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Music Together

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Classes & Lessons > Music Classes > Music Together


Web Site for Music Together: www.musictogether.com

For more reviews, see Music for Preschoolers and Music for Babies & Toddlers


East Bay Music Together with Spanish

June 2014

East Bay Music Together has recently initiated bilingual Spanish/English music classes for babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. We had a terrific experience with the spring session, and look forward to the summer and fall session (although it's not definite that the summer session will be held...call EBMT at 510-848-7464 or e-mail the instructor, Amanda Whitehead, at apostwhitehead@hotmail.comto find out the current schedule). The spring session was held at the Crowden School in Berkeley, but if there is a summer session it will be at the Musically Minded Academy on Broadway in Oakland. Amanda is simply terrific and the children just adore her. There is also a Mandarin/English bilingual EBMT class, but I don't have direct experience with it. Nancy


Aug 2012

Re: Jon's vs. Music Together vs. Jingle Jamboree
We have done MT and Jon's school of music, but not Jingle Jamboree. MT was much more mellow and had fewer instruments to experiment with. Our teacher was Cheri Hudnut and she has great energy and I think she's a fun teacher. We switched to Jon and have been mostly happy with his classes. He is very high energy and fast moving- has a lot of instruments for the kids to play with- and I think delivers superior music ''education'' than MT. Our son (age 2!) has learned so much from Jon. He can pick out where a D is on a piano. He understands musical concepts and can, unassisted, bang out a somewhat complicated beat with his hands and do it accelerando and decelerando and understands both concepts. He understands quarter and eighth notes. I credit all of this to Jon- and he would not have learned any of that in MT. For a child who is more mellow, I'd recommend MT. For a child who really LOVES music and has a lot of energy and parents who don't get annoyed easily , I'd recommend Jon. music mom


My 7 and 2 yo sons have been through Music Together and Jon's School of Music classes, and my younger one still attend Jon's class every week. Both started as infants in Music Together, and moved on to Jon after they turned two. Music Together offers exposure to a wide variety of musical genres, as well as interactive participation with song, dance and musical instruments (hand drums, shakers, sticks, tambourines, bells, etc.). Jon also offers interactive participation, but with more emphasis placed on hands-on exposure to different instruments (including a keyboard, hand drums, violin, trumpet, ukulele, xylophone, an auto harp, and the ever-popular kid-sized drum set). My boys enjoyed both classes and each has its strength, but we ultimately ended up with Jon because jamming with his musical instruments is just so much fun! Take a trial class for each that you are considering, and you'll get a better idea of what suits your kids. Have fun singing and dancing! Jennifer
I have tried both Music Together and Jon's School of Music with my now 22 month old son. We started Music Together when he was about 8 months old and continued going for a few sessions. In my opinion, Music Together is great for the 8 to 18-month old crowd. The children are exposed to music and noise makers (egg shakers, music rattles, etc.), which is fun for them while they are younger. My shy son liked to watch the children in the class, but was not too interested in actually participating in class once he turned about 18 months old. I could tell he was bored in class, so I started my search for another music class and found JSOM. He absolutely LOVES the classes and adores Jon. Jon sings, plays the drums, and keyboard (all at the same time) while parents join in with real drums during the first few minutes of class during the hello songs. The kids and parents get to play real instruments the entire time and everyone is fully engaged. My son especially loves playing the electric guitar, harp and drum set. My shy boy has completely opened up and even runs to hug Jon at the end of every class. At home, he loves to practice singing the songs Jon taught him the previous week. I highly recommend Jon's classes. Check out a trial class--I'm sure you're family will have a blast! Dena

Music Together worth it for young babies?

