From Berkeley Parents Network:
Classes for Toddler?
My kids love Jon's School of Music. My oldest went from the time he was 2 until he turned 5. The middle one started when he was about 14 months and is still in it. My youngest is only 5 months, and Jon is always great about letting her come along. The classes involve music, dancing, playing instruments, running around, story time, and stamps at the end of class. John has classes for all ages up to about 6 or 7. Each class incorporates elements of the younger kids class, and adds elements to keep the kids entertained, and learning about music. www.jsom.com (415)971-5435 Paul
Our now 3 year old has been going to ''Jon's School of Music'' for a little over a year, once a week. He loves drumming. The kids are introduced and use real instruments. I know that Jon also teaches private lessons but not until kids are old enough (maybe 4 or 5). This is not only for drumming, many other instruments as well. But, he works with rhythm and the kids and parents have so much fun. Our son comes home dancing and drumming and talking about different instruments. This is Jon's website: http://www.jsom.com/ Here is his e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org e cohen
I would highly recommend Jon's Music Class (jsom.com) if you're looking for a toddler class with lots of instruments. My son who is now four has done Jon's classes for about two years and really loved it. We tried other music classes but mainly found the music kind of insipid and there was definitely a lack of instruments besides tambourines and shakers. Jon has a trombone, cello, trumpet, keyboard, full drum set and lots of other instruments. He's quirky and kind of a kid himself which I think is why my kid has loved the class so much. Leslie
Try Jon's School of Music (www.jsom.com) in Berkeley. Jon offers really creative music classes that draw kids in to the fun and give them hands-on experience with drums, keyboard, guitar, and more every week. My 2 year old loves it. Elizabeth
Our boys (ages 3 1/2 and 22 months) really enjoy the classes in Berkeley at Jon's School of Music and we've been doing the classes for over a year now. The kids get exposed to a variety of instruments as well as musical theory. Jon offers a class trial for new families so check it out! www.jsom.com Carla
I highly recommend Jon's School of Music to anyone who wants to give their child a real musical opportunity. Jon is funny, inventive and his method is very smart. There is a lot of drumming. Most special is when the class forms a band. They play real instruments and the drummer, who calls the tune, is on an authentic trap set. My granddaughter, who is almost four, loves it. You can see more about Jon's School of Music on his site: http://www.jsom.com/ Ahni
Jon's School of Music. Just finished a hilarious evening with my 4 yo daughter and 3 yo son who have been attending Jon's music classes. They were dancing around singing to his CD, playing the drums and guitar. Amazes me what bits of music theory they pick up from such a playful setting. Jon teaches from a house in Berkeley on Mondays and Thursdays. In his silly class, children get to play different instruments in the group setting in a relaxed, fun manner...with teaching going on (somewhat subconsciously) constantly. Check it out at jsom.com. By the way, he has 2 drum sets that the kids just LOVE to play! Jennifer
Jon's School of Music in Berkeley is really spectacular and I highly recommend it. Rather than learning one instrument, children play lots of instruments and are exposed to the principles of music as well as group dynamics. Through Jon's playful approach, children learn rhythm, harmony, melody, dynamics, tempo, and more. In addition they have the opportunity to play real instruments and experience what it's like to play a cello, trombone, guitar, drums, keyboard, violin, shakers, etc. Children sing, dance and laugh throughout the class as Jon challenges them to grow musically. Jen
lessons for an almost 4 year old
classes for young toddler
music, less circle, for 4-y-o boy
I highly recommend Jon's School of Music. My daughter who is almost four really enjoys it. Being a musician myself, I'm aware of the challenges of presenting musical concepts at this young age without it going over their heads. I think Jon does a great job of introducing musical language and ideas to the kids in a fun and entertaining way. He's got a lot of energy and can be quite goofy in a positive way. One other important point, they get a chance to play real instruments! Check out www.jsom.com Good luck! Gianna
I would like to give a strong recomendation to Jon's School of Music. (jsom.com)
I have a young son ( 3 years old) who has done both East Bay Music Together and Jon's School of music. The Music Together was great and fun but we outgrew it. It teaches that one 'plays' music but there is not much true musical knowledge being imparted.
