Category Archives: music classes

How to Recognize and Nurture Musical Talent

Musical Talent

We reached out to friend of Kidz Central Station, Nora Tombalakian, to gain her insight into how to recognize and nurture musical talent in our children.  Nora offers piano and vocal instruction as the founder of the musical school, HighNoteNYC.com. She is committed to nurturing music enthusiasts through a foundation and love for music that can last a lifetime. She has taught hundreds of students, with some for as long as 10+ years.

As a mom and a music teacher, I’m often asked the questions, “Is my child musically gifted? If so, how do I nurture his or her talent? What age is the right age to get started?” We’ll get to those answers in just a moment. First, the most important thing to recognize is that music benefits every child, not just the gifted ones.

Musical Talent

The Benefits of Music

There are numerous documented benefits beyond the sheer joy of listening to beautiful music. Ok, you are probably thinking, “Hmmmm, my child is thrashing at a drum kit or pounding notes on the piano … that’s NOT music!” It is music. At least it is the foundation for beautiful music, self-confidence and pride which is buoyed each time a child plays his/her piece perfectly for the first time. The light-bulb goes on – they connect the dots – with practice, they can improve and they can even achieve perfection; an experience of mind – body synchronicity. Earning that sense of accomplishment does wonders for a child’s personal development and self-confidence.

Structured music lessons significantly enhance children’s cognitive abilities and are correlated with better academic performance. Specifically, mental focus, attuned listening, enhanced memory, planning, language-based reasoning and more (if anyone would like the scientific research articles documenting these benefits, please contact me). Body-mind coordination is sharply improved through ear training as children learn to listen carefully with deep focus. The slight inflection of sound, the distance between sounds, the movement within a phrase of music all drive memory performance and boost pattern-recognition capabilities. Children with learning disabilities often display improved behaviors and cognitive function in response to instruction through music.

Of course, beyond the fundamentals of music theory and application, there is a universal JOY of music! Children are encouraged to have fun while learning, be happy and to embrace self-expression. I aim to inspire freedom of expression, to feel the music and encourage spontaneity and structure musical sounds. The personal growth and development, coupled with the positive change in self-esteem, is apparent to anyone who has observed a child before and after six months of music lessons. As a teacher who has witnessed this on countless occasions throughout my career, it also brings me deep, personal satisfaction and delight to observe the evolution of my student’s abilities. 😊

Musical Talent

How to Recognize Talent

Talent may not be as obvious as a Eureka! moment where your 6 year old sits at the piano and plays the new symphony s/he composed overnight. But, even as a parent who may not have much experience or knowledge with music can recognize talent if you know what to look for. When considering which age is the best age to get started, the earlier the better as they say …

Often, it is the child who makes his/her interest in music known to you. They may do so overtly with behaviors like turning music on, demonstrating an interest in a variety of music genres, singing while they are doing other tasks or simply asking you for music lessons. If you have musical instruments accessible within your home, your child will naturally gravitate towards them and attempt to self-learn. The other signs are more subtle.

For example, you may notice your child singing on pitch with startling precision and/or self-correcting when they realize that they are off-pitch. Does your child hum or tap constantly? Did they start singing and making rhythmic sounds and movements at a young age, maybe even before they were speaking in complete sentences? Perhaps s/he has an overall rhythmic way of speaking and moving. Unaided, they can play back melodies on the piano or sing songs they heard with great accuracy demonstrating terrific musical memory and melody recall. As a mom or dad you might be particularly dialed into the level of focus that your child demonstrates when s/he is listening to music.

Musical Talent

How to Nurture Talent

Okay, so you’ve established that your child has musical talent, or is at least showing some clear signs of musical interest. Now what do you do? You can take several steps to inspire a love of music and learning and a foundation that will last a lifetime.

First, talk to your child about the amount of time, dedication, discipline and concentration that is required to master a musical instrument or voice. It’s not easy! Children often get discouraged and they need positive reinforcement to keep them focused on the joy of learning music through a shared appreciation of the work it requires. Your talented child’s skills and concepts of music are already developing naturally, do whatever you can to encourage them to recognize how much they are improving and learning.