Dec 2011

I was hoping to enroll my son in a Music Together ''Babies'' class, but it turns out he will be too old - it's for babies younger than 8 months, and he will be 9 months old so he'd have to do the ''mixed ages'' class. I saw a previous review that said Music Together isn't worth it before the child can walk/stand. It sounds like young babies just sort of watch the older kids but can't really participate. I'd love to hear from parents of younger babies about whether the mixed ages class was worth the $200. I have read the MT website about how great having mixed ages is, but I have my doubts since my child won't be able to sing or dance at 9 months (I don't think!). we can always wait


Technically I don't think MT is ''worth it'' for babies who can't walk yet although this depends on what you mean by worth it. They will get more out of it when they can dance around. That said, I think it is ''worth it'' if you love musical experiences with your baby and can afford it. We started MT a bit late at age 3 and my son (sadly!) quickly outgrew it. I personally enjoyed it so much I wish we had started earlier. 12 months would have been ideal for us And wish they had programs suitable for 4-6 year olds! Missing Music Together
In my experience, the baby didn't really care one way or the other about Music Together. I had an infant when my other child was 3yo, so the infant came along to the big kid/mixed classes. Overall we loved Music Together over the years, but it wasn't like the baby was participating. If you're just looking for a social experience and a chance to get out of the house, it's kind of fun, but the kids seem to get more out of it when they're 1.5-3, and then after age 3 it seemed like everyone else went to preschool and my kids were the oldest and bored. Experienced Mom
I am a big fan of Music Together. We started going when my son was 11 months old and I wondered if he was getting anything out of it. It didn't take long to realize he was absorbing it all and was humming the songs before he could really talk. I think about music the way we think about language--would you not talk to you child because they are not capable of talking back? Of course not! The earlier they are exposed to music the better IMO. Plus, it's a fun class even for the parents. big fan
Some years ago I did a mixed-age MT class with my 3 year old. Her little sister was 4 months old. We lived in Southern California, and they agreed to let me bring the baby for free since she was too young to participate in the class. As it turned out, the baby loved it more than her older sis. I was pretty astonished at how much a 4 month old could respond to a music class (she IS a very musical six-year-old now.) I'd hold her in my arms and march her around with the toddlers. Of course, since I wasn't paying, I had no expectations. We only did one session, since there were so many other (cheaper!) opportunities, but if you are in need of a class to structure your time, I don't think it would be a waste.

Music Together in Alameda

Dec 2010

I'm thinking of enrolling my 11 month old son in a Music Together class in Alameda, but am worried that the age range for the class (6 months to 5 years) is too large in terms of children being able to equally participate. If you're currently (or were) enrolled in the program with an under-2 year old child, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. I'm currently in a Kindermusik class where the kids are grouped similarly by age, and it's been great so far, but am considering switching because it's further to drive to. Just want to make sure the switch will be beneficial for my son. Thanks! Music Mommy


My son and I attended Music Together in north Berkeley, starting a few months ago when he was 11 months old. We both had a fabulous time and will be continuing next semester! I think having the older kids in the class is great, it really creates a family atmosphere (especially because there were a few sets of siblings there together) and I think both the older and younger kids enjoy watching and learning from each other. All the kids participate at their own level and it was never an issue in our class. I can't speak for the teacher in Alameda, but our teacher is fabulous and the quality of the program overall is great. I would highly recommend it and wouldn't worry about the age range! Happy MT Mama
Most of the children in the Music Together classes we have taken were less than 2. I found the age range was not as large as you describe. AM unsure if this is the norm, but certainly has been my experience in several classes.
Hi, I just wanted to respond as my daughter who is now 3 has been attending music classes since she was 6 months old. I've actually tried Kindermusik as well when she was young, and though she enjoyed it, once we tried Music Together it was a big hit with her and we've stayed with that ever since. I think that actually having a mixed age environment was an additional benefit as there were babies younger/older as well as older toddlers and my daughter loved seeing what the other kids were doing. Even now at 3, she gets enjoyment out of watching the younger kids and seeing little babies. I think you should definitely try it out- and the program is wonderful! She now is good with tone, pitch, as well as rythm. Music Mama
Dear Music Mommy, We took 4 or perhaps 5 Music Together sessions with the amazing Lisa (or Teacher Lisa, as my now 3-y.o. calls her) in Alameda. We started when my son was ~ 14 mos old, and it was wonderful to watch him blossom and develop. During our semesters, the kids ranged in age from a few infants (there with their older sibling) to 3 1/2 year olds, but most were probably between 1 and 2 1/2. Definitely give it--and Teacher Lisa--a try, but be prepared to sing, be silly, and leave all inhibitions at the door. You'll be dancing around, tossing scarves in the air, and playing instruments. It's fun! Former MT Mommy
My son is one week shy of 1 year old and we've taken two Music Together classes, and they're fabulous!!! I was initially concerned about the age range, and it's really a non-issue at this point. Of the two classes, I think there has been only one child who was in the 3 year old age range; all the other kiddos have been younger. However, I think there are benefits to having kids at different ages. The younger kids can learn from the older ones (watching them crawl or walk, dance, hold instruments, etc) and the older ones can act as leaders by modeling all those ''big kid'' skills. The teachers do a good job of modifying the activity according to the kids' age and ability levels. I say ''go for it!'' Have fun and play music! a big fan of Music Together
I really enjoyed our Music Together class in Alameda, taught by Lisa. It's a much better program (in my opinion) than Kindermusik. I took my daughter when she was around a year. Most of the kids in our group were 1.5-2 years at the time and were repeat customers. My daughter is very musical and outgoing, so she was fine being the youngest one there. I wish we could afford to continue to go! The cost is steep (plus, time is always an issue) so we're taking turns with other things. But when we can afford to rejoin I'd go right back to that same class/same teacher. Email me if you want to discuss it further. Mailisha
Aug 2005

