Last year, when I emailed a group of mom friends about possibly signing up for a music class, many of them worried that it would be “pointless” or silly or that our little ones (then about 7-8 months old) wouldn’t know what was going on. I decided to take the plunge anyway (and thankfully a dear friend signed up with me!), and it was such a positive and rewarding experience. Thatcher really enjoyed socializing with the other babies and exploring all of the instruments and sounds. He probably won’t remember it of course, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t get something out of it. Research has shown again and again that exposure to music – even in infancy – has positive benefits such as assisting brain cells in making vital connections, aiding in social and emotional development and influencing language and literacy skills. Plus, it’s also really fun and a good way to get out of the house and meet other moms.
We are truly lucky to live in a city as culturally rich as New Orleans. Where else do children get to hear the melodic sounds of street musicians, brass bands wandering through the mall and marching bands at Mardi Gras? Music is everywhere in New Orleans, and I think we probably all associate certain sounds and songs with this fabulous home of ours. What this also means is that there are many talented musicians who are eager and willing to share music with your family. Madeline and Paul Thibodeaux are two such musicians, and they recently opened the Thibodeaux School of Music in uptown New Orleans. The school offers private lessons on instruments, as well as the award-winning Kindermusik program for children ages 0-7. Paul and Madeline were kind enough to open their doors to one of our contributors, Courtney, so that we could share our experience with you.
Thibodeaux School of Music, as told by Courtney
The Landry family visited Thibodeaux School of Music’s Kindermusik Family Time class, which meets on Tuesdays at 5:30. Madeline formerly ran the Kindermusik program at Loyola, so she brings a wealth of experience. After taking off our shoes, the whole family got cozy on the floor and got to know the other attendees. Class opened with a welcome song and it was awesome to be in a place where moms, kids and dads were singing! Miss Madeline made everyone feel very comfortable and did a great job drawing out the young children and seamlessly guiding them from one activity to the next. The class is designed for children ages 0-7, and even baby Cora (3 months) was laughing and having fun. In 45 minutes, we sang, danced, played instruments and listened to a story. Miss Madeline integrated lots of props into the singing and dancing. Jack’s favorite was definitely the laundry baskets that were turned into “little red wagons” in the song “bouncing up and down in my little red wagon.” What a fun activity for a young family!
In fact, at the end of the second class, Jack said “I want to come back!”