Next, select a teacher that connects with your child, inspires them and encourages them as an aspiring young musician. Good teachers understand a child’s abilities and can recognize where effort is required to master the craft by ensuring the proper level of instruction balanced with practice. Supportive parents play an equally critical role in providing the environment required to develop a talented young musician. Here, the saying, “it takes a village” certainly rings true!

Individualized instruction plus commitment are the 1-2 combination essential to develop a talented child. Musical ability is significantly correlated with amount of practice: everyone needs to recognize that this takes years and a significant investment. Rhythmic independence is also an acquired talent, not typically an innate one. Children need to practice the synchronicity of the movement of their limbs. You can count the number of musical geniuses in history on just a few fingers … for the rest of us; it takes more effort and hopefully a joyful and enriching process.

About the author

Musical TalentNora Tombalakian has a centered and holistic approach to singing, speaking and piano playing which enables her students to organically find their own creativity through supported process learning. Nora designs personal, goal-oriented curriculums with great care for each of her students to address their personal needs and learning objectives. She encourages self-expression in combination with developing technical skills such as reading music, theory, and musicality and solo performance competency.

Nora Tombalakian obtained her Masters in Music from the Manhattan School of Music in NYC. Nora is currently working toward psychotherapeutic licensure in order to further hone her teaching skills and help connect with students who have learning disabilities, anxiety or other behavioral challenges that can benefit from the joy of music.

To learn the joy of music, click here to contact Nora!

April is Autism Awareness Month

autismimageApril is Autism Awareness month as many organizations such as Autism Speaks and Autism Society promote awareness and acceptance of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is the fastest growing developmental disorder and now affects about 1 in 68 children (according to Autism Science Foundation). Considering this prevalence, ASD likely affects a family you know or your child knows. This is why Kidz Central Station is committed to helping educate our parents and community about both the challenges and the joys of children with Autism.

The Quad Manhattan is a top NYC school for children with learning differences. Teachers and clinicians work with students both one-on-one and in small groups to allow kids to move at their own pace of learning. Quad Manhattan offers a six-week summer camp for children ages 5+. Enroll in a free open house to learn more.

Music for Autism hosts FREE concerts for kids with autism and their friends, family, and loved ones. The Kidz Central team attended the March event and came away with a new appreciation for music in a loving and interactive setting. Our kids especially enjoyed dancing and playing instruments along with the music, as well as the tasty snacks. Two April events are upcoming in Park Slope and Manhattan.

Our partner NYU Child Study Center, a part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, offers many well-researched and FREE webinars for our parents on a range of helpful topics, including strategies for helping kids with social anxiety, safety awareness for kids with ASD, medication management for ADHD, or dating with ASD.

Please join Kidz Central Station this month and throughout the year by promoting understanding and acceptance of all of our children! Take a class, participate in a walk, donate, educate yourself with a webinar, or just spend time with someone with Autism.

Motivate Your Child To Practice Guitar – 4 Practical Tips For Parents

guitar mom and kid

by Kenji Haba, Director, Willan Academy of Music

At present most of the parents prefer the idea of their children practicing guitar at their own residence. They are full of expectations that their young ones are going to love these lessons so much that they will simply want to practice it themselves. However, although the majority of the kids do love these lessons, they are usually reluctant to practice them at home. The primary reasons for this type of behavior are distractions as well as the lack of self-discipline. It is the duty of the parents to inspire their children to practice music on their own. In the subsequent paragraphs, we are going to mention the top 4 tips to motivate your child to practice.

Schedule your kid’s guitar practice
Initially, your toddler is going to prefer iPods and television over practicing music at home. This is because these fun devices will help them to get a reward for much less work while it is imperative to work much harder in music for that. Therefore, the parents must teach their children that although it takes more time and labor to get a reward in music, it is much better than the instant satisfaction which they receive from the appliances.

Ask your child to teach you
This technique is going to help your kid to understand his or her progress and will also boost the self-confidence of the child. He or she will start feeling important and will comprehend that this has been achieved only through the guitar. This will help to motivate him or her to continue learning.

Show your kid the examples of other noted musicians
Make it a point to show your child the videos of the famous musicians or guitarists which you think will help to engage them. Taking them to concerts will also be a smart idea since it will help them to experience live music.

