Last Friday, Rhiannon and I tried Kindermusik at the Tanglin Mall. My previous experience with Kindermusik was a class with Ellie in 2009 (in Boston).
Kindermusik is a music and movement program for babies and young children, starting as young as 4 months. Rhiannon was about four and a half months at the time of our trial class (March 2, 2012). We were in a class of about eight moms and babies, ranging from 4 months to about 9 months. None of the babies were walking…several might have had the ability to crawl, but I did not see anyone crawling.
During the 45 minute class we did a welcome song, some songs where the moms sang and danced while holding the babies, some singing while massaging our babies, some singing while we did stretching (the babies arms and legs to promote cross mid-line movement), we helped them play with drums (tapping the drums and scratching the drums)/ wooden instruments/ metal instruments, and a good-bye song.
It was really nice to be around moms with babies (as opposed to pre-schoolers) as we are going through the same things right now. It was also the first activity I had been to in Singapore where it was all moms, without a helper acting as the caregiver in the class, and I found that refreshing. When Rhi needed to nurse, no one blinked an eye and we joined in and stepped back to nurse (I stayed in the room, but was not dancing around, for example).
However, I was the only second time mom, which means I have a very different perspective on this whole “mom/baby” thing. For example, while I am very proud of Rhi’s rolling, I’m also feeling a little fatalistic because I know that it’s all go-go-go from here. I know firsthand the joys of a crawler/new walker and the havoc they can wreak on a home. So while I’m proud, I’ve also been known to declare it as “the beginning of the end of my life until she’s 2 1/2-3.” That sort of dark humor doesn’t necessarily go over well with a first time mom.
When I did the trial class, they were about halfway through a unit. However, I couldn’t figure out what the unit was.
By comparison, the unit during which we attended Kindermusik in Boston, the unit was “Baby’s Day Out” and each week we “went” somewhere (the grocery store, the doctor, etc). The cost of the unit included a CD with all the songs for the unit, a board book that tied into the unit, and a poster suggesting some of the activities we could do at home with the babies. So things were very cohesive.
Rhiannon LOVED the class. She loved hearing us sing, she loved the focused attention (something that is tougher to achieve for such a sustained period in our day to day life, I’m sad to say), and she loved exploring the instruments.
My back, on the other hand, was very sore after the class–I have a lot of trouble sitting without support for my back, and as Rhi’s weight increases, things like dancing around with her are problematic over longer periods of time. This is not, however, something a reader should take into account, unless like me they’ve had previous back surgery and are in the process of re-herniating the disk that was previously operated upon. In our case, however, it is the major reason I am hesitant to commit to classes for Rhi–I’m not sure it’s a healthy move for my back.
The trial class cost $30SGD (I’ve yet to find a free trial class in Singapore, which is frustrating, but how things are). The cost of a unit breaks down to about the same $30SGD per class (which is about what we pay for E’s gymnastics, so while not cheap, I don’t think it’s out of line). I found the staff and the class leader very sweet.
I didn’t like it as much as my Kindermusik class back home, but I though it was a fun activity to do with Rhi. More importantly, RHIANNON loved it. We would absolutely be going back, if it weren’t for my back injury. I would encourage other new moms of 4+ month olds to check it out with a trial class to see if it’s a good fit for you and your baby.