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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.

Register Now for “Amazing Animals” Spring Session

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 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. View ChIMES Flyer

***NOW ENROLLING: “Amazing Animals” Online Spring Session (March – May)!***

Register Now for “Amazing Animals” Spring Session

Learn more about "Amazing Animals" Spring Session


This 8-week virtual, interactive session of ChIMES music is for parents/caregivers and children ages 0-5 (and any other members of your household that would like to join in the fun too!)

Our “Amazing Animals” session features songs and activities about all creatures great and small, with plenty of opportunities to roar like a lion or sing like a bird!

ChIMES@Home Session Dates:

WEDNESDAYS March 24 – May 12 (8 weeks) NOTE: March 31 is a holiday, so class that week is held on Tuesday, March 30.
Babies and Toddlers Class with Ms Kat
10:00 – 10:30 am

FRIDAYS March 26 – May 14 (8 weeks)
English/Spanish Bilingual Class with Ms. Michelle
10:00 – 10:30 am

SATURDAYS March 27 – May 15 (8 weeks)
Preschoolers Class with Mr. Charlie
10:00 – 10:30 am

Session includes:

  • Up to THREE 30-min interactive, live online classes each week: Sign up for your “Home” Class, but you may visit the other classes during the week!
  • Themed video emailed each week
  • On-demand access to all live class recordings PLUS 15+ ChIMES videos (featuring songs, rhythm activities, dance and movement, staff and student instrument demonstrations, and more!)
  • Option to add-on a ChIMES instrument kit (including rhythm sticks, egg shaker and a scarf) 
  • ChIMES songbook, supplemental materials used during class, and our specially curated, themed Spotify playlist

Cost: $135 per family ($120 one-time discounted rate for new families)

REGISTER NOW for Amazing Animals Spring Session

Learn more about the different classes offered in Balboa Park

Currently, our classes are all running online via Zoom. These classes are suitable for children ages 0-5, and their parents/caregivers.

Once we start up in-person classes again, here are the class options you can look forward to!

Which class is right for my child?

ChIMES Level 1: “First Movement” for babies
Recommended for ages 0 up to 18 months

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

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.

Watch Our Video Overview

Want to Learn More?

San Diego Youth Symphony