They might end up hating music soon.
Max and Ella like music. Ella sings songs in her crib, Max likes to play with instruments and they both like to dance. This winter I signed them up for a music class at the YMCA. It was fun for the first couple classes, but then it was the same thing every time…and mostly singing songs that we already knew. But it was cheap, so I guess you get what you pay for.
Despite the price tag, I decided to sign them up for the next session with Music Together…a national program that I did with my two little ones when they were much younger. Although annoying at first, the songs seem to grow on you. Each session different types of instruments and props are brought out to go along with the music. We also get a CD, so we can learn the songs at home as well.
I signed up with one of my neighbors, and a friend from my Bible study signed up for the class as well. I thought this was going to be a wonderful musical experience with friends.
Instead, it’s a very stressful class, and if I didn’t pay so much money for my kids to participate, I would forgo the rest of the lessons.
We have a different teacher than previously. Our last teacher was great at engaging the kids, but also understanding that not all kids are going to sit nicely and do whatever you want them to. She had a great balance to the class. This new teacher is the owner of the local Music Together franchise… she is very particular about how she wants her class run.
First of all, we’re not allowed to talk to other adults in the room. Okay, I guess I get this. I guess we should be interacting with our kids and not socializing with other adults. But as an adult, I think I would know when my talking would be a distraction.
Secondly, we can’t even talk to our kids. The teacher says that the kids are surrounded by language all day, and that in music class we want to immerse them in music. So if we need to say something to our kids, we should sing it.
Now I have two problems with this. One, I’ll do all the silly songs, and motions and dances that she wants us to model for our kids. But I draw the line at singing to my kids when I need to tell them something. That’s just too silly for me.
And secondly, since she has lots of other rules (which are mostly understandable), like kids can’t run in music class, kids shouldn’t be talking, kids apparently shouldn’t be hugging each other and rolling on the floor together (like Max and Ella often do), kids can’t hang on the dance bars in the studio, kids can’t scream, I’m constantly NEEDING to talk to my kids to tell them to stop doing all the things they’re not allowed to do. This is what I spend most of the class doing now.
And yet still, three times on Friday, my little darlings were reprimanded by the teacher (in a song voice of course) for “wrestling,” tossing shaker eggs in the air, and something else that I can’t even remember right now. Also, my two just get very excited and sometimes their squeals of delight sound like screams. I’m not going to stop them from being happy!
I’d post some pictures of them beating on the giant drums, or dancing with the colorful scarves, except we’re not allowed to take pictures during class (apparently it’s a distraction to the music).
At the end of class, during the goodbye song, some of the kids run up to the teacher and give her a hug. I turned to Max and Ella and asked them if they wanted to give their teacher a hug as well. The looks on their faces were priceless. They had a scowl as if saying, “Why in the world would we want to do that? She’s the one who’s always getting us in trouble!”
Many of the mom’s afterwards have told me that I shouldn’t worry about it. That my kids are actually just fine. But apparently the teacher doesn’t think so.
I think we have about 5 more classes left. I hope we make it through without incident. Then, I think I’ll just pocket the ridiculous tuition, and let The Backyardigans, The Wonder Pets and all those other musical shows help foster my kid’s melodic talents….for free.