Jan
11
2011

  Music Class Wasn't Like on DVD

I took W to his music class this week. It wasn't really like the class shown on the DVD. Or perhaps it was, and they just edited and included only the clips of kids actually participating for the DVD. In reality, it seemed to me that it was actually the youngest kids in the class (under 2) who were paying the most attention to the music. The older kids, not so much.

The kids of the woman sitting next to me, both the older boy and her baby were well-behaved and seemed pretty actively engaged in the musical activities of the class. But most of the other kids seemed to be age 3-5 or so, and not generally paying attention to the class format. They were just running around the room, acting out. The girl sitting next to me seemed selfish and aggressive, and her dad took her out into the hallway several times during the class. If this is a necessary developmental stage that all kids go through, I am not looking forward to it. But my friends in NYC with 3-4 year olds have kids that do NOT behave like that, so I'm hopeful that it's not inevitable.

And there were two kids in that age range that were perfectly well-behaved during class, so that's a good sign, too. I wonder if those kids had been doing these music lessons since they were babies. Maybe if you miss the "window" to introduce this sort of thing, the kids don't get as much out of it. They didn't put it that way in the parent's info packet, but they did stress that they preferred you start your kids as infants, rather than wait until they are older. Now I see why. The babies really did seem to get a kick out of it, smiling and waving their hands around, shaking their tambourines and stuff.

For W's part, he participated pretty well this week. He didn't click his sticks at all, but he held them, and put them away by himself after the song. He did shake his instruments a bit during the play-along song. But his best participation (in my opinion) was the scarf dance. When it was time to dance around the room with scarves, he not only waved his scarf, but also danced at the same time. I thought he was absolutely adorable, and he was smiling and enjoying himself. The older kids were running around the room at top speed, scarves flying behind them, and I wouldn't say they were dancing, but at least they all seemed to be enjoying themselves instead of writhing around and whining like during other activities.

W also was able to walk around the room while holding my hand during the "Pop Goes the Weasel" activity. Last week, T said he had to carry W, so this is progress. It seemed about 50-50 to me, which kids needed to be carried around the room vs walking. Even the older ones held hands with their parents, for the most part. One or two were able to go around the circle on their own.

W was very sweet and lay down nicely in my lap during the lullaby near the end of class. It helped that it was his favorite lullaby on the CD. He's heard all the songs bunches of times now, since we play the CD (at least part of it) every day either (or both) at home and in the car. I've pretty much got all the lyrics memorized, too. Which was helpful since they were only posted in the classroom on the wall behind me, so I would have had to face outside the circle in order to read them had I needed to refer to them.

Overall I think it's a pretty good class for W, and he certainly likes the songs. Every day he brings his songbook over to me and points to the CD player so I'll play them for him. But I don't know that any new playmates will emerge from this group. It is somewhat heartening to me that more than half of the parents seem to be my age or older. Sure, they have older kids (who may be old enough to be in school while the parents bring their toddlers to class in the afternoon), but at least it's not a class of 23-year-old moms. Not that I mind hanging out with the younger moms, but it's nice to have a little variety.