All About Music Together

We specialize in baby classes, toddler activities, and kids up to age five enjoy our research-based music curriculum. We provide a relaxed and playful atmosphere with a non-performance oriented setting. We opened our doors in 2010, but our musical staff has well over 30 years experience delivering the joys of music to children and their parents. We provide the tools and environment to teach parents and caregivers how to nurture their child’s music development. We would like to introduce you to our wonderful staff!

Marla Stevenson, Director

Ms. Marla creates a fun, informal, social setting that spurs engagement and supports each child’s musical development.

After watching her daughters, Sarah and Rebekah, thrive in the Music Together® program, Marla enthusiastically enrolled in a training course to become a director, giving Sarah and Rebekah the opportunity to grow up with Music Together. Marla began teaching Music Together® classes in 2001, in the state of Maryland.

After establishing her business in seven Maryland locations, Marla continued participating in Music Together training workshops and assisting in other centers. She has enjoyed teaching preschool music in both public and private school systems and has been active in her church music programs, where she has served as the Children’s Praise and Worship Leader, the Cherub Choir Director for 3 to 5 year olds, and Assistant Director of the Children’s Choir for grades one through six. She has also served as Music Director for Pee Wee Pirates, ages 3 through 5, and worked with children as lead daycare provider.

Since relocating to Florida in 2009, Marla is delighted to share her passion for musical training and fun with parents and children in the Orlando area. Come and meet Marla and experience the joy of her classes with your family.

Miss Marla also presents, The Birthday Beat, memorable musical birthday parties for children one to five years old.

Marla Stevenson is the President of Drums in Recovery, Inc., a nonprofit organization, founded in 2015. She facilitates the evidence-based program, DRUMBEAT, which explores connections between making music together as a group and the development of healthy relationships. Please visit www.DrumsInRecovery.org.

Jillian Marini, Teacher/ Owner – Songbirds Music

Jillian Marini has always had a passion for music, teaching, and the arts. A Florida district winner of the prestigious Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition in 2017, Jillian has the talent, experience, and expertise to make her teaching incredible. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice and Opera Performance from Northwestern University and has performed all across the United States. In addition to her Bachelor of Music degree, she also holds a certificate from the Middlebury Language School for German Language and German Music Performance, and an Animation and Visual Effects certificate from The Digital Animation and Visual Effects School.

Jillian created Songbirds Music, Art, and Dance Center to create a safe and positive environment where students, professional artists, and artists of every level in between are able to grow, experiment, and collaborate to bring life to their art and passion. Before opening Songbirds, Jillian maintained a full voice and piano studio. She has over eight years of teaching experience and loves to see her students grow and bring their musical talents to fruition. When not at Songbirds Music, Art, and Dance Center, Jillian enjoys singing at both local churches and synagogues as well as spending time with her feisty dog.

Answers to Frequently Asked Question

During the early years, it is extremely important that parents and caregivers be the ones who create a nurturing environment. Children are biologically “wired” to respond most to those with whom they have close bonds. Music Together® classes help you build that bond. Best of all, it’s fun!

What should I expect of my child?

Some children are spontaneous singers and movers, others are careful and astute observers. In either case, after sufficient listening and observing time at home and in class, you may begin to notice your child singing or chanting parts of songs, sometimes with words, sometimes without. However, even when your child gives no response or seems uninterested in listening or participating, important unconscious learning is taking place.

Keep in mind the following points:

  • Most children choose to observe more often than to participate actively in class. They are taking in information, which they will act on later at home.
  • Most children become accustomed to the class routine and their classmates around the fifth or sixth week. At this point, their participation is likely to increase.
  • Children are assimilating important music information whether or not they are outwardly participating. At home, this means it may be important to play the CD or sing the songs yourself, even if your child seems to be unaware or uninterested, especially during the first few weeks of class.

Remember that you are the most important model and teacher for your child. Your most effective role is to participate in and enjoy the class yourself, even though your child might choose to sit back and observe. If you are enjoying yourself, your child will soon wish to share that enjoyment with you.

We know it might be difficult to watch other children zealously participate in the group while your child does not. This is especially true if your child performs all of his class favorites as soon as you arrive home. Try to understand that he is very wisely “practicing” in private and will make his public “debut” when he feels more confident. Meanwhile, if you feel suddenly overwhelmed with frustration by the lack of your child’s participation in class, just relax and participate yourself!

What should I expect of myself?

As well as participating in class, listen to the CD together and try the activities at home.

