The term has already started. Can I join a class or do I need to wait until the next term begins?
You are welcome to join a class at anytime provided there is a space for you and your child/ children. Although the classes are designed to be progressive there is no need to wait until the next new term begins, you will be made to feel very welcome in the class no matter when you join. For bookings made after the first week of a new term, you will only be asked to pay for the remaining weeks in that term.
I have two children. Can I bring them to the same class?
Yes. Older and younger siblings are most welcome and there is no charge for siblings who are not participating in the class. When you have two children of different ages both wanting to join a class it is usually advisable to bring the younger child to the older class. If you are unsure, please get in touch to discuss what's right for you. Remember, parents do not stay in the Preschool and Primary 1 classes or violin lessons so it may be possible for you to enjoy a class with your younger child whilst your older child is having his or her lesson. And don't forget we offer a 10% sibling discount!
My child isn't joining in. Are they enjoying themselves?
It takes time for a young child to process new information and become confident in a new environment and it may take several weeks or longer before you notice your child joining in with the activities in class. Rest assured however, that even though it might seem like they aren't joining in they will still be absorbing everything and learning. Often you will notice your child singing songs from the class at home or in the car or another familiar environment before they will feel ready to join in at the class. Parents with children in the preschool or primary 1 classes or learning violin are encouraged to discuss any concerns they have about their child's progress with the class teacher and have the opportunity to observe their children in the class at the end of each term during our parent sharing.
My child won't sit still! What should I do?
First Steps to Music aims to provide a friendly and supportive learning environment. If your child isn't settling straight away try not to worry. By joining in with the activities yourself you will be encouraging your child to do the same. Each week follows a similar structure so that the children quickly learn what to expect from the class. As a mum to three young children I also understand that there will inevitably be days when children may be feeling a little over-excited, tired or anxious. It can help to ensure that you arrive at the class in plenty of time to allow your child to settle, and to make sure that they have been to the toilet and that they aren't hungry or thirsty before the class begins. If during the class your child is particularly fractious you may wish to take them outside for a few minutes. Separate changing and feeding facilities are available in the church should you require these.
I feel nervous about singing. Do I have to join in?
Many adults feel anxious about singing so if this is you, you are certainly not alone! Everyone, adults and children alike are gently encouraged to join in with the activities in their own time, there is no pressure to join in before you or your child are ready. Do remember however that a young child enjoys the sound of his parents/ carers voice above all others no matter how you rate yourself singing wise! Children are also great imitators, by joining in yourself you will be encouraging your child to do the same.
Why can't my child start the violin or piano at a younger age?
The Preschool and Primary 1 classes are designed to prepare children for learning an instrument. Children in these classes enjoy songs, rhymes and games that develop their musical reading and writing skills, their intonation and pitching, fine motor skills and finger dexterity which assist them greatly ahead of learning the violin or piano (or indeed any instrument). Children who enjoy singing games and rhymes before starting an instrument find the transition to learning an instrument much easier than those who have not. Once learning the violin or piano, the children continue to enjoy many of the same songs and games that they have learnt in their preschool classes. This familiarity with the musical material ensures that they are happy and confident learners. Children who enjoy their lessons are much more likely to persevere and want to continue learning.