What to Expect at your Zoom Class

We’ll be asking you to participate

Young children learn by playfully imitating their grown-ups.  You are the role model for your child, so in Zoom class it is important for you to participate – sing, dance, drum, wiggle -- have FUN!  (Your neighbors and working from home family will surely forgive you!)   If your child sees you having fun making music, they’ll want to try too!  Do you feel that you’re not a good singer?  Don’t worry -- your child thinks you’re a superstar!

Your child probably WON’T participate, pay attention, or make music at first

Your child does not need to look at the screen, stay still, or pay attention.   We ask the adults in class to participate actively -- but your child’s job is done just be being in the room, or wherever he or she can hear your participation.

Most children take a few weeks before they get used to this new experience – Please be patient as your child settles in over a few weeks. They may focus on the screen for a few minutes, and then wander off.  Then come back for a few minutes. In the meantime, they will be observing that YOU are having a good time making music with the teacher and the class -- and that's what will stimulate their musical exploration and growth.

Your child will probably not sit still, look at the teacher on the screen, pick up an instrument, or do what the teacher is doing today. Each child has his or her own learning style, personality, and temperament.  Young children are “sponges” and absorb the rich musical experience of the class whether they are staring at the ceiling, clinging to your lap, checking out their socks, practicing walking or running skills, interacting with other toys, or off on the other side of the room. They don’t look like they’re paying attention, but they are soaking it all in! 

Repetition is key for young children.  You’ll be amazed at what they show you after a few weeks of coming to Zoom class, and listening to the music at home, with the songs you will receive if you enroll.  For most children, most of their musical behavior will be expressed later, not during the class time,  where they are busy soaking up the experience.

A Few Technical Items:

  • Some families have been enjoying putting our classes on a larger television screen.  If you have Apple TV or Chromecast or a similar function you can try that. Or attach your laptop to the television using an HDMI cable.
  • If possible, try to find a space in your home where you can move freely for dancing or jumping.
  • Here are some suggestions for home-made or purchased instruments to bring to class.
  • You will be admitted from a Zoom “waiting room”.  If possible, please change the name on your Zoom account to be your actual name, so we know it’s you in the waiting room.
  • If you can’t change your name before you enter the meeting, once you are in the meeting, please change your screen name to “Your Name (Children’s Names)”.   You can change your name by going to “Manage Participants”, selecting yourself, and changing your name.
  • When you first come into the classroom, your video camera and microphone will be off.  When you are ready to be seen and heard, you can click on the camera icon and the microphone icon to turn on your camera and microphone.
  • At times during the class the teacher will be muting everyone’s microphones to make for a better audio experience on Zoom.  If you have a suggestion, raise your hand, and the teacher can unmute you.
  • You have a choice of three screen views:
    • Gallery view (aka “Hollywood Squares” or “The Brady Bunch”) where you can see all your classmates and the teacher.
    • Active Speaker view -- you’ll see whomever is speaking at that time
    • Pinned view - pick one of the squares, and look for the “pin” icon.  Or look for the three dots, to find “pin” on the menu of options.  “Pinning” the teacher might be the best option for most of the class.  But it's also nice sometimes to see all your classmates as well.
  • The user interface for Zoom varies a little depending on the device you are on, so we’re not attempting to give detailed instructions here!

What to Bring:

Depending on the day, we may be using some of the following home-made instruments: