Discover the Best Kids' Music Classes in NYC
Hundreds of successful musicians have come out of New York City, including Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Billy Joel, and renowned composer John Williams. NYC is also home to some of the most prestigious music schools in the nation, including those at New York University and Juilliard. Music has been integral to the cultural landscape of New York for many years, and the city offers a fantastic environment for kids to start early on their music journeys. With enough time and practice, your child may be the next headline act at Carnegie Hall, leaving their mark on the music landscape of NYC, and perhaps even the USA or the world.
Why You Should Learn Kids' Music in NYC
This 2017 report highlights New York as one of the world’s larges music ecosystems, with staggering economic output. The music industry continues to be an enormous pillar of New York’s economy and culture. Local artist communities have great support in the New York metro with plenty of open mic nights, jam sessions, and concert venues available. NYC kids who want to get started with music early also have the opportunity of ingraining themselves early in a sprawling music community; it’s incredibly easy to meet other kids and teens who share a passion for music both in and outside of a classroom space.
However, if public performance or chart-topping hits aren’t in your plans, that’s alright. Playing music just for you is perfectly valid, especially since playing an instrument has been linked to all kinds of health benefits, including lower stress, increased balance, and heightened overall cognitive ability. The earlier a child gets involved with music, the sooner they’ll be able to reap these benefits for themselves.
In-Person Kids' Music Classes & Schools in NYC
Because NYC has such a large and vibrant music ecosystem, there are plenty of in-person classes to choose from for your child. The in-person option makes sense for many parents and guardians: children either get to share their musical journey with kids of similar ages and possibly make new friends or they get private 1-on-1 time with an experienced, expert teacher. Either way, taking a kids’ music class in person gives your child the advantage of having someone to answer questions as they go.
Astoria Values Inc. offers a Guitar/Violin Class at Ditmars Steinway in Queens for any child interested in either (or both) of these string instruments. Any child five years old and up is welcome in this hands-on course. As a beginner course, kids will focus on learning basic music theory and performance, such as playing notes, chords, and scales. One fun benefit of this course is that students are welcome to bring sheet music for songs they’re interested in, and instructors will help them learn to play those songs. This really helps maintain a high interest level in practicing the music, especially for younger children.
Further Music School has Private Piano Lessons available in both the Financial District of Lower Manhattan and Queens’ Forest Hills neighborhood. They also allow for flexibility with lesson times, offering lessons in 30, 45, and 60-minute blocks. You can start your children as young as four years old, and the private setting ensures that your child is getting the maximum time and attention with instruction catered specifically to them; students can even bring some of their favorite songs to focus on in their lessons. Beginner students will focus on mastering basic techniques like sight-reading and basic performance skills. Intermediate students can focus on more advanced songs and techniques, and even take mock tests in preparation for various music exams.
You can also head to Hell’s Kitchen for Private Organ Lessons by City Music Schools. These one-hour private classes offer flexible scheduling, and instructors are accommodating of the need to reschedule. Learning to play the organ is very similar to playing the piano but with a few extra bells and whistles. Kids who learn one of these instruments will be able to transfer their skillset and pick up the other with relatively little problem.
If you have a teen who’s interested in jazz, consider signing them up for Midtown’s week-long Summer Jazz Intensives from New York Jazz Academy. Students with any level of music skill are welcome; your child will be placed by the NYJA Office into an ensemble with students at a similar skill level. These jazz summer camps emphasize practical playing experience through a combination of clinics, classes, and activities. Also, each week offers new curricular material, so your student will be getting new insights and performance opportunities should they wish to attend another week after completing their first. Some of the emphases of each week, however, include collaborative music-making, musical improvisation, and becoming a better music reader.
Older kids and teens can Learn to Play the Drum Set with instructors from Creatively Wild Art Studio Dumbo in Brooklyn. Absolute beginners are welcome. Classes will cover things like keeping time, rhythmic notation, proper hand and foot techniques, basic beats, and more. Students will learn good methods for practicing outside of class and have the opportunity to play along with a number of songs that they like or want to bring to their lessons.
