Music for Preschoolers
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Music for Preschoolers
Looking for music and dance class for preschooler
My 4 yr old loves music and I'm looking for a class for her that will bring in some
dance as well. I don't think she's ready for ballet -- something a little more loose
and lively would fit the bill. Thanks!
Our family loves music class with Viola's Notes in Berkeley and Oakland. It's fun
for everyone, parents and kids. The music, movement, instruments and stories are
all woven together around a common theme (Africa this class). We appreciate how
creative and energetic Viola is - she definitely gets us all moving. Although at
this age, some kids hang back and observe for a while, and that's fine, too.
Moreover, she is the real deal, as both a conservatory trained musician and early
childhood teacher. My husband and I are musicians, and it's a relief to have found
the alternative to the canned, corporate music programs that have dominated the
east bay scene for too long. Check out the website at www.violasnotes.com.
Happy Music Makers
Great pre-school music teacher?
Does anyone know of a good preschool music teacher who is available 1 day a week
for 2 hours? My son's preschool would love to have someone come in and play
songs, sing with the kids, and start them early to love and appreciate music, but
we are having trouble finding someone. Any recommendations are appreciated!
One of the teachers at my daughter's preschool, who has long taught music and
movement sessions at the school, as well as visiting other schools, is leaving
this fall to launch her business offering music classes to children. Her name is
Viola Pelligrini and her website is http://www.violasnotes.com/default.html. She
is a fabulous teacher and my daughter loves the music and dance activities that
they do together. Her usual class format is 45 minutes, but you could contact her
about something longer.
Music School for special needs 3-year-old
We have a three year old son who has special needs - he cannot walk due to
complications from two open heart surgeries. He is very bright and crawls
around at his integrated pre-school and loves doing what all of the other
kids like to do. He loves music and it always makes him happy and makes him
feel empowered and good about himself. We wanted to get him into a music
program that would help foster his sense of joy and complement his strengths.
Other classes we have tried require the kids to stand up, dance, march, etc.
Can someone please recommend a music school or even a private music teacher
who will help foster our son's love of music and the strength it gives him?
Berkeley Parent of a 3 year old
Ryk Groetchen teaches through Music Together
(eastbaymusictogether.com). He is a very inclusive,
positive person. We did a total of about 5 years (over 2
kids) and he was always competent, tried to form community
in the class, and is very experienced, fun, loves kids, has
kids etc. eastbaymusictogether.com Age 3 is appropriate
for music together, but at one point he was also teaching
older kids, not through Music Together. anon
Try Ian Wilkerson at
ianwilkerson[at]hotmail.com or call him 707 480 7658. you can
check his website out, too: www.bayareamusictherapy.org. Ian and
I had neighboring teaching studios a while ago and the
testimonials on his website confirm my impressions that he is a
warm, caring, and wonderful teacher.
Have you looked at music together? We took classes w/Andy
Fullington at danspace in Rockridge, and there was a special needs
child in my daughter's class for 6 mos. I don't know the exact
nature of her condition, but she had severe physical and mental
delays. Andy (and therefore everyone in the class) treated her
exactly like every other kid. I think music together is a well
thought-out program in general, but Andy really has something
special. She is fantastic. Good luck finding what you are looking
for. A Rockridge mom
Hi, I'd like to encourage you to check out Music Together, a
family music program for infants through preschool age
children and their parents/caregivers. Music Together is a
developmentally-appropriate, research-based program that
''teaches'' music in the way young children learn best:
through play and informal learning. Children are free to
experience class pretty much any way they like and there are
no expectations for them to participate in any particular
way. It is an extremely open and accepting program and is
specifically geared for all different kinds of learning. For
classes in Berkeley/Oakland, check out
eastbaymusictogether.com. For more info on the program, see
the national website including this about children w/special
needs: http://www.musictogether.com/SpecialNeeds. Full
disclosure: I teach Music Together, but I came to the
program as a parent and became a teacher because I loved it
I can highly recommend Eszter Forgacs who does interactive music
making and music therapy. I co- run a program in Oakland for
newborn to 3 year olds with special needs. Eszther was our
amazing volunteer for quite a while. I got to see her in action.
She loves kids and loves to assist them in exploring music. Call
her at 510-386-
2747. Or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Email me if you have
further questions. m
My friend and colleague Ondine Young teaches Songbirds
Chorus at Crowden Center for Music in the Community. The age
range for the Chorus is 4-6. Ondine has a lot of experience
with all kinds of children. She's kind, gentle, loving, a
mother of two herself, probably the most patient teacher I
The class includes small percussion as well as singing.
