When my daughter was an infant, singing was the only way to get her to calm down or fall asleep at night. Mind you, I can't carry a tune, but it didn't matter to her if I sounded off-key. She would relax whether I sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or a commercial jingle.
Maggie is not quite 2 and she still embraces music. She sings every song from her favorite TV shows and plays her toddler-friendly instruments all the time. We sing together in the car, while she's taking a bath, and again before she goes to bed.
Naturally, I wanted to nurture her love of music so I signed her up for Music Together, an early childhood music program designed for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. You can find classes all over Long Island (see a list of locations below), which offer a variety of time slots, making it easy for working parents to get in on the fun.
A typical class starts off with the "Hello Song" followed by unique, kid-friendly music to encourage children to sing in tune and keep a beat. The instructor incorporates instruments, scarves and bells into some of the songs, while other tunes require just your hands, feet and voice to make the music. Then, the class ends after singing the traditional "Goodbye Song." Don't worry about not knowing the music; at the beginning of the course you'll receive a book and a CD featuring all the songs for that semester.
We enrolled Maggie in Music Together just after her first birthday, and it's so entertaining to watch as she grows into the class. When she first started, she was shy and sat on my lap the whole time. Now, she walks in confidently (holding my hand) and announces her arrival. She sings all the songs and dances through the entire 45-minute class. I'm very happy with our decision to continue with the music classes, and I'm even more curious to see what her musical future entails.
Here's where you can find Music Together classes on Long Island:
While They're Little: Locations in East Rockaway, Floral Park, Great Neck, Long Beach, New Hyde Park, Port Washington, Rockville Centre; 516-442-0302
Not Just Art: Locations in Garden City, Huntington, Manhasset, Plainview and Oyster Bay; 516-922-8300
Little Notes Music Together: Locations in Albertson and Carle Place; 516-355-6277
Music Together of Sea Cliff: Locations in Sea Cliff and Glen Cove; 516-677-0155
Lockmusic: Locations in Babylon, Bellmore, Levittown and Massapequa; 515-616-3636
Tot Music: Locations in Commack, Dix Hills, Smithtown and St. James; 631-758-3983
Lyrical Children: Locations in Aquebogue/Riverhead, Calverton, Mattituck, Miller Place, Pt. Jefferson Village, Setauket and Southold; 631-208-4003
Music & More: Locations in Blue Point, Centereach, East Islip and Patchogue; 631-738-8283
Music Together By the Dunes: Locations in Center Moriches, Quogue, Southampton and Westhampton Beach; 631-764-4180
For class schedules and pricing, visit musictogether.com.