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Jo Hood began Mainly Music with another mum 25 years ago, when the local children’s music group she was attending with her own kids no longer suited their routine. Seeing the need for another similar group, Mainly Music was born. Skip forward to 2015 and Mainly Music now runs in 400 locations around New Zealand and over 1000 locations worldwide!
What makes Mainly Music unique is the ownership of each session by local churches. While not a religious activity, being hosted and facilitated by the churches provides parents and children with a local, community-based activity. You certainly don’t feel like you are part of a mass-produced programme when you attend.
Each session involves half an hour of music, song and dance for children and parents, followed by time for free play. While children enjoy the chance to play with other kids, parents have the opportunity to socialise with other adults while enjoying tea or coffee, and often home baking!
Jo Hood is proud of the fact that Mainly Music provides families with a community of others in the same situation. “These days, people enter parenthood at different times. Mainly Music is about caring for the whole family (parents and children), not just attending a music session”, she says.
Each music session is filled with life –children are often given props for each song, and both dancing and singing out loud are strongly encouraged. As a parent, you’ll probably find the session very therapeutic yourself –dancing and singing for half an hour can really clear the cobwebs!
Accommodating birth to school age, Mainly Music works well for parents with two or more children, or those with multiples, as one-on-one supervision of each child is not required. Singing, dancing and playing is all that is asked.
The charge varies between centres but the average cost is around $3 - $5 per family, per session.
Check out mainlymusic.org for further information.