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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Frequently Asked Questions

We recognise that – in many musical cultures around the world – children do not attend music classes but instead are immersed in an environment where their older siblings, their parents, their grandparents and the whole community around them are singing, dancing and making music whilst having fun. The children learn to make music as easily as they learn to walk and talk; by watching the people they love, by playing, by experimenting, and having a go without any pressure to perform.

At The Rhythm Tree, we believe that learning music is our children’s birthright and that they learn best in a rich, pressure free, playful musical environment. Each week in our Rhythm Tree Family classes, you’ll find young children (babies, toddlers and kinder aged kids) their parents, their carers and grandparents singing, dancing, playing with instruments and props and connecting through a wide and varied range of styles of music from different parts of the world. Most importantly they are equipped with tools and given the inspiration to continue with music making at home.

Enhance your child’s experience in class by remembering to sing, sing, sing. Your active participation is the key to your children learning and growing musically. Support the creation of a music only environment while in class by not talking to your children or other adults during the 45 minutes. Since it is difficult for a young child to mask out adult conversation please wait to socialise till after class, and instead contribute to the creation of a musical environment for the children to absorb.

Try not to give verbal directions. It can be tough to restrain the impulse to give your child directives such as “Do what she is doing, hold your instrument this way” but children respond best by just seeing and hearing you doing (and enjoying) it yourself! Wandering toddlers are fine, but If you want your child to come back to you, avoid calling to them from across the room. If necessary, redirect your child physically back to you or the circle. Of course watch out for your child’s safety, but mostly your job is to just relax, and have fun!

If you are driving, enter through the mosaic gates at CERES and find a parking space in the car park on your left. If you park as far down as you can you will almost be at the front door of the Lower Merri.

During busy periods the CERES car park may be full. You can park in The Cretan Brotherhood car park on Stewart street and there are a number of additional on street parking spots on Stewart and Roberts Streets.

All of our music classes take place in The Lower Merri classroom*, which is situated underneath the Merri Cafe at the top of CERES.

*Apart from Rhian’s Wednesday morning classes, which take place in the Learning Centre (LC). The Learning Centre is located behind the meditation garden and Eco House. 

See a map of CERES here.

Classes with children of different ages have intellectual and social benefits for both younger and older children. In fact, it’s the learning environment recommended by many early childhood researchers. Older children learn empathy and awareness of others, while developing leadership qualities and gaining self-confidence. Younger children learn by imitating the older ones and often show more complex behaviours earlier than usual. Even babies benefit by being in an environment that gives them lots of opportunities to observe the behaviour of children of varying ages. Plus, it allows everyone—siblings, parents, grandparents, caregivers—to share in the musical experience together!

We try to keep each class to 10-12 registered families and no more than 15 children.

We know that families love our music classes as much as us, which means that new families usually wish to continue with their enrolment.

If you decide that our classes are not the right fit for your family, please let us know immediately after your first class and we will cancel your enrolment. You will just be charged for the class/es you have attended.

Please note: if the termly resources have been taken home, a $75 resources fee will apply.

Registrations at any stage of the term can be made through our website.

We offer a pro-rata fee structure and welcome new enrolments in our open classes at any point during a term. If there are no convenient ‘open’ classes, please place yourself on as many suitable classes as a “waitlist” entry as you wish. This way, we will have more of an idea of which days and times suit you best.

We ask that families notify us of any absences via their parent portal, where you will be prompted to schedule a future makeup class.

Please note: we do not provide refunds or give credits for missed classes.

Families are able to makeup for missed classes both in-person at CERES and online.

All in-person make up classes can be booked via the Parent Portal

No need to book into online classes – simply join us using the class Zoom link (available once you are enrolled in a Rhythm Tree class)

Please note that makeups do not roll over between terms.

We like to keep our 45 minutes musical. Please note that classes are MOBILE FREE zones unless you have cleared with the teacher beforehand e.g. if waiting on a very important call. If you would like to take photos, please let your teacher know and she will be more than happy to pull out the instruments after class. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

It is important to stay hydrated so we encourage the use of water bottles, breastfeeding and baby milk bottles in class. Due to allergies, cross contamination and choking hazards, we prefer any solid foods to be consumed outside our class space either before or after class. Should food be required during class, we request that you please step outside. 

There may be times during the term when older children have a school holiday, and it is natural to want to bring them with you to class. Older siblings of registered students may visit 2 classes per term; please notify us of this in advance.

Yes, you are welcome to bring an extra grown up along with you to class.

However, please bear in mind that we do not encourage spectators… All attendees are expected to participate in our Family classes!

Babies 9 months and younger can attend a class for free with a registered sibling in a FAMILY class.

Please note that our Rhythm Kids classes are not suitable for younger siblings.

We also offer a Babies only class at CERES (for babies aged 0 – 8 months).

We understand that work and nap schedules can change throughout a term.

Transfers can be made depending on class availability. Please contact hello@therhythmtree.com.au or call 03 7023 0844 if you need to transfer classes.

Enrolment at The Rhythm Tree is ongoing, meaning that when you register, you are enrolled for the entire term. We do not offer casual enrolments.

You may opt out at the end of a term by letting us know at least one week before the end of term.

We do not accept cancellations mid-term or near the end of a term as we will struggle to find a new family to take your spot in class.

Families wishing to withdraw from a class must do so before the registration deadline for each term (typically the first day of classes).  Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal from class. Families are responsible for informing The Rhythm Tree if they’d like to cancel their enrolment. Please us at hello@therhythmtree.com.au or call on 03 7023 0844.

We ask that families do not attend class if you or your child are unwell or showing any cold/flu-like symptoms. The safety of our teachers and community is of the utmost importance to us. 
You can alert us to your absence through your parent portal and are welcome to attend a make-up class either in-person or via Zoom.

All families are given termly resources with a new collection of songs each term.

All of the music we sing in class goes home with you in CD and mobile app form. Play our current song collection at home and in the car as frequently as possible, especially during the first few weeks of class. Make it available to your child to listen to while they are playing or before nap or bedtime. Use the songbook to help you remember the songs or to play along if you play an instrument. Try using the songbook at story time instead of a regular book, and sing through the songs as you go along. Looking at the printed notes on the page will help children understand that music is something that can be read, like words. Familiarization with notation will help them when they are more ready for formal music instruction, typically when they are school aged.

We are also happy to discuss your child’s individual progress in obtaining musical competence at any time outside of class. 

Occasionally classes at The Rhythm Tree are professionally photographed and/or videotaped. These photographs/videos are sometimes used for publicity purposes. Parents will, in instances where these images are intended for publicity purposes, be asked to sign the appropriate release forms.
As our classes are participatory and educational experiences between adults and children, we ask our families to please refrain from taking photo or video during class time, however we welcome pictures before or after class. 
In the interests all families, it is a courtesy to ask before taking photos and posting other people’s images to social media. We therefore ask that you focus only on your own child.

Gift vouchers can be purchased via our website. It makes a nice baby shower or birthday gift. Grandparents love to buy these for holiday gifts. Let us know if you would like it sent directly to the recipient or to the purchaser. 

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