Frequently Asked Questions (Classes)

General FAQ

How are payments done?
Invoices for Booking Orders will be automatically generated upon checkout and updated for all verified payments.
Payments must be completed within 3 business days of order or the next designated In-person registration day at our office
Kindly ensure that transactions are completed before class as this helps us manage time to focus on the delivery of classes to all families.

ACCEPTED PAYMENT METHODS:
  • Online Bank Transfer (from RBC, Scotia or other banking institution)
  • Credit Card via RBC EZPay Machine
  • LINX (coming soon)
Cash accepted only for Preview sessions or for persons unable to access the above methods. Cheques are accepted.

PAYMENTS
To Register: You'll be required to pay your Registration, Materials fee and your Semester Tuition.
Full Payment orders can be made via Online Banking or Credit Card.
Part-Payments are facilitated upon signing a payment agreement with schedule.
-The first payment [Registration, Materials and 50% Tuition] is due within 3 business days of the booking order date.
-The second payment [Balance of half tuition] is due by the due date on invoice or by 5th week of the Semester Semester.

Alternate payment arrangments can be requested for individuals or families with more than one sibling attending classes.

Late fees: We encourage clients to pay on time and communicate with us to avoid late fees. Fee of $40 per 7 days beyond due date.
Is there a Registration Fee?
A First-Time Enrollment Fee of $150 will be added to the invoices of new families for the first session.
A Registration Fee of $100 will be added to the invoices of all returning families, each session once the early registration period has passed

The Registration fee is non-refundable fee and applies to all first time registered students. It registers the student's place in the class once the required tuition deposit and/or materials fee is covered.

This helps offset the general operating costs of running the classes at our various locations including annual music licenses and defrays the administrative cost of setting up your student in our class management system and parent education communiques, all of which help to keep your annual tuition costs lower.
 
We encourage clients to register early to secure spots and avoid the late processing fee of $100 which applies for Registrations coming in after August 15th (for Sept/Oct), December 15th (for Feb/Mar) and June 15th (for July).
Are there Discounts/Special Offers available?
Referral Credit: We are very happy to give $100 credit to each family who refers another family who commits to a full 15-week semester and pays in full. Referral credits will be credited for the following semester (e.g. If the referred family signs up in Parrandero Semester, the family who referred the new family will receive their credit in Calypso Semester). For a shorter session, such as Summer/Vacation Session, the same policies apply except that the referral credit is $50 because of the session length. Thank you for your referrals! Go ahead and spread the word!

Early Bird Registration Special is usually available in the months leading up to the start of the new Semester with Discounts for Full Semester Tuition payments. Since we don't stock Musikgarten Materials, early Registration ensures your materials reach in time for the start of the Semester.

Registration Discount: Look out for the Free Registration Promos in the months leading up to the start of our Semester.

Sibling Discount for Musikgarten Classes: Where there are families with more than one child enrolled, registration is FREE.

An additional $150 discount is given off tuition per sibling only for multiple sibling students from the same family in Musikgarten or other group classes.To apply use the following code at Checkout: SIBDIS.
Applicable only on Full Tuition Fee payment only. Not applicable on pro-rated fees.

Tuition fees may be prorated accordingly for those who start after the fourth week of the Semester if spots are still available.

Zaquens Discount
Musikgarten Adult keyboard students who are Senior Citizens are entitled to a $300 or 25% Discount on Full Semester Tuition as advertised.

Shift Worker Allowance
For Musikgarten Family Music classes, parents/caregivers who are shift workers who forsee missing some classes due to work and are unable to make alternate arrangements, may be entitled to be accomodated in another same age group class for three (3) sessions during the Semester at the discretion of Alabanza Music.

  • Individual Discounts listed above cannot be combined with other special offers, promotions or discounts.
  • No discounts available on materials. Materials cannot be purchased separately using credit cards, online bank/cash/cheque only.
Why do students get home materials? Are we supposed to practice at home?
Children and parents can have so much fun at home and in the car with Musikgarten songs and dances. It's a great family bonding time. It allows children and parents to share in the experience at home.
Your teacher will hand out materials during the first week of class or in our Parent Orientation session.

Each booklet contains a CD and an access code for a digital download of the song recordings. There may be additional materials associated with each age level (song books, instruments, animal cards, note cards, etc.).

