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KinderMusik VS Music Together

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I hope this fits here.
I want to sign my DS (9mons) up for a music class. I have talked with people who have done KM and MT and both say they loved them. Which do you like better? Why?
HELP! Thanks!
post #2 of 15
I am a former preschool music teacher...in the public school setting..but very familiar with both KM and MT...You may be aware that MT has a much more folk-song/family centered music philosophy. KM is a little more music as an art or preparation for real study...still play oriented but focused more on product rather than process.

Just my opinion overall.

In our area, at least, MT caters more towards the crunchy AP crowd. More mainstream moms choose KM...that could be specific to our region though, not sure.

post #3 of 15
Hi, Liz

I stumbled onto your thread, and I thought I'd share my local experience... We started Sarah in Kindermusik when she was 3 months old (definitely more for me at that point than for her). She LOVES it. We take it with Peggy Durbin, who I think is the only local KM person at the moment. She's terrific, and she definitely engages kids in a gentle, age appropriate way (kids aren't forced to do stuff they don't want to do, etc.). Unfortunately, Peggy's moving at the end of the year, so this Spring will be her last semester. If you and Makena are going to be in State College longer than that, you might want to consider Music Together just for the sake of continuity (assuming you both like it and decide to continue). I don't know much about the Music Together class, although as I recall it was more expensive than KM (I could be misremembering, though).

Hope to see you guys again soon

post #4 of 15
I enjoyed taking a MT class with my daughter - what I enjoyed most was the folk-ish aspect and the songs taken from all over the world (and their varying rhythms, which don't conform to Western notions of music). Our teacher was uniquely wonderful though too - she played the guitar for all of the songs in class - it wasn't tape recordings or anything. Although the song books and CDs got us through LOTSA car trips.
post #5 of 15
I love, love, love MT and the whole philosophy of their program. Very continuum-concept friendly, which was important to me. It's the only class we take.
post #6 of 15
I've taken both KM and MT and, by far, like MT much much better. This is my completely uneducated opinion (as I have *no* musical background), but MT is focused on the process of the music, the rhythm, beat and 'feeling' the music. Whereas KM seems more focused on memorizing a song rather than trying to understand and appreciate it. Both of my dc (ages 5 and 2) ask to listen to MT often ~ it is usually the only way I can cook dinner because they begin dancing and playing instruments as soon as I put in the CD!

I agree also that MT seems to attract more 'crunchy' parents. Oh - the MT environment is much more laid back, in that kids are free to run around the room, dance, participate or not. The only KM class I took, the teacher wanted the kids sitting in the circle the entire time and got frustrated easily wtih my ds, who often didn't participate but just wanted to watch.

We're enrolled for our third semester of MT and it's also the only organized class we do.
post #7 of 15
We have enjoyed both classes. The Kindermusik class has a wonderful teacher in our town so we like it better than MT. The difference in teachers is the main reason we chose Kindermusik. Our MT teacher was not friendly nor organized. The MT seemed to focus more on rhythm and was more AP but our Kindermusik class was pretty AP friendly but it did attract a more mainstream crowd. You will enjoy either one as long as you get a good teacher.
post #8 of 15
My experience with both programs is minimal so far, but I'll jump in anyway. I considered becoming a certified Kindermusik educator a couple of years ago but never quite did it. Over the years I've been more intrigued with Music Together's philosophy and approach, especially after listening to the ravings of my friend whose children have done MT. (She's a member here, hopefully she'll see this thread and post.)

My 3.5 year-old ds just had his first Music Together class this past Saturday, and we're hooked. I was attracted to the mixed age, family atmosphere. I love that my dh and I can both go to the class with ds. I believe that by the time a child is 3-4 in Kindermusik, the classes are w/o parents. I feel a little weird that my ds is the oldest child in the class by a long shot, but I also love it that he will be interacting with little babies and toddlers.

Several months before signing up for MT, I got the parents' handbook and read it. I think the very biggest draw for me is that the program is based on thorough research about both music aptitude and early childhood education. I didn't want a program that stressed performance. I loved that MT focuses on development of pitch and rhythm as that is that I believe is most important for a young child. I was excited to see that the program is partly based on research of a man that I did a paper on in graduate school.

I have been excited to see ds's response to MT after only one class. The very next day he sat down with his songbook at the piano and played and sang one of the songs from class. Of course he wasn't playing the actual music, and he didn't have any concept of the tune, but he had the rhythm down pat. I was mostly excited to see that he was so excited about the music. He sang the song over and over, and it was adorable that I got our the camcorder and video-taped him. We have listened to the CD quite a bit since Saturday, and he already remembers bits and pieces of the songs. Of course he is far older than the OP's child, and I have been working with him musically (informally) for a long time. But he is excited about the class and about the music. I can see already that this class is exactly what he needs and is perfect for him. I just love to see him getting into it so much. I had gotten him some little kids' instruments (bell, drum, shakers, triangle, etc.) for Christmas a year ago, and he barely touches them. But since that MT class two days ago, he has pulled out his instruments several times to play along with the CD.