Aspiring vocalists ages 6-12 can join Midtown’s Live Mic Singing 101: Kids/Tweens Vocal Group. While most of the class will emphasize children singing as a group, some individual instruction will also be given. All classes will begin with a handful of breathing and vocal warmups, but a different musical topic will be covered each week. These topics include: proper breath control, rhythm, singing with emotion, live performance, the difference between head voice and chest voice, and more.
Children’s Museum of the Arts offers a Song Writing Class in SoHo for 12-15-year olds. While song structure and writing lyrics is certainly a big part of the course, children in this class will receive a much more mult-faceted education in songwriting. They’ll learn the basics of multi-track recording using both keyboards and vocals. They’ll also study a variety of genres, including hip-hop and rock n’ roll. As if that wasn’t enough, students will also become familiar with popular recording software like Garageband, ProTools, and even Photoshop for making album covers. The class will culminate in students recording their own personal albums made from a combination of solo material and collaborations with classmates.
Virtual Kids' Music Classes & Schools
Even if you don’t live near a class or your schedule simply doesn’t fit with available in-person classes, you don’t need to let that stop your child from attending a music class. There are plenty of online kids’ music classes that your child can attend from home, and CourseHorse makes these classes easy to find. This convenience also ensures that you won’t need to spend time commuting through busy traffic, meaning more time for you and your children to practice music or work on other tasks.
While there may be some minor audio delay issues with online conferencing software, instructors usually have smart ways of working around this or making it a non-issue altogether. With that said, an online class will require you to purchase your own instrument and associated supplies for practice and instrument upkeep, though in-person classes tend to require this too with a few exceptions.
Kids ages 11-14 who want to sing will get plenty of experience in this Youth Vocal Performance Class from the Vocal Lab and Music School. These group classes will always start with a vocal warm-up or two and a short conversation regarding performance. Each student will get about ten minutes to work in front of the class during each session, meaning that they’ll get the benefit of individual instruction and immediate feedback as well as learning by observing their peers perform. Students will frequently receive prompts for each class to help them choose songs to work on, and this will help encourage kids to branch out and experiment with different musical genres and step outside their comfort zones. The course will conclude with a Zoom recital where family and friends are welcome to witness your child’s progress in action.
If you have your own keyboard or piano (or are willing to purchase one), then this Piano/Keyboarding for Young People Class from Los Angeles City College offers a great way for your child to start learning how to play the piano. All the important fundamentals of piano are covered here, including note-reading, basic music theory, finger coordination, pitch, and rhythm. Instructors will also make sure to help kids understand good practice habits and how to stay disciplined in their practicing from week to week. Successful completion of this course will ensure your child is ready to move up to an intermediate-level class.
This Kids’ Absolute Beginner Guitar Class is for all the future rock stars. Children ages 8-11 will learn proper playing techniques regardless of what their dominant hand is, and they’ll learn to read music notation and play single note melodies by working with popular songs. This eight-week course will also have students playing chords and utilizing multiple picking and strumming patterns to help them be more versatile players. With practice, your child will be able to comfortably play a handful of full songs.
Private Group Kids' Music Classes in NYC
No matter where in New York your business operates, it’s easy to schedule kids’ music classes for private groups in NYC through CourseHorse. Maybe your team wants to see their kids performing and learning together. Or perhaps they’d like to be involved and make music with their kids and coworkers. Either way, scheduling any kind of event is a simple process using CourseHorse’s online request form for private events. Just fill out some key details, including the kind of event you’re hoping to organize, and CourseHorse will get back to you within 24 hours of submitting your request.
You’ll be able to enjoy all kinds of flexibility by booking through CourseHorse. For example, total headcount can be changed even after initial booking, and there are no booking fees at all. And while Zoom is the default, preferred platform for online group classes, CourseHorse will gear setup towards compatibility with Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, or similar platforms if you’d prefer.
Once you finish registering, a booking confirmation will be sent within 24 hours. Rescheduling and cancellation requests can be accommodated with at least a 48-hour notice. Also, demos of a full event are often available upon request, which is a great option if you’re skeptical for whatever reason.