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  • Feb 4 2014

    7 Tips to Help YOU Love Baby Music Class, Too

    Do you dread signing up for your first baby music class? Does it feel like a chore, like going to the dentist, something you have to do because everyone’s told you how great it is for your baby? Relax! It can be a great experience – and super-fun for you, too. Here are some tips from Toronto baby music pro Abigail Lapell.

    1. Jump right in!

    Tip Number One: “Don’t be shy to sing!” Your participation is key, Abigail says. Sure, you might think you only sound good in the shower, but “to your baby, there is no sweeter sound.” You’re not auditioning for American Idol, you’re just out to have a terrific time with your kid – so leave everything else behind and belt it out if you’ve got the vocal cords.

    2. Music comes second.

    Sure, enjoy the tunes if you can – but that’s not the main point. “The emotional connection between caregiver and children in these classes is key – more than anything else, the instruments, the repertoire… that bonding is what they will take away from the experience.”

    3. Boredom isn’t bad… to a point.

    Hearing the same songs over and over, from one class to the next, may seem dull, but to your baby (up to age 5, and sometimes beyond), there’s nothing more thrilling than predicting what’s going to come next. “Have fun shopping around for a class that feels right to you,” Abigail suggests. A good baby music class should include lots of repeat “hits” for the little ones, with just enough variation to keep the mommies engaged.

    4. Don’t overspend.

    Don’t spend a fortune just because your friends have told you a certain class is “the best.” “There’s something for every budget,” Abigail says. If your finances are limited, city-run classes or even your local library may be a source of free or inexpensive baby music experiences. Networking at the playground or at a local drop-in may turn up some wonderful leads.

    5. Hate to go out?

    If your main fear is the dread of hauling baby plus baby gear out every week to a class to sit in a room full of strangers, or if trips in the car leave your little one too frazzled to enjoy the class, think about getting five or more neighbourhood moms or caregivers together and having a teacher come to your home instead. “This is a great opportunity to socialize and build community.” Plus, it’s one less diaper bag to pack… and instant naptime when everybody else goes home!

    6. Talk to the teacher.

    Most moms don’t say much beyond “Hi” at the beginning and “Bye” at the end, but teachers usually love to talk shop about their techniques and approach. “Different teachers and programs do things a little differently,” Abigail says. “Some might stick with be more traditional European repertoire, while others include a wider variety of composed songs and music from around the world.”

    7. Take it “to go”!

    At home, or out and about, sing songs together that you’ve learned in baby music class. If you’re usually holding baby in your lap during class, face each other at home when you sing. Take it on the road, too: in the car, at the playground, everywhere you go. Your baby will love the continuity and remember the songs better from one week to the next. “And that, in turn,” she says, “will help instill a love of music that will bring them a lifetime of joy.”


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