Guidelines & Tips
At the Brookfield Academy for Mini Musicians, we strive to maintain a fun, nurturing, educational, and joyful classroom at all times. Thank you so much for taking a moment to learn how you can help us create this positive classroom environment!
✤ TMini Musicians classes are parent/child classes. Your enthusiastic involvement in class is an important model for your child and will greatly increase your son or daughter’s participation in (and enjoyment of) class.
✤ Food and drink are not allowed in the classroom. If your child needs to eat or drink during class, we ask that you do so outside of the classroom. Due to potential allergies, this is strictly enforced.
✤ Please silence your cell phones during class.
✤ Personal toys, stuffed animals, blankets, etc. can be a strong distraction during class. Please be sure all personal items are stored safely and securely inside your bag during class.
✤ We’d love for you to make friends in music class, but please do not converse during music time, as even very quiet conversations tend to carry over the music and can distract the little ones. This is particularly important between songs and during turn-taking songs, such as when we play the drum and the triangle.
✤ Please remind your child to treat the instruments respectfully. While we are all here to have fun and enjoy making music together, it is important that safety comes first. Encourage your child to handle the instruments gently and never throw them. And that goes for moms and dads too. No juggling shaker eggs...they’re watching you! :-)
✤ Please remove your outdoor shoes prior to entering the classroom. During summery-shoe weather, we ask that you bring socks for you and your child to wear during class. Floors can be slippery, so slipper socks are highly recommended, and indoor shoes are welcome.
✤ Should your child become disruptive at any time (crying, yelling, running, etc.), please take just a moment to take them out of the classroom and allow them to calm down / get their wiggles out, etc. Then please rejoin us for more fun music!
✤ Have fun and be silly with us!
Help! My child is running around the room.
Children get spurts of energy, and every now and then, a child might unexpectedly jump up and run around the music rug once and then sit back down in your lap. Developmentally speaking, this makes sense for the child and is not too disruptive. However, once a child begins to run laps or make a chase game with a parent, we do ask that you immediately take them out of the classroom to let them get their wiggles out. We all know that holding a wiggly child in your lap against their will is not very effective, but oftentimes, kids just get a spurt of energy and need to run it off. Feel free to let them run up and down the hallway (outside the classroom!) once or twice and then return to the classroom once he/she settles down a bit.
Help! My child is wandering around during turn-taking songs.
We are fully aware that it does not come naturally for an infant or toddler to take turns, wait patiently for the ball or triangle, etc. However, what a fantastic skill to learn before entering the “real world” of preschool! 🙂 Modeling is hugely important in this situation, and as a parent, the absolute best thing you can do is place your focus on the child whose turn it is and sing along. This models to the child that you are actively involved in the class, and that listening is just as important as taking your own turn. If you are singing along and refraining from a conversation with those around you, and your child gets the wiggles or begins to wander around the room, we ask that you bring the child back to the rug or take them out for a moment. Some parents find it helpful to stand and hold their child facing the musical activity as an alternative- eventually returning to the rug when ready.
Help! My child is throwing instruments.
Because of safety concerns, we do ask that this behavior is addressed immediately. For a Munchkin (4 – 18 months), I recommend holding your hands around the instrument while playing the shaker eggs, sticks, etc. For a Mini (1 1/2 – 2 1/2 years), I recommend your taking the instrument away for at least one verse of the song. For a Merry (older 2s and 3s), I recommend taking the instrument away and not returning it for the full song. For all ages, if the little one throws an instrument more than once, I recommend keeping the instruments for the duration of the songs.
Help! My child won’t play the drum or the triangle.
Imagine you are in a room full of people 3-4 times your size, and you are expected to stand up, walk across a huge rug, and try something completely new while everyone watches you. Intimidating, right?! I always ask that parents keep this in mind when they have concerns about their child not wanting to take their turn. All learning styles are different- some kids are so pulled to the drum that they want to run up right away while others take weeks or even months to feel safe enough to play the drum all by themselves. But what a victory it is when a child is finally feeling confident enough to leave mommy or daddy’s lap to play the drum or triangle all by themselves! So I recommend patience, complete non-judgment of wherever your child is, and a strong support system- whether that is coming up with them, playing for them, holding their hand, etc.
Help! My child just sits and stares but isn’t participating. Are they even learning anything?
Absolutely all children are learning, regardless of whether they are singing and dancing to every word or sitting/standing like a statue the whole class. I think about myself as a child, and I am quite sure that had I participated in classes like this, I would have been the child hiding behind mom every week and then secretly singing every song at home in my room. I LOVED music but was painfully shy. So just because some children are not outwardly displaying their new skills and songs, the wheels are absolutely still turning and neurons are still firing in those tiny developing brains!
Help! How can I model appropriate behaviors for my child in class?
Please refrain from all conversations during class, especially during turn-taking songs. Having all of the adults singing along to the drum, ball, and/or triangle songs greatly increases the classroom cohesion and keeps the class focused on the music.
Please model appropriate handling of the toys and instruments. It’s easy to get a shaker egg and immediately toss it up in the air or toss the sand blocks into the bin from a distance, but guess who’s watching… Someone who wants to be just like you!
Please do not raise your voice in class. If a child needs redirecting, we ask that you stand up and walk over to the child (if he/she is not with you) and deal with the behavior up close. Speaking loudly to a child from the rug is HIGHLY disruptive and can be perceived as scary to other young children.
Please stay present with your child at all times. The more involved you are in the class, the more they will see it as fun, engaging, and joyful. If the teacher is hopping up and down like a bunny, please don’t remain seated and simply tell your child they should hop. If you are able, hop up and down. Hold their hand if needed. Be bunnies together! 🙂