Music for Babies & Toddlers

Parent Q&A

  • Music Classes for 2 year old

    (11 replies)

    Can anyone recommend a good music class for my 2 year old in North Berkeley?

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    Music Together is a great intro class and lots of locations.

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    The perfect music class is Jon's school of music. His classes are fun, dynamic, engaging, and chock full of real music application and knowledge. I took all three of my children to Jon over the course of 8 years and loved every minute of it. My kids LOVE Jon! They have learned so much from him, including the basics of reading music, rhythm, techniques for using the different instruments of which they get to play all kinds, and even training their ears to hearing notes and the timing of beats. Even I, as a parent, came out of his classes smiling. I can't recommend Jon enough. He's incredible!

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    Yes!  Jon's School of Music, which is located at Totland in Berkeley.  My 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son have done multiple sessions with Jon, and they both love him.  Jon provides group classes with separate time slots for various age / skill groups, led by Jon and his various toys and puppets.  Jon's classes vary a little each time, but for the last few sessions in which my kids were enrolled, each class started with the kids participating in a lesson as a group, singing and playing the drums, and playing different games that emphasize important musical skills, like following the leader and counting.  Jon is super enthusiastic, makes up stories, does voices with the toys and puppets, and always keeps the kids very engaged.  We wonder how he does it day after day! Then, during the latter part of the class, the kids get to do a sort of round robin with different (real) musical instruments, which are appropriately child-sized.  In addition to the always-popular drum set, my kids have played the xylophone, marimba, keyboard, trumpet, guitar, violin, and cello, in addition to egg shakers, triangles, etc., and singing on the microphone.  In light of the real instruments, and to set an example for the kids, parent / caregiver participation is necessary for the classes to work.  Here is the website:  The fall classes start in a couple of weeks, and we highly recommend that you check it out; we have signed up for another session ourselves!

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    My girls love Jon's School of Music, We started when my youngest was 1 and my oldest attended until she was almost 6. Class meets in the building at Totland, which is great because we'd make a whole afternoon of it. We did Music Together before but switched to Jon's class because 1) my kids had more fun there; 2) they actually learned some music concepts, which helped my older daughter when she started taking piano lessons; 3) we had some negative experiences with a Music Together teacher not respecting a friend's desire not to be touched in the course of class, whereas Jon was always very attuned to different kids' boundaries and needs.

    We aren't taking the class this session because both kids are starting new schools so we're figuring out our new schedule. My kids are not happy about it, and keep asking when they can see Jon. I've taken lots of classes with my kids over the last 6 years, and it's a rare and special thing to find a teacher they bond with the way they did with Jon.

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    We are also happy going to Jon's music class. The class is very engaging, hands on and moves quickly. Parent engagement is required and makes the class more fun. My kid would go daily if it were possible. Now that Jon is located at Totland it's easy to make a morning of play out of the class. Email him to try a class free. Here's the info: Jon Merker / jon765432 [at]

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    I have been a stay-at-home mom for three years now, and have tried 3 different music classes in the area from the time my oldest was a tiny baby. For a two-year old, I would recommend Jon's School of Music,, I have been taking my 3-year old there from the time he was one. My LO sings to himself, makes up songs, dances, pretends he is Jon and leads me in class at home, and loves being around musical instruments. This  to me is the biggest gain from attending Jon's class, a love of music that my LO expresses every day.  

    The kids get to participate in class because Jon makes it interactive, so it has given me the opportunity to coach my LO to approach the teacher, walk up to the front, which adds to his self-confidence. My youngest (a baby) will be attending Jon's class once he is old enough.

    The location has lots of parking, and I schedule my park outings to match the day he is teaching, so it is super convenient to go to class and have some play afterwards . 

