FAQ ABOUT OUR CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS
Welcome to All Around This World!
We hope you will enjoy cultural experiences through music together with your kids, and will continue to come and play and sing with us for many seasons to come! Here is some FAQ’s which will hopefully enhance your experience and help you and your child learn and grow through music together.
What is All Around This World?
All Around This World is a unique, interactive music program for children 0-9 years old that encourages kids and their families to explore the world by enjoying global music, rhythms and movement. Jay Sand, guitarist and children’s music teacher, dad of three girls and world traveler (much more so before he became the dad of three girls), developed All Around This World with his girls as a way to introduce them to the countries he’s already visited and the many more he plans to visit with them.
How are the class seasons laid out?
Each “season” of All Around This World covers one general region of the world (or in some cases an overview season which samples a bit of everything), for a total of 12 seasons, which take three years to make the rotation. Within each region, we highlight a specific country each week, with the eleventh class being “All Request Day,” or a sort of celebration of the whole season.
Is this a music class, or a language / culture / geography class?
Yes! All Around This World incorporates many time-tested approaches to teaching early childhood music, and in that way is similar to many other parent / child music classes you and your child could enroll in. We sing easily accessible melodies, and combine singing with patting, clapping, hand motions and simple dance to introduce and reinforce basic rhythmic and melodic comprehension. However, what we do that is different is to explore the world through music. Your child will not, and is not expected to, retain or understand every bit of cultural, linguistic and geographical information presented in class. However, what is being instilled in your child, especially if you yourself show interest, is an awareness of the concept that there is a whole big world out there with many different people who speak many different languages and have many customs and beliefs that differ from ours. This is something to embrace, not to fear, and kids will grow up with a strong foundation in this concept if they are exposed to it before they can even fully understand it. As Jay (who created the program) likes to say jokingly, “changing the world through music….or something a little less lofty!” We really do want to form the next generation to love and appreciate the world through music—but on another level, we are also just having fun and singing together!
What is the proper age range for this class?
Since the class material is so multi-layered, almost any age can enjoy it. 6 through 9-year-olds will begin to understand and learn some of the language and geography presented. Conversely, babies as young as 5 or 6 months old usually clap along and enjoy the music, even if they are too young to participate in all aspects of the class. By about one year to 18 months of age, most children are fully participating—often with much enthusiasm! However, some young children, especially those without older siblings, may be overwhelmed in classes with lots of older children, who tend to be more active and loud. Please talk with the teacher if you are concerned. Different classes have different groups and age ranges of children, so there is likely to be something that will work for your child.
How important is parental involvement?
Very! YOU are your child’s first and most important teacher. Class material is presented to the children, of course, but also to parents, with an understanding that the parent, who knows the child best, will then assist that child in class participation on whatever level is most appropriate for him or her. The material used in class is also intended to be used in the home (through the CDs which are distributed each quarter, as well as through supplemental material available on the website). Please approach this material with a learning mindset. Your children, even if they are quite young, will observe you learning and showing interest, and that will communicate powerfully to them that learning is fun, important, and lifelong.
What if I miss a class?
It is ALWAYS ok to miss a class due to illness. Kids get sick—often! We want to avoid sharing that sickness whenever possible. For classes missed due to illness, you may make up the class by attending on another day, or when that can’t happen, you may carry a make-up credit onto your next quarter’s tuition. (Please discuss this with the teacher at the time of enrollment to the next quarter.)
If you are missing class for any other reason, such as travel, PLEASE notify the teacher as far in advance as possible. Classes really need to keep within a certain size range (generally no fewer than 5, and no more than 12), and the teacher may need to make adjustments in the event that several families will not be there—or if several extra families will be.
There are two types of enrollment: full quarter enrollment, and a 5-class option. With the 5-class option, THIS DOES NOT MEAN DROP-IN! You still need to communicate which dates you plan to attend. However, those dates are flexible, and do not expire at the end of each season. With full quarter enrollment, you may attend all the classes in the quarter (for a total of 11 classes), but unused classes do not carry over into the following quarter (with the exception of the illness absence, as mentioned above).
What if my child puts an instrument in his / her mouth?
That’s ok. Babies and young toddlers do that! Egg shakers, and other instruments get sanitized between classes.
May I attend a trial class?
Yes. And please invite friends who may be interested to do the same!