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?
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 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.
Upcoming Session & Registration Details
Winter Session: “On the Go: Transportation”
Our 8-wk winter session is now at maximum capacity, with a full waitlist. Please check back soon for details on our next session, starting in March. Be sure to join our Interest List (scroll down to bottom of this page) to receive emails about ChIMES and upcoming classes.
Learn more about the different classes offered in Balboa Park
Which class is right for my child?
ChIMES Level 1: “First Movement” for babies
Recommended for ages 0 up to 18 months
“Modeling” Phase: Parents/caregivers are the primary models and teachers. Children observe and imitate, and begin to participate as they get older, develop more skills, and become more familiar with the class routine.
What to Expect: Singing, dancing, lap songs and bounces, peek-a-boo games, scarves and movement, basic rhythm activities, guest musicians and instrument show and tell, hands-on play with egg shakers, tambourines and other instruments!
ChIMES Level 2: “Second Movement” for toddlers
Recommended for ages approximately 18 months to 3 yrs old
“Exploring” Phase: Children observe, imitate and participate in more involved ways as they become familiar with the class routine and become more developmentally able to manipulate their voices, bodies and musical instruments. They begin to interact with others in class and it becomes more of a parent/child experience rather than parent-led.
What to Expect: Building on Level 1 skills, with more emphasis on singing and solfege (e.g. “Do-Re-Mi…”) as language skills emerge, introduction to harmony and intervals, dancing and large movement, creative expression, more advanced rhythm activities, guest musicians and instrument show and tell, instrument play with rhythm sticks, shakers, bells, drums and more!
ChIMES Level 3: “Third Movement” for preschoolers
Recommended for ages approximately 3 – 5 yrs old
“Creating & Doing” Phase: Children participate more fully and begin to generate their own ideas, sounds and movements. The class has transitioned from parent-led to child-led. Parents and caregivers still actively participate, but children in this class are more independent and also engage with their peers and teacher.
What to Expect: Building stronger ensemble skills through more advanced singing (including scales, solfege, intervals, two-parts), rhythm activities and movement; improvising and creative expression; new instruments (including pitched percussion like chime bars/glockenspiels and unpitched instruments like drums, wood blocks, triangles, etc); introduction to basic music notation and concepts through age-appropriate games and play.