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ChIMES Early Childhood Music Program

ChIMES (Childhood Introduction to Music Education, with Smiles) is the San Diego Youth Symphony’s early childhood music program.

We are so excited to bring early childhood music classes to you and your child through our partnership with Learn4Life and the HOPE program!

Learn for Life
ChIMES Early Childhood Music Program

Free ChIMES Parent & Child Music Time!

Please join us for the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory’s ChIMES Parent & Child Music Time! Come and enjoy some musical fun with your child in a relaxed, casual setting.

This FREE 6-week music session is open to all students in Learn4Life’s HOPE program and their children (ages 0-5)!

ChIMES Parent & Child Music Time will meet every other Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. in-person at Diego Valley East’s HOPE room, and will also be live-streamed to additional Learn4Life locations.

Wednesdays, 1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

Sept 22, Oct 6, Oct 20, Nov 3, Nov 17, Dec 1

Not only are ChIMES classes FUN for parents and children alike, but your child will be gaining skills that are crucial for early learning and school readiness. Activities are playful and interactive – you and your child will sing and move together, listen to a variety of music and instruments, play your own instruments, and learn how to build on your child’s learning at home through songs, rhythm and movement activities.

More About ChIMES

Did you know? By the time a baby turns one year old, their brain will have grown to 70% of its adult size. By age three, the brain reaches 85% of its total growth. Creating music, and the human interaction that accompanies music-making, involves multi-sensory activities that grow and foster strong brain growth and healthy interaction between young children and their caregivers.

The ChIMES program highlights one of the most integral phases of child growth and development: the period of growth that takes place from birth to age 5. Classes are designed to enhance and further child development while building healthy attachment between the child and caregiver through hands-on play with instruments, singing, movement, rhythm activities, percussion, and more.

The interactive classes develop children’s musical, motor and aural skills and help facilitate learning in other areas. The program is specifically designed to create pathways for children to participate in ensemble-based programs for youth.


  • Build stronger bonds between children and their parents/caregivers through shared music experiences, and encourage at-home music-making to support overall child development
  • Use music to enhance early learning and school readiness skills
  • Develop foundational musical skills that set children on a path towards musical development and ensemble experiences
Meet Your ChIMES Teaching Artist

Ms. Kat

Kat Fitzpatrick has a BA in Child Studies and an AS in Early Childhood Development, and over 30 years of early childhood teaching experience. She has taught preschool at both private schools and at CVUSD. Kat also ran her own business teaching music and drama enrichment classes for young children and performing for children all around San Diego.

Her other passion (besides the little ones!) includes musical theater and performance. Kat has won awards for her own original preschool song recordings and also for performing; she has been in many San Diego productions, most recently Sister Act at SDMT and The Addams Family at Lawrence Welk Theater.

What to Expect During Class

Get ready to have FUN with your child!

During these 40-minute ChIMES Parent & Child Music Time sessions, you and your child will learn new songs, play different instruments, listen to a variety of musical styles, and get up to move around and dance.

A typical class includes a Hello song, warm-up activities, singing songs with hand motions (e.g. Twinkle Twinkle or Itsy Bitsy Spider), rhythm activities, dance and movement, introduction to some musical concepts and notation, and a Goodbye song.

ChIMES Teaching Artists keep things light and playful by using puppets, visuals, and silly songs to keep things entertaining. The best thing you can do is to interact and participate in all the activities with your child to make it a fun experience for all!

Materials & Instruments

A ChIMES Instrument Kit will be provided to those participating in person. This kit includes rhythm sticks, egg shaker and a scarf, all of which we use regularly during class. You are welcome to bring additional musical instruments from home too if you have them (such as maracas, bells, triangles, tambourines, etc).

For those participating virtually, please gather the following household “instruments” to use during class:

  1. Something to click – this could be a pair of drumsticks, wooden spoons, markers or pencils, or anything that you can tap or click together
  2. Something to shake – maybe you already have a children’s rattle or maraca. If not, grab a plastic water bottle or container and fill it with dried beans, rice, or beads. Or, make your own Musical Egg Shakers using those plastic Easter eggs you might have laying around your house – just put the filling of your choice inside (e.g. dried beans), tape up securely, and decorate!
  3. Something flowy – this could be a lightweight scarf, bandana, cloth napkin, or piece of fabric or ribbon.

Your child’s favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal friend is also welcome to join us as well!

Watch Our Video Overview

Join us today!

San Diego Youth Symphony