Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center

Resources for Families at BSECDC

This year the children at BSECDC will learn the music of great masters from various cultures including Herbie Hancock, Miriam Makeba and Mozart, as well as original Timbalooloo songs and games that help to internalize musical concepts.

We will continue to update this page as the year progresses with new content that the kids are learning. We encourage you to listen to and watch the videos of these great masters with your kids, as it will help them to intuitively internalize the nuances that are difficult to teach at an older age…much in the same way that children learn to speak a language with ease at this magical age!

If you ever have any questions, please contact us anytime.

February 2016 – UPDATE

The kids are now starting to learn about New Orleans, coinciding with Mardi Gras this month. They are learning Eh La Bas – a traditional song from Louisiana – and about King Louis XIV of France (after whom Louisiana is named).


Herbie Hancock’s Message to the Timbalooloo Kids

Last year Herbie Hancock discovered the Timbalooloo lesson about him and invited us to Paris to perform at UNESCO’s International Jazz Day.  He was kind enough to record a little greeting to the kids in the program, thanking them for learning his music and then unexpectedly breaking into the character as the “Watermelon Man” from the Timbalooloo story about him! The students at Barrow Street will start learning about Herbie Hancock next week…


Some songs your children are learning at school

WATERMELON MAN by Herbie Hancock:

We will soon start exploring how to play the piano and learning about Herbie Hancock.  We will first introduce Herbie as a little boy and tell a funny story about him looking for a character named “Watermelon Man”.  This leads into learning Herbie Hancock’s classic composition Watermelon Man.

Class video

Here you can see Herbie playing the song himself!


PATA PATA and Miriam Makeba:

We have been learning about Miriam Makeba, a legendary singer from South Africa. We are learning her classic song, Pata Pata. The children have been learning to drum and clap the rhythm of the song and do a special dance that follows the movement of the pitch in the song from high to low. Listen to the mp3 on our music Listening Page.



When we put our musical instrument friends to sleep at the end of class, we sometimes sing this song. It is a lullaby and soothes common fears about creatures under the bed in a fun and silly way. It is based off a 5-beat rhythmic pattern that is not very common in the West, and is therefore a great way to expand the children’s  rhythmic vocabulary beyond the simple rhythms of most children’s songs. This gives them more tools to express themselves as they start making music and grow into mature musicians.

Listen to I Have A Cow Under My Bed:


Meet some of the instruments the kids will meet this year

One unique aspect of the Timbalooloo Method is that all of the instruments come to life and “talk” through their music, so that when it’s the children’s turn to play, they are not simply executing the correct notes, but rather performing the magical act of making their instrument talk and come to life. This helps them to bring character, humor and emotion to the music! If your kids have been coming home saying Caxixi (pronounced Ka-Shi-Shi) or Oeuf or Ngoma, you’ll soon discover why…

Some Instruments Used In Timbalooloo Classes from oranetkin on Vimeo.


Teacher Jacinta Clusellas