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    Jon's School of Music in Berkeley is great -- I have been taking my son there since he just turned 2 and he looks forward to it every Sunday morning (there are classes at all different times, for different ages).  It's structured so that each child has one adult accompanying them and participating with them, so it's a special weekly joint activity for the two of us.  For the really young kids like mine, the focus is on interval training (5ths), games that emphasize rhythm, dynamics (crescendos and decrescendos) as well as pitch change, by combining all of those things with body movements.  All very entertaining for little ones.  Lots of percussion.  We also rotate around and the children get to try many different cool instruments, including marimba, electric guitar and bass, accordion, keyboard, a full drum set, sometimes even a cello.  Pretty cool.  The children love Jon and run to hug him.  As a bonus, when you walk out the door, you're in the middle of the best kid's park in Berkeley -- Totland -- and it can be time for running around playing.

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    Jon's School of Music Jon's School of Music Jon's School of Music YEAH!!!!

    My son, who will be three in a couple of days, and I have been attending classes with Jon for almost six months now, and we both love it. He talks about music class all week between classes.

    I'm not a musician, but my father is, and I grew up around a lot of musicians and have a tiny bit of musical training myself. The way Jon teaches is incredible, with fun, fast-paced activities with elementary music theory, rhythm, and scale.

    Kind of hard to explain, but I like to compare it to the way Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel-San karate in the sense that the students do activities that ingrain this information through repetition. Only instead of doing chores, the kids at JSoM are playing games and having fun.

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    I highly recommend Jon's School of Music.  My nearly three-year-old son and I greatly look forward to our weekly class.  The instruction is both innovative and fun.  It teaches pitch, rhythm, timing, melody, and instrument mechanics in a very creative manner that demonstrates the concepts visually using physical gestures.  Various characters, collectively known as "The Superfriends", are associated with the notes of the diatonic scale to aid in retention.  The class is exposed, hands-on, to an extremely wide variety of real musical instruments to explore.  I find this exposure at such young ages to be critical but unfortunately rare in other settings.  Above all, the classes expose and encourage children to approach music freely and creatively.  This is great teaching for parents and children alike.  Enjoy!

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    we (me and my son Jeremiah, he was 24 months old when we first started and now he is 3.4 years old) felt so amazed by Jon's professional music talents and passion of teaching music to young kids.

    Jon uses drums to warm up all children and grown-ups in the classroom, to get everyone excited about the music lesson. With different music games and a variety of musical instruments, children and grown-ups got experienced with a touch of REAL MUSIC. Plus tons of vocal exercise, movement, dancing, music notes, magic games, even combine with literature, he reads/sings a book with different songs to get children to have a full experience of music in many aspects and fully open up all sense of children. Therefore, Jon music got 4 developmental domains cover perfectly: Physical- movement, dancing, eye hand coordination, etc.,; Language/Literature- singing, taking lead, giving instructions, express oneself need and ideas, communication with peers and adults; Cognitive- remember stories, rythmns, songs; Social Emotional- tons of laughers and everyone got excited about the music class, etc.,

    Therefore, we are highly recommended Jonas school of Music to every parants, especially for those are music lovers!!

    RE: Music Classes for 2 year old ()

    I thought I would speak up just because I did NOT have a great experience with Jon's school. It was okay, but not like every one else is saying here. I had 2 toddlers a year apart, and I found it too much to bring 2 kids to the class. There was no support. Probably it's better if you only have one. I felt a bit judged because I couldn't always keep 2 kids under control. Also, for medical reasons, it was painful for me to sit on the floor, and there was no alternative.

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  • Music class for 7 month old

    (4 replies)

    We are new to Oakland (and first time parents) and we are looking for activities to do on the weekend with our 7 month old (like a music class). Thanks In advance! 

    RE: Music class for 7 month old ()

    Look into Music Together.  They're perfect for young kids and super fun.  We still listen to the CDs in the car several years later!

    RE: Music class for 7 month old ()

    Ditto Music Together!

    RE: Music class for 7 month old ()

    I started Music Together with my kids when they were 6 months old.  They loved it and have continued to love it as they've gotten older (now 3 and 5).  There are a bunch of locations in Oakland, and several different teachers.  The teachers all have different styles, so do a trial class if you can, or just try different teachers over the first couple of semesters.  Enjoy!

    RE: Music class for 7 month old ()

    We love Little Folkies which is held at Bird&Bean kids store on College Ave. We started when my daughter was 6 months old and keep coming back...she’s 2 now! Great teachers and the music is tolerable to good (I’m not super into kids’ tunes ha). 