Leonard Sherman is a wonderful person. He teaches piano and often
brings in other instruments. I think he would be a wonderful fit if not
now, in a year or two. I don't know if he knows of any group setting
with other kids but one-
on-one musically he is warm and creative and can work with anyone's
He realized my kid hates memorizing and practicing pieces and so they
get together and improvise and compose and jam on horn and piano. One
day my son will praactice but for now he is developing his ear and his
musicality and he is staying engaged.
(510) 684-6832. You can also Yelp him.
Music classes for a co-op preschool
I'm interested in finding someone who does music with
preschoolers. I'd love to find someone who does unique
music (not just the usual songs), and who gets the kids
involved in making music. Ideally this person could come to
our preschool co-op on a regular basis. Thanks for any
Stephanie Pepitone is a children's musician and Licensed Clinical
Social Worker. She has worked with children and families in the East Bay
for the past 10 years. Stephanie provides music enrichment programs to
local schools, preschools, and developmental playgroups. She plays
acoustic guitar and leads children, parents, teachers and caregivers in
singing/dancing/music making. In addition to playing traditional
children's music, Stephanie plays her own original songs which are fun
songs that teach about the alphabet, colors, shapes, opposites, feelings,
and lots more. She specializes in trilingual nursery rhymes
(English/Spanish/Chinese) and classic children's songs in Spanish.
She uses many fun props to keep young children engaged in the music, and
she provides a large assortment of percussion instruments for a jam
session. She's been coming to my program for about three years and it's
the highlight of our week!
Stephanie is also available for birthday parties. Her live music
sing-along is a unique and affordable way to celebrate a memorable
You can listen to her music, watch videos and learn more at
She can be contacted at email@example.com or 510-
We've really enjoyed working with Stephanie Pepitone of Rockin' Kids
Sing-a-long at our preschool co-op. She brings her guitar and a big bag
full of instruments for the kids to play. They love it! And the music
she plays is really fun - most of it is original and the kids always rock
out to it, dancing and playing along. She incorporates age-appropriate
developmental concepts (i.e. opposites) and multiple languages (english,
spanish, mandarin) in her songs. We have had her come about every other
week for this past school year. We bought one of her CDs last year and
my kids frequently request it on car rides.
I would recommend her for any pre-school age group or school setting. I
think she does birthday parties, too.
She is based in Oakland, and you could look up her website to contact
Mom with Rockin' kids
My son's preschool introduced us to a woman who plays guitar and is
fantastic with little ones! She seems to know what it takes to get them
to open up and really become enthusiastic about singing along, jamming
and even doing the motions for some songs!
She comes to his school once a week and our home once a week. Even when
my son is ''in a mood'' she takes it in stride -it does not dull her
enthusiasm. He is always asking to listen to her CD.
She has a wide range of songs and is constantly learning, even
incorporating different languages and cultures into her music. Her name
is Stephanie Pepitone and I would recommend her highly. Her email is
firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out her website:
www.rockinkidssingalong.com. Let me know if you have any questions. She
has her own car and can travel to you.
Jenn Guitart is the music teacher at my daughter's
preschool, Duck's Nest School of Arts and Sciences, and she
is amazing. She does a good mix of traditional folk songs,
songs in other languages, and kids songs, but definitely not
the usual ones! My daughter looks forward to the days when
Miss Jenn is there, and always comes home singing! Her phone
number is 510-759-5090, and her website is
I am a parent at a local preschool. I've been working with
the school to find a music teacher to teach a couple hours a
week. I haven't had any luck. It seems local preschool music
teachers are very booked up. Any recommendations? We need a
yoga teacher too. Please email me if you have a suggestion. Stephanie
My kids go to Vida Studios in Berkeley. Verna, the owner, is
very nice, helpful and a great musician. The kids are
learning different aspects of music as well as singing and
recording. The classes are not standard music lesson, so the
kids like going to their class and are excited about writing
their own music, learning new stuff and experimenting with
various instruments!. The phone number is 510-684-0884. The web site is
www.vidastudios.org. Check it out!!!
My husband and I are new to the bay area and looking for
music classes for our 4 year old son. The music together
courses seem geared towards younger children. We are looking
for less circle time and more emphasis on actually playing
instruments and learning basic music theory. Any
recommendations would be appreciated, preferably in Oakland
area, though we wouldn't mind communting to San Francisco for
the right program.
kid needs to groove
I think Jon's School of Music may be just what you are looking for
(although the location, North Berkeley, is not ideal for you). Jon
teaches classes for kids up to age 6, and his emphasis is on basic
ensemble skills using lots and lots of cool instruments. Among other
things, my children have ''played'' cello, harp, trumpet, electric
guitar, and have become really comfortable singing into a microphone.
Jon uses very creative, play-based teaching strategies. They have SO
much fun in his class and I am amazed at what they have learned
musically. My just-four-year-old is playing real songs (e.g.,
Twinkle, Twinkle) on the piano, harmonizes when he sings, and can get
great sound from a trombone. You can get more info at www.jsom.com.
