I was so excited when I found out I had the opportunity to try one of Groovy Baby Music‘s summer classes! I wouldn’t call myself a particularly musical person — I played the flute (poorly) in middle and high school, I can’t sing in any way that is enjoyable to listen to, and my playlists these days consist of Raffi, Disney songs, and a few hip songs my husband sends me on Spotify.
However, as an educator and a mama, I know the value of music in children’s lives. I used music a lot when I was a teacher, and my babies listen to music all day at home. My twins have always responded to music, and right before we started Music Together they had started doing funny baby dances when they heard music playing. I had high hopes they would really enjoy the classes and that I might learn a few things myself!
Groovy Baby Music offers a few different classes for my kids’ age group (age 1), including Music Together and Canta y Baila Conmigo, and they have additional classes for older kids. I opted to try Music Together because the timing worked best around our two-nap schedule. Besides a few mommy and me postnatal yoga classes when my babies were tiny, I had not taken them to any formal classes. I was not sure exactly what to expect, how structured the class would be, or how I would manage two mobile babies in a class setting.
Luckily, our teacher, Meredith, was amazing and I had no need to worry about anything! She was welcoming and made me feel instantly at ease. She always remembered every child’s name and things about them, and she made an effort to interact with all the kids one on one during each class. Her calm demeanor and flexibility made for a relaxed and fun 45 minutes. I never felt funny if my kids spent a few minutes playing with a table leg, took a break and explored the room, needed to nurse, or cried because they didn’t want to give up their instrument.
Each class started with a personalized welcome song for everyone in class, followed by a series of songs that often combined singing and movement. Meredith introduced a variety of different instruments during each class, including jingle bells, drums, sticks, and shakers. She also incorporated movements like jumping and drumming on the floor, objects like balls and scarves, and finger plays. When you sign up for Music Together, you get a songbook with all the songs from that session and ideas for related movements, plus a CD with recordings of all the songs. This was great when I couldn’t quite remember how a song went but wanted to sing it at home.
Another thing I especially enjoyed about our Music Together class was that it is for a wide range of ages — 0-5. Our classmates were anywhere from a few months old to 3. My kids love older kids, and they watched the bigger kids and copied some of their behaviors. Meredith created such a nice community vibe in our class that helped me a lot as a mama managing two active babies. The kids were welcome to move around the room, and all the parents and caregivers interacted with any child who came up to them, encouraging sharing and other social skills, and more than once helping wrangle a twin who was making a break for it. The older kids often helped pass out instruments and put them away, which was great modeling for my younger ones.
I came away from Music Together with new songs to sing and a lot of ideas for how to incorporate music into our everyday life. The babies recognize the songs we learned, and I see them doing things we did in class like shaking objects to check if they make noise or banging two things together to see what sounds they make. A lot of the songs and finger plays we learned were great entertainment for the babies on a recent flight to California, and they work brilliantly as distractors when the kids are fussy or upset. They are perfect additions to my mama toolbox!
My twins and I had a blast at Music Together, and we are planning to take other classes with Groovy Baby Music in the future!