Jon teaches basic music reading and note recognition. He uses different teaching methods to reach different children's learning methods. For example, he writes songs to teach where specific notes are on the piano keyboard. 'D the dog' and so on. We rotate through playing real instruments. We also dance and of course have fun.
I am a musician and enjoy his classes. I think Jon is an excellent teacher.
Please make sure you give his classes a chance. He teaches in both North Berkeley and San Francisco. Edie
Our almost 5 year old boy has been going to Jon's School of Music jsom.com in the Berkeley Hills for almost 9 months and LOVES it. He has learned a ton - theory, rhythm, and lots of really good skills for future musicians (ej watching and responding to the conductor and/or to the other musicians in your band, music symbols, notes on a keyboard). It is high energy and engaging. The kids get to use real instruments (cello, drum set, brass etc). In Berkeley on M and Th. In SF other days. Our 2 year old goes to the younger kids class and also loves ''Teacher Jon-Jon.'' Heather
music class for 4-year-old
I just signed my 3-year old son up for classes with Jon's School of Music, and he LOVES it. It's fantastic, and still has some room (Mondays at 3:30 at the Luteran Church on Grizzly Peak;). Actually, this particular class needs more enrollment or is in risk of being cancelled.
It's a class for 2.5-4 year olds, and they get to play all kinds of instruments: drums/full drum kit, guitars, keyboards, cello, trombone, you name it. Jon has made up all kinds of silly, fun songs, stories, and dances that actually teach these little ones about music while they have a blast and all get hands on experience with the instruments.
It's a perfect after-school activity.
Check out his web site (it doesn't really do his program justice...) or call him directly: 415-971-5435.
Feel free to call me if you want any more info: patty 526-9036 -Having a ball at Jon's School of Music
A couple months ago I too was looking for music classes for my 3 year old boys. We had gone to music together for a couple years and felt ready to move on to something new. I really wanted them to be around and be able to experience a variety of instruments. After a search on BPN I found Jon's School of Music, visited his website, and went to check out a class. What a blast! Jon is full of energy and has a very unique way of exposing the kids to the language of music as well as instruments. My boys have already played keyboards, guitars, trumpets, cello, stand up base, accordian, full drum set and more! Please go to his website, http:/ www.jsom.com/, and take a look. New classes are starting soon. His classes in the east bay are taught at a Luthern church up on Grizzly Peak. Be sure to look at the videos to get the flavor of the class. Kyle
Hi there - The class you're looking for is Jon's School of Music. He is excellent and the classes involve real instruments and loads of fun. Check out his website for more information: www.jsom.com Cheers. EAnnis
My son took a music class this summer at ''Jon's School of Music'', which is up at Grizzly and Spruce and he got to play instruments, dance around, learn music theory, etc. It was a lot of fun! His favorite was playing the drum set but he also really enjoyed playing trumpet and string bass, among other things, and was learning more than he realized about reading music etc as well. There is a web site at http://www.jsom.com . I think this is the class you heard about, definitely check it out! Joanne
jon's school of music in berkeley (and sf) are perfect classes once the kindermusik-type classes become too young. awhile back, i wrote an unsolicitated review about jon's music classes as a great place for young children to get hands-on experience playing real instruments, learning about musical notes and theory, singing songs, and having a great time with ''silly jon man.'' my daughter and her friends attended for almost a year, and we ALL-- parents and babes, included--had a great time. also, he schedules early evening weekday classes, as well as weekend ones, too. check it out: www.jsom.com pamela
I would highly recommend Jon's School of Music (www.jsom.com). He is very entertaining but is also serious about teaching music basics (notes, rhythm). The kids get to play a variety of real instruments, including kid-sized guitars, cellos, xylophones, keyboards, drums. He teaches in Berkeley on Monday and Thursday and I do believe he has a 5:30 class one day. Liz O.
Any input on Jon Merker and Jon's School of Music for a 2 1/2 yr old who's really into music?