I highly recommend Jon's School of Music. My daughter who is almost
four really enjoys it. Being a musician myself, I'm aware of the
challenges of presenting musical concepts at this young age without it
going over their heads. I think Jon does a great job of introducing
musical language and ideas to the kids in a fun and entertaining way.
He's got a lot of energy and can be quite goofy in a positive way. One
other important point, they get a chance to play real instruments!
Check out www.jsom.com Good luck!
I would like to give a strong recomendation to Jon's School of Music.
I have a young son ( 3 years old) who has done both East Bay Music
Together and Jon's School of music. The Music Together was great and
fun but we outgrew it. It teaches that one 'plays' music but there is
not much true musical knowledge being imparted.
Jon teaches basic music reading and note recognition. He uses
different teaching methods to reach different children's learning
methods. For example, he writes songs to teach where specific notes
are on the piano keyboard. 'D the dog' and so on. We rotate through
playing real instruments. We also dance and of course have fun.
I am a musician and enjoy his classes. I think Jon is an excellent
Please make sure you give his classes a chance. He teaches in both
North Berkeley and San Francisco.
Hi and thanks in advance for any info/advice that I receive!
My daughter is 21 months old and LOVES Music Together. It's the only class
we have taken and it really suits her. However, I have recently had surgery
and will not be able to keep up with the class as usual, so we have decided
to skip a session until I am healed completely and ready to jump and rock,
I am looking for an alternative class once a week or so, and it would need to
be a class where I can sort of hang back physically, or at least not have to
physically do a lot of lifting, dancing or jumping. Maybe art? She is
probably too young, though. Is there a physical class (for her) like
tumbling, etc, that I would not have to participate in helping her tumble
much? Somehow I doubt it. She is a spirited, energetic and very physical
kid, and wonder if there is something that isn't as Mommy and me oriented,
although I'd like to still be present and active as much as is tolerated.
Looking for ideas for January!
I HIGHLY recommend
Jon's School of Music, especially given that your
daughter has enjoyed music classes in the past. My now almost-4-year-old
has been going since he was 17 months (and my daughter went from age 4 to
6). Jon is very creative and fun and does an amazing job of teaching
musical concepts and skills to toddlers, and most kids just love him. And
unlike Music Together (which we tried too), kids ''play'' tons of
instruments (e.g., trombone, cello, drums, keyboard, harp, accordian).
Parents attend classes too, but in terms of physically participating you
could certainly do as much or as little as you are able. He teaches in
Berkeley on Mondays and Thursdays. You can get more info at:
www.jsom.com. (415) 971-5435.
Our almost 5 year old boy has been going to
Jon's School of Music
jsom.com in the Berkeley Hills for almost 9 months and LOVES it. He
has learned a ton - theory, rhythm, and lots of really good skills for
future musicians (ej watching and responding to the conductor and/or
to the other musicians in your band, music symbols, notes on a
keyboard). It is high energy and engaging. The kids get to use real
instruments (cello, drum set, brass etc). In Berkeley on M and Th.
In SF other days. Our 2 year old goes to the younger kids class and
also loves ''Teacher Jon-Jon.''
We are looking for more interesting music and art classes for our
nearly-3-year-old daughter. She's been doing music classes like
Kindermusik and Music Together since she was wee, and it seems as
though she is ready to start making music in addition to enjoying
it. We need something else.
With my 2- and 4-year-olds I've been attending
Jon's School of Music classes for almost a
year and I think they are just what you are looking for. My kids play (or play with) a
variety of instruments and are learning so much about the fundamentals of music. Jon's
teaching methods are highly creative and fun for everyone. Check him out at www.jsom.com
My 4 yr old seems to be showing a major interest in singing. She
seems to learn words and tunes very easily and really enjoys
performing for family and friends and will even sing in front of
her class at daycare. I have been encouraging her at home and
even though my family performs together quite often, we have no
formal music training or experience. Any suggestions on classes
(not too expensive) etc at this age will be really
I highly, HIGHLY recommend Sandi Morey's group Sing Thing for
your child and your family. My family has been attending Sing
Thing for almost 2 years, and it has been a wonderful family
event for us. My children (now 4 and 6) get in their pajamas
early in anticipation of singing, but also of seeing Sandi, her
husband Shim, and the many warm people at Sing Thing---some of
whom have been singing with Sandi since 1975 when she first
started the group!!!
Sing Thing is a weekly family-oriented group for anyone who
enjoys singing, and is a great opportunity to meet other families
who enjoy making music. No musical experience is necessary. In
Sing Thing, we learn rounds, part-singing, songs in a variety of
languages from a variety of cultures, sea shanteys, work songs,
and songs that are REALLY fun to sing. My family now has a
repetoire of rich songs that we can sing together as a family,
and my children have taken great leaps in both their musical
interests and abilities.
