classes with Ms. Mary this year

Meet Declan (2 yrs, 9 mo), Lincoln (17 mo) and their Mom, Laurel!

They have been attending classes with Ms. Mary since the Grand Opening of her center back in January and, along with Mom, they usually bring their Gram-Gram (Grandma) or their Paw (Grandpa). It’s literally a “music-together” family affair every week! What fun! Here they are with Gram-Gram in class doing their very “serious” drum playing. (They’re really concentrating while playing with the music!) Declan is watching intently while Gram-Gram does it, too.

You've been in Music Together with Ms. Mary since its beginnings here in Erie, PA this past January. What do you see happening so far in your children?

They enjoy incorporating the songs into their everyday lives. Around Easter time we had a rabbit decoration outside and after learning the song “John the rabbit,” our rabbit became known as John. Anytime we would leave the house the boys would wave to the rabbit and say, “goodbye John the Rabbit!” and then we’d start singing the song. 

 I can’t remember what the first word Declan sang was… I should’ve written it down. We were at home, and he just randomly SANG a word! It was so cute listening to him drag out a word. Which I honestly didn’t even realize was a musical skill. 

 Declan went from watching to participating. He participates even more at home than you see in class. He’ll even do the pause before singing “youuuu” [from the “Hello”/welcome song] … When he wants a specific song, he’ll do the motions we do in class like lean back while sitting on the floor and singing “…Woah Joe!” and then follow it with the trot noise. 

 Lincoln wants music all day every day! He went from sitting on a lap kicking his foot to anticipating throwing his scarf during ‘Allee Galloo.’ When he wants the music on, he goes up to our CD player and yells “google,” till he gets music. Then he grabs his ukulele and hands it to me to strum while we sit crisscross and rock to the welcome song.

 How have you — the grown-up — benefited from this program?

I sing more! I used to play songs on google for Declan all the time when he was little. Sometimes I would sing them but not all the time. Now I understand how much more they benefit while I sing along. It’s an awesome mood booster too. If we’re having a rough morning or someone’s in a grumpy mood… singing a song can change everything. It’s hard to be grumpy and sing at the same time! Music makes car rides more enjoyable as well. If you see someone jammin’ out at a red light, it’s probably me!

 When Declan was little, I used to just hum him to sleep but ever since we started music classes, I started singing at least “Twinkle, Twinkle” before I’d start humming. Lincoln wanted nothing to do with my humming and preferred I just kept singing [the words to] songs, so I did. When the boys finally started going to sleep together, Declan also preferred I just sing songs till they fell asleep. I even made up my own goodnight song for them to the beginning melody of our music together ‘goodbye’ song. I’ve also got two new verses of ‘hey diddle, diddle’ going with other animals and dinnerware. Declan even helped me pick some of the animals in the song we made up.

 Music Together with Ms. Mary is worth every penny! Music is essential for development. It helps children make connections and ignites their learning. I know that the second child usually talks faster but Lincoln’s vocabulary for only being 17 months old is astounding. He has many three-word sentences already and even a few four-word sentences he says. He can copy words extremely well too. I really think it’s from being in music classes from such a young age. 

 Meet Rebel Rose, 10 mo, and her mom, Brittany!

Meet Rebel Rose, now 10 months, who has been coming to class consistently with her Mama, Brittany, since she was 5 months old in the Babies Only Class. She has been in the Mixed Ages Classes since. She’s enjoying her Summer Semester “Banjo” collection book at home!

Is there a favorite moment from a class(es) that you'd like to share?

As soon as we get to class, she is off to explore. She loves playing the drums and getting to interact with the other children and parents in class. It's been amazing to watch her go from a wide-eyed baby who listened intently to the baby who claps and bounces to the music.

 …We both have a blast at music every week! Music definitely captures her attention. It helps keeps her busy throughout the day and I think it has also really helped with her language skills (she knows 10 words at 10 months). The classes have structure but there's never any pressure for the children to perform, that's our job as parents, to be the music making model. Sometimes that's through singing, other times it's through clapping or tapping out beats, and sometimes it's just making different sounds, but it gives the kids room to perform or participate at their own pace. Music has made routine tasks at home that are sometimes a battle more fun. Sometimes I even sing our songs without Rebel Rose! There's definitely a variety of music between sessions with the Hello song to open and the Goodbye song for closing staying constant.

How have you - the grown-up - benefited from this program? 

I love having an hour of time carved out every week just for Rebel Rose and me to spend together. I struggled with keeping my VERY busy baby occupied and singing and dancing throughout the day has definitely helped keep her attention and us to bond. She loves to show off her musical skills!

Meet Adelyn, 9 mo, and her mom, Liesel!

Meet Adelyn, now 9 months, who has been coming consistently with her Mama, Liesel, since she was 4 months old in the Babies Only Class. Like Rebel Rose, she’s now in the Mixed Ages class. Here, she’s transferring her drumming action from our drums in class over to the awesome pots and pans at home! (They have to see it before they will do it!)   

You've been in Music Together with Ms. Mary since your baby was brand new in the Babies Only class. What do you see happening so far in your child after moving into the Mixed Ages class from Babies Only? 

Starting Music Together in a Babies Only class was extremely rewarding for both Adelyn and me! Because students are 6 weeks to 8 months, Mary does a wonderful job at catering class to the developmental needs of infants and takes the time to really educate the caregivers on the why behind everything we do in class. As a new parent and someone new to music together, this was extremely helpful! I also loved the interactions between the babies in the class. There aren't very many opportunities for babies to socialize. and Music Together really fosters those interactions. 

Does your child seem to have favorite songs? How does she communicate it to you?

At home, Adelyn immediately lights up when she hears the "hello song" when we open our music together app to bring music into our home outside of class. Other current favorites are “The Train Song,” “Ridin' in the Car,” and “Trot Old Joe” ... she loves bouncing in my lap for those ones! She also loves “Allee Galloo,” and since the end of the last semester has even started to hold her scarves at home and shake them up and down like we do in class.

How have you — the grown-up — benefited from this program?  

As a parent, Music Together has helped me step outside my comfort zone. Prior to starting classes, I never considered myself a musical person whatsoever, but Mary does an amazing job at creating an environment that encourages us all to sing along, act silly, and fully participate, understanding that our voice is the most important one for our littles to hear. 

Is there a favorite moment from a class(es) that you'd like to share?

In class, my favorite moments are watching Adelyn smile, laugh, engage with other students, and most importantly, hearing her musical behaviors in action. It amazes me that even at 9 months old, she's able to repeat tones, sounds, pitches, etc.  A few weeks ago, we were clapping (a skill she had yet to master at 8 months old) to several songs in class, and a couple of hours after class, I was singing the songs and she clapped on her own for the first time! It's just so neat to see it all "click."

 What would you tell a friend about the Music Together program?

I cannot recommend Music Together to my friends enough, especially for the littlest musicians! They are truly sponges and Adelyn has shown so much growth musically and socially the past 2 semesters. It's also been an amazing way for me to connect with other parents. We cannot wait to start new classes this month and hope to see everyone join in the fun!

Want to join the fun? Click here to register now for a FREE preview class with Music Together with Ms. Mary in Erie, Pa.!