My 4 year old son and his dad have been going to Jon's evening class for a year now. It's not the closest music class, but Jon's approach is substantially different. The kids use real instruments -- not your shakers and tamborines. My son's favorite is the kid-size drum set. He's come home talking about playing a base (really a kid-size chello (sp?)).
Jon puts a lot of energy into engaging the kids, which really helps keep my son focused. I find it a little over the top, prefering a move reserved approach, but I'm not a toddler. The more reserved kids tend to sit with their parent initially and play the individual instruments, but soon want to help with the magic scales and give Jon a good-bye thumb-to-thumb.
It's interesting to see him integrate musical theory into the class and introduce notes. I don't know how much the kids get but they like it.
I would suggest going to a class to get a feel for it. As with most music classes, you can go to one to check it out for free. For the summer, he's letting us pay only for the classes we go to, which is nice.
The other thing Jon does, which I appreciate, is a friendly discipline. Although the parents are there, Jon telling my son to sit down helps a lot. It's very friendly but firm and age appropriate.
If you have other questions, you're welcome to email me. ajanks
my now 3 1/2 year old daughter and i attended jon's music class for 7 months, and we both really enjoyed it. we only recently stopped because of a schedule conflict, but she still channels ''silly jon man'' and asks to listen to his cd frequently. it's a great class where children are introduced to authentic instruments and learn how to be part of a music band. for us, it was the only class where my slow-to-warm daughter was engaged from the very beginning; i attribute it to jon's very silly atmosphere. claire's mom
Jon's School of Music is an imaginative and educational trip through the world of sound. Jon tells stories of the 'wondrous land of keyboard' where all the notes have interacting animal friends: C-roadrunner, D the dog, etc, and the musical flubs taste like chocolate. The kids each play their own instrument--drums, guitar, violin, cello, harmonium, bazouki, bells, you name it, he's got it. My son loves leading the band, helping D the dog put out fires, and singing the magic numbers (major or minor scales) to help free up a mysteriously stuck stack of drums. I love that we're getting a terrific education in musical terms and theory, besides getting to play all those great instruments. My son is 4, but we have a 2yr old in our class, and he's right in there playing and dancing with the older kids. Jon drives the class with energy and extreme silliness, and the kids love it! Karen
My 3 yr old son has been attending Jon's classes for two seasons now and we are VERY happy with the classes. He gets great exposure to different kinds of instruments and is actually learning music in a really fun way. We learned of this class from an unsolicited positive review on this newsletter and are so glad we followed through on the recommendation. As with the parent who wrote the review, we are just not the twirling in the air, scarf throwing type of people and the Music Together / Kindermusik classes were just not going to work for us (we tried). Jon is exceptional and we go out of our way to make it to his classes. Try a free class and see for yourself. Edna
This is an unsolicited recommendation of a great children's music class my 3-year old daughter and her three friends have been attending. It's called ''Jon's School of Music.'' Classes are offered for ages 1 - 6, and children are grouped with similarly-aged peers. Unlike other music classes we've participated in (and we've tried them all!), Jon's classes emphasize the actual playing of authentic instruments, including keyboard, guitar, drums, brass instruments, xylophone, and string instruments. No egg shakers or rhythm sticks here! Our kids are learning pitch, rhythm theory, musical notes, respect for instruments, performing as an ensemble (as well as duets and solos), in ways that are completely age-appropriate and very fun. (And actually, the grown-ups have learned quite a bit, too!) Most importantly, Jon has a natural affinity with little people and really understands how to connect with them developmentally, making each class a very silly, yet musical experience. Also, the kids love having a former rock band musician as their teacher.
Our winter session has just begun, but I know that he still has openings. Preview classes are free, so come join us. His East Bay classes are Mondays and Thursdays. For more information, check out his website and/or give him a call. Jocelyn
Re: Music class for 4.5 year old (Nov 2004)
I would like to recommend Jon's Superhero Music Class for your son. Jon Merker is an energetic teacher with an irresistible program that incorporates play and learning in a perfect mix for my 4yo son. Alex has ''played'' a variety of instruments including drums, keyboard, trumpet, violin, xylophone, electric and acoustic guitar, bells, and I can't wait to see what comes next. The students play at following rhythm, are learning tempo, musical terms, and use pitch to ''magically'' move stuck objects. Jon also has a veritable zoo of imaginary animal friends to show us where the notes ''live'' on the keyboard. He does an amazing job of keeping our class of 2 two-ish and 3 four-ish kids on track and learning.
