For more than 20 years, The Leadership Program has worked with public schools, private schools, and the New York City Department of Education to provide special programs for more than 22,000 participants, 4,000 teachers, and 7,000 parents each year. The organization’s specialists offer a variety of award-winning and nationally recognized programs that range from conflict resolution and youth development to professional development, parent development, and social services. They also mold minds with additional programs that include youth advisory, diversity outreach, and academic arts.
Even though it’s been lauded by CBS New York, Time Out New York Kids, and Nickelodeon Parents Connect, ABC Do-Re-Me! most values praise from its students. At each energetic studio, newborns to 6-year-olds ecstatically bounce along to children’s songs from a live guitarist or to tunes by pop artists such as the Beatles, the Black Eyed Peas, and Madonna, as they build cognitive skills, develop socially, and create dance routines that will wow at baby prom.
Zumba classes at M Dance & Fitness provide a hip-shaking workout so engrossing that, according to Time Out New York, students barely notice its rigor until they’re sore the next day. Set to music that ranges from pop to reggaeton, classes work the whole body through simple dance steps from schools such as salsa and merengue.
The studio’s Masala Bhangra class replaces Zumba’s Latin flair with Indian moves. Masala means “spicy” in Hindi; the routines are thus a “spicy,” or Bollywood-inflected, take on Bhangra, a traditional Indian folkdance. Studio founder Misty Clark and her team of instructors helm other dance fitness classes as well, with focuses such as ballet, kick-box dance, hip-hop, and ab work.
The story of Penny and the Puppettes traces back to Bob Munstedt, a children's musician and puppeteer who captivated youngsters from the 1940s through the 1970s. Inheriting her father's love for kid-friendly performances, Munstedt’s daughter Jane Stratten founded her own touring puppet show, Jane Stratten's Musical Puppets. The family business entered its third generation when Jane's daughter, Merissa Morin, graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and founded Penny and the Puppettes, a program dedicated to delighting children with interactive, educational, and engaging shows and classes. Morin's and her staff's mission is to give kids an outlet to improve their musical, creative, and social skills.
Spotlighted in Time magazine and the New York Times, Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals is a nationally renowned program offering a unique take on musical education for children 3 months to 4 years old. Classes consist of 45 minutes of singing, dancing, musical storytelling, and jamming. Children's songsmith David Weinstone designed a curriculum celebrating the urban environment as well as universal concerns of youth via his classes, which have exploded into the national spotlight since their humble beginnings in 1997. Rather than being strict and results-driven, the teaching style at Music for Aardvarks is based on adult modeling and exposing children to ideas and sounds without dumbing them down. Parent participation is strongly encouraged for atonal squealers and former Yes drummers alike. Check the Music for Aardvarks website for the drop-in sessions and 10-class series schedules.
For more than a century, Greenwich House Music has fulfilled its mission to help new and native New Yorkers thrive through instrument and voice lessons. The center's Music Together class introduces children as young as 2 years old to music through tonal and rhythmic skill exercises taught in a play-focused environment. Adult programs, such the Village Folk Sing-a-Long, Group Guitar, and Jazz Vocal classes, carry on the musical traditions that helped put Greenwich Village on the world’s cultural map. Starting from basics and moving up, lessons immerse grown-ups in a curriculum that focuses on specific genres or instruments. The center also offers private instruction sessions in more than 10 instruments, giving students an opportunity to learn a new talent one-on-one and an excuse to leave their clingy imaginary friends in the car.