How to Start a Music Group for Toddlers: Part 1

Earlier in the summer, I wrote a post about doing music time at home with Ella and how it was kind of a spin-off of a music group we attended on a weekly basis.

Then the mom who ran it returned to work, and after weeks of Ella begging to go (including a nightly question “She home from work now?”), I decided to start my own up.

Three entire people have asked me for more details about how the previous and soon-to-be groups have been run, so here are all the details:

how to start a music group for toddlers

  • Number of Participants: I invited seven other women (all of whom only have a single child except for one who has a six-month old in addition to her toddler), and all of them have responded that they are interested. The previous group fluctuated a lot in terms of numbers – some weeks it was just her daughter and Ella, while other weeks there were eight or nine kids there. I think eight is about the most I’d want to have because my apartment is small and also because I think bigger than that starts to be more noisy and chaotic than I’m willing to deal with.
  • Who, Exactly, Participates?: This is not a drop-off class (considering the oldest child is only two and a half, I have no interest in herding seven or eight children on my own). The parents stay the entire time (about forty-five minutes) and participate just like the kids, dancing, singing, and generally making fools of themselves.
  • Time of Day: The one we used to attend was held in the morning, but I’m doing mine at 4 in the afternoon because that’s the time of day I find to be the longest stretch and also because we have things already going on several mornings during the week. Of course, afternoon is feasible for this group because no one has older children getting out of school at that time. Morning may work better if you have children in school or want to invite people who do.
  • Snacks: Oh, do not get me started. The old group had snacks at the end of each session (and people mainly brought something to share with the group), but we usually left before they were handed out because it was 11 a.m. and I wanted Ella to actually eat lunch an hour later. We won’t be doing snacks because I don’t want to buy or make them on a weekly basis, I feel strongly that activities should be fun for their own sake and not just for the food afterward, and it’ll also be very close to dinner time when we end.
  • Starting on Time: I understand that it can be difficult to get ANYWHERE on time with a child, but I’ve also noticed that if you get in the habit of starting late to accomadate people who show up late, then people start showing up even LATER. So I won’t be bothered if people are late, but we will start right on time with whomever is there, even if that is only me.
  • Cost: I’m not charging a fee to attend and neither did the woman who used to run it. She did, at one point, ask if people would be willing to pay a couple of dollars a week and my impression was that most people said they would not. Frankly, because of how many activities there are in our area for kids, I wouldn’t be inclined to pay either.
  • Getting Invited to Participate: Ralphie invited me to start coming to the music group and after a couple of weeks, I asked the mom running it if I could invite another friend and she said yes, and then THAT friend invited one of HER friends. So that group was pretty open. If we have consistent attendance from the people I invited, we’ll keep it closed. If it starts to dwindle, I’ll invite participants to invite another friend if I feel like we’re getting too small.

Let me know if you have questions or want clarification.

(Part II about the toddler songs we use and the basic schedule for our group here)

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  1. Oh my goodness, maybe I should do a toddler music class since I'll only have Annie in the mornings. Or maybe I'll do it in the afternoon and have it be for 3-5 year olds. Excited to see your syllabus, you inspirer, you.

  2. I've been waiting and waiting for this. Thank you! Please post the remaining parts this afternoon. Because I know you have nothing better to do that give in to my every demand.

  3. With music in your blood, you will do well. There are so many free resources available and you won't be serving snacks, there shouldn't be any reason to charge anything. That way, too, by staying informal, you shouldn't have any issues about needing permits or licenses. Do ask people to donate paper towels, Kleenex, and toilet paper, tho. 🙂

  4. I did this with my daughter and my twins. I provided the song list and schedule (however giving them the flexibility to change any song they wanted) and then we each took turns being in charge. I always had it at my house to make it easier to remember, and I provide all the scarfs, beanbags, rthymn sticks, instruments etc. but at least I wasn't always the one in charge and could enjoy being with my kid(s) just like the other mom's. It worked out great. We didn't do a snack or charge a fee either. All the kids LOVED it. Good luck with your class. I look forward to doing one again once these new twins are old enough.

  5. I would love to do this with my daughter's age group (3-5), you know the ones that have siblings in school but they are getting left out of the fun. Can't wait to see your suggestions and helps!

  6. Thank you for posting this! The previous post made me wonder about starting a group here; this will be a huge help!

  7. I'm interested to hear how it goes! I go to a music group that one of my friends helps run. They have a group of women who participate in running it and they hold it at our church building so there's no worry about house cleaning/number of people. It's a morning group, an hour long, no snack, and they always start on time. The number varies wildly between like 10 and 30 kids. Definitely fun to go to!

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