What can I expect at a Barnas Musikk class?
Each class will incorporate a welcome and goodbye song, a fingerplay, a tickle song (depending on the age level of the group), a wiggle song (
depending on the age level of the group), several movement songs, and several instrument and prop songs (i.e. drums, maracas, scarves, etc.).  Each song will aim at not only parent/child bonding, but also many different early childhood physical and mental skills.

What kind of songs will we sing during the semester?
My main goal is to facilitate the parent/child bond while honing a variety of skills.  A secondary goal, however, is to offer a fun outing at a reasonable cost for the family.  Therefore, I have developed my own curriculum based off of children's songs, American and other cultural folk music, and some popular children's music.  I firmly believe that children's songs and nursery rhymes are beginning to "die out," as new music is readily available at our fingertips via iTunes, etc.  Some students that I have taught in the public school did not know the words to "Twinkle, Twinkle" and "Are You Sleeping?"!  I incorporate these songs so that the parents can continue to teach their children our traditional songs, as well as other cultural music.

Do we have to pay for home materials?
When you register and pay for a semester, I give you a password to access the "Parent Page" on this site.  There, you will have access to all the songs we use during the semester, as well as a few "oldies but goodies."  This is a great way to have access to the songs for use at home!  And, your experience with the curriculum can last much longer than the 8 weeks of class.  That's the great thing about music - it can be used in many different ways throughout your child's day, week, month, and years to come!  Use it and modify it as you see fit.

What do I need to do as a parent at a class?
Family music classes provide a perfect time to bond with your child.  Feel free to adapt the songs to fit your relationship with and the needs of your child.  If your child is distracted or not old enough to perform movement tasks on his/her own, you can help them participate by clapping their hands, helping them "jump," tapping the beat on their legs/feet, etc.  Sometimes just bouncing them to the beat is a fun way to include them in the songs!  If you feel comfortable enough, singing along is always good.  Modeling musical behavior such as singing is important for your child to develop an appreciation for music.  Hearing a parent's voice is incredibly important and enjoyable for children.

What kind of instruments and props will we get to use?
I wish there was enough time to use them all in one class!  I always try to include at least 3-4 songs that require instruments and props.  I also include a free play time during the class, as well as after the guided class has ended.  (I've found that abruptly ending the class after the goodbye song is not a good transition for many children - by allowing them to play with the instruments "on their way out," they have a chance to transition themselves.)

Barnas Musikk has drums, maracas (shakers), jingles, rhythm sticks (lummi sticks), bean bags, scarves, a parachute, a ball, and several hand puppets for use with many songs.

My child is not participating.  Should I be worried?
This is completely normal for children, especially those who are "first timers"!  Younger children like to take in everything before they feel comfortable enough to participate, and this may take a period of time.  The younger they are, the more they love to watch the actions of other children and adults.  Allow them to work at their own pace, and try to involve them by singing softly to them and/or moving their bodies along with the rest of the group (i.e. clapping their hands together).  Some days they may be completely active in group activities, and other times they may just want to sit on your lap and do the activities with you.  Enjoy the cuddling and adjust the activity so that it's a parent/child endeavor.  ;)

My child seems to get off task and is leaving the circle.  Is this okay?
I try my best to excite and motivate all the kiddos, but sometimes they just want to explore!  We hold the classes in the front of the store so that there are not as many distractions.  If your child is getting off task, do your best to coax them back to the circle.  (If you think it will help, feel free to come up and grab and instrument, even if we aren't using them for the current activity.)  All I ask is that you discourage your child(ren) from handling the store's merchandise.

My child is teething and chews/sucks on instruments.  What should I do with the instruments when we're done?
Being a mother myself, I completely understand a) a child's need to chew on everything in order to "discover" it, and b) the need to keep things clean.  When your child mouths an instrument, I ask that you place the instrument in the special container I have up front when it's time to return the instruments.  (I always hold it up and show the parents where it is before each class begins.)  I disinfect these instruments after each class.  I also disinfect ALL instruments at least once or twice a semester.  During cold and flu season, I will do this more often.