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Our aim at the Music Train is to ensure that every child can get the most out of our classes and enjoy coming. We want parents to feel comfortable and relaxed while they help their child with the activities.

When learning in a group, some children naturally prefer to be very still while they concentrate hard on new activities. Other children like to move around, flitting in and out of concentrating on the main activity of the group.

Young children do not naturally know what a 'group' is and it can take a little while to learn that in a group people often do things at the same time or sometimes have take it in turns activities. At the Music Train, we help children as they begin to learn the 'culture' of being part of a 'group'.

Keeping Your Child With You

It is part of a young child's nature to copy each other and so if one or two children are very mobile, it is not long before everyone is up and moving. Concentration can then become difficult for everyone. Although we recognise the mobile nature of young children, it is because of their inclination to copy in this way that we try to encourage children to stay with their adult during the session. It is easier for everyone to concentrate and it also means that parents can help children hands-on with rhythmic and other activities.

However, we realise that this can sometimes be difficult, so if your child becomes stressed by staying with you, or you become stressed keeping them with you, please let them go - but collect them for the next song or activity. In this way freedom is allowed while concentration is built for both your child and for the rest of the class.

How your teacher will help

Your teacher will use the following methods to encourage children to stay with their parents:

  • Change activities frequently to work with the child’s tendency to move and short concentration span.

  • Distribute the instruments to where the parent is - even if the child is elsewhere, so that children are subtly encouraged to return to you.

  • Occasionally, ask a parent if they can fetch their child back if they feel there is a danger that the rest of the class will follow.

  • A teacher will occasionally fetch a child herself if she knows the child well and feels the child is unlikely to be upset being guided by the teacher.

How the parent can help

  • Encourage your child to stay with you through gently holding - but do let go if your child (or you) are becoming stressed.

  • If your child has needed to leave you, fetch them back to you at the start of every new activity or song even if they wander off more or less straight away. This will help your child to gently learn the class culture and also ensure that if the next activity is one that really grabs your child, they will be in a position to take it in.

  • If you notice that the other children are unable to focus on the teacher because they are watching or copying your child (and you are out of ideas as to how to calm them), please take your child quickly and quietly out of the room. If appropriate, explain gently to your child why you have left the room (some children will be too young to understand an explanation though).

  • Please do not make your child feel they are naughty. They are not naughty - they are learning about group structure and it can take a while to learn.

  • If you have left the room with your child, please feel free to bring them quietly back in at an appropriate moment.

  • Regularly sit nearest the door if you often have to step outside so this is less disturbing to others.

Getting in touch with concerns

If you are at all worried about your child’s behaviour, please talk to your teacher (teachers find it a lot easier if you can approach them rather than they approach you) or Andrea Lee (Head Office) on 0845 8620122. Likewise, if you find another child is disturbing your child on a regular basis, please do chat to us. By adopting these methods, both teachers and parents can work together to ensure that all children enjoy and benefit from the classes.