For Parents

and other carers bringing children to class

Babies love the sound of their parents’ voices. Even if you are not a singer, your voice is your child’s favourite voice in the whole world.  By coming to Mini Maestros with your baby or young toddler we will support you to develop your confidence to share a love of music with the young child in your care. Songs and activities in classes can be integrated into your child’s daily routine so that musical experiences and musical play are a part of everyday life.

Parents or carers with older children at Mini Maestros will see their child participate in our program which aims to create self-reliant, confident and well-rounded learners who are familiar with the classroom experience and prepared for kinder and school. Our sequential, age-specific programs engage children in making music, learning and developing confidence in a group situation.

The group situation allows parents and carers the opportunity to enjoy the developmental journey of their children in the company of others and many long friendships are created as a result.

Our babies’ classes are geared towards helping carers learn a repertoire of songs, rhymes and movement activities to follow up at home with their babies. All our activities will support various aspects of your baby’s development such as language acquisition, auditory processing, gross motor skills, focusing and socialisation. By participating in our classes you will learn and practise activities to make music part of daily life for you and your baby, and you will learn to notice small but important progress in your baby’s development.

The social element of our classes, for parents and carers as well as the children, cannot be underestimated.  Our classes are an opportunity for you to meet other families with similar-aged children in your local area. Many of our classes are held near parks and cafes which provide great opportunities for a play or catch-up after the lesson.  Also, sharing the developmental experience with other parents and carers is a wonderful way of marking your child’s progress and understanding how children can have different learning styles.

Our class timetable is based on our years of experience knowing what fits best with sleep times and attention spans. We’ll work with you to find out what best suits your circumstances.

Mini Maestros classes allow very young children to learn in a social setting. Babies and toddlers will learn by watching others and will join in when they are developmentally ready. Our classes include traditional songs and rhymes as well as lesser known repertoire and songs that have been specifically written for the program with particular developmental outcomes in mind. There are many reasons why the traditional songs and rhymes still hold up today including that they help develop children’s speech, listening and language. Even if you already know a song or rhyme, it is the way that the song or rhyme is presented that delivers the necessary developmental outcomes. The social setting also helps prepare children for childcare, kinder and school.  Children and parents or carers make new friends with whom they may attend Mini Maestros classes for a number of years.

It is very common for children to be shy when introduced to a new situation. There are many new things for children to absorb and become familiar with – the venue, other children, the teacher, sights, sounds and routines.   Most children will take small steps over their first 3 weeks until they are participating more fully in classes by Week 3 or 4. Some children can be reluctant to join in until they feel confident they won’t make a mistake in front of others. Some children are ‘onlooker learners’ which means they will seem to be passively observing activities in class, but will happily perform what they have absorbed when they are in their own familiar environment such as at home or in the car. Mini Maestros teachers recognise that children learn in different ways and we are very used to accommodating all types of learners.

This is very common and entirely normal in the first few classes, particularly for children who have recently started walking. Your child is not being a nuisance and other parents who have been coming for longer will understand that all children need a couple of weeks to settle in.  Young children need to be able to explore the room and check things out so that they become familiar with their surroundings. They will soon realise that all the fun is happening in the circle with the props and instruments, and will join in more each week. All children need to be allowed time and space to wander. There will be no need to chase your child and try and bring them back to the activity – this will only turn it into a game – instead, we use gentle encouragement for children to come back into the circle to engage in the activities.

Our classes are generally held in community facilities and we always ensure that the facilities have good parking, toilets and cooling and heating.  There’s space to park prams and seats in class for those who are unable to sit on the floor.

In younger age groups, carers are encouraged to sit on the floor with their child and join in with all the activities. Their role is to assist their child’s learning by modelling how to confidently play the instruments and sing the songs. Every lesson includes dances and action songs that parents will do with their child and the rest of the group.

As children get older and are able to do more for themselves, carers will gradually take a back seat for some activities while the children learn to participate more independently.

Carers will be encouraged to sing along to songs as they are taught in class. Children learn best from their carer, and if the children can see the adults in the room joining in and singing with confidence, it will inspire them to sing confidently also. A parent’s singing voice is the most beautiful thing in the world to a child. Our Mini Maestros teachers don’t mind if carers sing out of tune, it’s more about having a go and joining in the fun with the group. Carers will never be put on the spot to have to sing on their own. It will only ever be as part of a group or to encourage their own child to sing too.

While the class is underway we aim for the most supportive learning environment and ask that parents and carers do not talk between themselves.  Before and after class is a very different situation and parents and carers enjoy catching up!  Our teachers see that just by coming each week parents and carers get to know each other and relationships build.  As the children make new friends, so do the adults. After the COVID-related lockdowns its been especially great for new parents and carers to come to class and meet other like-minded people who see the value in music.

On enrolling for the first time in Mini Maestros you will receive our At Home Educational Activities E-Pack.  This bonus pack of music-based activities, insights and digital files will allow you to try out some of our learning activities at home (explaining how to do the activity at home, how we do it in class and the developmental benefits of the activity) and find out what to expect in class (including learning milestones to look out for and issues around adapting to the classroom environment).

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