Support your child
Do not forget to appreciate your child once they complete a line of guitar music or a song. Your encouragement will do a world of good for them. Tell them that what they have just played right now is appropriate for recording on a video.

Kenji Haba, MM, is a director/guitar faculty at Willan Academy of Music. As a classical guitarist, Kenji has performed at Carnegie Hall and appeared on Classical Guitar Magazine and Fanfare. Willan Academy of Music offers instruction for children in a variety of musical instruments. Check out their classes, here.

Raising Our Children in Manhattan – So Many Choices!

I raised my daughters in Manhattan. When they were young (my youngest recently graduated from Northwestern University) there weren’t a lot of programs to choose from, and mostly we young parents just hung out at playgrounds and in each other’s living rooms and let our children play freely. When I first started offering Music Together classes on the UWS and UES in 1992, there wasn’t much else around. These days, you are inundated with choices from art to music to soccer to cooking and on it goes. I can’t possibly imagine how challenging it is, the dilemma that you must face making the decision about what class or classes to enroll your child in. What’s best? What’s the most fun? Which one will my child love the most?

I can’t speak to any of the other programs that are out there because I don’t attend them, but I can speak to Music Together. As a mom in a Music Together class first, I was struck by how grounded it was, how well thought-out it was. It made sense for the child. Sure, the teacher asked me to sing with strangers – who later became friends – and dance around even if I wasn’t holding my child. I didn’t get what good that could possibly do my infant daughter. What I learned, though, is that just like all the other habits our children learn from us through observing, watching, emulating, and generally wanting to BE us as they grow, the same holds true for making music. It’s simple. When they see us doing it, they want to do it, too. And that cycle sets up a life-habit.

At Music Together we provide a classroom setting where children can thrive and grow, with music that isn’t dumbed down but is rich, interesting, stimulating – and FUN. Story songs; train songs; songs in Spanish, Japanese; songs from a diverse array of cultures; songs without words at all; and so much more. Music Together is award-winning music that even you can listen to. Our teachers are trained educators, excellent musicians, and understand what your child needs to grow musically. There is a method to our madness and your child’s music development is our top priority. 

The landscape of children’s programming in Manhattan has changed dramatically since I started ESWS Music Together all those years ago and we are proud that we have thrived despite economic downturns, the ebb and flow of families in and out of Manhattan, and the phenomenal increase in activity choices for families with young children. Parenting in New York City is a unique and beautiful thing. Make Music Together a part of your family’s journey. It’s a solid choice.

Written by Deanna deCampos, Director of Eastside Westside Music Together

Where to Find the Best Music Classes in NYC

With fall in full swing, finding the best kids’ classes is on the minds of so many NYC parents. And with so many options, what classes do you choose? At Kidz Central Station, we’ve found that the one class that is universally loved by kids (and parents) is music. Music classes are fun and lighthearted, they help with language and cognitive development, and kids respond to music the way adults do—it makes us feel happy and at ease.

So if you want your little ones to learn about making melodies, playing instruments, and keeping rhythm, Kidz Central Station has the market on music classes—from private flute lessons to classes featuring a real live band! Here are a few great options in NYC:

Little Maestroslittlemaesrtos (Upper East Side, Union Square; Age 4 months–3 years) An award-winning NYC program, Little Maestros takes music to a whole new level. With a full band, puppet shows, musical story time, dance parties, and more, this program makes it easy for kids to learn about music and have fun at the same time. Tip: Little Maestros offers a great after work class at the Upper East Side location, so working parents can enjoy a class with their little ones at the end of the day.

Music for Aardvarks (Most neighborhoods in NYC, Age 6 months–4 years) With tons of locations throughout NYC, Music for Aardvarks was created almost 20 years ago, and is based around the program’s original songs, rhythms, and chants. Classes incorporate singing, dancing, instrument playing, and more, and many songs reflect the city we all live in and love, with songs like “Taxi, Taxi Ridin’ in the Back Seat”. What NYC kid isn’t familiar with that? What’s more, each child receives a free Music for Aardvarks CD, so they can jam to their favorite songs at home.

