Welcome Letter - Please Read!



Let's Get Started!

  1. Go to your app store and search for the Hello Everybody app, install it on your phone, tablet, device and set up an account.
  2. Set up your account on the Parent Portal (not the same as above) - the Parent Portal is where you will update contact info, log absences, add participants (like add a nanny or grandparent!),  make payments, find your zoom class numbers, check what week you are in, schedule your make-ups, schedule additional drop-in classes etc. The Parent Portal is so so so important especially if you are not on social media or tend to miss emails. 
  3. Get started on your songbook, cd and download code (session materials). Song packets are distributed in person during our free demo classes at Pioneer Farms. You do not have to attend a demo to pick up your packet. Packets are mailed out or delivered as a porch drop the week that classes begin. Your music download code will be in the front inside cover of your songbook. The music download code is placed in your page on the Parent Portal the week before classes begin.
  4. On your computer, laptop or phone you are welcome to explore all the additional resources provided by Music Together® Worldwide on the Family Music Zone online at www.musictogether.com/familymusiczone.
  5. Class confirmation: once your class has enough enrollments for the class to make (6 outdoor/4 indoors/6 online), you'll get an email confirmation from our registration system with relevant info: location, teacher, zoom code etc. 
  6. Join your new friends on the private Facebook group for the current semester - (get additional support and content here as well).  https://www.facebook.com/groups/tunebugzenrolledfamilies/
  7. Read the Purple Book ‘Music and Your Child’ provided in your packet and available as an e-reader pdf on the FMZ. It’s extremely important to understand the Music Together teaching philosophy and the research-based approach that we use so that expectations of our content are clear. Music Together is a parent modeled music and movement class. The teacher is teaching the parent, who then teaches the child through modeling. This is non-formal playful learning. We are teaching children by playing with music in a way that is developmentally appropriate.  The teacher is trained and will show you how to make the most of the songs and activities, but it’s meant for the parent to dance, sing, play, explore music with the child.  
  8. Come to class! Do your best to come to all your classes. Consistency and repetition does wonders for growth and development and contact hours with each song really does matter! You can attend from anywhere in the world if you are doing online classes so,  take advantage of the consistency online provides for families on the go. If you miss an outdoor class - schedule a makeup right away but note that space is very limited, Winter weather cancellations are expected and most outdoor class makeups must be done online. You have unlimited online makeups available to you during the semester you are enrolled so you never have to worry about missing a class - we must both work hard to get you caught up since there are no refunds or credits for missed classes. Ultimately - your make-ups are your responsibility to schedule. 
  9. Musical instrument recommendations:  We encourage all families to have a set of age appropriate musical instruments (no battery operated noisemakers plz!) to keep at home for online class and/or to bring your instruments back and forth if you are doing classes in person to minimize sanitizing as instruments used in class must undergo lengthy sanitizing process. Your child's voice and body are the most important instruments we use in class! So, no instruments are required at all however, each week, we like to explore our music using other instruments and props to help children see and feel the music differently in exciting and stimulating ways that can spark creative expression. Click here for more info about Musical Instrument Sets.  Please NOTE that we have discontinued the foster/adopt class instruments program. 
  10. ZOOM: Once you are enrolled, you must register with Zoom to be allowed into the private zoom room. The emails must match your registration email. Even if you are enrolled outdoors only - you will likely end up in Zoom on a rainy day or as a makeup at some point. Please use the latest updated version of Zoom always. It's ideal to make sure you mark your settings to give us permission to mute/unmute you. Just like in person, teachers will strongly encourage you to sing, dance along and model music making for your child during class. When the teacher asks you a question or or wants a suggestion - you will want our Zoom Faeirie to be able to unmute you easily so you don't have to get up and have to touch the computer/press space bar. Please also arrange a special place to do music class when at home/online. We understand you are at home and need to dial into what’s comfortable but making a special place to do music class - focuses your child's attention to the class experience.  To take advantage of it - you must give her permission - find your settings in Zoom menu under personal settings. Additionally - please note that if you are showing your video on screen with us then we’re counting on your engagement with us. Do your best to be present and be a musical model for your child along with us because all musical models benefit everyone in class.  If you must step away - go ahead and hide your video. Please never leave children unattended.  Our Zoom Faerie is a trained Music Together teacher, and is like a co-teacher, registrar, receptionist, producer/tech support and DJ all rolled into one! This is an additional support person for you and the teacher in every class so that tech stuff, privac,  oopsies and mute/unmute are all handled so your teacher can interact and focus YOU and YOUR CHILD.
  11. HELP US through the toughest time we have ever faced by letting your friends and neighbors know about us! We need more students to keep going during this uphill climb to economic recovery. Please let everyone know how much fun you are having at tuneBugz! and invite friends, family, neighbors to sign up with you! You will find your $15 off referral code in the Parent Portal on the main account tab. We really appreciate reviews and social posts! Post on social media, share a link to our website on Nextdoor, invite your friends from playgroups to join you, and of course we love reviews on Facebook, Google and Yelp! We are handing out nifty prizes all the time - especially when you post pics in the wild of your kiddo making music! 
  12. Ask all the questions - Need suggestions on how to structure music education for your kiddos? ASK US! Our teachers are always willing to help you craft a plan that’s doable for your family. Want to use music to boost academic learning? ASK US! This can be as easy going or as structured as you want it to be. Not sure if something is ok or not? ASK US! The best way to reach out to us with questions is to text or call: Amber Nichols - 512-632-6695 Email is: amber.nichols@gmail.com or director@tunebugzmt.com or stick around after class and chat with your teacher.
  13. Do something musical with your family for 20 to 30 mins every single day!

