5 Ways to Find the Perfect Music Classes for Toddlers
As someone who grew up studying music from a young age I stand by the belief that music can have a major impact on a person in many different ways. For instance, in school I rarely had anxiety before an exam as I had experience performing with an ensemble group and going through auditions. Music helped me think abstractly which was very helpful in school and outside of the classroom.
My personal relationship with music began when I was introduced to the piano at the age of 4. Thanks to my parents who encouraged me to take private lessons and also to teachers who challenged me to see my potential, my personal and educational life was changed because of my music.
Luckily in 2014, the arts go beyond Broadway plays and music lessons! Now music classes are available to those who are even younger than 4! These classes generally are very nurturing and in a non-formal setting. Classes such as singing simple songs and gestures, that just seem like silly fun, are in reality generating many benefits for small children.
Lets look at some of the positives that have been found in children being exposed to music and/or taking music classes at a young age (each article link has been added below, in case you’d like to do a little more reading!):
Music stimulates both sides of the brain, which can lead to increased creativity and fine tuning of reasoning abilities including problem solving. Research has also found that a child can be more likely to do well academically because of involvement with music.
By playing with instruments or participating in dance that involves even the simplest movements, a child’s muscle strength and coordination can be increased. Each dance is requiring a certain amount of control from different muscles, fine-tuning skills that will help with every day activities.
As early as 1-2 years a child may begin to show signs of self- consciousness, becoming more aware of his own feelings as well as observing the feelings and expressions of others. Up until now, most children have already developed close relations with only perhaps you as a parent or caregiver. Being in a social situation where he can interact with others his own age may be less intimidating if he is also able to have you there to help define positive or negative behaviors.
If you think music classes may be a good fit for your little one, feel free to come to any of our classes and just mention this blog entry for a complimentary class that day! For all information on us, please see our bio section!
There are tons of kids music classes available on KidzCentralStation.com – and you can search by age and location to find the best, and closest option in the city for your child!
We hope to see you soon!
Here at NY Nanny Center & Lucky Lil’ Darlings, our caretakers are always seeking the best of what NYC has to offer kiddos- and the list seems endless. Our nannies, sitters & parents want to engage their lil’ ones’ growing minds in the best ways possible, and classes are a great way to get kids interacting with other kids and their caretaker. Our buddies at Kidz Central Station offer an easy way to see everything going on in NYC on one site. It easily shows you prices, easy enroll button, reviews, and lets you know whether trial classes are available. Caretakers are a vital part of children’s development, and these classes are a great way to foster that.
Show the parents that you’re being proactive with their kiddos! Browse the Kidz Central Station website, and suggest some classes in the neighborhood that are geared toward the children’s interests. And if you’re looking after an infant who doesn’t yet have specific interests- interactive music classes are always a winner and so much fun. To top it all off, you’ll have a great bonding experience with the lil’ ones.
Lindsay Bell is president of Lucky Lil’ Darlings, an expert child-sitting family concierge company. In 2013, LLD acquired the NY Nanny Center and is dedicated to providing competent, consistent & nurturing sitters and nannies for children to grow successfully.
Cultivating an enjoyment for music with your child is no overnight success. In fact, it takes many different activities with parents, a sort of kids music school, to help the youngsters to stay interested in music. Basic and simple ideas will go far, and here are some ways:
1) Take a familiar song and make up completely irrelevant lyrics.
Children love being silly and getting a giggle out of it. Start with a familiar tune such as Old McDonald. If you are talking about food at the moment, sing something like, “Daddy loves to eat broccoli, mommy wants tofu.” The more random the better. Watch your child get creative and be prepared to laugh nonstop.
2) Boogie down to a CD.
You do not need to limit your child to only children tunes. That Beatles CD you have will work perfectly fine. Switch it up between jazz, country, pop, classical, anything you have in your library. Dance accordingly to the music. Move faster when the music is faster, and vice versa. Or you can really have fun by doing the complete opposite!
3) Paint a story with the music you hear.
Instrumental music is better suited in this scenario. Does that flute sound like a bird tweeting? Or perhaps all those low sounds from the bass players sound like elephants stomping? Create a story based on all the different sounds and see how many different versions you can come up with.
4) Be a drummer.
Tap on a tabletop or any hard surface along with the music. Make up rhythms that either match the music or do not match at all. Let them go at it and see how much your child enjoys this. Note: probably not the best activity to do if you have a headache!
5) Make music with your surroundings.
With all the leaves falling off the trees, you can make different pile sizes from the leaves and jump between the piles. It may not be your standard melodious tune, but it sure creates a new kind of sound. Or, gently tap on the mugs that you are drinking out of. The more family members that have a mug, the better. Get resourceful and see how many different things you can make a sound with.
Just a couple of ides to get you going. Music isn’t about just listening to a concert or playing a musical instrument. Weave all these different ways into your child’s daily routines. You will be amazed on how they will begin to take the lead and come up with new ways of making music themselves!
All music lessons are not created equal, and knowing which ones work for your child can be a science of its own. With all types of instruments and toddler music lessons, which ones do you start on and how do you know if it is right for your child?
Babies and Toddlers – The most important thing at this age is to engage with your child during classes, regardless of which program you sign up for. Make sure you regularly sing the tunes and keep the beat either in class or elsewhere. Involve your child with those basic elements during the early ages and watch their love for music grow.
Ages 3-5 – While you may want your child to begin formal training with music instruments, few instruments can accommodate young students. The most common instruments to begin at this age may be either the piano or violin. Finding a teaching studio that has experience with young children is crucial to your child’s success with the instrument. Most importantly, ask yourself if you can be dedicated to lessons – monitor practice, shuffling to and from lessons (if the instructor does not travel), and perhaps even learning the basics to help your child!
Ages 6-9 – More opportunities arise with guitar, other string or band instruments as your child gets older. It is also a good time to take up a second instrument if your child is already working on one. Your child’s school can provide group performing opportunities that private lessons may not always be able to support. This can spark a new interest with music that your child may not have been aware of. With so many exciting lessons to choose from, it is possible to want to try more that just one instrument. Luckily, once you learn the basics of music (note reading and rhythms), that is transferable to all instruments. Before adding on or discontinuing an instrument, the important thing to keep in mind is that practicing will always be the key to playing well. The simple act of switching instruments will not necessarily spark new interest if your child does not understand that practicing is part of the game. At the end of the day, it isn’t about becoming a world class musician or adding an additional talent – it is about how music can play such a positive role in your child’s life now and into adulthood!