Culture Tots are musical adventure classes for babies, toddlers and pre schooler’s held weekly at the Willerby Methodist Church, and the World of Wonder Church in Hull, plus special one-off sessions at other venues in Hull such as Rock Up. The classes have been designed and are run by Anna, a classically trained musician, music teacher and mum to toddler Isabelle. When she asked me to take my 3 year old along to review a class I jumped at the chance as we’re always singing at home (and loudly in the car!) and I think its really important for children to experience music.
Anna does 4 classes –
At Willerby Methodist Church is:
Sling Songs – designed for babies worn in a sling
Tiny Maestros – adventures in classical music for all children aged 0-5
In addition to these she has 2 extra classes at the World of Wonder church in their sensory room:
Sensory Songs – songs, rhymes and fun in the sensory room for pre-walking babies
Toddle Songs – lively music, movement and sensory play for walking – 4 years
We went along to the Friday afternoon Willerby class. Even though my daughter is much too big for a sling we arrived at 1pm for the Sling Songs class so I could see what it was all about. Slings are really popular at the moment and doing a class in one looked like a lovely, bonding experience, I just wished Anna had done these when my daughter was still in her sling! All of Anna’s classes are flexible on age, they’re based more on the activities that your child likes than their age, and if you have different aged siblings you can bring them both to classes. Sling Songs would be good if you just have a baby but also if you have a baby and an older sibling as my 3 year old really liked the class too. She just joined in with the songs, rhymes and shakers without me carrying her.
The class was really lovely, we sang some nice, original songs and a few familiar ones (it was nice not to just sing things like Wheels on the Bus which we did a lot of at music classes and playgroups when she was a baby!). There were some gorgeous twinkly lights and bubbles that had all of the babies and my daughter captivated too.
My daughter is often a bit shy at the start of a class but she soon came into the middle to join in, it was a really friendly and welcoming class and she seemed to settle in quickly and really enjoy it. She was then very ready to do the next class, Tiny Maestros.
Each week Anna does a different theme and different music and activities, this week was Planets. We started off on our rockets and blasted off to all of the planets in the solar system, listening to a piece of classical music and doing an accompanying activity at each one. Again it was a really different to anything I’ve done before, I loved the music and it great for my daughter to be listening to and enjoying different types of music. She enjoyed all of the activities, especially one where we conjured up animals to play with using her magic wand.
We used the parachute, instruments, ran around and my daughter had a big smile on her face. She’s been asking since when we are going again. Something else that I thought was great was at the end of the class there was teas, coffees and cake in the church hall afterwards so you could stay for a chat with other parents, usually after a class you are rushed out ready for the next one but I felt welcome to stay as long as we liked.
I’d definitely recommend this as a class to try, for parents to take little ones too and also if you have grandparents looking after children in the week this would make a great class for them too. I didn’t know what to expect when I read that some of it was based on classical music but it was so much fun and I felt good for showing my daughter there is more to music than Old MacDonald! Its inspired me to find more different things to listen to at home and in the car.
The prices of the classes are also really good. You don’t need to sign up for a term or block of classes and can just pay as you go at £5 per class, which is great as I have often wasted lots of money signing up for a term of something then missing half due to illness or being away! If you do want to sign up for a block though Anna does a very good deal of just £22 per month but for that you can go to as many of the classes as you like each week.
NB I reviewed the Willerby class. This venue is no longer running but the same classes can be found at World of Wonder, Hull Community Church, Newland Avenue Hull and Rock Up, St Stephens Centre Hull.