Our Mini Mus-Ohs music groups are for older toddlers who are ready to explore music and their world in more sophisticated ways using their imaginations, and are mini musicians in the making of course!
Sessions are structured to allow your child to move sequentially to more developmentally advanced tasks, within a supportive and predictable structure.
As many of children have been with us since they were babies, they will know this structure well and the transition to the ‘big toddler’ group will be smooth for them.
For parents it is the little things you will notice: how a song is presented differently, and how instructions are given rather than modelled. We use different movement songs that incorporate more complex planned motor movements, and instruments are played differently to maximise your child’s developmental gains.
Social awareness and emotional empathy through music
Mini Mus-Ohs music groups begin by welcoming everyone with a greeting song.
Now that your toddler is growing up and becoming socially aware of the other children in the group, we spend time during our greeting acknowledging our friends and asking about their feelings.
The children will often choose who we sing hello to next.
This starts to foster social awareness and emotional empathy through this simple music activity.
We also practice emotional regulation by sitting and waiting for a turn. As most of you know, in the younger age groups, there can be a lot of dancing and jumping during the exciting hello song!
Our big toddlers are encourage to sit and sing with us, so we are working on basic music skills as well as more advanced social skills.
Choice and decision making, a big kid task!
Your toddler wants to practise their new found independence but obviously their ability to do safely is still limited.
At music, they can choose songs and activities and also direct how we implement these activities.
In this group, your child is more involved in the decision making that informs the flow of the session.
Our groups are always child led, that is why we use live music and have highly trained therapists running the groups – so they can follow the lead of the children.
In the younger groups, this is very much the music therapist following the lead of the children.
At Mini Mus-Ohs, there is a greater collaboration of setting the parameters of the group together, as a team.
This also allows us opportunities to work with you little people on social skills, group skills and listening skills.
We all sit and listen to each other’s requests, and then we all participate in singing the songs together and respecting the choices of our friends.
Developing fine and gross motor skills
Older toddlers have greater control of their fine and gross motor skills and are usually pretty keen to move their bodies to music.
In this group, you will notice we do more purposeful movement to music.
Our Mini Mus-Ohs can control their bodies and move it discriminately. They can plan more complex movements, so we do lots of dancing that requires bi-lateral and cross lateral control, sequenced movements to music that require the children to follow two step instructions, and dance actions that require both fine and gross motor co-ordination and spatial planning within the same movement sequence.
So your child will get to practice their motor skills, motor planning, co-ordination, balance and spatial awareness, all while dancing socially with other children and moving to the beat of the music.
Musicians in the making
Mini Mus-Ohs play a range of instruments carefully chosen to support greater bi-lateral hand control, pincer grip and planned movement sequences.
We also choose quality instruments that produce lovely sound, as we know we are planting a seed with your child that will grow into a lifelong love of music.
Instruments include castanets, triangles and xylophones that require great pincer grip control; hand drums and woodblocks that require bi-lateral hand control and crossing of the mid-line; ukuleles and a host of other fun instruments presented and played in age appropriate ways.
Instrument playing and singing allow us to support these budding musicians to continually develop musical skills in beat work, pitch matching and melodic contour.
Fun exploration and imaginative play
We do not overload our Mini Mus-Ohs with pretty colourful props that do everything for them.
We use carefully chosen instruments and props that can be adapted in imaginative play and that encourage your growing toddler’s mind to develop creatively.
A ribbon can be a rainbow one minute and a horse tail the next! A parachute can be the ocean or the wagon we go riding in.
The opportunities are endless!
Finally, your Mini Mus-Oh will participate in regulatory activities that focus on helping them develop and master self-regulatory skills.
We conclude our groups with some book reading and singing, practicing numeracy and literacy skills and singing goodbye to our friends.
Most children play after music in the local park while mums grab a coffee and catch up too.