By Rhiane Kirkby
I’d heard good things about Mini Mozart classes, but apart from music and instruments I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’d envisaged something along the lines of Bach to Baby or Baby Broadway (the ones where the parents sit back, listen and hope their baby stays asleep, or at least quiet!) but there was no chance of that here. After an introduction and warmup, my ten-month-old was presented with a clarinet to ‘play’ with, something that surprised and bemused me in equal measure.
And then we were off on a musical journey with Thumbelina, through enchanted forests and animal kingdoms. Whilst my baby may not have understood everything that was going on, she was captivated—as was I.
But it wasn’t all as highbrow as it sounds; there was still the usual helping of bubbles, toy instruments, props and nursery rhymes, cleverly woven into Thumbelina’s tale.
So what makes Mini Mozart so special, and is it worth the cost of the classes? In my opinion, yes, as this is definitely a good example of getting what you pay for. At least two classically trained musicians perform and interact with the babies in every session, and whilst this makes it more of an ‘experience’ it also has long-lasting benefits. It’s now widely believed that interacting to music, instead of just listening to it, aids a baby’s cognitive development as they learn to process what they hear. And you’d never know it, but the courses have been designed to introduce the musical concepts of pitch, rhythm, dynamics and tempo. To me, this class pretty much has it all—entertainment and education for the children and a chance for parents to sit down for a moment, relax and breathe!
Mini Mozart runs at venues across London, including Battersea, Ravenscourt Park, Muswell Hill and Islington, among many others. Advanced booking for the term, which starts next week, is required, though if space is available (some have already sold out) you can join later in the term and pay only for remaining classes. They also run toddler sessions for children aged 16 months to 4 years as well as some baby and toddler classes, and they offer sibling discounts.
For more locations and to book, see minimozart.com.