Sing Thing has ended for the school year, but will resume again
in October of this year. There are two nights of Sing Thing, one
in Oakland on Tuesday 7:30-8:30PM, and one in Albany on
Wednesday, 7:30-8:30PM. For more information, see www.sandimorey.com
I am looking for a recommendation for a music class appropriate
for a 4 year old. I have checked the website and most
recommendations are a few years old and are for music together,
We have taken the music together classes, but being almost 4
years old, I feel my son has outgrown those. Last semester most
of the other kids in his class could barely walk and I'm
looking for a class with kids his age. I know that Music
Together is just starting an older kids class at Danspace on
Sundays, but I am looking for a class on Fridays since I don't
work on Fridays.
I remember reading something somewhere about Jon's or Jona's
classes in Berkeley that include using instruments, but
couldn't find it on the website.
Jon's School of Music (5)
My 4 year old loves music--singing, dancing, listening, playing (in his own
fashion) and we want to encourage him.
He seems to have outgrown music together, and we
wondered what else is out there. The other catch is that we can't take him to
anything during the workday, so we're looking for something on weekends or after
5:30 pm during the week. Movement classes or places where music and movement
are combined (not necessarily structured very much!) would be the best as he
has lots of happy energy. Though other things which would be good for someone
(maybe singing?) his age we'd love to hear about too, we're pretty ignorant. The
website postings are old and we'd love an update.
Hi, I am looking for a music class to take my son to on Mondays
or Fridays. We live in the East Bay. Thanks.
Ernie Mansfield is a music teacher in Berkeley, and is in fact
a specialist in Music Theory. He has worked on over 20 Music
Theory publications. Besides his credentials, he is also very
patient, having raised 2 children of his own. phone number 510-
524-2055 and email ernie at mansfieldmusic.com
I'm looking for a general musicianship class for my 4-1/2 year
old son. He's too old for Music Together and not yet ready for
instrument lessons or music theory. I'd like to find something
that's fun (preferably movement oriented), emphasizes general
musicianship (rhythm, pitch, tones, etc.) and preferably lets
the children experiment with different instruments. I liked
Nancy Denz's ''Music for Children'' program very much, but she no
longer is offering it in the East Bay. I'd like to find
something near Montclair or Rockridge, if possible, but am open
to other suggestions. Thanks.
Wants music mom
Jon's School of Music
Kindermusik Deborah Bonet
I think there was a discussion about this awhile back, but I
could find nothing on the website: Are there any music, dance,
or gym classes in the East Bay where I can bring my infant AND
Kindergym at Temple Beth Abraham
Music Together (2)
Music-Made-Fun 4 Kids
East Bay Moms offers MUSIC-MADE-FUN 4 KIDS! classes taught by Ellen B. Freed
in Montclair on Thursday mornings (10-11) as well as Wednesday afternoons
(3:30-4:30). This fun, sing-along musical activity group is for children
ages 9 months to 3.5 years with their parents or caregivers. Using a "circle
time" format with musical accompaniment, the class incorporates traditional
children's songs, finger-play, instruments and dance/movement as well as
"grown-up" songs that appeal to children. Rather than trying to teach a
musical curriculum, the goal is to instill an interest in and a love for all
kinds of music and singing by making it accessible and fun for both parents
and children. New six week sessions begin on Feburary 16th & 17th; the fee
is $36/child for East Bay Moms members and $42/child for non-members. A
registration form can be obtained from the East Bay Moms website at
From: Denise (3/98)
Regarding music options: Music Time is supposed to be excellent. It is the
most expensive (about $15/class). Call 415-750-1166. Kindermusik didn't
impress me much at the Albany location 1-800-615-5415. The teacher couldn't
sing in tune. Kids In Tune offers classes through Park and Rec departments.
Pacific Redwoods Music Together classes are offered in Berkeley at St. Johns
Church in the morning (Julie Tannenbaum) 843-8641and afternoon (Nancy Hughes
597-9861). Neighborhood Moms also offers a $4/session class on Wednesday
mornings at 10:00 I think in Berkeley lead by volunteers.
After checking out most of these music programs, I've opted to hire a private
teacher with several other moms on an every other week basis. I've found this
the best quality for the best price.
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 1997
This is perhaps tangential, but Albany Pool has a swimming class for
toddlers in which most of the half hour each week is spent singing various
songs together in the pool. As each child must be held by a parent,
there is unfortunately not much opportunity for interaction between the
children nor for unconstrained expression. Nevertheless, it can be a lot
of fun for the toddlers. The class meets on Saturday mornings at 10:30,
and I believe that it runs year-round, although it's much more popular
in the summer. The park next to the pool has two nice playgrounds,
one of which is tailored to toddlers.
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