Re: Music class for 4 year old
The Music Together program is now in it's 18th year nationally, and 8th year locally. Responding to the success in helping young children become excited, confident, competent music makers, Music Together is now offering classes for our 'graduates'. The program was several years in the making and is now available in the East Bay. Only teachers with Certification level training, or early childhood education and experience will offer these classes. Below is the information about choices and schedule. You can also visit www.eastbaymusictogether.com

We are very excited and delighted to announce new classes for 4-5 year olds, and 5-7 year olds. These classes will involve more structure and challenge designed to engage the new musical and cognitive abilities of you elementary school child and Music Together graduate.

We have three styles of class to offer. The first is Music Together Graduates with Holly, ages 4-5 years with parents at Danspace on Sundays. The secons is with Ryk on Saturdays at 11:30 at the Crowden Center for Music in the Community. This class will be for the children 5-7 years, alone for the first 30 minutes, but will include parents and caregivers for the last 15 minutes as we enjoy our free dance and play along.

The second class will be Big Kids Family Music Together, with Nura on Wednesdays at 4:30 in Montclair. The program comes from the Center for Music and Young Children and Music Together LLC in Princeton N.J., the same people who have brought us the wonderful Music Together experience for newborns through 4 years. ''Big Kids Family Music'' is a new 60-minute class geared to the interests and social nature of children ages 5 and 6. (To attend the Bid Kids Family Music class, your child must be 5 years of age by the start of the semester you wish to attend.) Families still play an important role in this class, although the adults and children may have different musical roles. Games, songs, folk dances, jam sessions, dramatic play, and more structured work in rhythm and tonality will be included. The class will use the BONGOS Song Collection and additional materials. Learn how to support your child musically as he or she develops interests and skills in singing, playing instruments, taking dramatic roles, creating, and dancing.

*Note: Younger siblings are not developmentally ready for thestructure of these classes; therefore, except for babies eightmonths and younger, only children in the specified age range and their adults may attend these classes. julie tanenbaum ebmusictogether at earthlink.net


Feb 2005

Anyone have recommendations on the best Music Together teachers in Berkeley or Oakland? We just moved from LA where we had found a great teacher and a great space... Looking for the same here. Thanks! sabrina


We took many sessions of music together classes with Allegra and just loved her. I've also heard that Ryk is really good, too. enjoy!
my son and i have been taking music together classes for a little over a year at wee play on solano in albany, and love the space and all the teachers we've had. our favorite is andy (she also teaches in rockridge). she's very creative and enthusiastic, with a lovely voice--i always come away from her class with good ideas of fun ways to sing the songs with my son. she also chooses great music for the dance and play along songs--a nice selection of world music, jazz, rock, and pop. music together fan
Ryk, who teaches in Montclair, is the best for our money! Our daughter (now 3.5 - going to music classes since the age of 10 months) has been to diff music classes, diff teachers, and adores him. So do we! music mama
We chose based on location and schedule more than teacher, and never had a bad teacher -- they're all good! But our favorite has been Ryk. Very energetic and engaging. The space at Wee Play (East Bay Music Together's primary location, on Solano in Albany) is nice, too -- bright, cheery and comfortable. (But more importantly to us, within walking distance of our house!) Holly
It seems to me that the ''best'' music together teacher is subjective. Why not try one out and take it from there? anonymous
March 2004


