What’s all the noise? Music fuels the soul and feeds the mind. Kiddos boogie and bop while boosting brain power, learning patience, building up that elephantine memory, developing social skills, and fostering their creativity. Not to mention, they look pretty darn cute, shaking that diapered tush and lisping along to their favorite tune. This performer-filled town has melodic options for every mini musician – from your first class with baby, to mini rock stars in training, to veritable virtuosos in the making. Here are our favorite places for bringing a little do re mi into your wee one’s day.
Every baby can make music, as soon as they can sit up, so Kindermusik is great introduction for every mini Mozart. And we do mean every – classes start for babies at 4 months old. Choose from multiple offerings weekly of either Kindermusik Village (ages 4-18 months) or Tiny Dancers (ages 14 to 30 months).
Our 2013 Totally Awesome Award Winner draws fans for its eclectic program that mingles bitty babes to pre-K for percussion jams, chanting world melodies and rhythmic movement.
Bonus: You can download their funky fresh playlists on iTunes to keep the music going at home.
Locations: Studio City, Hollywood, Santa Monica
Little Movers & Shakers
This Totally Awesome Award Winner is a big favorite for simple reasons: the mixed-age classes of infants to 5 year olds means you can bring all your little tots to the same class, and the way they incorporate singing and storytelling means it keeps all those ages entertained. A sprinkling of percussion instruments, mixed with props and dance create a no-stress environment for grownups to lead the way for their charges. Classes are offered in 10-week sessions.
Bonus: Freebie alert – siblings under 9 months of age are free.
Location: Sherman Oaks
Melodies and Me
Tiny toes tap to all sorts of songs, guided by an award-winning Kids’ MusicRound curriculum. Begin with baby (classes are for kids ages 0-5) to build basics of musical competence; kiddies learn to croon in tune and keep a beat with high energy music, movement and by playing percussion instruments. Caution: it might get loud.
Bonus: Free previews and flexible make-up policy are music to our ears!
Rock Stars in Training
Begin the head-banging early: sweet shredders from newborn up to 4 years jam with real live band instruments — including keyboards, guitar, banjo and fiddle. The beat goes on with rock and pop songs; little ones learn pitch and tone from authentic card-carrying rock musicians.
Bonus: Form your own band and the teachers can come to you.
Location: Classes in Westwood & Sherman Oaks
Too tiny to talk, but not to play tunes: wee ones discover musical sounds and instruments before they can even pronounce their names. Your future concert violinist or rock drummer learns the ropes with classically-trained and well-known musicians.
Bonus: From ‘pre-adagio’ newborns to ‘maestro’ preschoolers and ‘kids rock’ big kids, everyone can get a feel for performing, without having to practice!
Location: West LA
Moo Moo Musica
Venice’s nonstop global dance party now rocks Culver City, too. Pint-sized peaceniks learn about world culture through songs and music in languages from Spanish to Swahili, complete with maracas, bongos and parachutes to keep them energized and on their feet. Best beats for crawlers and toddlers.
Bonus: No pre-registration is required, and you can drop in for one class, or sign up for a bundle (and save a bundle).
Locations: Venice, Culver City
Mid-city’s ever-popular Play mixes it up with all ages, jamming with music & movement together. 6 months to 4 years will rock it with classes, CDs and take-home fun to keep the party going all week long.
World Citizen Baby
It’s never too early to build global awareness (can your kiddo Skype before he can speak?) and babies bop to the beat at this drum circle/sing-a-long. Conflicting nap schedules got you down? Wrangle your play pals for your own group immersion in multilingual melodies. Older kiddies can scale up to learning real instruments too: World Citizen Baby also offers private lessons in guitar, flute and voice.
Bonus: Get started with a free trial class.
Locations: Miracle Mile, Culver City and Atwater Village.
Beyond Bopping – Music Lessons for Littles
Cornerstone Music Conservatory
From 10 months to 4.5 years old, mini-maestros begin with the basics of finger play and rhythmic beats. Curious kiddos over 4 can try their Harmony Road program, which is parent-and-child group piano instruction. Private instruction on virtually any instruments is also available, including Suzuki method violin.
Bonus: Flexible scheduling includes Saturday classes, so everyone can take part.
Location: West LA
Green Brooms Music Academy
Here’s “real music for real people,” with small group voice lessons focusing on vocal technique for ages 5 and up. Young strummers over 6 learn their licks on either acoustic or electric guitars. Laid-back recitals for family and friends nip performance anxiety in the bud.
Bonus: Private instruction is available on everything from upright bass to ukulele.
Locations: Santa Monica and Pasadena
School of Rock
Check, 1-2-3, check. Whoa, little too much reverb. Aspiring rockers of 7 and up take it to the next level in Rock 101, a performance–based approach teaching the basics in both weekly private lessons and band rehearsals.
Bonus: Prepare for a rock concert that’ll blow you away at the end of class.
Locations: San Fernando Valley, Hollywood and West LA
– Kim Orchen Cooper