Welcome Letter - Please Read!

Welcome to Music Together®

 

Let's Get Started!

 
  1. Go to your app store and search for the Hello Everybody app by Music Together, install it on your phone, tablet, device and set up your account. (8 songs are pre-loaded!) 
  2. Next, set up your account on the Parent Portal (not the same as above) - the Parent Portal is where you will update contact info, log absences, add participants (like add a nanny or grandparent!),  make payments, find your zoom class numbers, check what week you are in, schedule your make-ups, schedule additional drop-in classes etc. There is no more important place with us than the Parent Portal  it's so so so important especially if you are not on social media or if tend to get behind with emails. 
  3. Start enjoying your materials: Materials are mailed or delivered during the first week of class. Start enjoying your songbook, cd and download code for the music we'll be learning this term. Packets are mailed out US mail to the address you provided or delivered as a porch drop the week that classes begin or handed out on the first day of class depending on where you are enrolled. Your music download code will be in the inside front cover of your songbook. 
  4. On your computer, laptop or phone you are welcome to explore all the additional resources provided by Music Together Worldwide on the Family Music Zone online at www.musictogether.com/familymusiczone.
  5. Class confirmation: once your class has enough enrollments (usually 6)  for the class to make you'll get an email confirmation from our registration system with relevant info: location, teacher, zoom code, classes dataes, holidays etc. 
  6. Please join us on our private Facebook group for enrolled families - (you will get Facebook lives to enjoy every Tuesday as a bonus and you'll get additional support and content like Birthday Faerie message, music support (vids and posts) and get to chat with friends from class and coordinate PLAYDATES with your new friends!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/tunebugzenrolledfamilies/
  7. Read the Purple Book ‘Music and Your Child’ provided in your packet and available as an e-reader pdf on the Family Music Zone and/or in your Hello Everybody app. It’s extremely important to understand the Music Together teaching philosophy and the research-based approach that we use so that expectations are clear. Music Together is a parent modeled music and movement class. The teacher is teaching the parent, who then teaches the child through playful (not perfect) modeling. This is non-formal playful learning. We are teaching children by playing with music in a way that is developmentally appropriate for children but easy for parents and caregivers to model along with our teachers.  Our teachers are trained in this approach and will show you many ways to play with each song so that you can get super comfortable initiating playful modeling (bursting into song all during the week!)  These activites are simple and fun and they are meant to by modeled by the parent/family/older sibs. Get ready to dance, sing, play, explore music with your child - your teachers won't take no for an answer! 
  8. Come to class! Do your best to come to all your classes. Consistency and repetition does wonders for growth and development and contact hours with each song really does matter! You can attend from anywhere in the world if you are doing online classes so,  take advantage of the consistency online provides for families on the go or when you are out sick or on vacation!  If you miss an outdoor class - schedule a makeup right away (even if it's online and you don't think they will "engage with it". Wet weather cancellations are expected for outdoor classes and most outdoor class makeups must be done online due to headcount caps. You have unlimited online makeups available to you during the semester you are enrolled so you never have to worry about missing a class - we must both work hard to get you caught up since there are no refunds or credits for missed classes. Ultimately - your make-ups are your responsibility to schedule we do not offer credits or refunds if you don't schedule your make-ups. Make ups reset when the semester iss over so - use 'em or lose 'em!
  9. Musical instrument recommendations:  We encourage all families to have a set of age appropriate musical instruments to keep at home for online class and/or to bring your instruments back and forth if you are doing classes in person to minimize sanitizing as instruments used in class must undergo lengthy sanitizing process. Your child's voice and body are the most important instruments we use in class! We like to explore our music using various instruments and props to help children see and feel the music differently in exciting and stimulating ways that can spark creative expression. Click here for more info about Musical Instrument Sets.  
  10. ONLINE IN ZOOM: Even if you are enrolled outdoors only - you will likely end up in Zoom on a rainy day or as a makeup at some point.  Please use the latest updated version of Zoom always. It's ideal to make sure you mark your settings to give us permission to mute/unmute you. Just like in person, teachers will strongly encourage you to sing, dance along and model music making for your child during class. When the teacher asks you a question or or wants a suggestion - you will want our Zoom Faeirie to be able to unmute you easily so you don't have to get up and have to touch the computer/press space bar. Please also arrange a special place to do music class when at home/online. We understand you are at home and need to dial into what’s comfortable but making a special place to do music class - focuses your child's attention to the class experience.  To take advantage of it - you must give the Zoom Faerie permission to mute/unmute - find your settings in Zoom menu under personal settings. Additionally - please note that if you are showing your video on screen with us then we’re counting on your engagement with us. Do your best to be present and be a musical model for your child along with us because all musical models benefit everyone in class.  If you must step away - go ahead and hide your video. Please never leave children unattended.  Our Zoom Faerie is a trained Music Together teacher, and is like a co-teacher, registrar, receptionist, producer/tech support and DJ all rolled into one! This is an additional support person for you and the teacher in every class so that tech stuff, privacy,  oopsies and mute/unmute are all handled so your teacher can interact and focus YOU and YOUR CHILD. Please resist the urge to stop participating because it's in Zoom - or you are not on camera - you are still modeling singing and dancing along with 'tv' only this tv show talks back and knows your kiddos name and favorite food! :) 
  11. PLEASE HELP US by letting your friends and neighbors know about us! We need more students to keep going during this uphill climb to economic recovery. Please let everyone know how much fun you are having at tuneBugz! and invite your friends, family, neighbors to try a class with you! You will find your $15 off referral code in the Parent Portal on the main account tab. Please give out your code to everyone you meet! Fams who use it get a FREE DROP IN and YOU GET A $15 credit every time they do! We really appreciate reviews and social posts! Please help us by posting on social media, sharing a link to our website on Nextdoor, inviting your friends from playgroups to join you, and of course we love reviews on Facebook, Google and Yelp! We are always handing out nifty prizes all the time to parents who leave reviews - especially when you post pics in the wild of your kiddo making music and #tunebugz!
  12. Ask all the questions - Our teachers and our center director me - Ms. Amber are always willing to help you craft a plan that’s doable for your family. The key is to keep at it and ask for help if you aren't getting the most out of your experience with us!  The best way to reach out to us with questions is to text or call: Amber Nichols - 512-632-6695 Email is: director@tunebugzmt.com or stick around after class and chat with your teacher.
  13. Do something musical with your family for 20 to 30 mins every single day!