Some parents are somewhat disconcerted by the concept of being their child’s most important role model, especially when it comes to music. You may feel that you are not particularly musical – perhaps you even describe yourself as being “tone deaf.” Maybe you are great at singing, but feel unsure of yourself when dancing or trying to “keep the beat.” Whatever the level of your technical skill, remember the most important things you can model for your child are simply pleasure, interest, and the desire to participate in music activities.

Many adults feel inadequate about their ability in music as if it should be something effortless and natural. In fact, this is often the case. As your understanding of your child’s music development grows in Music Together, you may come to understand that circumstances in your own childhood music experience may be at the root of some of these feelings. By participating with your child, you can begin to rediscover within yourself the natural human musicality that is everyone’s birthright.

What about practicing at home?

Play your Music Together CDs at home. It’s also great to play the CD while driving. Do not limit its use to the car, though – children are less able to move to the music while strapped into a car seat.

Many children will want specific songs repeated again and again. Try to accommodate them. They crave the repetition because it is necessary for their development. Repetition is one way they “practice.”

Another way they “practice” is through spontaneous, playful imitation of the songs and activities they experience in class. These imitations will, of course, probably not be “correct,” but they will certainly be fun!

Some children may not demonstrate an interest in the recording. Right now, they may have different developmental needs and interests or simply have other current favorites. Perhaps they haven’t adjusted to the class experience yet and are holding some enthusiasm in reserve. Just play the CD in the background, perhaps as they play or take a bath. Their interest in both the class and the CD will grow with familiarity.

The CD provides a way of reinforcing and following up on the live class experience of adults participating in musical activities. The more you can continue this kind of participation at home by singing the songs or doing the chants and fingerplays yourself, the better it is, as long as you do it in the spirit of fun and enjoyment. Nothing sets a better model for your child than doing an activity you enjoy yourself.

Remember to use the songbook, even if you don’t read music! Use it like a storybook and “read” the songs to your child, especially the ones with pictures. In time, you might suggest that your child draw his or her own pictures for the songs, especially for those that don’t have one!

Notice the effects of your child’s experience in class and note his listening habits with the CD at home during the week. Write down or remember any questions you might have about your child’s responses and then ask your teacher and discuss with other parents in the class.

Kids Music School • Music Lessons • Mommy And Me Classes • Kids Activities • Research-based Music Curriculum • Toddler Activities • Relaxed & Playful Setting • Baby Activities • Music Classes For Kids • Toddler Classes • Instrument Play • Baby Classes • Nonperformance Oriented Setting • Mixed Ages Classes • Rhythm and Movement Activities

Class Schedule & Locations

Lake Mary
Westbrook Dance Academy
1061 S. Sun Drive, Suite 1017
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: (407) 333-4448
Click here for Map

Orlando
Chai Preschool
7347 West Sand Lake Road
Orlando, Florida 32819
Click here for Map

Winter Park
Aloma Church, Boatwright Center
1815 FL-436
Winter Park, Florida 32792
Phone: (877) 452-2588
Click here for Map

Ocoee
Princesses and Princes
1637 E. Silver Star Road.
Ocoee, FL 34761
Phone: (407) 601-3566
Click here for Map

Songbirds Music
181 E Mitchell Hammock Rd.
Oviedo, FL 32765
Phone: (407) 278-3575
Click here for Map

Class Types:
Mixed Ages
Birth – 5 years old

Intergenerational
Mixed ages birth to five years with their grownups and aged care residents

Time Well Spent with your Child!

“Music Together combines all of the important ingredients for time well spent with your child: lots of fun, valuable learning, and an opportunity to make lasting memories. Music and movement are fun for everyone, adults and children alike. You need only look at the smile on your child’s face as they groove to the music to know that you have invested your time and money wisely.”
-Stacey Dunn, Ph.D., Psychologist

Making Music Exciting!

“My daughter has such a great time with Music Together. She is free to be a child in a fun and safe place. I enjoy the direct interaction and the variety of activities. Each week is a brand new music adventure!”
-Jed B., Oviedo

“Max asks me almost every day, “Music Class?” He is so excited when it is actually the class day!”
-Christy B., Oviedo

Contact Us Now

Phone
(407) 844-4414

Service Area
Orlando, Florida and All Surrounding Areas

Payments Accepted
Cash, Check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and Amex

Business Hours
Monday — 9am-9pm
Tuesday — 9am-9pm
Wednesday — 9am-9pm
Thursday — 9am-9pm
Friday — 9am-9pm
Saturday — 9am-9pm
Sunday — 9am-9pm

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