Today Got Class X The Musical Voyage #1: First Lesson!

Having heard many positive things about the Kindermusik program from the October mummies, I was pretty eager to find out for myself just how the class would be like since Elise has started creating her own dance moves. There are a few operators conducting Kindermusik in Singapore. The class which we are enrolled in is by The Musical Voyage, which includes the following elements:

My friend told me that for Kindermusik, the teacher determines whether the class is interesting. Her kid attends classes conducted by a teacher with a voice “so amazing”, all the kids are enthralled. Once, they attended a make-up lesson by another instructor and she “almost fell asleep”. To be honest, I did feel a little worried. What if the class wasn’t up to my expectations?  

Chomping on her finger to ease her anxiety

The class started promptly with Teacher Natasha introducing the children in the class. Then, we sat our kids on our laps and bounced them up on the sound of “Pop!” in “Pop! Goes the Weasel”. We also played with various patterns like bouncing the kids on our laps thrice before stopping. The children also held rattles which they shook and stopped on command. I was rather proud that Elise took the instructions well.

This is meant to let the kids learn how to recognise rhythms. Elise was extremely shy at the beginning, choosing to stay in my lap. She has recently become more cautious of strangers, but when there’s music, there’s no stopping her. It took her a grand total of 10 minutes for her to warm up and transform from that shy kid at the back of the class to that annoying kid who runs right up to the teacher. Once she got into the mood, she bobbed and showed off her dance moves.

As for Teacher Natasha’s voice? Infinitely better than me trying to sing at karaoke, and I’m not tone deaf. I cannot say the same about my husband though *hides*. She only sang for a short while but I’m sure we’ll be hearing her singing voice over the next few lessons.

Sing & Play for 12 to 24 month olds

Out came a frog which played Peek-a-boo! This caught the attention of the young ones as they ran up to find the frog. One little girl shriekd “There it is!” when Teacher Natasha tried to hide it behind her, creating much laughter at her innocent remark. Elise has been watching Little Baby Bum on YouTube and there’s this Peek-a-boo song which she recognised when it was sang today. We were also introduced to this peculiar instrument in the shape of a frog. It was a croaking frog güiro, which amazingly made a very similar sound!

 Teacher Natasha informed us that our kids could be more interested in the holes at the side of the frog than making it croak. She guessed right, because Elise skewered that frog. She developed quite an attachment to that charred frog and was reluctant to return it back to the basket when the segment was over. 

Frog satay for you?

They also tried to hop like rabbits. We were told that at this age, they haven’t quite mastered how to hop or jump. This was Elise’s best attempt at hopping.

MORE peek-a-boo! By this time, the kids were warmed up and ran around freely with their scarves. Ehhh, how is it peek-a-boo if we can see each other even when the scarf is over your head? This theme was timely as we’ve been playing peek-a-boo with Elise frequently and she just started saying “Boo!”, albeit in an extremely unscary manner.

Best picture of the day. The class lasted 45 minutes, which is less than our travel time (1 hour+ each way), but this face? Pure joy. At the end of the lesson, she was so relaxed and comfortable, she ran up to another parent and tried to sit on her lap. -_- Looking forward to next week’s lesson!

** This is Part 1 of an ongoing review of Kindermusik, The Musical Voyage, brought to you by TodayGotClass.
They are currently having a very attractive promotion of S$24 for 4 trial lessons!

Today Got Class – Platform for Child Enrichment Classes

Now that Elise is no longer a tiny baby but an active and curious toddler, sending her to classes seems like a way for her to expend her energy in a safe environment whilst developing her interests. So far, we’ve observed that she enjoys kicking balls around, likes bobbing to music and scribbling on her doodle board. She joined a term at MyGym before she learnt how to walk which she liked. Since then, she hasn’t been attending any classes. I’m not too keen on Shichida/Heguru type classes as of yet – I do know I intend to enrol her for kiddy martial arts in future so she can kick butt defend herself against bullies. The problem is that there are just too many enrichment centres and classes to choose from and we have to call the centre directly to enquire about trial classes.

This is where Today Got Class comes in. Started by local mothers Jaclyn and Lydia, the free-to-use platform allows parents to search for classes based on their child(ren)’s interest, age group and location. I’ve met up with Jaclyn who left her full time job in order to start this and can tell that she has put in a lot of effort into ensuring that they only work with centres that they are willing to send their own children to. Yes, they have rejected a number of centres who gave off the wrong vibe (e.g. purely in it for the money, lousy curriculum, dirty premises etc). Their hard work paid off when they won an award from Young Parents. They currently feature over 1,000 classes from more than 200 centres.

