Since 3.5 mths old, we have been bringing Little Foot for music classes every Sunday, and it was only last Sunday that we realised that unknowingly, babies have come and gone in the programme, but we have continued till now, and are in our fourth term with the school, Musikal Genesis.
When we first started, she was the youngest baby enrolled for that class, and she couldn’t even flip over yet! Today at 10months, she eagerly waves and flaps her hands along to the music, especially the Hello song, and now tries to crawl away for some adventure in the classroom (yes, she’s a bit of a showoff sometimes!)
Like many first-time parents, and having taken extended leave, I started out with an eagerness to bring her to try out classes and activities that will help in her development, with the caveat that we will only do what does not make her feel burdened/stressed.
We settled for Musikal Genesis after trying another well-known music school at Tanglin Mall. Between the two trials I did, I decided on Musikal Genesis because a) we didn’t feel out of place, unlike at the other school where it was all expat wives and their babies, b) being along Balestier, it was more accessible to us, while I had the trauma of having to hike to a bus stop because there was a long queue for taxis at Tanglin Mall, and c) most importantly, this teacher knew what she was doing and Little Foot took to her almost immediately!
The 45-min programme is filled with a lot of activities aimed to help the little ones develop recognition for rhythms, beats, tunes, fast/slow tempo, loud/soft music. Each term has a different theme. There will always be one or two of the music used for massaging baby in class. There’s also always a “quiet time” halfway through the class, so it teaches baby the signal (song) to wind down and rest a little. Activities becomes a fun workout (mostly for parents who will be hopping, running, swaying, tiptoeing around the classes while carrying the little one), and other activities to help with baby’s psychomotor skills development.
I like that because the classes are not too big, they allow both papa and mama to be in class. This is especially precious bonding time for Papa Long and Little Foot as she sees very little of him on weekdays.
Every time new parents turn up with their kids for trial, inevitably, they will turn to us and asked us how it has helped Little Foot. I usually tell them it’s fun time for us, so we keep coming back, but the most important thing was that the music, when we sing and play it at home, she would calm down. I have sang some of the massage songs for her while I rocked her to sleep on trying nights, I have walked up and down the corridor outside my flat humming the songs with her in the carrier during those trying days without help and she would calm down and take a nap. She would always quieten down, pause and listen. As she progressed, she would wave and smile when we sing/playback the songs she recognised. We have spent a lot of times singing “Old Macdonalds had a farm” (from the 2nd term) while I try to drive a screaming baby home in the car without going mad…. obviously the music helped me as much as it did her.
So now that we are halfway into the fourth term and already paid for a fifth term, it is timely to write about our experience before it gets hazy in my memories. I’m glad that of all the things, we chose a music programme for her. Maybe mummy was trying to fulfill her music dreams through Little Foot, so I tended to lean towards the music programmes.
I can’t compare with other programmes since we settled for Musikal Genesis pretty quickly, but I can say is that the teacher, Elize, is very good with babies (having 3 of her own), and you can tell she genuinely loves being around the babies. At the same time, the classes are well-planned so that the 45 minutes is maximised. Every term comes with a kit with a book, a CD, a toy and a set of pin-ups, so you have ample tools to practice at home. So it doesn’t end after 45-mins. With me at home, we’ve definitely maximised these. I think this has been money well-spent, and I think Daddy would agree too.
One day, we will outgrow the Kindermusik Village classes just like how some of her classmates have, but for now, we are still happy to carry her to the class each week. This weekend onwards, the class will be shifting to a Saturday slot, I hope it means she will meet more baby friends!
*This is not a sponsored post*