The books and recordings are for home use, so you and your child become more familiar with the songs and activities we do in class.
Checking WhatsApp regularly?
Signing up as a member using your email on our website gives you full access to the supplementary material you need for learning new repertoire.
Changes in schedule and updates are sent out via WhatsApp so it is important to check your email/mobile app on a regular basis.
What happens if I miss a class or am sick?
If you know that you'll be missing a class, we ask that you give us a heads up as a courtesy as some activities we plan require full class participation.
-Please note that fees for missed classes will not be refunded; however, you may request to attend make-up class (a same-age class on another day or at another location) at least a week beforehand within the same Semester and we will confirm that we could accomodate you.
-If your child is ill, please keep your child at home for your child's own safety and the safety of others.
Loss or Injury
Alabanza Music is not responsible for any loss or injury incurred while participating in the program.
- Signature on the registration form or the submission of an online registration acknowledges that Alabanza Music is released from all liability, including, but not limited to liability resulting from anyone’s negligence. Signature or electronic registration also constitutes acknowledgement that the parent or care-giver agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Alabanza Music from any liability, costs or claims, related either directly or indirectly to participation in an Alabanza Music program, including legal or medical expenses incurred for the participant’s benefit.

Early Childhood Music

What's the facilitator's experience in this field?
The facilitator has been involved education for over fifteen years, having taught at preschool, primary and secondary school level. Our instructor/director holds Bachelor's Degrees in Music and Spanish with specialization in Education, is a certified and licensed Musikgarten instructor and has Level 1 Standard Certification qualification from the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association, (ECMMA) USA. She's also had training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics from Kaufman Music School, New York, USA and is a member of the ECMMA, USA.
Can we attend a Preview Class?
Any new family with children 0-5yrs is welcome to attend one class at a cost of $100, or Free with a Free voucher from our Flyer/Business Card or Social Media Coupon for the purpose of trying out the Musikgarten programme. Once per family per Semester (Sept-Jan or Feb-Jun). Once a family enrolls in the class, that session will be rolled into the Semester tuition if the Preview class is done during either Semester. Valid only on designated days for Musikgarten Family Music Classes. Subject to availability.
My child doesn't even seem to be paying attention. What is he/she really learning?
Children learn to talk over a period of time, first with a few words then phrases. Each child is different, therefore they should be allowed to engage in new experiences in their own unique way. Children learn best from experience with listening and active participation. They can develop a deeper understanding of music and vocabulary for musical expression over time with the building blocks we provide, in the most natural way possible.
Do you cater for children with special needs?
All children are welcome in our Family Music classes, especially since our classes are process based and not performance oriented. Music education has been scientifically proven to benefit children with a variety of needs.
We ask parents to let us know beforehand the challenges you may have with your child so that we could help accommodate your child's needs alongside other families and determine if Musikgarten class is the right place for your family.
While we are certified early childhood music and movement specialists, we are not music therapists, so that therapists are often recomended where children experience physical, emotional, cognitive, or social challenges. We would be happy to make a referral to those on our network listing of board certified music, occupational, speech & language, behavioural therapists that specialize in childhood intervention.
Are young children going to be using real instruments or toys?
All instruments are age-appropriate musical instruments with excellent sound quality. They are not toys. The claves/sticks are made of natural wood without any coating and all instruments are safe to use with adult supervision. Instruments used at home should be stored separately from toys. Make music time with the family at home a special occasion. When your music time is over, place the basket/pouch in a safe place out of reach of the children. In this way they learn to value their instruments and appreciate their dedicated music time.
Should parents attend and participate in the classes?
Absolutely! Parents are an integral part of class in the younger years. As students get older, they participate by themselves, but parents take part in the classes towards the end of each lesson. For all classes, parents are asked to include active music making in their child's life. Sing along with the CD in the car. Play echo games, making up patterns, as we do in class. Put the picture cards or notation games on your refrigerator and play identification games with them as you get ready for dinner. More structured practice is required when the children get to Music Makers: At the Keyboard.
What's the teacher's goal in the music & movement classes?
Our goal is to expose children to as wide a variety of music as possible and explore as many elements within the music through established activities which we often adapt to make them culturally relevant. We would monitor the response of the children and modify the activities accordingly to encourage progressively more active participation.
Do you have a class that would allow me to bring several of my children of different ages to at the same time?
Babies (12 months and under) may accompany a big brother or sister to in a Family Music Toddler class. We recommend in such cases having another adult with the child in these sessions to maximize the benefit of the interaction. Toddlers (2.5 years and older) who are very independent (they are fine without mommy or daddy around) may join the 3.5yr olds in their Music Makers I- Cycle of Nature Class.