    We’re trying out Music Together this summer and it’s not bad. I’m less into the music but there’s dancing and instruments and my little girl loves it! 

    Welcome to Oakland!

    New replies are no longer being accepted.
  • Best infant music class?

    (1 reply)

    My daughter is 9 months old and we are ready to join a music class.  Does anyone have any thoughts on Little Folkies vs. Music Together?   

    RE: Best infant music class? ()

    Love Music Together (not familiar with the other one). We did multiple sessions at Crowden Hut with Ryk a couple years past. The only drag with that location is parking can be tricky.

    New replies are no longer being accepted.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Music class for toddlers near Lake Merrit?

Dec 2012

Can anyone recommend a good music class for my 2 year old and I near Lake Merritt? (we have tried Music Together, but are looking for something else). Thanks! curious mama

Try Viola's Notes. Her classes are fantastic. She brings in music from all over the world, is a dynamic teacher and children LOVE her. She is also passionate about kids and music and it shows in her classses. My kids adore her! Stephanie

Seeking music class for 21 mos old

July 2012

I'm looking for a good music class for my 21 mos old boy who has a great sense of rhythm. We've already done several sessions with the Music Together program and enjoyed it, but have become a little bored with it. It can be quite repetitive and lacks a variety of instruments. Can anyone recommend something that's not Music Together? We live in the Temescal neighborhood of Oakland. Bek

Eastbaymusictogether Check them out on yelp. Anon

Our fabulous piano/voice teacher is teaching a new baby program called Simply Music Rhapsody . She is just getting started and is offering some free trial classes in August. Kristin Fairfield , babymusicstudio [at], 510 484-6932 mwg

Have you heard of Simply Music? My kids take piano from a wonderful teacher, Kristin Fairfield, in Oakland and she is just beginning to teach baby and toddler music (not piano) classes. It sounds like just what you are looking for. She is having free preview classes coming up so this would be a great way to check it out. Good luck, Melissa

Also recommended: Jon's School of Music

Music class for 10-month old in North Berkeley?

Dec 2011

I have heard good things about Music Together, but it would be great to find a place that is closer to my home in North Berkeley. Thanks for any recommendations! Berkeley mom

East Bay Music Together offers classes at the Crowden Center for Music in the Community at 1475 Rose at Sacramento 7 days a week. We are also at Live Oak Rec. Center on Thursday and Friday mornings in addition to our other East Bay locations. Contact us at (510) 848 SING or info [at] for more information You are welcome to come in for a trial class, or top set up a demo class for your Moms' or Play group East Bay Music Together classes begin January 9. We have offered mixed age classes as well as classes for babies under 8 months and created musical communities throughout the East Bay for over 25,000 families over 15 years. Please visit our website at to find out more about about the fun in our research based, developmental award winning program. Songs, Dance, instrument play, finger games. Each family receives a CD set, Song book, Musical Growth Chart, and Parent Guide DVD describing children's musical development. Bay Area Parent Mag HALL OF FAME Family Favorite '01-'11 Best Music Cls: Oakland Mags, Parent's Press '11, Lamorinda Moms Julie

Hi! I have a 10 month old also and have been trying to find a MT alternative as well. I decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own class led by my friend and former blue bear school of music teacher, essence. We live in Kensington and are looking for a total of 6 babies/toddlers for a monday at 10:30 class. Please let me know if you're interested. Wendy

There is a Music I class on Fridays at 9:30 at Gymboree Play & Music in El Cerrito Plaza. Your first class is free. If you were to enroll in the class, you'd pay the monthly fees which would give you access to the music class plus 3 open gyms. We are located in El Cerrito Plaza upstairs on the mezannine level. There is an elevator in the breezeway between Trader Joes and GNC. Take that up to the 2nd floor and come around to the right to Suite 704. This month the focus is classical music. Judy F.

