When I was a little kid, I spent a LOT of time watching cartoons - Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, to be exact. In fact, I would say that watching them was my first exposure to Classical music. I imagine many of you can relate.
The following post is in collaboration with Clap for Classics! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
My love of classical music never really went away. I still have a radio button in my car programed to our only classical station. Part of this is because of my love for it, but another great part of it is my desire to expose my children to it. Especially my 3-year-old. So you can only imagine my delight when I learned about Clap for Classics!
Program: Clap for Classics!
Religious Perspective: Secular
Format: (Self-Paced) Recorded & Live online classes
Ages: 0 - 5
Price: $27 - $270 (see description below)
|Making egg shakers|
Classical Music Benefits Toddlers
So does classical music actually make babies smarter? There's apparently no evidence that just listening to it does. Though studies do show that listening to classical music sometimes helps calm and soothe cranky babies and infants.
What we do know is that INTERACTIVE music lessons are extremely beneficial to young children. Learning through music is easier and so much more fun. Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers love a good song. They love moving their bodies to music. This observation has obviously been noted around the world throughout much of history. The proof is in the frequency of songs, fingerplays, and even rhymes that have been passed down from one generation to the next.
After birth, a child's neurons and synapses develop quickly. And music is just one way to stimulate them into creating connections. Songs teach language and other basic concepts, such as rhythm, rhyme, and more.
To learn more, check out the article that PBS published on the benefits of music education.
Self-Paced Online Music Classes
When my older kids were little, they took music classes. But that was a long time ago. However, they loved it so much that now that I have a 3-year-old again, I've been on the lookout for music classes once more. But it's been very challenging given the pandemic. Enter Clap for Classics!
Oh my gosh! These online classes are just fabulous! Created by two sisters, Clap for Classics! is a series of music courses for young children. The focus here is the joy of music-making. Children not only learn by listening to classical masterpieces (for example, Peter and the Wolf), but they also learn by interacting with you. My 3yo absolutely loves these interactive classes that are full of movement and singing. We improvise by finding and using items we already have around the house to make music or to do the musical activities that we're shown in each video lesson.
Kathryn and Elizabeth are both classically trained musicians and it is obvious from their beautiful singing. They take turns leading the different courses. But they are equally talented and engaging with children. Your kids will sing, march, stomp, and crawl their way through each lesson
We've watched many of the courses and loved every one. Each course comes with:
- short video clips that introduce music and a lot of singing,
- various activities and printables,
- audio tracks,
- and some even have Spotify playlists.
The things I like best about this course is that it allows us to watch the lessons at ANY time of the day. And if we sit down and my 3yo starts melting down, I just stop it and we can come back to it later when he's in a better mood and able to pay attention. I also like that we can replay a lesson over and over as many times as we want to listen to the music and engage in the activity. We can watch just one session a day - or ALL of them! Doing it on our time schedule makes this a golden opportunity.
The Music Courses
At the time that I write this, there are 10 courses in all for a variety of ages. The Nursery Rhyme Baby Time course is for infants ages 0 to 2. SO MUCH FUN! In each video, Kathryn sings a different nursery rhyme and shows parents engaging activities to do with their babies, such as using a (silk) scarf as a sensory experience and to develop spatial awareness or using brightly colored shakers to develop their fine and gross motor skills. I love that most of the videos are around 2 minutes because little babies just don't stay focused for longer than that! There are 16 video clips total in this course. And you can watch them over and over or skip around. I like the versatility and the ability to choose whichever video fits our mood at the moment. And if you prefer to go in order, you can also mark each video as viewed in case you forget where you left off.
My only regret is not having found this program about two years ago! But even though my youngest is 3½, he still really enjoyed this class.
We also have started watching Carnival of the Animals course bundle. This is a three-month course that teaches SO MANY concepts, such as musical concepts, fine motor skills, and even languages! Everything is taught using animals as the subject. And imagine my delight when I found that they even have a whole lesson dedicated to Los Pollitos teaching children the Spanish version! 💓💓💓🐤🐥🐣
But hands down, my absolute favorite is the Peter and the Wolf bundle. It's a two-month course that introduces children to the instruments in the orchestra, musical concepts, and more. It is, of course, terribly fun for children who almost always love the story line of Peter, his grandfather, and all the animals. There are a lot of activities and best of all, a printable puppet set for your kids to use in the lessons or on their own while listening to the music and narrator.
You have the option of buying the courses directly from the site - they range in price from $27 to $75. OR you can purchase a monthly subscription for $27/month. If you prepay for a year, you get two months free! Check out their products page to see a complete list of courses.
***NOTE! Clap for Classics! is offering MommyMaestra readers a 20% discount off any course purchased between now and May 31st, 2021. Just enter the coupon code HOMESCHOOL at checkout.
Free Mini Course
If you are interested but want to try a class out first, Clap for Classics! is offering a free mini course titled, Bumblebees, Birds, & Beethoven. It's for children ages 0 to 5. Really, the teachers are just so clever! I love the creative way they introduce Beethoven's 5th Symphony to children using a story to capture little imaginations. I think once you try this course, you'll be hooked and want more for your children.
Don't wait! Go sign up for this fabulous freebie.
Or if you're already convinced and want to sign up for their monthly subscription service, you can sign up here.
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