Welcome back to our continuing series on musical education! In our last article, we talked about the elements of excellence that you, as a parent, should examine in selecting a music or dance school for your child. Here, we will examine more specifically after school programs.
More and more evidence is rolling in that a music rich, fun, educationally based after school program is one of the best long term investments for your child. The Washington Post talks about how a strong after school program is essential for your child, because these programs are not school. A good after school program gives safety, socialization, education, all in a format that your child will look forward to every day. In a fun filled, non-testing environment, your child is paradoxically allowed to excel and get some relief from the stress of the school day.
After school programs with music are essential to your child’s wellbeing and development
Here are a few points to consider:
- As stated in our prior articles, make sure that the after school program that you’re considering for your child is taught and run by accredited music and dance educators. The National Association For Music Education (NAFME) talks about this at length.
- Visit the program, and check out reviews. See how the students perform and take notes on instruction methods. See if your little one has fun.
- Logistics – is the program site sensible in regards for your child’s school commute and your work day?
- Other activities – An after school program is not just simply music instruction. A great after school program will have enrichment activities, breaks, play and fun. Get an idea of the full plan, how do they handle complaints and issues, and so on.
- More questions – how is discipline handled? What first aid and care qualifications does staff have? What other activities are available besides music related ones?
- How is music integrated into the program? Is it merely a fun activity, or is there professional level musical, singing or dance instruction?
- Is the program adjunct to an ongoing education program, or is it an independent program whose primary emphasis is on after school care?
We know that choosing the right after school program is tough. We have a wide variety of great after school options, and can also help you give your child the best after school experience possible.