Episode 5 of ParentCast (Tall Dad and my new podcast,) is as all about babies and music.  We were able to interview the super talented Jennifer Romanat – owner and teacher of East Side Music Together. She’s a dynamite educator, and I already gushed about how much fun her baby music class is over in this post. Itty Bitty and I took things to the next level and tried out her 0-5 month old Music Together class, and I have to be honest with you guys.

It has become the highlight of my week.

Why? Well, I’ve decided to come up with a top 10 List as to why I love East Side Music Together
10. The music doesn’t make me nauseous. 
Musical light up baby toys are clutch and sometimes save the day, but more often than not, these devices also drive parents literally INSANE. If I have to hear Twinkle Twinkle, or Red Is Rojo sung by an electronic device again, I honestly might be chucking that brightly colored object out the window. 
East Side Music Together sends you home on your first day with a whole kit including a music book as well as 2 CD’s chock full of awesome songs.  They are fun, and not the same old songs you listen to day in and day out. 
Sure, some have the singer barking like a dog on pitch (which drives Tall Dad bonkers), or singing about rolling a ball around, but others are so fun that you can roll the windows down and rock out to your bad self without fear of being judged by those next to you.  (Well, for the most part :-))
Plus, each eight week session rotates, so if you sign up for another 8 weeks, you get a whole new slew of songs and CD’s. Hallejluah!

9. I can actually play and sing this music!
The melodies are simple, and reside within a singable range. You don’t need to be Julie Andrews or Mariah Carey. You just need to be you.
I also love playing these songs. 

Okay, so not everyone is a musician. I get it.  But these songs are relatively easy, that if you DID want to take up an instrument, you could purchase a relatively inexpensive ukulele, learn 4 chords, and be able to play 90% of the songs.  Look at you rock star. You’re like the next Beatle.
8. Move at your own pace
So, fine, maybe you’re not ready to be the next John Lennon. You’re not into rocking out with your windows down, and belting tunes while you drive down 95. Don’t fret. Jennifer lets you learn and participate at your own speed. If you or your child is more of an observer, then sit and observe. There’s no judging. It’s all about enjoying the class, however that best suits you.
I like to live life to it’s fullest, so I’m that mom singing, dancing, and possibly adding some harmonies to the songs during class. Tall Dad is more of a quiet singer, but enjoys doing more of the movement with Itty Bitty.
Whatever floats your boat! Just have fun!
7. I get to dance, and be silly, without a care in the world.
So to piggy-back off of number eight, I LOVE that I can be carefree.  Even though there is a whole class of people there, we are all in our own worlds, enjoying the smiles on our children’s faces. I am carefree, and have an hour of straght fun and giggles. It honestly makes me feel like a kid again. We all could use more time like that! 
6.  I meet more parents, and know them by name
This may sound silly, specifically if you don’t have a kid, but oftentimes when I meet new parents I refer to them as “Tommy’s mom”, or “Sarah’s dad.” I have absolutely no clue what these adults are named.

Well, East Side Music Together classes start off with a hello song, where everyone around the room introduces themselves, and their children. It’s awesome! I actually know these peoples names! Game changer for sure!
4.  I am able to see what Itty Bitty might be like in a few months or a couple of years. 
The East Side Music Together Classes are designed for 0-5 year olds, so its a nice mix.  I’m able to glance around the room and get a good idea when Itty Bitty might be walking, dancing, and playing with the more complicated instruments.  It’s great to see a wide variety of ages. I leave appreciating, and loving, his crrent age, but I’m  also excited to see him be able to do even more when he grows up a bit.
3. Seeing families with more than one kid…gives me hope.
I used to dream about having a bagillion kids. Seriously. I wanted to be like the little old lady that lives in the shoe. But then I had Itty Bitty, who had colic for 6.5 months, and still doesn’t enjoy sleeping through the night. Tall Dad and I occasionally talk about having only one kid.
But then there’s that ache in my heart that knows I might want at least one more. To which, the little devil on my shoulder yells – “Are you kidding me? How would you EVER be able to juggle two kids?”
Then, I see them -these rock-star moms and dads at East Side Music Together doing just that – juggling!  They have two kids, however many months or years apart, and they are rocking it!  I watch how they give each child individual attention, are able to combat mini tantrums, but also how the kids are able to play with one another, and keep each other busy. These parents look just as tired as me, and they take about 2 more minutes to get their kids dressed after class, but they can do it.  
They give me hope.  Sure, it’s not something we are even thinking about venturing in for the time being, but I at least know that we could have another and be able to manage.  I just may have to sign up for multiple days of Music Together to tire the kids out each day!
2. Itty Bitty mimics older kids

I thoroughly enjoyed our initial babies-only class. It was so nice to meet other parents of babies in the same age, and enjoy our squishy squirmy newborn babies.  But now that Itty Bitty is bigger and wants to play, I love having him in the mixed ages class. I would suggest it for any baby who is able to sit unassisted. Honestly. They watch the big kids dance sing and play, and are encouraged to do so themselves.  Plus, the big kids get a kick out of seeing the babies.  
One boy, who’s probably a year older than Itty Bitty, loves to give him high fives each class. Other kids come over and share their musical instruments with him.  
Itty Bitty learned how to hit rhythm sticks together properly by watching these kids, and also started belly dancing during East Side Music Together classes while he watched other kids dance around. I truly believe having him see other children of various ages is helping him learn in ways that wouldn’t be accomplished by having him at home with just me or a baby his age. 

1. Quality bonding time
My top reason for why East Side Music Together Rocks is because it is an invaluable bonding time for myself and my child. I get to see him learn and shine, and he is able to enjoy something WITH me. I’m not distracted by dishes or laundry. We aren’t worried about naps or feedings. We just get to have fun for an hour and enjoy one another’s company. It’s the best.
East Side Music Together is currently open for registration – and Jennifer even offers a Saturday morning class for those of you who are busy during the work week.  I highly recommend your checking it out – and if you do – please let her know you heard about it from Tall Mom tiny baby 🙂
You can learn more by visiting East Side Music Together’s Website, or find them on Facebook.
Don’t forget to listen to our ParentCast Podcast Episode about Babies and Music!

What is/was your favorite childhood song?