Music with Jamesbaby playing xylophone (Murray Hill, Upper East Side; Age 4 months–4 years) A great drop-in option, Music with James is just what the name implies—small, intimate music classes with James Humphrey, a singer, songwriter, guitarist, and pianist, who for the past ten years has been performing at children’s events and leading music classes throughout Manhattan. At each class he plays a variety of different musical styles and instruments, while children sing, dance, shake maracas, and play along. Classes can be bought one at a time or in packs of ten, so you can sign up and drop-in as you please.

NYC Flute Instruction (Upper West Side; Age 4+) Taught by Laura Thompson, a professional flutist for over 15 years, this program includes group and private flute lessons for kids age four and up. Kids can take introductory classes to get a feel for playing this beautiful instrument, and experienced flutists can join ensemble classes and learn to play with an experienced bunch.

Vienna MusicFlute_Teacher_and_girl_playing (Bayside; Age 3+) This fantastic program focuses on professional music development with top-notch classrooms, upscale instruments, professional and experienced instructors, and student placement based on individual skill level. From private flute lessons to group classes teaching the fundamentals of music (classes include singing and playing musical games and exercises), you can’t go wrong with a music class here.

And that’s just a small selection of the best music classes in NYC on Kidz Central Station. Check out our full listing of programs for fall!

Meet Jason Sagebiel, Founder of Sage Music

KCS: So Jason – tell us how you got into music and started Sage Music

sage

JS: I got into teaching through the military.  After sustaining a brain injury in 2003 in Iraq I was having difficulties and went to speech therapy.  It was helpful, but not with complicated tasks – so I went into learning music and techniques to aide my own recovery. I now apply the same principles for teaching and learning for students as well.

JS: I was teaching privately since 1996,  but I’ve had so much referral business that I couldn’t take them all on anymore. I got a small studio in Forest Hills and it’s just grown from there. We moved to LIC three years ago, and Greenpoint in the last couple months.

jason

KCS: It’s great to see you so successful and bringing such enjoyment and education to children’s lives. What age do you think is best to get them started?

JS: That depends on your goals. Instruments such as the guitar and violin take two hands to make one sound, so those are great for around ages 6-7. Piano and drums take less coordination only requiring one hand to make one sound, so you can start them as early as ages 4-5.

piano

JS: Of course, it’s still great to get kids exposed to music at an earlier age. We offer classes for ages 5 and under that are fun and engaging and about exposure, not training.  They come to learn about music as well as a little singing using movement and rhythm. We also have a mom and me class for babies under 2 years of age. You can see them all on KidzCentralStation.com!

JS: There is a progression and I encourage parents to do the exposure classes for toddlers to see what their children prefer – kids don’t always know what they will like. So if they are exposed, they will see if they really love music or not.

KCS: Music really is great for kids. My toddler loves to scream and “dance” when music is playing. Even if a car drives by playing it, he will dance in his stroller. I agree it’s incredibly helpful and engaging. Can you share a great story with us about how it has impacted a student of your own?

JS: I had one student who was badly hurt many years ago, and he’s had trouble getting a job and/or even holding a job because of the injuries and demeanor. However playing music has given him a real sense of purpose. He’s found a home and something meaningful to do.  It’s inspiring to see others as empowered by music as I have been.

KCS: That’s a beautiful story! Is there a certain instrument that students resonate with over others?

JS: Well, we have this new class where we introduce multiple instruments.  Each week we show them a new instrument, and I am fascinated how excited they get over almost all of them! I thought they wouldn’t like this one, and love this one, but it’s exciting to see how kids in general respond to music and instruments.

JS: Most students stick through the programs for many many years.

KCS: Well I have to say we’re pretty excited ourselves to come and check out a class! Can you give us a little more info about Sage Music?

JS: We’re different than most schools – we have a mature atmosphere. Adults also take classes, or we have parents and children taking classes together. Fathers and sons  can take guitar lessons together and it’s really cute. We encourage that.  We also offer group classes for adults and weekly group practice sessions, as well as recitals. Sometimes we do private recitals, and then open to larger crowds too.

music

JS: We also offer performance opportunities outside in the public, such as concerts on the waterfront in LIC (Gentry Plaza Park). It’s usually as the sun is setting on Manhattan – it’s a really magical experience. You can learn more about the concert series here on LICconcerts.com.  We are planning one concert this year to be a kids day – with children performers, and children’s entertainment.  The schedule will be posted soon.

