Play&Music Class Information and Policies
- We offer classes all year round.
- Please check our website daily for any closures.
- We typically follow the Amesbury and Newburyport Public School calendar although there may be a few exceptions.
- We will cancel classes when Salisbury and/or Newburyport Schools cancel or delay school. Any cancellations will be posted on the website and the "itsy bitsy zone" Facebook page by 7 am.
- Please keep your child home if they are not feeling well. Allow your child to be fever free for 24 hours before coming to class.
- We ask that you wash hands before entering and when leaving the studio. We always have hand sanitizer and baby wipes available or feel free to wash with soap & water in one of our two bathrooms.
- Please be prepared to remove shoes before entering our carpeted area. Socks are optional for children and required for adults.
- No food or drinks are allowed in our carpeted area. You are welcome to eat your snacks or lunch in our spacious kitchen. We have highchairs.
- There is a "germie" bucket to collect any items that have been taste tested in the mouth. These will get extra cleaning;)
- There is a diaper changing station available.
Frequently asked questions about our music+play program
How does the mixed-aged format work in a class?
Early childhood educators are now recommending mixed-age groupings a a better learning environment. Older children learn from being in a leadership role and younger children benefit from the example of an older child. Mixed age groups also promote social skills and self-esteem. Our classes have more of a family feel rather than a school orientation. This setting allows siblings to participate together in the same class. (No need to get a babysitter!) Children of the same age are not necessarily at the same state of musical development. Our activities are adult-child oriented, not child-child, so children don't need to be with children of the same age.
Why do your programs involve parents and caregivers?
Parents and other primary care givers play a critical role in their child’s music development. We do not only provide adults with music and activities to take home and repeat throughout the week, but we also encourage meaningful social interaction around the music.
• Mirror: Observe closely and acknowledge your child’s emerging musical expressiveness. When you see your child doing something new, imitate and enlarge upon those ideas to reinforce your child’s creativity.
• Model: Provide a shining example by modeling an enthusiastic engagement with music. Adapt the songs to suit your everyday routines and create musical conversations with your child.
• Touch: Physical touch provides powerful stimulation to neural pathways. Bounce, lift, tickle and dance during music time.
My child won’t sit still in a circle. Can he still benefit from your class?
Some children want to run; others want to spend the class no more than a foot away from the teacher; some will sit in laps; while others want to observe from a cozy corner in the room. At The Itsy Bitsy Zone we recognize that there are many different learning styles, and we encourage parents to let the children be where they are comfortable. A typical class may have all of these different types of children, but all children have one thing in common: they are all watching, listening, and learning from us.
We have found that regardless of your child’s learning style, the more frequently your child listens to our music at home, the more likely he or she is to stay focused in class. So be sure to do your homework by listening to the music every day!
How do you keep such young children focused for 45 minutes?
One of the secrets to teaching music successfully is to maximize the amount of active participation involved. When children are moving their bodies, actively singing, keeping the beat with their hands or instruments, dancing, or acting out a song—it ensures that they that are optimally engaged in the music experience. In fact, research shows that infants can perceive the beat more readily if bounced to it. With the variety of active participation activities we experience in class, children stay focused and time flies!
My baby is 4 months old. Can she benefit from class now, or should I wait until she can walk?
There is a growing body of research to that suggests the younger a child is, the more she is learning. Even though a baby cannot run, clap or sing in class, her brain is developing at a faster rate than the brains of the big kids. Additionally, research suggests that during the second 6 months of life the brain is already prioritizing: discarding the neural information pathways not stimulated by its environment. So yes, the best possible time to start music class is when your child is a baby!
Another way to think of this is to compare learning to speak with learning music. In the same way that talking to your baby from birth is critical to your child’s language development, exposing your child to music from birth benefits her music development. Of course your baby cannot show you how much she is learning now. Be patient! Let her feel the beat, listen to you sing, and observe in class. Absorbing musical sounds is the first step in music development. When she becomes a toddler she will surely blossom. Then you will see first hand the benefits of coming to class during that precious first year.
Who is Lynne?
Lynne recently moved to Newburyport from the Boston area with her husband and six daughters! Lynne has been teaching adult and children’s fitness, art, enrichment, music and movement classes for many years both privately and publicly, and recently received her twenty year service award from The North Suburban YMCA. She specializes in toddler and preschool age parent/child classes that focus on parent/child bonding thru music and the use of props such as puppets, musical instruments, and parachute play. She plans to introduce themed and craft classes in addition to music classes and add evening and Sunday hours for play starting in September. She currently teaches “superhero fitness training” at a resort in Maine, and often hosts themed “tea time”. She is looking forward to the opportunity to bring these themes to life at IBZ! Lynne is often referred to as “Lynnergy” because she brings so much energy in her teaching style! She is very excited to be joining the community and bring her joy of teaching to Itsy Bitsy Zone!