1. Add a Child & choose interests

The website has a clean and easy-to-use interface with large fonts for people with bad eyesight like me.

2. Classes are displayed according to selected interests

The list of classes that was generated based on Elise’s interests.

3. Click for overview of class & Book Now 

 

Once you’ve selected your desired class, just Book Now, add to cart and make payment. It’s similar to online shopping but for enrichment classes. They work with centres for deals to offer parents like this one – 4 trial lessons @ Kindermusik for $24! You can let your children attend a few of such trial classes before deciding whether to commit for a term.

With Jaclyn’s help, Elise will be attending a term of Kindermusik lessons from early April. I’ve heard good things about Kindermusik from my friends. Apparently the teacher plays a big part in leading the class. Let’s see how it goes. After this, I’ll look for more activity-based classes for her. There’s also a list of reviews on their blog from parents and kids who have attended the classes!

Blue House Atelier

We’ve been to Blue House Atelier at UE Square quite a number of times now. The Atelier offers Playgroup, weekly classes  and drop-in sessions. Lessons ($40) are an hour each with a theme. Each child is introduced and an instructor will sing a few songs before introducing the theme of the day. As they focus on the Reggio Emilia approach of learning, the children get to be in control of how they want to play, how long they want to play and whether they want to play at all!

LESSONS:

For one lesson, they brought out raw oatmeal and pasta for the children to mess with. Sensory play is essential for babies and toddlers to develop cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional skills. Elise started off by swiping around the box…

…then she decided to climb inside the box! The instructors encourage parents to let children be during the session – they are allowed to smell the oatmeal, throw it, fling it, put it in their hair, put it in their friend’s hair etc. It’s all about messy play. Mess =/= stress when you’re not the one having to clean up!

In other lessons, there’s messier play where the babies can be in their diapers for easier cleanup. Once, the babies played with tubs of cold yoghurt on bubble wrap, smearing it on their faces and round tummies. On another occasion, they fiddled with tubs of water beads along with ladles, pots and pans to build their gross motor skills.

They had a contraption where they let children blow streamers up in the air to intrigue their curiosity. Every lesson is slightly different depending on the theme. Kids who choose to stay at the first activity can continue doing so until the end of the lesson. It’s an entire hour where kids get to have their way without being nagged at. FREEDOM!

DROP-IN:

They also provide drop-in sessions for unsupervised free play ($25). The environment is spacious with a high ceiling and glass walls allowing natural light to shine through. There’s a diaper changing area as well. It used to stock wet wipes and tissue but the most recent time I was there at noon, the bin was full and there were no wet wipes to be seen.

They shift their furniture every now and then.

It’s a chance for you to plonk your kid there to explore while you sit and watch them do their thing. The place is child friendly and they’re not likely to get hurt even if they trip and fall. You’ll still have to break up fights if needed though at this age, most kids indulge in parallel play (playing alongside each other, taking interest in what the other kid is doing but not influencing it) instead of interactive play. Interactive play begins at a later age.

Over at the dark corner, there’s a light box with sensory bottles. Sensory bottles are plastic bottles which are filled with water, gel, oil and trinkets such as buttons, pasta, water beads. These bottles cost next to nothing to make but they trigger children to question why some objects move slower in oil as compared to water, why some bottles are quiet but others are noisy, why the contents in certain bottles can’t move (one was filled with agar).

A wall-mounted light box for kids to insert coloured plastic rods into to create their own design.

They are open on weekends at UE Square so even working parents can bring their kids over for a sensory experience. I prefer this approach of teaching because it allows children to learn through play without placing stress on them while stimulating their senses and invoking their curiosity. They can’t express themselves yet, but their little minds will be questioning.

 

 

Blue House Atelier
83 Clemenceau Avenue
#-01-35/36 UE Square, Office Tower
Singapore 239920
Telephone: +65 6235 2126

Check the timetable for drop-in sessions. Remember to bring socks for both adult and child.

2 Turf Club Road #02 – 05 to 08
Singapore 287988
Nearer MRT : Sixth Avenue – 10 minute walk
Telephone: +65 6462 6547

** Not a paid review. I paid for the lessons and drop-in sessions.