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ChIMES (Childhood Introduction to Music Education, with Smiles) is an SDYS program that highlights one of the most integral phases of child growth and development: the period of growth that takes place from birth to age 5.

Did you know?

SDYS Childhood Introduction to Music Education, with Smiles!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.

ChIMES is a program of the San Diego Youth Symphony, a non-profit organization that has offered quality music education programs and enriched lives through music for over 75 years. We believe that music is a vehicle for giving young people the social, emotional, and academic skills that transcend traditional educational models and prepare them to enter 21st-century adulthood.

ChIMES classes, for children ages 0-5 and their parents/caregivers, provide meaningful music-making experiences that strengthen family connections and enhance early growth and development. Children develop musical motor skills through singing, movement, rhythm activities, hands-on instrument play, and exposure to a variety of orchestra instruments and genres of music. The program is specifically designed to create pathways for children to participate in ensemble-based programs for youth. View ChIMES Flyer

ChIMES “On the Go! Transportation” Session (Jan – March)

Registration is now closed for this session. Our next session, “Amazing Animals” (8 weeks, March – May), will open for registration in late February. Come back soon for more details and the class schedule.  


ChIMES classes are for children from birth up to age 5, plus parents or caregivers. Class options include babies/toddlers (recommended for birth – 2 years), toddlers (approx 18 months – 3 years), toddlers/preschoolers (approx 2 – 5 years), preschool (approx 3 – 5 years), mixed ages (birth up to age 5), and English/Spanish bilingual options as well (appropriate for both native English speakers and native Spanish speakers, or those looking to expose their children to either language.)

Winter 2023 Schedule:

WEDNESDAYS with Mr. Charlie (Jan 18 – March 8)
OUTDOOR: Liberty Station

9:30 a.m. Babies/Toddlers (CLOSED)

THURSDAYS with Miss Michelle (Jan 19 – March 9)
OUTDOOR: Balboa Park (Marston House*)

9:30 a.m. Mixed Ages English/Spanish Bilingual (CLOSED)
10:30 a.m. Toddlers/Preschoolers (CLOSED)

FRIDAYS with Miss Michelle (Jan 20 – March 10)
OUTDOOR: Balboa Park (Marston House*)

9:30 a.m. Babies/Toddlers (CLOSED)
10:30 a.m. Mixed Ages English/Spanish Bilingual (CLOSED)

SATURDAYS with Miss Kat (Jan 21 – March 11)
OUTDOOR: Liberty Station

9:30 a.m. Babies/Toddlers (CLOSED)
10:30 a.m. Preschoolers (CLOSED)

with Miss Mariana (Jan 21 – March 11)
INDOOR: Balboa Park (Casa del Prado Room 207)

10:00 a.m. Toddlers (CLOSED)

Cost: $175 for one child ($165 one-time discount rate for first-time families)
Additional Sibling rate: +$105
(Younger siblings under 6 months old may attend for free)

ChIMES Tuition Assistance is available. Please click here if you would like to submit an application and be considered. If you have any questions, please email Thank you.

*Special thanks to the Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) for hosting ChIMES classes at the
Marston House.


All enrolled families will also have access to the online ChIMES Video Library, songbook, supplemental materials, and curated playlists, which are a great way to continue the music at home in between classes!

Add-on options:
+$12 ChIMES Instrument kit (several instruments that are used frequently during class)
+$20 for two ChIMES Instrument kits


ChIMES Class Policies

Registration & Payment: Paying the full ChIMES registration fee (online, prior to the start of a session) guarantees your spot for all classes in that session.  No prorated fees for classes missed.  No refunds given within one week of start date. Any outstanding credits or rollovers must be used within one year of the date they were awarded.

When registering, please ensure your selected class day/time works with your schedule. While we understand that family schedules can change, we regularly have full classes with waitlists, and therefore it is typically difficult for us to accommodate requests to switch to different classes/rollovers to future sessions.

Class offerings are based on minimum enrollment. If a class is canceled due to low enrollment, you have the option to take a credit for a future session, or request a refund.

Waitlist: If a class is at maximum enrollment, you may join the waitlist. If a spot opens up in your desired class, someone from the ChIMES team will get in touch with you. No payment is required until you are notified of an open spot and choose to enroll.

COVID Health/Safety Protocols:
Outdoor classes: We ask that families please do their part to ensure social distancing throughout class. Masks are optional.
Indoor classes: Masks are currently optional, but encouraged (for those over 2), as outlined by the San Diego Unified School District guidelines, which SDYS follows. This policy is subject to change and we will keep families updated.

Instruments: Families can either purchase a ChIMES instrument kit, or bring their own instruments to use during class.

A full list of class policies and procedures will be sent to families prior to the start of the session.


Join our Interest List to keep up-to-date with ChIMES news and the latest class offerings!
San Diego Youth Symphony