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According to the Music Together website, research has linked early music classes with increased cognitive development gains, significant language development gains, improved coordination and improved self-esteem and self confidence. This international music program for young children and their parents/caregivers uses a curriculum that is based on research into how young children learn best. Because it is aimed at preschool-aged kids, the classes are play-based and not performance oriented. Grownups participate to act as positive role models, making it a fun family outing.

Music Together even offers intergenerational classes for kids to attend at local senior centers where they can meet and interact with “musical grandfriends”.

We decided to check out one of their free classes when we had two high-energy preschool boys.

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Children choosing instruments to participate in a Music Together class. Text reads" "Our 4-year-old was excited that everyone got to choose "toys" or, as we like to call them, "musical instruments".

Music Together Franchises in the Twin Cities Metro

There are several Music Together Franchises in the Twin Cities Metro. All use the same basic curriculum and music. Classes include Early Childhood Music Classes, Rhythm Kids Classes, Family Classes and intergenerational classes pairing families with older adults.

We have worked with or been provided information from the three schools below. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find links to each of these school’s websites or use the national site’s class locator to find a program near your own neighborhood.

Music Together in the Valley

Music Together in the Valley covers Minneapolis, Apple Valley, Arden Hills, Blaine, Burnsville, Circle Pines, Cottage Grove, Eden Prairie, Hudson, Lakeville, Lino Lakes, North Oaks, Prior Lake, St Paul, Savage, Stillwater, White Bear Lake and Woodbury.

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Ensemble Music

Ensemble Music is a local provider of the national Music Together classes. They also offer Suzuki piano lessons. There goal is to provide a complete music experience for children and caregivers alike. Family music classes are for children ages birth through age five and sessions usually run 10 weeks. Prior to new semesters, families can usually participate in a free demo class. The demo locations are all in Minneapolis and St. Paul. They also offer classes in Roseville and St. Anthony, St. Anthony Park, Bloomington and Richfield. You can Register For A Preview Class at the Ensemble Music Website.

Mindful Music and Arts

In Mendota Heights and Hastings Area Mindful Music and Arts offers classes.

Our Experience with a Music Together Class

I registered my husband and kids for a mixed-age class when my boys were 4 and 2. When I signed them up, I wasn’t sure how this class was going to go over. My husband is a musician and spends a lot of time doing his own musical activities with the kids. Music is just part of our natural family life and not something he would feel he needed coaching for. More importantly, I was asking him to get the kids out the door and get some place on time in the morning — not one of his strong points. I stressed about it all morning. However, it was unnecessary worry. Everyone had a great time. Our four year old loved it. He couldn’t stop smiling the whole time. Both boys loved having time with other kids.

Toddler boy participating in a Music Together Class using a hoop toy.
Each child participates at his or her own developmental level in singing, moving, chanting, listening, observing, or exploring musical instruments

As a musician and stay-at-home dad, my husband was impressed by the balance of structure and free play. There were activities to participate in, but when the two-year-old just wanted to run circles to the music, the instructor said, “Well, he’s getting his energy out here.” He also felt the instructor was great with the kids. She was able to keep them engaged for the full 45-minutes.  The two-year-old was just starting to get twitchy as it ended. At the end of the class, they sang a lights out song to calm the kids before singing the goodbye song.

There are special classes for babies or big kids, but most classes are Mixed Age — great for families with multiple children. Each child participates at his or her own developmental level in singing, moving, chanting, listening, observing, or exploring musical instruments.

What Is Included in a Semester

  • 10 weekly 45-minute classes teaching a new song collection every fall, winter and spring.
  • New CDs each semester with full-length songs, rhythm chants, “play-alongs,” tonal and rhythm patterns used in class.
  • Beautifully illustrated songbook with family activities to enjoy at home.
  • Parent education resources and online resources.

Collage of toddler-age music together class with instructor leading an active dance time
Perfect for Toddlers and Preschool Kids: The class offered a nice balance of structure and free play.

Things To Consider Before Signing Up:

  • Although the price is competitive with the market for a music class, participants pay for a semester up front rather than per class. The big front-end payment may be difficult when on a tight budget.
  • We personally find weekly classes hard to keep with small children, however, make up classes are available and if you pre-arrange it, an older sibling can come along if school is out of session or they are home for a reason other than illness.

This article was originally written by Joy on March 13, 2014. Ensemble Music allowed my family to participate in a class for free to facilitate this review. However, they do this for everyone at the beginning of each session and the review was entirely my own opinions.

Over the years, Family Fun Twin Cities has sometimes partnered with Music Together in the Valley and received compensation for paid ads and/or upgrades in guides.

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