We are big fans of enrichment classes for kids here at Bell Family. In NYC there are an overwhelming amount of choices and it is time consuming to narrow the field down. So we are bringing some mama reviews to your inbox to help the navigation process!
First up our friend Isobella Jade, who tried a Making Melodies class on the UES – a Kindermusik International formatted class.
At the start of our Kindermusik class an assortment of baby and toddler size instruments are displayed for play and practice. Phoenix immediately sits down on the special circular Kindermusik carpet and starts playing the xylophone, and then curiously bangs the xylophone sticks against the big drum that was nearby. Although the drum, we are told by the teacher, is only for hands, and I tell this to Phoenix too, and we bang on the drum loudly with our hands instead.
As a parent or caretaker, be ready for a hands-on experience for your child to truly get the most out of a music class. Classes like Kindermusik are best with adult involvement to guide and nurture the little ones to create their own rhythm, use their creative energy and feel the beat.
This week the theme of the class was “going to the zoo.”
After the Hello song and using mini cymbals and clam-shaped clicker-clappers to the beat of Hickory Dickory Dock, we read a lovely book called Zoo Train.
Focusing on the cover of the book which had an elephant on it, we first listened to elephant sounds on the teacher’s tablet.
After the fantastic book we got busy dangling our bodies and walking like giraffes and ran like zebras in a stop-and-go type of rhythm.
Then sitting down we played with different tones, each child received a shaker and a bell and we did fast and slow rhythms and focused on the different pitches. Using these perfect baby and toddler size instruments are great for their fine-motor skills too. (We’ve loved music classes so much that we bought our own musical instruments to play with at home too.)
There was also a parachute portion of the class, little ones absolutely love the colorful parachute, and the children were able to be on top and under it while the teacher sang a couple nursery rhymes and a song about colors.
The class we attended ranged from babies—nine months old, to toddlers—two years old. It was a younger group and Phoenix was one of the oldest there but our schedule didn’t allow us to attend the older group that week to try it out, but be sure to pick a class that fits your child’s schedule and when they will be most alert and ready to play.
Trying out a trial class and finding the right class that fits what you find interesting and engaging for your child is important. You have to sit through the class too, and music class can take more energy than you think since many classes are also about movement and following direction and listening and the adult assisting the child during class. Kindermusik is perfect for parents or caregivers looking for a first-time music class.
Basic Music Class Etiquette:
Music class isn’t sit and be quiet, it’s a “let’s try this!” experience.
It’s hard to text and play an instrument. Put away your phone unless you’re taking a photo of your child or the child in your care. It’s extremely rude toward your child, other children and the teacher when you are texting during a hands-on environment activity.
Watch that drum stick! Music class can be dangerous with instruments being banged and flung around in excitement so it’s your job to be cautious of your child and keep an eye on little ones really getting down with the beat. (Depending on how active your child is you may need to remind your child this is not the place to run around so fast, they will be excited and want to move around though, especially if they love it which is a good thing.)
That’s my drum! Music class is a great place to teach sharing and waiting your turn, since all the little ones want the loudest instrument at the same time.
Kids love to clean up. Music class can teach the importance of contributing and cleaning up together. The teacher should not have to pry the instrument out of the child’s hand. Before a meltdown, help your child understand that this part of the class is all done and it’s time to say goodbye to the instrument. Bye-bye instrument, see you next time.
I’ve also made some great mom-friends during our music classes and when you are a new parent it’s a wonderful way to get out and bond with your baby.
We’ve been attending music classes since Phoenix was six months old and music can indeed slip into the souls of our little ones and inspire them and you’ll see it fast, when they’re doing their own little groove.
For more info on Making Melodies and their class schedule check out their website – www.makingmelodiesnyc.com. More info on Kindermusik and their curriculum and philosophy can be found here - http://www.kindermusik.com/
Isobella Jade is an author and mom based in New York City, you can find her and her son Phoenix at the Central Park Zoo, the American Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum and at many toddler time enrichment classes and destinations in the Upper East Side, she believes New York City is the best city to raise kids.