KCS: That sounds AMAZING! We’ll be sure to come check them out. Any other events?

JS: May 17th is the LIC Arts Open – http://licartsopen.org/ This is the free arts festival in LIC, which is running at the same time as LIC Springs – http://www.licpartnership.org/events/lic-springs – The free community block party, where we will be running the stage. Be sure to stop by and say hello!

 

Sage Music School focuses on teaching the skills that enable your children to play music with confidence and ease. The school’s educational core encompasses proper instrument mechanics, proper body usage, as well as the best methods for learning and practicing so that your kids will get the most from their lessons. The school offers private lessons and classes in guitar, piano, voice, violin, cello, clarinet, saxophone, flute, trumpet, drums, composition, theory, and more. In addition to traditional music instruction for children and adults, the school offers special music programs for students 0-6 years of age. Register for music classes, private music lessons, or contact Sage Music school.

Jason Sagebiel, an MTNA Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, is the owner of Sage Music school. He is a music educator, guitarist, composer, and the director of the NYC Guitar Orchestra. He has performed in major concert halls and on the radio. Sagebiel is the subject of two books on music, in addition to being on the music faculty of the City University of New York.

10 Relaxing Naptime Songs for Babies, Toddlers, and Moms-to-Be

10 Relaxing Naptime Songs for Babies, Toddlers, and Moms-to-Be

Listening to quiet music at nap time helps children relax and prepare for restorative sleep. In addition to singing a few lullabies, adding some classical music to your daily nap routine can improve the quality and length of your child’s sleep! A good nap means a better day for Mom and Dad too, so if you’re searching for a way to calm your child, music is the place to begin.

It’s never too early to start: Introducing music during infancy helps in “wiring” your baby’s brain for learning. Daniel Levitin, (cognitive psychologist, neuroscientist) elaborates in one of my favorite books, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession: “Music’s function in the developing child is to help prepare its mind for a number of complex cognitive and social activities, exercising the brain so that it will be ready for the demands placed on it by language and social interaction… Music processing helps infants to prepare for language; it may pave the way to linguistic prosody, even before the child’s developing brain is ready to process phonetics.”

It’s a winning combination- not only does it release the “feel-good” chemical dopamine, soothing and relaxing your baby, but it also engages his or her developing brain!

Here are the Top 10 recommendations of relaxing classical pieces for naptime, including works by great composers like Chopin, Debussy, and Brahms.

NOTE: This is also a great list for expectant mothers.  A baby’s auditory system is fully functional within the womb about twenty weeks after conception, so make sure to fill your third trimester with a mix of gorgeous, soothing classical music and your favorite upbeat, feel-good songs. Alexandra Lamont of Keele University in the UK found that, one year after birth, children recognized and preferred the music they heard in the womb!

1. Meditation from Thaïs (Massenet)
watch on YouTube | listen on iTunes

2. The Swan from The Carnival of the Animals (Saint-Saëns)
watch on YouTube | listen on iTunes

3.  Aquarium from The Carnival of the Animals (Saint-Saëns)
watch on YouTube | listen on iTunes

4. Une Larme (Rossini)
watch on YouTube | listen on iTunes

5. Songs My Mother Taught Me (Dvořák)
watch on YouTube | listen on iTunes

6. Waltz in A Flat, Op. 39, No. 15 (Brahms)
watch on YouTube | listen on iTunes

7. Clair de Lune (Debussy)
watch on YouTube | Listen to iTunes

8. Arabesque No. 1 (Debussy)
watch on YouTube | listen on iTunes

9.   Songs Without Words (Lieder Ohne Worte) Op. 30, No. 1 (Mendelssohn)
watch on YouTube | listen on iTunes

10. Nocturne No. 2 in E Flat Major, Op. 9, No. 2 (Chopin)
watch on YouTube | listen on iTunes

Carina Zimmerman is one of the co-founders of TLB Music, a children’s music studio and indoor playspace located on the Upper East Side. She is also the author of The Bird Feed NYC, TLB’s blog filled with family-friendly music to share, free printables for kids, NYC history, product recommendations, and nostalgic photo collections.

