Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Take an 18-month-old to Music Class?

Lydia had her second week of music class at Austin Lyric Opera last week. I am so glad we decided to sign her up for these classes. They are a great way to kick off the weekend, and Lydia absolutely loves them.

Many of you are probably wondering what a music class for 1 1/2 yr. olds looks like, so I'm going to tell you. Lydia's class has 10-12 children in it, ranging in age from 7 months to 4 yrs. old. Most of the kids are between 1 and 2 1/2 yrs. Every child and their corresponding adult sits in a circle on a large carpet. The class begins with a hello song that says all of the childrens' names, then moves into several other songs. Some are spoken rhymes, others are action songs, and the teacher provides all children and adults with a new instrument for each song. (Eggshakers, drums, maracas, etc.) During both classes we have been to, there has been a dance song with scarves and a play-along song in which the teacher dumps out lots and lots of different noise-making devices and we listen to music and play along. At the end, they do a "lullaby" that mellows the kids out after the play-along and then a good-bye song. After each song, the kids clean up the instruments and put them back in their bins.

Enrolling Lydia in a music class was important to us for lots of reasons. We hope to raise Lydia as a well-balanced child who values intellect, creativity, athletics, and social interaction. I think music is a great creative outlet for everyone, including little ones, and there is so much research that tells us that the rhythms, melodies, and patterns of music benefit children for years to come. I want the arts to be an integral part of Lydia's life, just like reading and math.

It has also provided us with some really wonderful family bonding time that is led by someone else. This allows us to just kick back and enjoy the time that we're there. We walk in, have fun with our daughter, and leave when it's over. What a deal!

I have yet to get some good in-class pictures of Lydia. Parents are expected to participate, so I haven't had a chance to pull out my camera. These are definitely the worst pictures I've ever posted on this blog (uh, you can't see Lydia's face), but here goes:

Lydia with her maraca...

The view from above...

Rocking out with her drum. Notice her pigtails!!

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