Last week Pinky started her very first music class at Musical Children. This is her second week and she is already thriving, having so much fun dancing, playing instruments and interacting with other children close to her age. Since before Pinky was born I made all kinds of lists of things to do in my head…baby sign language was one for sure, dance classes, swim lessons and of course music lessons! I’ve had Musical Children in the back of my mind for some time and we finally decided to enroll her for the Spring Session, and boy am I glad we did.
For as long as I could remember, I always felt it was important to nurture a child’s interests as much as possible and as soon as possible. We noticed that Pinky quickly developed a love for dancing, and she’d always be mesmerized when Daddy would play his guitar.
Before I can begin to brag about my baby, I first have to tell you about the class and the instructor, Carol Cesena. She is the sweetest lady I’ve met in a long time. It’s obvious she loves what she does and she knows what she’s doing. Carol is very open with the children, understanding with the parents and has an extremely clean studio which any parent can deeply appreciate. She has a BA in music, has taught piano for many years, and has an amazing musical book collection that she is saving for her future grandchildren. Bottom line, Carol is passionate about music and children. That’s all I need to know.
The Class Experience
Before anyone can enter the studio everyone must take off their shoes, socks are required! As you enter there’s a table where you can place your belongings. Finally, before you sit down for class , parents and children must disinfect their hands with Wet Wipes! This is how everyone helps keep the studio clean and germ free.
Everyone sits in a circle and children are really encouraged to roam free, which is fine with me, until they start running for the front door! That makes me nervous. Carol will lay out books or these huge over-sized drums for the kids to play with until most of the class has arrived. Class begins 5 minutes after the hour and then it’s showtime for the kids. Carol greets all the kids with an elephant puppet. They all run to it and give it a hug or a kiss as we sing a welcome song. Now that I think about it, I can’t remember how many songs we sing during our 45 minutes together, but it’s a lot. Each song is accompanied either by the kids playing a different instrument, a piece of colorful fabric (i.e. rope, scarf), and movement (i.e. finger play, dancing, walking around in a circle). As for handling instruments, Carol asks that if your child puts one in his/her mouth that you take it directly to the Wet Wipes Station, wipe it down and place it in the clean instruments bowl! This also helps reduce the spread of germs. I don’t mind doing it at all. Thankfully, Pinky hasn’t put anything in her mouth, yet! Knock on wood.
Carol reminds us parents at each class to let our kids run free, to not force them to give up an instrument if they don’t want to or make them stay in one place. Those things will only frustrate them and make the experience an unpleasant one. We don’t want music class associated with feelings of frustration. She also encourages each child and parent to hold two instruments, one in each hand. This has to do with development skills and helping the kids learn music using all five senses. Carol breaks everything down simply so it to all make sense.
This is only our second week and I can already say I would highly recommend Musical Children to a fellow mommy. The session is 11 weeks long, one time a week for 45 minutes and only $110, which includes a music book and CD for you to keep. She’s closed for the summer but opens back up in the fall. I believe there are three more spots left in our class if anyone is interested.
Finally, I am so glad Pinky is enrolled in her program. She is definitely having a joyous experience. I can’t tell who’s having more fun though, Pinky or me! I love watching her play, light up when she ‘gets it’, explore and play with each instrument, dance. I wish I could get some video footage, but the class agenda moves so quickly it’s a challenge for me to pull out my camera and tend to Pinky at the same time.
Pinky is usually very social and will play with anybody. I didn’t realize how much of a ham she was until this class. As if trying to go on stage during story time at Barnes & Nobles wasn’t enough evidence. She loves standing in front of Carol as she’s teaching, and she loves standing in the middle of the circle as if we were all gathered round for her! It’s too cute. Pinky gets so excited each time a box of instruments is carried into the circle. All the kids rush to claim their share, and all I see is Pinky’s precious smile, as she screams with excitement.
There is one thing I want to share in particular. Carol has a flute that demonstrates high to low/low to high pitches. It sounds like wooo (high)-wooo (low) and vice cersa. Last week she asked the class, “who can make that sound” and all the older kids responded, “woooo”. Today, before Carol could even ask the question, Pinky was the first to shout,”woooo”! Carol turned to me and said, “she was the first one, I’m so proud of her for doing that!” Even as we were leaving after the very first class, Carol mentioned that Alana did well for her first time.
As for Pinky, she was excited to hear one of her favorite songs, Itsy Bitsy Spider. She has learned to act out the entire thing, thanks to Barney and Friends! I guess he’s not so bad after all. Anyway, I need to get it on video and share. Last week, Pinky was social but still testing the waters watching what everyone else was doing before she actually joined in, but this week she jumped right in and let herself go. It’s amazing how children have that capability to learn so quickly and remember so much. God is truly an awesome God and I am reminded of it every time I look at Pinky. I’m so extremely proud of our baby girl. I just wish Daddy didn’t have to be at work so he could join us.
Can’t wait to see what Pinky will do at next week’s session.