My son and i started going to the mixed age class with Ryk in Montclair when he was about 9 months old. In the beginning he would sit and watch the toddlers, laugh, hum and clap along with them. He was kind of into the instruments but more into the kids. It was fun to watch them. NOw he is a toddler and the babies (there are a couple in our current class 6 - 10 months) love to watch him! It has been so much fun watching him experience music as he grows. So i would definitely recommend checking it out. They off a free class i think so maybe try the mixed ages group - if it's too much stimulation for you baby at this point then may be try the infants only at first. mom and child love music together
My son and i started going to the mixed age class with Ryk in Montclair when he was about 9 months old. In the beginning he would sit and watch the toddlers, laugh, hum and clap along with them. He was kind of into the instruments but more into the kids. It was fun to watch them. NOw he is a toddler and the babies (there are a couple in our current class 6 - 10 months) love to watch him! It has been so much fun watching him experience music as he grows. So i would definitely recommend checking it out. They off a free class i think so maybe try the mixed ages group - if it's too much stimulation for you baby at this point then may be try the infants only at first. mom and child love music together
I'm sure the Music Together folks will tell you differently. But, though I think their program is really great, I think five months is WAY too young for it - infant class or otherwise. I took my now three year old when he was a year old until about 15 months and, even then, he seemed too young to really enjoy it. It's a lot of money for very little return at such a young age - unless of course you are using it to get out there and meet more moms. My two cents
I started Music Together with my son at 7 months and have continued through age 2 1/2. I recommend that you start with an infant class, especially since your baby will be so young. The class dynamic and energy level changes once the kids are walking and running, and it can be a little scary and distracting to keep making sure your little one won't be trampled on by the older kids. Over my two years in the classes, I'd say we enjoyed the classes more when the children were close in age. Hope you enjoy the class - I think its a great program. Sally
We finally signed up for a Music Together class and I can't say enough good things about it. It is a fantastic class and I appreciate that the kids don't have to participate if they don't want to - they are free to get up and explore.

In the parents manual that they give you, they actually encourage mixed ages and that kids come with their siblings. If your child is 5 months, pretty soon she will be sitting up and will be able to participate in a whole new way. Not only will she simply enjoy watching how the older kids move and interact, but seeing different developmental ages will be a good stimulus for her - such as watching other kids crawl. anon


I enrolled my daughter in the Fall Music together class (Fiddle, mixed ages) when she was 8 months old . During the class time she mainly observed and did not participate much. She could not walk, so I ended up carrying her for all the dancing and standing segments. Also, she didn't reall play the instruments - she mainly put them in her mouth and that's it. It was like she was very shy and ''frozen'' in the group setting, which is unlike her personality at home. At first I wondered whether she was ''getting it''. However, after a couple of weeks I noticed her playing along with the CD at home with the instruments I had got her and she would clap a little bit. So the observation during the group setting was working. She loves the CD and we listen to it ALL the time in the car. Ulitmately, we were happy with the experience. However, I decided to wait until she could walk before re-enrolling, so we skipped the Winter session. So, if I had to do it over again, I would probably have either did the session for infants only or waited until she could walk. Meredith
my 8 month old son and i are currently taking a 9 month and under music together class at wee play on solano (andy is the teacher), and we love it. there are not very many babies in the class, they're very close in age, and they're all having so much fun, as are the parents. while i think a mixed age class would be fun too, i do recommend the infants only class. --eowyn
Re: Infant & Preschooler in the same class? (Aug 2002)
East Bay Music Together offers classes for newborns through four year olds in mixed age groups. The classes are designed to be a developmental, family music experience where children participate in age appropriate ways in the activities.There are recommendations from parents at the ucb website, and you can visit www.eastbaymusictogether.com for more julie
Re: Infant & Preschooler in the same class? (Aug 2002)
I have been taking both my infant and my preschooler to Music Together for almost a year. They both love it! See http://www.eastbaymusictogether.com for info. Karen
Re: Afternoon Mom & Toddler Classes (Dec. 2002)
music together definitely has afternoon music classes, and head over heels gymnastics has a tuesday afternoon toddler class at 2:00. i think that mocha has drop-in art classes most afternoons as well. linee
Re: Afternoon activities for Toddler (Oct. 2002)
Music Together offers some afternoon and evening and weekend classes. My children (ages 1 and 3) and I really enjoy them. See http://www.eastbaymusictogether.com Karen
Music Together has some afternoon and evening classes. Check out the schedule on their website. www.eastbaymusictogether.com
Andrea (5/99)

