I went to an informational meeting tonight for a new music co-op that is starting up in our area. There is another music co-op about 45 minutes away from us that I have been contemplating for over a year now, ever since we started homeschooling. Music is such an important part of my life that finding some sort of music group for my kids to join has been near the top of my to-do list. (Music really needs to be done in a group setting, at least for some of the time.) But this other co-op would be quite a drive for every Friday, 45 minutes each way (especially starting at 8:30 in the morning). Plus, my younger kids were really too young still to do much besides stay in the nursery. So we didn't join this past year.
Then, just this past month, I got a surprise email announcing this new music co-op! (I actually mentioned it a couple posts ago too.) Right down the road from us! Maybe 10-15 minutes away. It is an offshoot of the first music co-op, as many more people were interested in the co-op, but just weren't willing to make the drive. I was so happy! This really just seems perfect for us. They plan to offer choir, band (and recorder and rhythm band for younger ones), music theory, sectionals (like for woodwinds, brass, etc. - once the kids get old enough to pick an instrument), plus other stuff in the afternoons, like drama. From the meeting tonight, it sounds like we will have plenty of interest, and a good number of qualified teachers. This is a co-op, so the parents do the teaching (and other jobs, wherever their abilities are a good fit), which makes the cost considerably less than a group where you just drop off your kids.
I have not been too interested in other co-ops, as I don't really want to teach, and I usually don't like at least some of the curriculum choices of most co-ops. I know it would be good for my kids to be in a class with other kids, at least some of the time, for social opportunities as well as for learning how to participate in a classroom setting (and to spend some time away from Mom!). But I really didn't want to sign up for any of the "core" educational co-ops available locally. If I were going to "out-source" any academic classes, I'd choose to send them to a University-Model school or a class here or there, where I could drop them off and go run errands myself.
But a music co-op - that's something different! No problems with curriculum I don't like. And it sounds like my contribution to the co-op will be playing the piano for the older choir, maybe organizing the music library, and maybe teaching a theory class. I wouldn't mind playing the piano for various groups all day, if they'd let me! What a perfect fit! It will be a big chunk of time, of course - all morning every Friday (we don't plan to do the afternoon classes). But I think with our curriculum choices for next year, that won't be a problem, especially while my kids are all still so young (and don't have heavy course loads).
Now, I only hope that my kids will all love it as much as I know I will!