For little New Yorkers, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to kiddie music classes. But we were especially excited to hear that the one and only, kids music favorite, Laurie Berkner is putting her own spin on things with The Music in Me, a new program based on Laurie’s music and classroom philosophy (fun fact: she started out as a preschool teacher). The classes start this fall, and are being offered at four unique Manhattan locations, each with its own layout and special features ranging from a petting zoo session to a cooking class element. Here, get the scoop from Laurie herself, and find out everything you need to know to sign up your toddlers and preschoolers (ages one-four) for the first-ever semester of The Music in Me.

Laurie Berkner

What’s different about “The Music in Me?”

The program is being offered at the Third Street Music School Settlement, Childrens Museum of Manhattan, Freshmade NYC, and The Art Farm in the City. At each location, the classes will be a bit different. The Music in Me portion of each class will be a combination of singalongs, movement songs, lullabies and finger-plays that Laurie has written over the years, some of which were written specifically for this program (as well as traditional songs she has adapted to use in a class setting). Even though Laurie isn’t teaching any of the classes herself, all of the instructors are trained in her philosophy, and she plans on stopping by to meet each and every student by the end of the semester. “I’m working directly with the teachers in each location to make sure they create a positive atmosphere where experiencing music is about fun, feelings, connection and expressing yourself with sounds and movement,” Laurie says.

What should I expect from each of the four class locations?

At Freshmade NYC, each hour-long class includes thirty minutes of music, followed by a thirty minute cooking lesson, where tots learn to make their own snacks. Little animal-lovers will want to check out the program at The Art Farm in the City, where 45-minute classes include a half hour of music followed by a 15-minute visit to the establishment’s petting zoo. At the Childrens Museum of Manhattan, exhibitions are brought to life at the end of each 45-minute class, when instructors will incorporate elements from what’s happening in the museum into the curriculum. And finally, for the musical traditionalist, attend class at Third Street Music School Settlement, where each 45-minute session is capped off with 10 to 15 minutes of free play and exploration with age-appropriate instruments.

What the four venues have in common is that each features a blend of Laurie’s classic hits and new music that was written specifically for the program’s curriculum. The musical portion of each class will incorporate seated songs, gross motor activities, tactile experiences, and at least one listening or lullabye song (because they need their chill time, and so do we!).

How do I sign up? (and what’s it going to cost?)

Third Street Music School Settlement
235 E. 11th St., East Village; 212-777-3240
$680 (Sept. 11-Jan. 22)
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
212 W. 83rd St., Upper West Side; 212-721-1234
$595 members/$720 non-members (Sept. 8-Jan. 12; and museum access is included)
Freshmade NYC
636 Broadway, #516, Soho; 212-475-0500
$590 (Sept. 15-Dec. 5)
The Art Farm in the City
419 E. 91st St., Upper East Side; 212-410-3117
$570 for fall semester (Sept. 8-Dec. 20)

Do your toddlers or preschoolers take a music class? What’s your favorite thing about it?