Multiple studies have shown that knowing more than one language is great for a child’s development. And what better way to immerse your child in a different language than through singing and having fun together? Whether your little polyglot already speaks a second language (or third, or fourth…), or is just starting to learn a new language for the first time, there’s a class for you out there. Vamonos!
photo: Tlb Music via Yelp
Tlb Music offers musical language lessons in French or Spanish for kids ages 6 months through 5 years. These interactive classes lead kids through fun songs in your chosen language, and let kids play along with their own instruments such as maracas and drums. Each class is taught by a native speaker and accompanied by a professional pianist, and some include more unique instruments like the saxophone and xylophone. Single classes are available, but discounts are available for signing up for a series of classes.
$35 per class
266 E. 78th St.
Upper East Side
Ven Cantar con Omar!
Join Omar of the Funkytown Playground for 45 mins of original music and classic children’s songs in Spanish. Kids 10 months to 6 years old sing along and have fun at the Astoria Play Space. With a vast history of experience behind him, Omar leads kids through a fun Spanish music experience. Classes are available as drop-in but save by registering early.
Wednesdays, 4 – 4:45 p.m.
$10 early bird ticket; $15 pre-register, $20 drop-in
26-16 23rd Ave.
If you’re interested in a full series of classes instead of a drop-in option, the 14 Street Y has you covered. Their Canta Español course is suited for ages 6 months through 3.5 years, and includes a Spanish song booklet for use in the course. Classes are held entirely in Spanish, but no prior knowledge of the language is required. Kids and parents alike will learn and have fun through an immersive experience that teaches a language with songs, musical games and movement, but also aims to strengthen social skills and self-expression.
Mondays, 4:15 – 5:00 p.m.
344 E. 14th St.
photo: Casa Feliz
Casa Feliz is not just about Spanish songs — the program also features authentic Latin American, Latin-Caribbean, Afro-Latin, and Spanish folk music. Of course, you can also find your favorite traditional children’s songs and games here, all led through songs, play, and props. Participants are welcome regardless of their proficiency, and will learn about Spanish-speaking cultures in addition to the language in a fun but structured environment. The Casa travels throughout the city and offers classes at preschools, learning centers, homes, and social service organizations. Get in touch with them to find out what’s offered near you!
French Playgroup and Music
Immerse your child in French with this fun music-centered playgroup at Edamama. Kids from 5 months to 4 years can join this 45-minute-long interactive musical playgroup, where they will sing original French songs, play with puppets, bubbles, flashcards and more. Come for a drop-in class or sign up for a mini semester.
March 3, 10, & 17 at 4 – 4:45 p.m.
$20 per class
568 Union Ave.
photo: via La Caravance FrancoFun Facebook page
La Caravane FrancoFun
Learn French along with your kids with FrancoFun, a Parent & Me program with three locations throughout Queens. Along with songs and music, FrancoFun teaches through play, rhymes, storytelling, and plenty of movement to get the jitters out. Kids over 6 months are welcome to each 45-minute session.
Various locations and times
Astoria and Long Island City
This 45 minute parent & me music class immerses children up to 3 years old in the words and phonetic sounds of Mandarin Chinese. Sessions are led entirely in Mandarin, and use original songs about the zoo, trains and other kid-friendly topics. Kids are taught by trained native Mandarin speakers, who also use instruments, stories, and movement to keep the lessons upbeat and entertaining. Participants also get a music CD so they can continue the singing and learning at home. No previous Mandarin knowledge is necessary, making this a class for all skill levels.
Little Language Studio
The Little Language Studio strives to immerse children in the Italian language and culture. Along with an all-Italian nursery for toddlers, the space offers a Mommy & Me class for kids up to 3 years old. Kids sing, dance and play musical instruments in a class taught entirely in Italian. The sessions serve as a foundation for learning the language by exposing kids to the Italian phonetic sounds through music.
$285 for 10 classes
7921 7th Ave.
Alpha Minds Academy
Located in Hoboken and Jersey City, the Alpha Minds Academy is well worth a visit. The academy is serious about Russian learning and uses songs, musical games, and frequent activity changes to immerse kids and parents in the language and culture. Classic children’s songs are mixed in with traditional Russian folk songs and poems for both an educational and cultural experience.
Various locations in Hoboken and Jersey City
Did we miss your favorite music and language class for kids? Tell us about it in the comments below!
— Yuliya Geikhman