In Timbalooloo, instruments come to life and become characters, so children learn to play music by performing the magical act of making their instruments talk! We draw on the music of great masters from various cultures, from Herbie Hancock to Mozart, Willie Nelson to Miriam Makeba and Tito Puente.
Ages 0 – 2: This is a magical age when children are learning to make sense of the spoken language around them, preparing to speak their first word. The same learning process is happening with music as they intuitively internalize all the nuances of how music works. Classes at this age help internalize rhythms and contrasts through movement and games, awaken awareness of the body and provide the child’s first hands-on experience with a variety of instruments. It is also a beautiful opportunity for parent or caregiver to bond with the child in a loving musical way.
Ages 2 – 3: At this age children love stories, mysteries, suspense and fun games. They love to explore new instruments and musical traditions as we tell riveting stories about great composers ranging from Herbie Hancock or Mozart or bring the instruments to life and allow the children to make the instruments “talk”. We lay the groundwork for reading music by presenting an intuitive approach to pitch through games like the Pitch Switch about a cow and a bird and we develop their sense of musicality through games like our Mozart Tip-Toe game, in which children sing Mozart’s “Non Piu Andrai” aria from the Marriage of Figaro while tip-toeing and hopping around the room trying to find a hiding Mozart.
Ages 4 – 7: We like to give children 4 and up the opportunity to really learn to play their first instrument: the Growing Glockenspiels™. They also learn to read and write music through a fun gradual process that helps make reading music intuitive. Each child gets their own Glockenspiel to keep forever and take home between classes (a glockenspiel is a xylophone-like instrument that is laid out like a piano with the black and white keys). However, at first their Glockenspiels only have the note middle-C on them, and are “one note old”. Each time that the children learn how to write a note on the music paper and play a new song with it, they then get a new note, and their glockenspiel grows up (the kids say “my glockenspiel is 9 notes old today… it’s almost a teenager!”, etc). Each song is introduced through a fun story that gives historical and cultural context and a familiarity with the great composers from different cultures. For example, the story of Curious George Gershwin discovering rhythm in the basement of Duke Ellington’s castle leads to learning the Gershwin classic “I’ve Got Rhythm”. The children learn to write music, and when the glockenspiel has grown all the way up, it looks just like a piano, so any song that the children know on the glockenspiel is then directly transferable to piano or whatever other instrument they choose to pursue. The goal is not just to execute the correct notes, but to really understand how music works in the process. For this reason, the class is valuable both to children who have never played another instrument before and to those who are taking instrumental music lessons separately.
Mixed Ages: Classes of a mixed age group are also possible. Please call us to discuss the ages you have in mind.
To arrange for your own home class, please fill out our brief online class initiation form or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 646.926.1840. We also have classes at various locations throughout NYC and partner with schools throughout the city.
VIDEO OF TIMBALOOLOO CLASSES FOR EACH AGE GROUP:
VIDEO OF GROWING GLOCKENSPIEL CLASS: