West Side Music Together has been bringing music into the lives of Vancouver families for nearly ten years! Close to 5000 families have chosen Music Together as their source for community music making.
Music Together is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for children from birth through age 7—and the grownups who love them. First offered to the public in 1987, it pioneered the concept of a research-based, developmentally appropriate early childhood music curriculum that strongly emphasizes and facilitates adult involvement.
Music Together classes are based on the recognition that all children are musical. All children can learn to sing in tune, keep a beat, and participate with confidence in the music of our culture, provided that their early environment supports such learning.
Music Together— Bringing Harmony Home®
In 2001, I attended Music Together classes with my niece at East Bay Music Together in Oakland California. I had a tonne of fun in the classes and it must have showed, because the owner of the centre asked me if I would be interested in teaching! Well, the timing wasn't right for me then but I did decide to bring Music Together to Vancouver in 2004. At the time, I was also pursuing my degree in Music Therapy and found many similarities between the basic principles of Music Together and what I was learning in school. This gave me even more confidence in the rock solid research and development that are the foundations of Music Together. I knew this was the program for me. We started with fourteen families and have grown to serving over 800 families a week. It is my passion to bring music making into the lives of as many families as I can. We may not all grow up to be music performers but we all have a birthright to learn the basics of music making. Let's raise kids who become confident enough adults to dance sober and sing along to the songs of their culture without any fears or hesitations.
Music and Movement classes for newborn through 7 years with the adults who love them. What will you and your child find in a Music Together® Class? Rainbow colored falling leaves, dinosaurs in trees, shining stars, rockets to the moon, trains to the beach. You'll hear all kinds of music from around the globe and original compositions written for Music Together classes. You'll find children exploring drums of all sorts, bells, triangles, shakers, kitchen instruments, floating scarves - instruments galore! You'll find high energy movers and quiet observers all intently involved in their own way in the exciting musical happenings around them, whether it's a rousing Israeli wedding dance, or the glorious sounds of Big Ben's bells played on resonator bars.
So much more than "Mommy and Me", Music Together classes provide a true family music experience, as siblings can attend the "Mixed Age" classes together. Babies, toddlers, preschoolers, moms, dads, nannies, grandparents and best buddies are all invited to attend. With Music Together's research-based curriculum, our teachers give you the tools to nurture your child's inner musician. You don't have to be a music expert - just join in the fun and the learning comes naturally. By consistently exposing your children to an enriched musical environment, they can develop the ability to sing in tune and keep a beat, gaining the skills and confidence to participate in the music of their culture. Most importantly, they will be able to tap into the joys of making music and the comfort and healing power it brings, now and throughout their lives.
Engage all of your babies' senses. Spark your toddler's curiosity. Nurture your preschooler's imagination and creativity. Be a music maker and build friendships. Come join us for classes throughout Vancouver and the North Shore as we sing, dance, drum, jingle and have a whole lot of fun making music together!
When they hear "Happy Birthday to You," children's eyes light up like candles on a cake. Ken Guilmartin, co-author of the Music Together materials and founder of the Center for Music and Young Children (CMYC) explains, "when my grandfather, John F. Sengstack bought a small publishing company. He published and copyrighted the song as "Happy Birthday to You," and set up a foundation for early childhood organizations to receive the royalties". It's the "Happy Birthday" royalties that funded a one-man research and development department named Ken Guilmartin who used the funding to start CMYC and begin work on what eventually became Music Together.
Connection to the Community
Our classes become communities themselves and families can often be seen at parks and local cafes together after class. All good things take time and I feel this shows in our program-based schedules verses many popular drop-in based classes. Families really get time to know each other over the course of our ten week programs.
We also offer 3 free community events each year to registered families. In the fall we dance it up at our Winter Ball, in the Spring we sing our hearts out at the Sing-Along and in the summer we have fun with musical games in the park at our Summer Picnic.
West Side Music Together is also a proud supporter of West Side Family Place and Canuck Place.
- St. James, Kitsilano CC, Kerrisdale CC
- Point Grey CC, UBC Barn
- False Creek CC, Roundhouse CC
- Britannia CC, Trout Lake CC
- Gleneagles CC, St. Stephens Church West Van
- 2 Intergenerational Classes at Senior Care Homes
Our mission is: To provide the highest quality music and movement experiences to as many young children as possible and to involve their parents and other adult caregivers, including early childhood professionals. In a Music Together class, one that a child can attend over four years from birth to age five through all nine song collections. This basic class follows the recommendations of child development researchers—grouping children of a variety of ages because this fosters natural, family-style learning. Younger children enjoy watching and imitating older ones; older children learn by leading younger ones; and adults are happy because the children in the family can go to class together. Each child participates at his or her own level in singing, moving, chanting, listening, watching, or exploring musical instruments. Any caregivers—parents, grandparents, nanny—can bring the children. The whole family is welcome for this important family music experience.
Basic Principles of the Music Together Philosophy:
I. All children are musical.
II. Therefore, all children can achieve basic music competence, which we have defined as the ability to sing in tune and move with accurate rhythm.
III.The participation and modeling of parents and caregivers, regardless of their musical ability, is essential to a child's musical growth.
IV. This growth is best achieved in a playful, developmentally appropriate, non-performance-oriented learning environment that is musically rich yet immediately accessible to the child's-and the adult's!-participation.