Baby DJ School: Brooklyn’s Newest Music Class for Babies & Toddlers
From Music Together to the Suzuki Method, NYC has no shortage of music classes for babies and toddlers, and now you can add Baby DJ School to the lineup. Say what? All of a sudden, the whole city is buzzing about this brand new Crown Heights, Brooklyn class where diaper-wearing hipsters can get their little hands on real DJ equipment and learn about house, hip hop and electronic music. Whether you think Brooklyn’s Baby DJ School sounds fun or a little hokey, read on to see what happened when Red Tricycle went to sample the class.
What Happens at Baby DJ School
If you’re used to run of the mill baby and toddler music classes that start with a hello song, followed by maraca shaking, dancing in a circle and a bubble machine, know that this one will be different.
The class is taught by musician and DJ Natalie Elizabeth Weiss at Cool Pony, a Crown Heights vintage record and clothing store with a performance space. Natalie jumps right in to teaching kids about DJ lingo like “pre-cueing” and beat-syncing software. Babies and toddlers get to hear different beats and songs as Natalie points out how she mixes and layers the sounds together.
She brings around equipment so any aspiring DJs can press the “play” button, push buttons that play different sound effects or try on the headphones (which are playing a different song than what’s coming out the speakers). Babies get to turn knobs and move sliders too, which can help with motor skill development. As the 8-week-long class progresses, kids will learn how to make samples, put sound effects on those samples and so on. Natalie even broke out a vinyl record to show the kiddos.
Of course there is a singalong element too, but Wheels on the Bus is replaced by original (and catchy) tunes like That’s Why Daddy Loves Disco, and Makin’ Our Favorite Beats Drop.
Wondering about Natalie’s music education experience? She also teaches music enrichment to 4 and 5 year olds at School of Rock as well as voice lessons and electronic music composition for kids age 6 and older.
Is Baby DJ School Really the Next Big Thing?
Will Baby DJ School produce the next David Guetta, Kaskade or Skrillex? We’re not so sure. But what we do know is that it’s a welcome change from the typical vanilla baby music classes we’re used to – especially if you’re an electronic music fan yourself, because hey, we’re sitting through these classes and need to be entertained by them too, right?
Also, as our lives become more electronic, so does music. Beyond learning to strum a guitar and play the piano, maybe kids should be adding a bit of music technology to their repertoire? Babies and toddlers are always clamoring to get their hands on laptops and iPads anyway, and this class shows them how to use them, and other technology, in a constructive way.
While the class is suggested for babies and toddlers from birth to 36 months, we think the class (as it is now) is probably better suited to the 2 and up set. Our 1 year old Red Tricycle tester enjoyed the singing and dancing, but didn’t want to wear the headphones and thought pressing all the buttons was more fun than pressing one at a time. Other little ones didn’t love all the loud music. But the toddlers around age 2 who took the class seemed to have a blast and their caregivers did too.
How to Sign Up for Baby DJ School
Baby DJ School at Cool Pony
733 Franklin Avenue
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Cost: $200 per family for 8 weeks
When: The first 8-week session begins Sept. 18; 10:30 am – 11:15 am. Contact Natalie directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot or ask about starting mid-semester.