I know my littlest gets other things that my older two didn't at his age, but I mostly notice the things that he doesn't get.
The library story times.
The baby swim lessons.
The music classes.
With two older kids in tow, and then with lockdowns, my third child hasn't had as many of those brain-building, mama-bonding, sweet toddler experiences as I would have liked him to.
I've decided to get creative in solving problems like these, and Clap For Classics, is helping me have those important moments with my 3-year-old.
This is a sponsored post. I was not required to write a positive review, and all of these opinions are my own.
Clap for Classics
Clap for Classics is an online music course for young children that focuses on classical music and nursery rhymes. They offer year-long memberships, monthly memberships, and course-by-course purchases.
Each course is made of short, engaging videos that are not just there to entertain children, but are meant to engage both parents and their little ones in meaningful musical interactions. The videos help build a deep love and appreciation for music at an early age. The two course leaders, trained musicians and music teachers, dig deeply into the aspects of the songs, often making up sweet, related jingles to the melody of the classical music being presented.
Each lesson is short, allowing you to pause them and dig into the songs and play ideas that each one presents. There is also a bonus video in which you can watch every segment of a course at once. This is especially great after you've worked through a course already!
Each course comes with printable resources that allow you to build upon the ideas in each segment. There are song lyrics to the songs presented, puppets for playing to the music, and even coloring sheets. These resources vary throughout the different courses.
Nursery Rhymes Course for 0-2
While the other courses are created for children from 2-5, the Nursery Rhymes Baby Time Course is perfect for babies and toddlers through the age of 2. It teaches classic nursery songs but also coaches parents in games to play, gives suggestions for props to use, and even encourages parents to create a music-rich environment through singing, no matter what their voice sounds like.
Trying Out This Online Music Course
In our month or so of using Clap for Classics, we tried out three courses. The first course we tried was Carnival Set 1: Roar, Cluck, Click, which features Camille Saint-Saens' Carnival of the Animals. We did this on a day when all three kids were home (7, 5, and 3) and it could not have been a more joyous occasion! I loved how it encouraged movement, like in the March of the Lion when my kids crawled all around my office floor as the course played from my computer!
The instructor, Ms. Elizabeth, also demonstrated waving a ribbon stick, and since we didn't have one, my three finished up the segment and went to gather materials for making their own ribbon sticks. I couldn't believe how much creativity and imagination the course inspired in my little ones! We finished the twelve segments of the course in two days. There are a total of three courses around Saint-Saens' music.
Peter and the Wolf
The next Clap for Classics course we tried was Peter and the Wolf. There are two courses around this musical piece: Meet the Characters, and A Musical Adventure. This time, I was more prepared. I set the course up on our Smart TV so we watched it in the family room with plenty of space to move!
My littlest (3) and I did Meet the Characters when the other two kids were gone, and it was so special to have that one-on-one time with him! I printed out the character puppets, which he was so excited about, and we enjoyed playing along with our puppets together. One of the games suggested was to hide the character puppets around the room for your child to find. He LOVED this! I also gave him a little drum and let him keep the beat with the music. (This is when I realized that I should get the instruments that Clap For Classics offers because I've had to scramble to find some that make-do twice now!)
His big brother (5) came home and also wanted to do the course. As much fun as my youngest had, it seems like this course was perfectly made for my five-year-old! We ended up watching the straight-through version with him, since the littlest guy had already watched it, but the questions that big brother asked showed me how focused he was. In this course, Ms. Elizabeth addressed quarter notes, half notes, and eighth notes. My son really wanted to understand the concept of "a beat." The instructor asked the children to copy the beat she made on her drum, which of course my boys loved! (But now I need TWO drums!)
We ended up watching the second Peter and the Wolf course with big sister in the family room again. It seemed to me that this course dug more in-depth with the music than the first Peter and the Wolf Course. I loved that after we had finished watching, we could download a full 25-minute production of Peter and the Wolf. We've been listening to it throughout the day!
Why We Love Clap For Classics
Our month-long experience with Clap For Classics has been so wonderful! I know we'll continue using it, and the kids have been requesting to "do a music class!" I'm especially excited to try out A Winter Expedition With Vivaldi and Friends.
It's hard to sum up the relationship-building, inspiring time we've spent so far with the course, but here are 5 things we love about it:
- It's helping me build a culture of music in my home. This is something I feel strongly about. I want my children to grow up understanding that music is a source of beauty and pleasure. I want them to be able to hold a tune because they've heard so many of them from the time they were very young. This course gives us something to do as a family that helps build our family culture around music.
- We're spending sweet, quality time together. I was a little surprised that all three of my kids are enjoying this program, but it has been so sweet to see them participating in the courses together. And those moments when I get my little guy to myself and do these courses with him are so precious!
- It is more convenient than an in-person music class. Even if I could go to an in-person music class right now, homeschooling, older siblings, and other schedule conflicts would make it almost impossible. Having an online course gives us flexibility and we can complete it whenever we have time.
- We can go at our own pace. I like that if a concept, song, or game resonates with my kids, we can run with it. We pause the recording and spend extra time with it.
- It's teaching things I forget to talk about myself. We're not only learning musical concepts, but social-emotional concepts. I love how Ms. Elizabeth said that music brings out our emotions, which is so true, and that makes it the perfect vehicle to discuss them. There was a sweet song included in the first Peter and The Wolf about how the different characters were feeling. We've been singing it together, and I know it's making an impact on my kids.
Clap for Classics offers a free mini music course that demonstrates what their courses are like. It's called Bumblebees, Birds, and Beethoven, and has fun nursery rhyme songs, a freeze dance to The Flight of the Bumblebee, and a puppet show to Beethoven's 5th Symphony. This course is about 14 minutes long total and is so much fun! And I have to say that Ms. Elizabeth's helper (daughter) Charlotte is so adorable and so delightful that they consider her a friend! Sign up for the free mini-course through the button below.