Jingle Jamboree Music has a baby music class on Fridays at 2:30 pm beginning January 6, 2012. The studio is located in Albany which is not far from N. Berkeley. The class is almost full, so please take a look at my blog for open spaces: and take a look at the web site Classes are offered using the KodC!ly method which is a sequential method for learning music through 10 years of age. If you email me, I can send you more information. Free previews may be available as well. Good luck with your search and I am so glad you are looking for music opportunities for your baby. ---Jingle Jeff Jeffrey Luna-Sparks jinglejamboree [at]

I've heard great things about Jon's School of Music - for kids starting at age 1 and up to age 7. The location is in Berkeley - 1790 Shattuck at Delaware. I have friends who take their sons and they love it. Hoping to enroll my 15 month old starting in January. Have fun!

My name is Jon Merker, and I have a program called Jon's School of Music. I've been teaching music to children for 16 years, and am very lucky to have received great reviews on this site!!! I'm interested in starting a free or very cheap class for babies in the form of a parent/baby choir. I love leading groups that love to sing, and I love the babies! If we could get a group of motivated-to-sing parents, we could get together on a Monday, Thursday or Friday at around 12 or 1 at the Firehouse Art Gallery at 1790 Shattuck (at Delaware) and sing and dance up a storm. If anyone is interested in getting this going, please send me an email with the subject ''Baby Choir''. It's just an idea at this point, I'm hoping we can make it happen!

PS: I do take kids as young as months in my 1 - 2.5 year old class. They get to play drum set, keyboard, electric and acoustic guitar, upright bass, xylophone, accordion, tabla, gong, bells, flutes, and much more. You're welcome to have a free preview to see if it works for you! Mon, Thurs, Fri 9:45 classes and a Sunday 9:30 have space for a preview the first week in January if you like! Thanks much!...Jon Jon Merker jon [at]

Music or other groups for babies?

Nov 2011

I am looking for a music class or some other type of group for my 6-month old to attend with her nanny. Nothing fancy, just a chance for her to interact with other babies and a little change from the home routine. Something in the North Berkeley-Albany-El Cerrito area would be ideal. Thanks Marie

The Albany Library on Marin Ave. has Family Singalong every Wednesday afternoon at 4:30. It's free and well-attended by babies, toddlers, and their caregivers. Jenny

Gift ideas for almost 2 year old who loves music

Nov 2010

A friend of ours is turning two years old in December. He has lots of play musical instrument and loves Music Together. Any ideas for a good gift - something musical ideally. Thank you in search of a good gift

That 2 y/o might love a harmonica. They make great gifts for kids of all ages. However it is played, it sounds good - no wrong notes. And it doesn't grate on parents & others nerves the way many kid-marketed instruments can. blow that thing!

There are some great kids CDs out there now, with music that all ages can enjoy. Two big recommendations: 1) Putomayo 'Playground' series of world music. Our favorites are 'French Playground,' 'Animal Playground' and 'African Playground' but they are all great. 2) Laurie Berkner is a wonderful singer song-writer for kids -- all her CDs are great, and 1 or 2 of them have videos too. My daughter also enjoys the Wiggles (from the kids' show) and Sesame Street CDs-- once again, well-done music even parents can listen to. Music Gal

2007 - 2009 Recommendations

Toddler Drumming Classes?

Sept 2009

Can anyone recommend a music class for toddlers? I am particularly interested in African/Asian drumming as that is something we can practice at home but other instruments would be great too. My son is turning two. We've done Music Together but are interested in his playing instruments at this stage. Thank You. Kemmeo

You must check out Jon's School of Music . It is the perfect music class for a toddler who wants to play real instruments, especially drums. Jon is a fantastic drummer, and there lots of opportunities in class to play all kinds of drums and multiple drum sets. My children were students of Jon's for years, and they had so, so much fun with him and learned so much about the basics of music, including drum and keyboard skills. You can find him on the web at He teaches in Berkeley on Mondays and Thursdays. Liz O.

