Tag Archives: music classes

5 Awesome Programs for Kids’ Winter Classes!

Happy little boy playing in playroom

Doesn’t it seem like we were all just signing up our kids for fall classes? Somehow it’s already December, and we can’t believe the start of the winter semester is less than a month away. If you’re looking for a new program to keep your kids busy during the coming winter months, here are some great options for kids’ winter classes on Kidz Central Station that definitely won’t disappoint.

The Art Farm in the City. One of the only kids’ programs in NYC to focus on nature and animals, The Art Farm in the City is a favorite on the Upper East Side. Kids as young as six months old can drop in for Play Time, and there is a great variety of semester classes for all ages like the Farm Foodies Cooking Class and Laurie Berkner’s The Music in Me. Classes start the week of January 5, so be sure to reserve your seat now!

JCC in Manhattan. Located on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the JCC in Manhattan offers a great variety of kids’ classes in ballet, sports, tumbling, tennis, and more. So no matter what you’re looking for, this program is sure to have it. JCC is even offering winter Little Maestros classes (the popular kids’ music program that started on the Upper East Side), which is now 10% off on Kidz Central Station with code MAESTRO10 until December 11. If you live on the Upper West Side, this one is a no brainer.

Soc Roc. With tons of great reviews on Kidz Central Station, Soc Roc is a fan favorite for soccer classes in NYC. Offering sessions throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, Soc Roc’s classes are a great way for little ones to learn soccer skills and teamwork while running around and having fun. Classes start at age 18 months, so kids can learn about this great sport at an early age.

Gymboree. This popular program is known for its Play & Learn enrichment classes, where babies learn developmental skills and are exposed to music, movement, and tons of age-appropriate activities. But beyond this great program, Gymboree also offers a whole lot more: art, music, open play, and even preschool prep classes. There are many locations throughout Manhattan, so no matter where you live, there is sure to be a Gymboree nearby.

Physique Swimming. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean little ones should wait until summer to learn to swim! Physique Swimming offers lessons for kids of all ages in locations throughout Manhattan, including the Upper East Side, Midtown East, Harlem, and FiDi. For the littlest swimmers, Me and My Shadow teaches the basics: splashing, bubbles, and being comfortable in the water; while more experienced students can take beginner and advanced classes to continue learning new strokes and skills. There are tons of class times available (on weekends too!) to fit everyone’s busy schedules.

There are so many programs on Kidz Central Station offering awesome winter classes, we can’t even begin to list them all here! Search the site by age, location, class type, and more to find exactly what you’re looking for!

Kids’ Classes to Sign Up For RIGHT NOW

Since fall’s halfway over you have to wait until winter for your kids to start new classes, right? Wrong. Luckily, so very wrong! Many kids’ programs offer mini semesters that start smack in the middle of the season, giving parents another chance to sign up for brand new kids’ classes for fall. Kidz Central Station has a bunch of new offerings starting soon, so if your little ones could use another fun activity each week, check out some great new classes to fill those empty holes in their schedules.

baby girl with her mother cook, bakeJCC in Manhattan. For working parents who want to experience the enrichment of classes with their kids, or for parents who want to enjoy a class together with their kids on weekends, the JCC in Manhattan is offering a whole new array of Sunday drop-in classes (and one mini semester class) that literally just started. From cooking classes to new parent support groups, there are some great options here, and since most are drop-in, you can pay by the class and not commit every week.

Soc Roc. A Kidz Central Station favorite, Soc Roc is starting new mini semester of soccer classes on November 12 at Babies ’R’ Us in Union Square. It’s a great program taught by a real soccer pro, known for fantastic classes all over the city for little ones as young as 18 months old. If you’re interested and want to see what it’s all about, Soc Roc is holding free trials on November 6 and 7, so you can get a taste of what the mini semester will bring.

14th Street Y. If music is your child’s thing, you’ll find no shortage of great options at the 14th Street Y. With mini semesters starting throughout November, there are classes for every age with songs, instruments, musical stories, and more. Kids age 12 months to three and a half years can rock out with Rock-a-Baby, Boogie with Brett, or Musical Notes with Nick, and there is even a Brett class for tiny musicians whoa re two months old and up.

Rockin’ With Andy. Known as one of the best infant performers in NYC, Rockin’ With Andy does it all—he sings, he plays instruments, and he dazzles little ones age four months to four years with a rockin’ good time. He just began holding weekly drop-in classes at Explore + Discover’s brand new facility in Murray Hill (single class or five-class packs are available) so you can stop in for a class whenever it fits your schedule.

Juguemos a Cantar. For Park Slope parents whose kids can’t get enough of arts and crafts, Juguemos a Cantar’s jewelry workshops are the perfect weekend option. There are two different workshops offered, one for age 4–7 and another for age 8–12, and both teach kids to design their own jewelry using an array of fun materials and their innate talents. As a bonus, classes are taught by Flora Mayer, an innovative fashion designer from Buenos Aires, whose art has been showcased in shops, galleries and museums in both Argentina and Spain.Two Children Painting Picture At Home

Looking for more great fall kids’ classes and activities to add to your list? Check out the weekend plays at the Galli Theater (The Ugly Ducking, Snow White, Rapunzel, and more!), amazing art gallery tours with Chelsea Childhood Center for the Arts, and drop-in classes every week throughout NYC!

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!

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!

 

Benefits of Kids Music Classes

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.

kids music classes

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.

Benefits of Kids Music Classes

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!):

1) Brain Development

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.

2) Motor skills development

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.

3) Social skills

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!