What makes MacPhail ECM unique from other ECM programs?
Our history, faculty, and curriculum all speak for themselves. MacPhail’s early childhood music program was established in 1968, and was one of the first programs in the nation to implement our unique integrated arts format. Children learn best by experiencing the world through a variety of opportunities, which we offer in each of our classes through singing, rhymes, creative movement, creative dramatics, literature, visual arts, instrument exploration, sensory exploration, and listening activities. We strive to provide high quality early childhood music learning experiences that will build solid comprehension of musical concepts, recognition of instruments, and appreciation of music all which lead to further musical study and gains in social and academic skills. View ECM curriculum
Our teaching artists are all highly trained specialists with music degrees. Many have advanced degrees in music and/or child development. In addition, all our teachers begin their work at MacPhail in a year-long mentorship teacher training program, to ensure we present only the highest quality instruction to our families. MacPhail’s status as a school for all ages and musical abilities makes it a lifelong destination for music education. We provide an environment for growing up with a passion for music, beginning in early childhood and expanding throughout the school years and into adulthood. View ECM Faculty
What does my child learn in MacPhail ECM classes?
Your child will develop their musical skills, and will also reap the benefits of music in all major developmental areas.
• They will gain invaluable musicianship skills that will aid them in future musical study. For example, children will build their knowledge and understanding of musical concepts, gain rhythmic and melodic skills, as well as vocal development, movement, etc.
• Developing a musical ear promotes pre-literacy skills such as speaking and listening. Rhythmic activities enhance pre-math skills and number awareness.
• Because music is a social activity, your child will improve social-emotional skills such as self-regulation, sharing and taking turns.
• Our storytelling and dramatic play activities are just one example of the way music can impact cognitive skills, such as planning and sequencing events.
• Our focus on creative movement promotes both large and small motor development.
• Our visual arts component enhances creativity and critical thinking skills.
There is no end to the benefits your child will receive as a result of their MacPhail Early Childhood Music class!
I have a friend who would love MacPhail’s classes. How can I get them involved?
We offer all new families the opportunity of trying out a MacPhail ECM class for free! Families are invited to join any currently running class, just for the day, to experience it for themselves.Please schedule a sample class visit by calling 612-767-5470, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a difference between fall, spring and summer semesters?
Yes. Our curriculum is sequential and builds upon itself from one semester to the next. Each lesson is unique, and new material is introduced each week. We encourage you to sign up for the year, and then continue coming back so your child benefits from our sequential developmentally appropriate curriculum.
Can I start my child in a class labeled as level II, or do I have to start with level I?
You may start at any point during the year. There is no pre-requisite for a level II class. The designation of a class as level I or level II simply differentiates between fall and spring semester.
Can I make up classes if I miss?
Yes. If you are unable to attend your regular class, you may attend another section of the same class during the week that you missed as a make-up class. To retain consistency for your child, we ask that you limit make-up classes to no more than ¼ of the total semester sessions. Please schedule your make-up class with the Student Services Center by stopping by the front desk or calling 612-321-0100.
What does “child independent” mean?
Our child independent classes, for ages 3-8 years, are designed for children to attend on their own, without a parent or caregiver present. These classes provide opportunities for children to explore music independently within a supportive peer group setting, and promote independent thinking, problem-solving, social skills and creativity. Throughout the year, parents are encouraged to sign up to participate in class with their child to attend quarterly sing-a-longs.
Can I bring an unregistered sibling to class?
Only registered students are allowed in Early Childhood Music classes. Thank you for respecting our policy and making other arrangements for siblings. Adult visitors are welcome anytime.
I want to register more than one of my children for ECM classes. Can I get a discount?
Yes. MacPhail ECM offers a sibling discount policy. When you register one child for Early Childhood Music Classes at MacPhail for full tuition, each additional child in your immediate family will receive a 10% discount for Early Childhood Music classes for the same semester. This discount does not apply to the Family Music class.
How do I know when it is the right time to start my child on an instrument?
This completely depends on the individual child in question—there is no right or wrong answer. Your ECM teacher can give you feedback on your child’s readiness for instrument instruction, and can give you more information about the next steps and offerings available. At MacPhail we offer many options for beginning instrument study, from the Suzuki Talent Education Program, which can begin at age 3 on some instruments, to Individual Instruction, which also begins at age 3 on some instruments, to our Group Classes, which begins at age 5 - 8.
Where can I find the instruments and props used in my child’s class?
You can find some similar instruments and props at a variety of locations in the Twin Cities and online. Try Groth Music, West Music, Lakeshore Learning, or Creative Kidstuff!
I am interested in MacPhail ECM partnering with my school, community organization, early childhood center, etc. Who do I contact?
MacPhail ECM partners with over 25 organizations and schools in the Twin Cities Metro Area. We are always looking for new opportunities to deepen our community involvement. Please contact Dianna Babcock, Director of Early Childhood Music, at 612-767-5405 or emailing email@example.com
I have a question not listed here. Where I can find an answer?
Contact Dianna Babcock, the Director of Early Childhood Music, by calling 612-767-5405 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org For other questions, please reference our Administration Directory.