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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 “Amazing Animals” Session

The 8-week spring session of ChIMES, “Amazing Animals,” features songs and activities about all creatures great and small, with plenty of opportunities to roar like a lion or sing like a bird! 

Registration is now closed, but there are a few spots still available on a pro-rated basis for select weekday classes. Please email for more details if you are interested in joining for the remainder of the session.


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.) Classes are 45 minutes long and run once a week.


“Amazing Animals” Spring 2024 Schedule (April 3 – May 25):

WEDNESDAYS with Mr. Charlie (April 3 – May 22)
OUTDOOR: Liberty Station
9:30 a.m. Babies/Toddlers
10:30 a.m. Toddlers 

THURSDAYS with Mr. Thiago (April 4 – May 23)
OUTDOOR: Balboa Park (Marston House*)
9:30 a.m. Babies/Toddlers
10:30 a.m. Preschoolers

FRIDAYS with Mr. Thiago (April 5 – May 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 (April 6 – May 25)
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: $190 for one child ($180 one-time discount rate for first-time families)
Additional Sibling rate: +$115
(Younger siblings under 6 months old may attend for free)

ChIMES Financial 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.


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