Outdoor Class - What to Expect

  • We hold in person classes in a few open air locations during this important time for social distancing.   Classes are held in a variety of open air locations.   Balance Dance Studios - 4544 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78745 in Spring, Summer and Fall. We are offering two destination farm locations. At our farm locations we hold class outside in the grass (weather permitting) and in cold or rain we have open air shelters in both locations that are heated.  These heated indoor/outdoor open air facilities allow us to hold classes year round - in all seasons. Our two farm locations are:  Jourdan Bachman Pioneer Farms Living History Park -  10621 Pioneer Farms Dr, Austin, TX 78754 and Mama Melli's Childcare / Enchanted Woodlands Farm -  10802 Kit Carson Dr, Austin, TX 78737. 
  • WEAR A MASK: Parents and children over 10 will be required to wear masks . Littles age 2 to 9 may wear masks if that's feasible - it is at parents discretion. Please consult CDC and mask manufacturer guidelines for proper age/use instructions.
  • We have adjusted our headcount to allow 2 ADULTS MAXIMUM PER FAMILY but only on certain conditions:  Up to 2 adults may accompany child/children so that we can mainain proper distancing only if we are outdoors. Headcounts are closely monitored in the spaces we are in and we reserve the right to allow just 1 adult per family if we hit occupancy limits. We also cannot accommodate extra adults or child visitors without prior notice/approval. Thanks for your cooperation this is extemely important to monitor.    
  • BRING YOUR OWN BLANKET: You will need to bring your own blanket to sit on but, we'll provide cushioned flooring to put your blanket down on (2 interlocking pieces of our rainbow flooring will be put down to mark each family spot provide a little cushioning. 
  • We we will take your temperature at the entrance and have plenty of sanitizer as well as have handwashing sinks and clean restooms available. Parents will be required to complete a statement of health & sign a release/contact waiver before every class, every week.Please complete your waivers/health statements on the morning of class, waivers done more than 6 hours in advance will not be valid. 
  • Once you are masked up, waivers signed and hands are clean, you will then be welcomed to select your seat - first come - first served.  Select the one you feel most comfortable at and put your blanket down and get comfy!  Seats are positioned 8 to 10 ft apart. 
  • The teacher will be masked and will use a wireless mic with a speaker to make sure everyone can hear well so they can sing along easily. 
  • As a community we'll work together to keep children in their family spots and we will make sure that the distance markings are clear.  Masking and social distancing in a safe and kind way with the group is something parents will need to factor into this music class experience. Remember - we are modeling distancing for children and practicing in open air environment for a reason - so children can learn safe distancing practices from the adults.   It's a learning process for them so we will handle this learning opportunity for all - with loving kindness. 
  • For Summer/sunny outdoor classes, we will have a large flexible umbrella for each family spot that you will need to position as needed wherever the sun is based on your class time however, you are encouraged to bring your own to reduce contact points. 
  • We will have instruments for each family to use in class - all instruments go through a full cleaning and sanitizing cycle between uses. We use Benefect Decon-30 - Food Grade spray on all surfaces and instruments after every class. Instruments are single use - there will be no instrument passing or sharing.  As mentioned above, it is highly recommended that you purchase your own set of instruments (around $25 to $55 for basic to full set). You can bring them to and from class to reduce the risk for everyone including teachers who will be tasked with cleaning all instruments and surfaces.  
  • RAIN: It's important to understand that there is no rain cover on our patio at Balance Dance.  If significant rain is in the forecast - we will cancel in advance and offer make-ups online or in person on first come first served basis. Parents are responsible for scheduling makeups for rain days and missed classes before the semester ends. There are no refunds or credits for missed or cancelled classes. Pioneer Farms and Mama Melli's have heat and shelter so those classes are generally rain or shine! 

Let's Make Music!

​With our tools and your enthusiasm, we can make a huge musical impact on not just your child but your whole family!   Children absorb and reflect what adults and big kids model at home and musical behaviors are reinforced by social events where children see with their own eyes (and ears!) what's valued in their community. The simple act of making music in a fun and playful way with your child (even if it’s not perfect pitch or rhythm) is what opens the door for children to be musical.

Singing, dancing and making music together also reduces stress and creates a sense of wellbeing.  Children thrive when they have a strong sense of wellbeing and feel part of a larger community.

Congrats on starting this musical journey. We'll SING you soon!

~Amber & the tuneBugz! team