Our now 3 year old has been going to ''Jon's School of Music '' for a little over a year, once a week. He loves drumming. The kids are introduced and use real instruments. I know that Jon also teaches private lessons but not until kids are old enough (maybe 4 or 5). This is not only for drumming, many other instruments as well. But, he works with rhythm and the kids and parents have so much fun. Our son comes home dancing and drumming and talking about different instruments. This is Jon's website: Here is his e-mail: macks777 [at] e cohen

I would highly recommend Jon's School of Music ( if you're looking for a toddler class with lots of instruments. My son who is now four has done Jon's classes for about two years and really loved it. We tried other music classes but mainly found the music kind of insipid and there was definitely a lack of instruments besides tambourines and shakers. Jon has a trombone, cello, trumpet, keyboard, full drum set and lots of other instruments. He's quirky and kind of a kid himself which I think is why my kid has loved the class so much. Leslie

Try Jon's School of Music ( in Berkeley. Jon offers really creative music classes that draw kids in to the fun and give them hands-on experience with drums, keyboard, guitar, and more every week. My 2 year old loves it. Elizabeth

Our boys (ages 3 1/2 and 22 months) really enjoy the classes in Berkeley at Jon's School of Music and we've been doing the classes for over a year now. The kids get exposed to a variety of instruments as well as musical theory. Jon offers a class trial for new families so check it out! Carla

I highly recommend Jon's School of Music to anyone who wants to give their child a real musical opportunity. Jon is funny, inventive and his method is very smart. There is a lot of drumming. Most special is when the class forms a band. They play real instruments and the drummer, who calls the tune, is on an authentic trap set. My granddaughter, who is almost four, loves it. You can see more about Jon's School of Music on his site: Ahni

Jon's School of Music . Just finished a hilarious evening with my 4 yo daughter and 3 yo son who have been attending Jon's music classes. They were dancing around singing to his CD, playing the drums and guitar. Amazes me what bits of music theory they pick up from such a playful setting. Jon teaches from a house in Berkeley on Mondays and Thursdays. In his silly class, children get to play different instruments in the group setting in a relaxed, fun manner...with teaching going on (somewhat subconsciously) constantly. Check it out at By the way, he has 2 drum sets that the kids just LOVE to play! Jennifer

Jon's School of Music in Berkeley is really spectacular and I highly recommend it. Rather than learning one instrument, children play lots of instruments and are exposed to the principles of music as well as group dynamics. Through Jon's playful approach, children learn rhythm, harmony, melody, dynamics, tempo, and more. In addition they have the opportunity to play real instruments and experience what it's like to play a cello, trombone, guitar, drums, keyboard, violin, shakers, etc. Children sing, dance and laugh throughout the class as Jon challenges them to grow musically. Jen

Music classes for young toddler

July 2008

I've looked in the archives, and the only places I've seen that offer family/infant music classes are Music Together and Nanci's (in Piedmont). They both sound great, but they're so expensive! It averages out to $20/class!! Good grief! I can take an hour/long adult class for half that amount. I know there are materials, too, but it just seems like so much money for a 1/2 hour class (esp when we might need to miss sometimes when his nap schedule is off, for example). Does anyone know of any less expensive places to expose my young toddler to music, rhythm & movement? Resources to use at home would be helpful, but I think it would be a lot more fun for us both to be in a situation with other children. My baby is pretty social. Would appreciate suggestions. Thanks! Shoshana

Jon's School of Music is fabulous. He teaches kids age 1 to 6, and is especially good with toddlers. He is very lively/silly and uses very developmentally appropriate and creative methods for teaching the kids the basics of music, including ''playing'' (i.e., playing with) a large variety of instruments. My kids LOVE him, and I am amazed at what they have learned. Now, he is not as cheap as you may like ($18 per class), but classes last almost an hour, so it seems worth it to me. Jon teaches in Berkeley on Mondays and Thursdays. You can get more information at Liz O.

Check through your local Parks & Rec for classes that may be a good fit for you. Hayward Area Recreation & Park District and City of San Leandro offer an array of great music classes. Jean

Music-loving 2.5 year old

March 2007

Hi - my little girl (2.5y/o) loves music and singing. I'd like suggestions for where we could get together and sing with other little kids on a regular basis. Thanks!

