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ChIMES 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 is the San Diego Youth Symphony’s early childhood music program for children ages 0–5 and their parents/caregivers. San Diego Youth Symphony is 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 provide meaningful music-making experiences that strengthen family connections and enhance early growth and development. The program is specifically designed to create pathways for children to participate in ensemble-based programs for youth.

• Develop musical, motor, social, literary, and language skills
• Join a welcoming and inclusive community
• Meet guest musicians and learn about their instruments
• Discover a culturally rich array of music and activities with exclusive ChIMES curriculum
• Sing, dance, move, smile, and play with your child!

ChIMES “Sights & Sounds of the Season” Session

Registration is now closed for the 4-week holiday session. Please come back soon for further details on the upcoming 8-week winter session (Jan-Mar), “On the Go! Transportation.” 


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.)


“Sights & Sounds of the Season” 2023 Schedule:

WEDNESDAYS with Mr. Charlie (Nov 15 – Dec 13, NO CLASS Nov 22)
OUTDOOR: Liberty Station
9:30 a.m. Babies/Toddlers
10:30 a.m. Toddlers 

THURSDAYS with Miss Michelle (Nov 16 – Dec 14, NO CLASS Nov 23)
OUTDOOR: Balboa Park (Marston House*)
9:30 a.m. Mixed Ages English/Spanish Bilingual
10:30 a.m. Toddlers/Preschoolers

FRIDAYS with Mr. Thiago (Nov 17 – Dec 15, NO CLASS Nov 24)
OUTDOOR: Balboa Park (Marston House*)
9:30 a.m. Babies/Toddlers 
10:30 a.m. Mixed Ages English/Spanish Bilingual 

SATURDAYS with Miss Mariana or Miss Kat (Nov 11 – Dec 16, NO CLASS Nov 25 OR Dec 2)
OUTDOOR: Liberty Station
(Miss Mari) 9:15 a.m. Babies/Toddlers 
(Miss Kat) 10:15 a.m. Babies/Toddlers 
(Miss Kat) 11:15 a.m. Preschoolers 

Cost: $95 for one child ($90 one-time discount rate for first-time families)
Additional Sibling rate: +$60
(Younger siblings under 6 months old may attend for free)

ChIMES Tuition Assistance is available. If you would like to apply, please either complete the online application, or download the PDF application and submit in-person or via email. If you have any questions, please email or call 619-233-3232 x302.

*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 digital 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.

Make-up Policy: One make-up class is permitted per session. This is on a space-available basis and must be scheduled in advance. Any make-up classes must be redeemed during the same session and cannot be rolled over to a future session.

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.

ChIMES Family Festival
Saturday, Dec 2
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
NTC Park at Liberty Station, 2455 Cushing Rd.

Join us at this first annual FREE event!

  • Live Music
  • Games, Crafts, & Prizes
  • Custom Illustrations from our ChIMES Artist
  • Tasty Snacks
  • Meet Fellow ChIMES Families
  • Prize Drawings for Musical Instruments, Theater Tickets, Ballet Tickets, Gift Cards and more!

* BYO Picnic Blanket – relax on the lawn to enjoy the live music performances!

RSVPs not required, but kindly requested to help us in our planning. RSVP here.

Join our Interest List to keep up-to-date with ChIMES news and the latest class offerings!
Do you have a child ages 5 – 7? Learn more about the Music Discovery program, which follows on from ChIMES and provides the solid music foundation necessary for subsequent instrument lessons and youth orchestra ensemble participation.
San Diego Youth Symphony