I signed my seven-month-old baby up for a trial class at My MusikBox on the basis that all children like music. Give them a pot and they'll bang it. Put on a tune and they'll dance. Or so I thought.
Fifteen-month-old Chloe has been attending the baby class at My MusikBox in Causeway Bay for 10 weeks, and she still gets tearful when it's time to dance.
The week we went, her teacher, Rennie, anticipated the tears and gave a reassuring smile while Chloe's auntie chuckled, swept her up in her arms and did a little jig. Fortunately for Chloe, the 'My Mini-Me' class is a blur of activities set at a pace to keep young minds interested and carers on their toes.
We started with a hello song set to rhythm sticks. My baby, Jessica, was too young to hold hers so she flapped her arms in time with the music. From there we sang Ring Around the Rosie and Hey Diddle Diddle, both with actions that had Jessica giggling and Chloe looking worried.
For each activity, we moved 'stations', which were really blankets on the floor laid out with props. At one, we banged Chinese drums in the style of that week's theme, 'Loud and Quiet', before moving on to another blanket for a non-musical activity to 'stimulate their smell buds'. Rennie produced plastic boxes containing garlic and coffee, which she invited the babies to sniff. They were then given toys to play with for a few minutes before being ushered on.
Song lyrics were beamed onto a large screen at the front of the room so anyone who didn't know the words could join in. We sang two songs to learn that week's sign language words, 'mummy' and 'daddy'.
Out came the egg shakers before we moved onto another song which doubled as an anatomy lesson. 'Tony Chestnut knows I love you, Tony knows, Tony knows', we sang while pointing to our toes, knees and nose.
Cue more dancing (and more tears from Chloe) before our lightning fast 'relaxation time' and then finally the goodbye song. Phew.
It was not only a music class for babies six to 12 months, but a lesson in how much you can pack into 45 minutes. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but as a first-timer, I thought each song and activity blurred into the next. There's no way I would have remembered all the lyrics without the song sheet I was handed at the end of class. That was perfect for practising at home until the next whirlwind performance.
My MusikBox has been operating since 2004 in Hong Kong and caters for children as young as six months. Until the age of three, it's all about music. Older children can learn speech and drama, singing or a musical instrument. For the very small ones, My Mini-Me classes cost HK$2,000 for 10 sessions.
Verdict: A fun and action-packed 45 minutes with plenty of songs to try at home at a more leisurely pace.
Room 302, 1 Hysan Avenue
Tel: 2882 7601