There are many great reasons to expose children to music early on, including research that links a musical mind to a higher IQ. While listening to Mozart won't necessarily turn children into geniuses, listening to musical patterns stimulates the brain. Music classes are a fun and engaging way to interact with babies, toddlers, and other parents. Here's a list of several Long Island classes that offer a variety of musical styles. Most classes offer free demos, so try one out to see which one is the best fit. For additional class suggestions, see our Classes and Activities Guide for Long Island Kids.
Gymboree Play & Music—Locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties
Gymboree takes a playful approach to music using instruments, song, dance, and games. Parents choose among three class levels, depending on the child's age. There's also a family music class for a mixed-age option. Classes are offered for children ages 6 months to 5 years. Once registered, kids are welcome to play at any location during the open gym session, which is scheduled throughout the semester. Demo classes are also available.
Long Island Children's Museum—Garden City
The museum's Music and Movement program gets little ones (ages 5 years and under) moving with musical instruments and sing-along songs. It's a great alternative to semester-long classes, as museum-goers drop in anytime the class is offered. There's a small fee for the program, in addition to the museum admission. The lively program includes appearances by special guests on select dates. Check out the museum's website for a schedule of classes.
This preschool and learning center offers Music Together classes for grownups and their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. The early childhood music program has been around since 1987, nurturing children’s musical ability. Other Music Together classes are offered at locations around Long Island.
Music for Aardvarks—Locations throughout Nassau County
These classes get both kids and parents rockin' along. Featuring tunes by Brooklyn musician and Music for Aardvarks founder, David Weinstone, who appears on Nick Jr. The classes incorporate storytelling through relatable songs like Grumpy and Taxi. Instructors sing and play the guitar. Classes are geared towards children ages 4 months to 4 years. Each semester highlights one of 12 song collections by Weinstone. Families get a copy of the songs on CD to bring home.
Music Together—Locations throughout Nassau County
Music Together has been around for 30 years, fostering a love of music in babies and toddlers. Classes are for infants from birth through kids in grade two and all children are encouraged to learn at their own pace. Trained teachers introduce children to new songs and music activities in a playful, informal environment.
Music Together Sing Shalom—Locations throughout Nassau County
These weekly parent-child classes cobines the techniques of the Music Together program to help young children (birth through age 5) celebrate their Jewish heritage. A trained Music Together teacher who is also a Jewish educator leads the class in song, dance, and play.
Originally published on 8/13/12. Updated on 7/29/14
Photo: Music Together