Musikgarten has created a class series called All Together Now which allows babies, toddlers and preschoolers to be in one class at the same time. The program is based on adapting nursery rhymes to a music and movement format. This session has many movement activities to keep the toddlers busy, while some are modified to provide preschoolers a more challenging experience. This class lasts about 35 minutes. Check the schedule to see if this class is offered, or contact the teacher about starting a class.
What do you mean by the Dalcroze approach?

This method was developed by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, a Swiss composer, music education and music theorist. In this method, the body is the main instrument. Students listen to the rhythm of a music piece and express what they hear through movement. Simply put, this approach connects music, movement, mind, and body.

Students typically are barefoot and are moving– in locomotion around the room, in gestures with hands, arms, heads, upper bodies. Their movements are responsive to the recorded music or music improvised by the teacher using certain guidelines that are specific to the story or musical piece. Rhythm instruments are included later on in the term.​​
Typical session structure includes:
  • Floor work/body warm-up
  • Movement in place
  • Movement in space
  • Cool down
  • Seated activity
  • Improvisation (instruments)
  • Songs

Piano- Keyboard Classes

When can my child start learning piano?
Many people believe that children are ready to start piano lessons when they start primary school. Still others believe lessons should start earlier. However, research indicates that the best time to start lessons is after a solid musical foundation is in place. Being in Musikgarten classes will help establish that foundation and secure your child’s musical future.
The ideal age to begin formal training is between ages 6 and 8 years. Starting too early often causes frustration, especially if a child's fine motor skills are not well developed. A child who begins at age 7 will usually progress faster than one who is made to start at age 5.
Our Music Maker & Keys programme is perfect for getting an early start from age 5 onwards with a sequential programme introducing children to piano.
Do I need to own a Piano / Keyboard to start?

It is understandable that you may need some time to seek advice on the best instrument to suit your personal needs. The Pre-Keys Music Makers classes will help you prepare and get exposure while you make provisions for acquiring an instrument.

We can make recommendations and provide you with affordable prices on instruments and accessories. For students unable to bring instruments, a rental fee is added to your tuition fee for the use of an instrument in class. You should have access to an instrument in order to practice outside class hours.

What exactly do I need to bring to Piano- Keyboard class?

Keyboard students should have their keyboard with music stand, keyboard bench and stand. It is highly recommended that your keyboard be transported in a case. Unless it is a powered keyboard, be sure to use BATTERIES at the back in order to facilitate ease of setup. Students without instruments/accessories can pay a rental fee for the term until they are able to purchase their own.

Steelpan students should have their steelpan/s (in case), collapsible stand and sticks.

Rental Facility is available for those without instruments

No need to go running around to get stuff. Our store caters for your precise needs and we recommend the instruments and accessories best suited to you.

 

Need to get Music Books?

Our store has all of the materials you will need for your classes, thereby eliminating the need for you to make repeated trips to the store.

Will I learn to play by ear?

Yes you can play by ear from day one on your instrument. The extent to your ear playing ability will depend on how much practice time and listening exercises you put in on your own as well. Consistency is the key just like working out at the gym.

Do you offer Music Exam Certification?

Yes, but only upon completion of the Musikgarten programme or when the instructor determines the child is ready, upon consultation with the family. Mature adults are not obligated to sign up for examinations. Musikgarten classes fast-track and enhance the progress of students in their performance, sight reading and composition and is the best way forward to ensuring success!

 

 

  • Theory exams through A.B.R.S.M. are usually in June and November.

  • Practical exams through A.B.R.S.M. are usually in March/April

  • Practical exams through Trinity Guildhall are usually in October/November

  • Steelpan Exams through D.C.F.A., U.W.I. are usually in October/November

 

The sign up deadline for exams are usually 2-3 months before the exam date.