In response to the family asking for recommendations for music classes for toddlers, I highly recommend the Music Together classes which I have been taking with my now 14 month old daughter. Though I have been a musician, dancer, and singer for years and started sharing these with my baby before she was born, I have learned a lot from these classes about how to bring these dimensions of the human adventure into her world in a way that is fun for both of us (and in a way that avoids the traumas of my own childhood music education). The things I particularly like about the Music Together program include, in no particular order:

1) The teacher, Julie Tannenbaum. She is fun, down to earth, musically adept,
welcoming, playful, respectful and inclusive of each person there. She can be
reached at 843-8641.


2) The singing and playing of rhythm instruments is always done for the joy
and adventure of it and is not associated IN ANY WAY with "performance" or
doing it "right".  We are making music together - no child (or adult!) is put
on the spot to perform in front of the others. I guess I would say that the
atmosphere is one of celebration rather than performance.

3) The music making is almost always accompanied by movement - marching,
dancing with beautiful colored scarves, shaking various rhythm instruments,
etc. While I've done a great deal of dancing, the movement-music connection
here is creative and I've learned a lot about how to create such
whole-body-music-expression for my child. The best musicians also dance, the
best dancers are also musicians. I want not just her fingers and brain to hear
and play music but for it to be part of her core sense of Self. And I want for
her to both feel joy and to know how to express that fully and articulately...
thus my delight in gaining tools at Music Together for sharing such with my
daughter at home.  This is where I learned how to translate what I wanted to
share with her into toddler-ese.

4) The classes are both fun for me as an adult, and age appropriate for the
toddlers on up in our class.

5) I like the variety of instruments, etc. that we all (kids and adults) play
with at each class. And I like the variety of colors of things (scarves, the
music books, etc.).

6) I like most of the music and the variety of music. I am particularly fond
of interesting rhythms (Balkan music and crooked French Canadian tunes for
example) and find some here.

7) I like the other parents in the class and the location at St. John's Church
with easy parking. And I like that if I miss a class I can make it up on
another day as there are classes offered several mornings each week.

And by the way, I also wrote in a couple of days ago about the BACDS Family
Music and Dance Camp in the Sierras which I attended last summer. The camp
also has many of these qualities. Good luck!

Hello. I am a mother of two small children (4.75 yr. boy & 2.75 yr. girl) and moved to the Bay Area from New York City a little less than 3 yrs. ago. I have participated Music Together, Kindermusik, and Kids In Tune with one or both of my children since my oldest was 15 mos. (late start, I discovered)! I highly recommend Music Together for kids 0 - 4 (some even older still enjoy this method of music exploration). I found it to be the most engaging, nurturing and fun way to develop both rythmically and tonally.As a participating parent I developed my own musical understanding and range and have been learning how to encourage my kids without being pushy and to spot developmental landmarks. The process also got my husband to sing and even pull out his old guitar! Our enjoyment of the program has obviously encouraged the kids to pursue their own creative music making. Even the little one is starting to "compose" as well as mimic what she hears. All of these programs encourage you to play at home and to not expect your child to "perform" in class. I found it true with all of the programs that kids will exhibit MUCH more of their understanding outside of class. But my kids displayed more enjoyment during class at Music Together sessions than at any of the other programs for children of that age. For Music Together call Julie Tanenbaum (510)843-8641 or e-mail juliesmt AT aol.com
Dawn (4/99)

At about 10 months, I took my daughter to a MusicTogether intro class. I thought it seemed good, but she seemed pretty uninterested. At that time, Kindermusik didn't have the infant class that they now offer (Village class, for infants up to 18 mos). Since MusicTogether didn't have any classes in my area, I let it drop for the time being.


Music Classes--Come check out Music Together. A parent participation class for new borns through 5 years old. We sing, dance, play instruments, and enjoy making music while your kids develop their basic music skills. We can be reached at (510) 843-8641 or juliesmt AT aol.com
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