Kids music classes are a dime a dozen in NYC from the classic Music Together to the uber trendy Baby DJ School. The newest one? Dan Zanes House Party: Songs and Stories of America’s Neighborhoods is open for registration at Park Slope’s Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (BCM), and some classes are even being taught by the much-loved, Grammy-winner, kindie rocker, Dan Zanes himself. Find out why this program for kids 8 months to 4 years old is the next big thing in musical education.

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What happens during the kids music class?

Zanes, one of NYC’s top musical acts on the kindie scene and co-creator of the program, calls it, “homespun fun for the 21st century America that we all live in.” While there is certainly an educational element, the curriculum was developed in partnership with the early childhood music education brains of the BCM after all, Zanes wants it to feel like summer camp style fun.

You (or your kid’s caregiver) can expect to participate in this party right along with your child. Activities are supposed to inspire you to continue making music and stories at home and give you the tools to do so. Much like your average kid’s music program, each 45-minute class is a mix of songs (in this case, from Zanes’ CDs naturally), games, movement, dancing, storytelling and play, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s like every other kids music class out there.

So what makes Dan Zanes House Party different from other kids music classes?

Besides the partnership with the BCM giving this program a solid educational edge, a big difference is the multicultural angle. The curriculum, and Zanes catalog of songs, are multicultural in nature and reflect America’s neighborhoods. You won’t find world music here though, you’ll hear sounds of the homegrown culture that’s around us every day in NYC.

Each class is centered around a theme – windy weather, dancing animals or friendship for example. So for a windy weather themed class, you might sing a whaling song, do a counting game about sailors and so on. That being said, don’t be surprised if a crazy dance break gets thrown into the mix too!

Dan Zanes atBCM

How can you join the House Party?

Registration is now open on the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music’s website. Classes are offered for Shining Stars (8-16 months), Little Red Birds (16-24 months), The Jump Ups (24-36 months) and the Night Owls (3-4 years) Monday through Saturday at various times. The 15-week semester, which starts on Feb. 4, is priced at $465. Financial aid is offered for qualifying students. Besides the weekly class, you’ll also get digital access to the program’s soundtrack comprised of Zanes’ music.

Want Dan Zanes to be your kid’s teacher? Then choose a Wednesday class. He’s teaching all four, covering every age group. Or, catch him on guitar as the accompanist in Tuesday’s classes. Even if you can’t make the Tuesday or Wednesday classes work with your schedule, rest assured that all the program’s instructors have early childhood education experience and are Dan Zanes approved.

Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
58 7th Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn
718-622-3300

Does your child take a music class? Comment and tell us which one.

–Julie Seguss

Second photo courtesy of BCM by Arlene Kriv