Outdoor Class - What to Expect

  • We hold in person classes in a few open air locations during this important time for social distancing.   Classes are held in a variety of locations so that parents can make the best decision for their family.   We have 3 locations back up and running - Balance Dance Studios - 4544 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78745 and our two farm locations:  Jourdan Bachman Pioneer Farms Living History Park -  10621 Pioneer Farms Dr, Austin, TX 78754 and Mama Melli's Farm 10802 Kit Carson Dr, Austin, TX 78737. 
  • WEAR A MASK: Masks are required for everyone ages 4 and up but we encourage everyone 2 and up to wear one if that's feasible and especially if you are unable to keep distanced from others. We require everyone to follow CDC guidelines and comply with to posted signage and masking requirements to keep staff and families safe while at our facilities. If you walk up into someones 6ft bubble without a mask, you will be asked to move back and mask up. Please don't put staff and parents in the position to have to have a mask discussion - we don't want to any more than you do. So please comply while at our facilities and make it a non-issue if you don't want to mask up, now is not the time to join our class. You might need to wait til Summer or Fall when more are vaxxed, recovered, or otherwise immune/safe. 
  • 2 ADULTS ALLOWED PER FAMILY:   Up to 2 adults may accompany child/children as long as we are still able to maintain distancing.  Headcounts are closely monitored in the spaces we are in and we reserve the right to allow just 1 adult per family if we hit occupancy limits or are unable to distance properly. We cannot accommodate extra adults or child visitors without prior notice/approval. Thanks for your cooperation and understanding. Mama Melli's can only hold 1 adult but all other locations have room for 2. 
  • BRING YOUR OWN BLANKET: You will need to bring your own blanket to sit on but, we'll provide cushioned floor tiles to put your blanket on.
  • Everyone should prepare for having a temperature check to gain entry to music class - we do this randomly now as a spot check for fams (staff is required check their temp before they start workday). We also ask that families to check your own temps before you leave the house.  We also provide plenty of sanitizer as well as have handwashing sinks and clean restooms available. Thanks for taking responsibility for not coming to class with fever. Thank you! 
  • Once you are masked up, sanitized and temp checked you will be welcomed to select your seat which is first come - first served.  Select the one you feel most comfortable at and put your blanket down and get comfy!  Seats are positioned minimum 6ft but up to 20 ft max by location. 
  • The teacher will be masked and will use a wireless mic with a speaker when necessary to prevent over projecting if in open air or large space. 
  • As a community we'll work together to keep children in their family spots as best we can and we will make sure that the distance markings are clear.  Masking and social distancing in a safe and kind way with the group is something parents will need to factor into this music class experience. Remember - we are modeling distancing for children and practicing in open air environment for a reason - so children can learn safe distancing practices from the adults and how to kindly navigate advocating for yourselves when you feel at risk.  It's a learning process for kiddos so we will handle this learning opportunity for all - with loving kindness. Expecting perfection and 100% compliance from this age group is not realistic - hence why we do class in open air, we mask, and we model what's safe for all - not just those at high risk - thanks for doing your best!  
  • We will have instruments and props (parachutes and stretchy bands are back!) for use in class - all instruments go through a full cleaning and sanitizing cycle between uses. We use Benefect Decon-30 - Food Grade spray on all surfaces and instruments before and after every class. Instruments are single use - there will be no instrument passing or sharing.  As mentioned above, it is recommended that you purchase your own set of instruments (around $25 to $55 for basic to full set) if you are high risk.  You are encouraged to bring them to and from class to reduce the risk for everyone including teachers who are tasked with handling all the instrumetns in order to clean and disinfect them.   
  • EXTREME WEATHER: It's important to understand that with open air comes dressing appropriately for the weather. If weather is too extremwe to make class enjoyable we will cancel the night before by 9pm and offer make-ups online or in person on first come first served basis or provide a Zoom class at the same time the in person class would have been. Parents are responsible for attending Zoom and/or scheduling makeups for weather days and missed classes before the semester ends. There are no refunds or credits for missed or cancelled classes - makeups only.  

Let's Make Music!

​With our tools and trained teachers and your joyful modeling and enthusiasm  we can make a huge musical impact your child's musical devevelopment. Their disposition for making music can be supported and reinforced by their awesome family and friends. All children are born musical. They need us because children absorb and reflect what adults and big kids model at home and in their community. Musical behaviors are reinforced at social events where children see with their own eyes (and hear with their own ears!) what's valued in their community. The simple act of making music in a fun and playful way with your child (even if it’s not perfect pitch or on the right beat) is what makes your family a musical family. 

Singing, dancing and making music together also reduces stress and creates a sense of wellbeing.  Children thrive when they have a strong sense of wellbeing and feel part of a larger community with shared values. Let's value singing, dancing and musical curiosity - together! 

Congrats on starting this musical journey with us. We'll SING you soon!

~Amber & the tuneBugz! team