Your music loving toddler would love Jeff @ Jingle Jamboree . My toddler and I have been going to his classes for a year now. Jeff is amazing with the kids. The class is so much fun. My daughter looks forward to it every week. His website is A new session begins the week of April 17th. Check the website for the schedule and pricing. Kate's Mom

2004 - 2006 Recommendations

Evening or Sunday Toddler Music Classes

July 2004

I am looking for a music class for my 16.5 month son that starts in the fall, when he will be 18 months old. We take him to Gymboree on Saturdays, and actually are considering Golden Bear Gymanstics in the fall instead, so that leaves us evenings or Sundays for squeezing in a music class. Evenings being a 6 pm class. Does anybody have any recommendations or suggestions? Thanks! Kelly

We just signed up for the East Bay Music Together class session for the summer (Session is July 5 - August 29), and were very happy with our free trial visit a few weeks ago. As of 7/6 they still had two classes accepting registraiton for Sunday mornings, but I don't believe they offer evening classes. Their website is and you can easily view classes by location or by schedule. - Singing on Sundays

2003 & Earlier

April 1999

At about 10 months, I took my daughter to a MusicTogether intro class. I thought it seemed good, but she seemed pretty uninterested. At that time, Kindermusik didn't have the infant class that they now offer (Village class, for infants up to 18 mos). Since MusicTogether didn't have any classes in my area, I let it drop for the time being. When she was about 15 mos I called Kindermusik for info. They sent me a list of classes, including some that were in my area (San leandro). However, when I went to sign up, I discovered that the San Leandro teacher wasn't giving classes anymore. I ended up at St. John's in Berkeley (the same place that the Music Together courses are offered!). I've had some trouble getting the classes I want since then, and so far there are no classes for my daughter's age group in San Leandro. They keep promising next semester.... On the plus side, though, the Kindermusik program is EXTENSIVE, and there are a LOT of classes to choose from, so if one turns out to be inconvenient, there's probably another one that will work for you. That's part of why I've stuck with it. And I have found a class that is relatively convenient for me, and has enough kids in it every week to make it work for Allegra. Also, they are very understanding about make-up classes, and will pro-rate your fees if you start late in the semester. PROGRAM: She loves it! We started her at just about 18 months, the youngest age for the Beginnings class. She's often unfocussed in class, but the teachers don't seem to mind, just saying that the kids will do whatever they need to do, and they still get stuff out of the class just by being there. I have found that having her in a class with more kids (5-7 rather than 2) works better, as the other kids help keep her on track. Also, for her, the classes at St. Johns are better than the ones in Alameda, because the room is very spare, with fewer distractions. But she really does love it, and she's started doing the rhythm and pitch matching excercises on her own. I have read somewhere that kids who are exposed to pitch matching and music-making (not just listening) are much more able to become competent at these things as adults. And if you miss the window (in EARLY childhood, like before age 6), there's much less ability to pick this up later. It's not impossible, but it's much harder, much in the way that it's harder to learn a foreign language the older you are. So anyhow, I'm a big fan of this approach to music (whether Kindermusik or MusicTogether--which I am told was started by former Kindermusik teachers), and my daughter (now 26 1/2 mos) really loves it. I hope you'll like as well, if you choose to try it. Dawn

So far, so good, my 6-month-old enjoyed his first Kindermusik class, and we go to the next one tomorrow. We also visited a MusicTogether class this week (I first heard of it when it was advertised recently on this list), but we had already enrolled in Kindermusik. There is another 6-month-old in the KM class, and she seems to enjoy it also. There is a lot of play with movement, voices, high/low register, and textiles and rhythm instruments along with the music, so it seems to be a very engaging experience for them.  Heather

We have done all 3 (gymboree, habitot, and kindermusik) and loved all three. Our son has not been in daycare at all and I think that these activities have been really important since he has lacked the interaction with other kids on a daily basis (except the park). You must be 2 (I think, maybe even older) to do kindermusik but when you get to the age, I liked it (and so did my husband). Re: habitot and gymboree. We have done gymboree for many sessions and he enjoys it. We usually do one session on and one session off so it seems new and exciting to him. We are also Habitot members and there is stuff there designed just for kids that age. We love it. You can go one time, and if you join that day, the day's money goes toward membership. Have fun. Laura Beth