Music Class for Toddlers.

We’re attending our second music class today. The first one was last Thursday and fifteen minutes into it, I vowed never to return. It wasn’t nearly as bad as mama and baby yoga, but it would have made for an excellent soundtrack.

Whomever decided that a 13-month-old could sit calmly in a room surrounded by expensive guitars, keyboards and things that go bang, spent too much time with the bong while everyone else was singing Kumbaya. My kid wasn’t about to just be with the instruments. He wanted to touch, strum and destroy the instruments.

And then whomever decided that holding a music class for toddlers at a boutique that sells toys, lactating boob paraphernalia, and stuffed animals was an even crazier individual. It was like taking a cat to the can-opener testing facility. You know, if there were such a place.

But we tried. And I think Em had a good time. Truthfully, I’m not absolutely certain because I couldn’t hear much with the screaming and all. I spent the better half of the class chasing him around making sure he didn’t smash the instructor’s guitar, or walk on his expensive keyboard. Our only contribution to the chorus, was whenever Em let out one of his famous, high-pitched screams because mean ol’ mama wouldn’t let him near the important instruments. He threw his head and arched his back in an Oscar-worthy performance as I apologized to everyone around us. “I’m sorry. I know you paid for this. He’s The Destroyer.”

And then at one point, in an admirable attempt to organize, the instructor suggested that we collect our toddlers onto our laps and form a circle around him. Oh, sweet naivety. I was that way once. The suggestion actually made me laugh out loud. It bubbled up and burped itself to the surface without warning.

“You’re joking, right?” I said. “Because that’s definitely not going to happen with Emory.”

Obviously he doesn’t spend much time with 1-year-olds.

When I wasn’t making sure Emory didn’t destroy an expensive instrument or stomp on another child trying to do so, I spent my time making sure he wasn’t pulling everything from the shelves.

Whose idea was it to attend a music class offered at a children’s store where touching and destroying the musical instruments isn’t an option? And then whose idea is it to go back again?

Too bad Xanax makes me drool.

EDITED TO ADD Ok, so round two went much better. We are going to go back for a third time. I think it could work. But I do feel bad for the guy leading the show. I think it’s a difficult age group for such a class. Older? Sure. Younger? Definitely. But 1-year and then some? Tough! But it’s kind of fun and the instructor is a champ in the patience department.


  1. We haven’t tried any classes with Matthew (just turned a year old on the 10th), because I haven’t got the strength. However, I totally get the deal about the running around, destroying, grabbing things off every possible surface, screaming when obstructed…. Oh, yes.

    I tried to hold Matthew the other morning after his morning bottle, and I got about 30 seconds before he was off again, trying to discover if there was anything left that he hadn’t already destroyed. He found the cat’s tail. Sigh.


  2. You should look into the Music Together programs – we go once a week with our two under 3’s, and it is great. Our local one held at a yoga studio (so the most damage they can do is pull out the wool mats, and the instructor doesn’t bat an eyelash), and the kids are expected to dance, play, run, and (gasp!) be kids. The idea isn’t that kids have to fit into the program – it’s about fitting music into kid’s lives, so that they are familiar with it and excited by it when they get to be old enough to give a damn.


  3. I am hoping that he’ll be “better behaved” the second time around now that he’s familiar with the space. :] WISH US LUCK! (The instructor/music man is really quite great. It’s just that Em is too hands on or something. Dunno. We’re hoping.)


  4. Eek! No one should put one-year-olds in a room with “Don’t Touch!” things. Yikes. That’s just asking for disaster (and tempting fate, if you ask me). If it’s there, they will touch it. :)

    I’m not sure if you have it in the states, but when I was little (2-ish?) my parents enrolled me in a program called Music for Young Children. Best thing they ever did. Aside from being able to smash things, and make noise and run around (it was encouraged!), it gave me a good understanding of music, too. Hard, maybe, with really young kids, but I went until I was five (and then I took up piano lessons). 27 years later…I still play the piano. So something worked.


  5. I second the Music Together classes. We are doing one now and the walkers in the group are allowed to literally run around the circle of kids and parents and do whatever they want (the crawlers stay inside the circle). They are not required to sit down ever. Actually, I was a little disappointed that it lacked structure—the idea is that the parents sing and dance the kids participate or not. Usually they get lured in every so often, then go back to being running fools. At the end, the lights are dimmed and the kids lie or sit down (or not, if they don’t want to) so everybody can wind down. Mine is held in the music room of a local church and I think others are held at elementary schools, etc. You should see if there’s one near you!


  6. OK, so ROUND TWO was much better. Things went smoothly. Em was well-behaved. And the owner got a gate so the kids weren’t all over again. :] It was much better and so we’re going for a third time. I have hope! YAY EM!

    Music Together, eh? Let me look into that.


  7. My very active 1-year-old and I love AudraRox-Music for Aardvarks in the ‘burg. There’s a lot of encouraged banging, shaking and scarf-throwing and Rebecca doesn’t mind when D grabs at her guitar. The original songs are pretty rockin’ and totally get stuck in your head.
    Baby yoga wasn’t for us either…


  8. Music Together sounds a lot like Kindermusik so you might Google that too. I did it with Simone when we first moved here so she was about Emory’s age. Ours was at a local community theatre practice facility. I know in DC they were in churches more. Simone really never got into it though. She preferred to pilpher from the other mommies’ bags. Heh. Other kids really liked it. Guess it is a personality thing.

    Both she and Shepard LOVE, The Little Gym. It’s a gymnastics gym for preschool. Shep does the parent/kid class. There are group activities and then free time. Shepard loves walking on the beam, hanging from the bars, and rolling down the wedge mats. He has a Three Stooges fall that he does when he is about to roll. So goofy. The whole place is pretty much padded so the kids really have to work hard to hurt themselves. I would totally recommend it, but I am guessing you would have to go way out to the burbs to find one? :(


  9. There is ‘The Music Class’ down here in Atlanta – they are in their own buildings which are designed to have toddlers – lots of sanitizing wipes and the only thing in the room is stuff for them they are supposed to play with (kiddie drums, etc). So far it seems to be going well with my 13 month old, she loves the music.


  10. i know people have said it above, but i have to highly recommend checking out the Music Together programs.
    i started my son when he was just 6 weeks old. he had his last class three weeks ago and i cried and cried—he most certainly could have continued with class but he just started preschool. so…now i’m taking my 13-week-old daughter.
    and Music Together is all about letting children experience music in their own way. sometimes they just sit there or they cry or whatever, but later that day or even later in the week you’ll surely catch your child doing something musical. and the studios are totally designed for kids—they encourage the kids to touch the instruments and play with rhythm sticks and egg shakers and drums, etc…


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