Follow TLB Music on Facebook and Twitter
Follow The Bird Feed NYC on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

mini-d-fute

Is My Child Ready for Flute Lessons?

Your child loves music, you’ve tried piano lessons and you bought that plastic recorder, but the interest seems to be fading and the musical community and fun you hoped for is nonexistent –now what?

Playing the Flute – What Age is Best?

A child as young as three can start the violin, so why not the flute? The answer is complex, and I do have colleagues that begin students as young as three, but I think five or six is a perfect starting age for flute lessons.  A youngster at this age will respond very well to the mix of familiar pattern and open-ended creativity to be found in learning to play the flute. They will be able to focus for short bursts of time.  And of course, the benefits of music and instrumental instruction to the developing brain are well documented — click here for more: 6 Benefits of Music Lessons

What kind of flute?

Jupiter Prodigy Flute – ideal for very small children

Jupiter Prodigy Flute

Trevor James 10x flute comes with both curved and straight head joints

10x flute curved-resized

A young flutist can usually handle a “real” instrument –that is, one with a curved-head joint that fits the child’s hands and body.  There are several flutes on the market geared towards young children. Although there are instruments available with only a body and head-joint (such as the Jupiter Prodigy pictured above), I recommend getting a complete flute (such as the Trevor James or similar), as it can be played for many years without need for a step-up or replacement instrument.

Posture, breathing and hand position.

A young flutist learns a series of movements not unlike a little dance –we stand, smile, bow, adjust our feet, and float the flute above our heads before even playing a note. Performing this ritual before each song instills a sense of calm, steady relaxation and sets up the child in an attitude of openness and readiness to play.

boy playing the flute

Developing the practice habit.

Parents, you must take up the gauntlet here! It is a rare child who will set their own schedule and find time for regular practice sessions.  Just as you set up play dates, dinner time and transportation to school, it is your responsibility to create a little space for music in your busy family life.  That could mean having books, stand, instrument, etc. set up in a corner of the living room, and making sure there is time during day for practice. You can listen to your child play their songs and count their repetitions, or ask them to explain a new concept that only they understand. Or you could do a flute set-up with them –  keep an eye on their pinky to make sure it’s going to the right place.  A partnership is needed here – practice time only takes about 15-20 minutes a day, and will add incalculable benefit to your child’s musical life. And when grandparents come to town imagine their delight when they get hear a new piece!

Group classes Available Through KidzCentralStation.com:

Flute lessons at NYC Flute provide a built in community of peers –there’s always someone to look up to, and someone to show off for in group class! During private lesson the young flutist learns one-on-one according to their own particular strengths and needs, but in group class a whole new set of music-making skills come into focus that can’t be duplicated in any other way: Listening, ensemble skills, performance confidence –and getting to play with your friends, what could be more fun?

Book a class today on KidzCentralStation.com, here!

 

What Is Suzuki Flute?

The Suzuki Flute Method

The Suzuki violin method developed by Shinichi Suzuki in the late 50’s is well known to most parents –however, included under the Suzuki umbrella are methods for many other instruments, including the Suzuki Flute School. We are fortunate to have a tireless and enthusiastic proponent of this beautiful and expressive instrument in Toshio Takahashi, a Japanese flutist who developed the Suzuki flute method books.

Mr. Takahashi’s story is very interesting, but I will save that for a later post. Suffice to say that he came to the United States to study with the famous French flutist Marcel Moyse, who is considered one of the greatest flute teachers of all time and with whom generations of American flutists have studied. Mr. Moyse lived and taught in the United States near Brattleboro, Vermont, and that is where Mr. Takahashi made his way to study with him.

Upon his return to Japan and at the request of Shinichi Suzuki, Takahashi developed the Suzuki Flute School, using many of the principals he learned from maestro Moyse. Chief among these are tone development and musical expression.

Reading Music and Listening!