My ds especially loves rhythm, and there is a lot of that in MT, so it's another big draw for him. He loves doing the rhythm patterns in class and on the CD.

I don't know if it like this in all places, but here all the Music Together teachers seem to be professionally educated musicians, dancers, and theatre people who have additionally become certified to teach Music Together. The Kinder Musik program is open to basically anyone. They don't do their training in person but it's all done through distance-learning and the prospective teachers are assessed via videotape. MT I believe does training workshops where the students work with live instructors who can observe and give feedback. To me this is important. Since I'm a musician, it's important to me that the teachers have substantial training and a good background in this area. I don't think that would automatically negate Kindermusik, but I'd have to do a lot more asking about the teacher to find out his/her actual credentials.
post #9 of 15
We offer a Kindermusik class once a week at my preschool. This happened because I had a chance to meet the instructor and really liked her. Unfortunately, I do not have any experience with Music Together.

I would ask your local Kindermusik teacher and your local Music Together teacher to see if you could sit in or observe one of their classes. In my experience, these types of activities are more successful if your child connects well with the instructor, much less about how and what is being taught. Kindermusik is a great program, and I am sure Music Together is as well.

Meet and talk to both instructors, see who gives you a better feeling, and see if you can check out a class to "verify" your initial impression of the instructor.
post #10 of 15
Has anyone tried doing Music Together type of stuff at home? I'd like to go to a class with DS but for various reasons can't contemplate it until June probably. Is there a not too expensive way to duplicate some of the stuff you do there at home?
post #11 of 15
I did MT with both of my kids and really loved it, except for one session which was run by a teacher with very little tolerance for kids looking at themselves in the mirror and not participating the way she thought they would. I think that is not typical of MT and switched to another MT class and it was wonderful. My sister in CA has done KM for several years with her kids and loves it. I think if the main thing you are looking for is a nice music/social experience for you dc, then either program could be good but I agree with PP who suggest sitting in on both potential classes. A great teacher makes a big difference!

When dd1 was an infant, a mom at a local LLL meeting invited anyone who was interested to come to her house for a free baby/mom music class once a week. She was new in town and just wanted to make friends. It was basically a music playgroup, where we sang simple songs with our babies and danced with them. We did it for several months and became good friends with many from the "class."

You could absolutely give your baby a similar music experience alone at home or invite some friends over to do it with you. You could probably check out some kid's music tapes or cds and songbooks out of your library, buy or make a few cheap instruments (rattles, bells, etc.), collect some scarves to dance with, and that would be it. It could be done for free/very cheap.
post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by aprilushka
Has anyone tried doing Music Together type of stuff at home?
You can order the CD's and songbooks from their website, www.musictogether.com . The songbooks have many idea for different ways to sing the songs at home with your child. I actually ordered a CD before I decided to put ds in the class. He loved the CD so much that I knew he would enjoy a class.

I have been informally "teaching" my ds since he was a baby by singing to him often, dancing with him to various types of music, tapping/bouncing rhythmic patterns, etc. I think you can do everything in MT at home--the only thing you can't replicate is the group experience, unless you have friends over to participate with you.
post #13 of 15
Originally Posted by aprilushka
Has anyone tried doing Music Together type of stuff at home?
Of course! We do tons of MT stuff together at home. Rhythm sounds, beats, tonal patterns etc. Try to get the parents booklet. It really helped me (one of those who never completed "primary music development" and can't hold a beat or sing in-tune) to come out of my shell and just make rhythm noises and sing, sing, sing. I also take my kid to adult singing nights, folk music, drum circles and The Dances of Universal Peace, which I see as authentic live musical experiences. In a perfect world, we'd be making so much music ourselves that we wouldn't need to go to class to experience music and rhythm. I have an unschooling approach to things, so I'm pretty down on many toddler classes. But MT is the big exception, especially because we don't really make a lot of music at home. At think you could absolutely replicate and augment the MT experience at home. Just start making music, sings, drum, move, rhyme, make tonal patterns, etc.
post #14 of 15
I personally did not enjoy the music or the activities at our Kindermusik class. We just finished "Our Time" with our almost 2 yr old.

The songs are too old-world and odd. Nothing a child would ever hear again at a sing-along or in school.

I didn't know about Music Together until after I had already signed up for KM, so I have not been to a MT class yet. I am looking forward to it though, after we move!!!

There was a nice mix of crunchy and mainstream parents at our KM.
post #15 of 15
I'm a musician, and did both with ds when he was little. I much preferred MT - it had more flow, somehow. I signed up to teach KM but then dropped out - I would have gone ahead with MT, though, if there had been any openings in my area (there weren't at the time). Ds LOVED MT and got an awful lot out of it. He was "done" by 3 1/2 - lost interest and started piano soon after - but I know many kids who enjoyed it up till at least 5.
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