I am always seeking out the chance to take a free trial class with my son to check out classes that come recommended and might be good for us take in the future as well as possible opportunities for a future meet up event with our NYC Dads Group. This week we joined in the fun at a Music for Aardvarks class on the Upper East Side. The Music for Aardvarks media flyer states that you will “explore music through song & gesture, dance & movement, rhythm training, and instrument play; using original music that celebrates lives of children growing up in an urban environment. Songs like Taxi, City Kid, and Subway provide children with a positive image of their world.”
Thirteen parents and their kids (as usual I was the only dad in the group) met in a basement level classroom tucked in the corner of Aha’s Learning Center on 1st Ave by 84th street. The class started off really loud and a little too energetic for my taste, but it found its rhythm after a couple of songs. The class was lead by an instructor who jams on an acoustic guitar and sings with an assistant who sings and distributes/collects instruments. The class size of thirteen parents with kids was definitely too big for the space designated for the class and felt packed- 10 parents seems like a more optimal number.
I liked the use of the acoustic guitar throughout the class, experiential instrument play by our kids including drums, chimes, ribbons, clackers, and shakers, the original song “Taxi”, the fast pace, the parent participation in songs & dance, and the bargain Spring session rate of $245 for 10 sessions (only $24 per class) or $195 for 8 sessions. I disliked the cramped and stifling hot space, that some of the songs were too loud, and that the class did not allow any time/chance for parent interaction.
Overall, Music for Aardvarks did live up to it’s promise as an exploration of music through song, dance, movement, and instrument play. This stay at home dad is just not ready to take the plunge into their program just yet, but this summer, they move their program outdoors, and that sounds like a cool experience!
I am not a stay at home dad but have two kids that have been in Music for Aardvarks classes for three semesters and love it. I had the same feelings when I first dropped in for a demo class but the actual class (not the demo) was not as crowded and not as loud. I think it all just gelled together after a week. I join my kids in class whenever I can and I, like them am hooked!