The Suzuki method places equal emphasis on reading music as well as listening to the repertoire and learning to play by ear. This is practically unheard of (pun intended!) in the world of traditional music lessons. An entire aspect of musicianship totally ignored and marginalized!

The Suzuki learner has two books, one for learning by ear and another for learning to read music, ie: staff and notes. Since many youngsters in the Suzuki Flute School are just learning to read anyway, this is appropriate for them as well. Listening to music is integral to the Suzuki method, the student who is familiar with a song before they start playing it will learn very quickly. A lot of listening is encouraged.

The Suzuki Triangle

Another effective aspect of the Suzuki method is the famous “Suzuki Triangle” which consists of teacher, parent and student. This set-up virtually guarantees success at home. Parents sit in on lessons and listen to their child play the assignments at home. Parents assume the role of teacher at home –listening to  practice sessions, looking out for good habits and offering praise for work well done.

A practice session should last anywhere from 10-15 minutes, consistently, at least 5-6 days per week. In some studios, parents are encouraged to learn to play the flute too –at least at a rudimentary level– so they can coach and listen to their child more effectively. This isn’t entirely necessary and ultimately won’t affect the child’s learning curve, but it is fun to be able to play a bit with your child.

flutefair05

Group Flute Classes

Group classes are another great reason to choose Suzuki Flute.  In addition to a weekly private lesson Suzuki students participate in group classes, these can run weekly, or in some cases for a set number of times per semester –and they always culminate in a concert for family and friends. The goal of the groups are to solidify what’s already learned through playing together, adding harmony parts to easy songs, and hearing others play. Interacting with other students in this way also creates camaraderie and a sense of community.

To find out more, as well as book a class with Laura Thompson and Suzuki Flute, visit KidzCentralStation.com. 

I want to make good citizens. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart. 

—Shin’ichi Suzuki

Kidz Central Station’s New Winter Classes in NYC for Kids

Living in NYC means you have access to non stop activities and events – even for the kids. There might be a ton of snow on the ground this Winter, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay cooped up in your apartment! Take advantage of the cold weather by exploring some of the top winter classes for kids in NYC – here are some of our favorites:

Top Winter Classes in NYC for Kids

Drama Llama

classes in nyc

Where else in the world can you get acting classes for kids – taught by professional Broadway actors?? Students create, rehearse, and perform their very own original script. A final performance is offered for family and friends on the last day of class. Drama Llama has a weekend class starting on 2/15 for ages 6-12. Sign up here!

Soc Roc Soccer

classes in nyc

Speaking of professional teachers, this soccer class for toddlers is taught by former professional soccer players. Classes start for kids as young as 18 months, meaning your newly walking toddler can add soccer foot skills to their newly acquired talents! Classes are going on now all over NYC, so pop in for a free trial, and prorate for the semester! Sign up here.

Cooking at Whole Foods with Creative Kitchen

classes in nyc

There’s no better way to beat the cold than in a hot kitchen! Your little chef can learn about colors, numbers and shapes, and then eat them too! Parents will be just as excited when they see how many new fruits and vegetables their kids will adopt into their routine diets! kids having fun and learning good nutritional habits is a win win!

Fun with Food starts 2/3 with drop-in or semester options available. Click here to learn more!

14th Street Y Language Workshops

classes in nyc

Kids as young as 6 months can starts to learn French,  Chinese or Spanish. And don’t forget parents, you might learn a word or two as well! Every week babies and toddlers can learn about a different culture through singing and percussion jam sessions. It’s all in Spanish, but no Spanish is required! Learn more about the 14th Street Y classes here. 

Or maybe you want to try Russian? Check out the JCC of Manhattan for it’s fifth year of the Russian Shabbat program! For kids ages 3-4. Learn more here. 

S2KIDS Leadership and Social Skills

classes in nyc

This is a  9-week class that teaches leadership and social skills – including eye contact, joining a group, problem solving, empathy and conflict resolution among others. Classes start in Tribeca on 2/15 on weekends. Learn more here. 

Kidz Central Station offers many different classes for any type of indoor activity that gets you out of the house this winter. Click here to view a full list of all available classes, and book one today!