“Start ‘em young” is usually good advice, but it’s especially true when it comes to music and music appreciation. Because how else will you indoctrinate your child into why Sgt. Pepper is the greatest album of all time?
So from one music nerd to another, here are some places where you can kick off your kids’ musical education with a bang (on the drums)—and maybe even get to hum along.
1935 W. Division, Chicago
This super-cute sonic spot offers classes for the littlest music enthusiasts (ages 5 and under)—and you don’t have to commit to multiple weeks of lessons. Drop in to the Wicker Park studio for $19 a pop and let your mini musician try out drumming, singing and something called Baby Beats. (We can hear the adorable already.) Once you fall in love with the program, upgrade to 8- or 16-class packs. The studio’s namesake also hosts occasional “Baby Raves” at venues throughout the city for a full rockstar experience.
1540 W. Chase Ave., #3E, Chicago
Bring your little drama queens (and kings) and wannabe divas to Stomp and Shout for creative music and theater classes for the preschool set. Families can enroll session-by-session or on a monthly basis—or drop in to locations in the West Loop, Logan Square, Oak Park, Evanston and Glencoe for just $24 (subject to availability). Classes last 45 minutes and include music, movement, stories and more. Not sure it’s the best fit for your fam? Free trial classes are available to make sure it doesn’t go flat.
2184 N. Elston, Chicago
You might think of this Bucktown hotspot as just another indoor play place, but you’d be oh-so-wrong. The early childhood mecca offers a range of classes for kids, babies on up, from music to yoga and beyond. Drop-in classes are available for $32, as well as weekly and unlimited membership options (which include the epic open play). Be sure to schedule your visit on a day you have lots of free time: Bubbles’ open play, in the carpeted Meadow Room and the STEM-centered Loose Parts Lab, is second to none.
1641 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago
Mr. Singer has achieved rockstar status with the Windy City’s fanboys and girls, thanks to his popular singalongs at Lincoln Park Zoo. Now you can rock out with the legend himself (aka Neil Firstenleit) at his LeitHaus Studios, where he teaches group lessons for the 6-and-under crowd. Sign up for 8- or 16-week sessions, or drop in to the studio to get your jam on ($20-$25). Really geeking out on the hometown fave? Book him to play your kid’s next birthday party!
4544 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
909 W. Armitage, Chicago
The granddaddy of Chicago’s kiddie music scene, Old Town School definitely is in tune with kids’ music classes. This Lincoln Square staple offers a range of tyke-friendly lessons, including the famed Wiggleworms, which has been making hearts (and mouths) sing since 1985. But if you’re not ready to enroll just yet, check out The Saturday Jam, a chance for families to explore new instruments, songs and styles together. And since it’s free, you’ll be OK with busting out those signature dance moves you’ve been hiding for so long.