Jon has classes in Berkeley and SF, and can be contacted at (415) 971-5435 or through jsom.com (Jon's School of Music.) Tell him D the Dog sent you! Superhero Mom
I want to heartily
recommend Jon's School of Music (formerly
Music Time) for music classes for young children ages 1 - 5.
My 7 year old son took Jon's classes from 18 months thru age 5
and is now in private piano lessons with Jon. My 14 month old
twins just started music classes with Jon and they already love
it. Jon is great with little kids because he loves them and he
teaches music in a fun and educational way. All my kids are
huge fans of his. Call him at (415) 971-5435. classes in
It's a treat to attend Jon's classes. He makes the sessions enjoyable for the kids from 9 months to 4 years old. The kids love the classes because Jon provides a variety of instruments for the kids to play and is highly interactive with the group. 2 thumbs up from this family on Jon's School of Music.
Jon is a great teacher. My 3 1/2 year old LOVES going to class with "silly Jon Jon". It is amazing how he keeps the kids active, engaged and learning. This is a great interactive class- kids get to play all kinds of insturments. It is a good next step after the little ones go to a music together type class. Each child gets several opportunities to play drums, cello, keyboard, guitar, trombone, etc and be a leader of the superfriends band during the class. Jon gives free demo classes so you should check it out and see if it is a good fit for your family. He also has CD's so you can play the music at home and in the car! My 7 year old loves to go back to class with Jon with his little sister when he is off from school too!
My 3 year old son loves this class. When he wakes up each morning and after each nap, he asks hopefully if he is going to Jon's School of music. He has never had such enthusiasm for another class of any kind. I hear him singing Jon's songs as he goes about his day. I am amazed at how much Jon can teach while keeping the children completely entertained. Not having a musical background, I have learned a lot myself.
Jon is a talented music teacher for kids of all ages. We've been taking our son to his class for two years now. We are now taking our 17 month old daughter. My husband and I are both teachers ourselves and are impressed by Jon's ability to keep the children focused, engaged and learning. His activities are always age-appropriate and fun. Our son has learned so much from these classes!
Jon is gifted as a teacher. He is able to translate basic musical ideas in age-appropriate ways - kinesthetic learning, nemonics, toys, dances, silly associations and above all his riveting series of engaging personalities that keep the children engaged and absorbed. My girl has learned basic drum skills, sings in key and seems to love the violin since taking turns on these instruments during the "Superfriends" basement band sessions! I wish I had this kind of class when I was learning music.
We've been taking our child to JSOM for about a year. Jon's inspired a love of music in our child. He's perhaps the best teacher our child has had so far in any field -- not just music. He has a great ability to keep a group of otherwise unruly two year olds in check in a way that keeps them engaged and learning.
I am very impressed with Jon's skills as an early childhood educator. He is teaching basic music concepts to tots, and creating an environment that is fun for kids and adults alike. My grandchildren, 2 1/2 year old twins, love his class, and sing and play instruments a lot more at home now.
I am a professional musician and a music educator (k-8) and I love bringing my kids to J.S.O.M. This is a far cry from "circle time". From day one, the children are learning musical concepts, vocabulary, and skills. Can you imagine your 1 year old sitting at a drum kit ? Extra fun for parents because they get to jam along as well. I have never seen anything even similar to Jon's teaching, his classes are my families favorite 45 minutes each week.
Jon makes music fun each week. My kids love trying the various different instruments each week. Jon has a way with kids; he introduces music concepts in a fun and easy to learn way. The kids love his silly tricks too. The best is that Jon incorporates themes, songs, etc. that the kids are interested in at the moment. We are having a U2 Vertigo phase at our house right now and Jon has been gracious about including Vertigo in his lessons. My son goes wild when Jon starts signing.
After trying several music classes around the Bay Area, I was thrilled to find Jon's School of Music. As a kindergarten teacher, I especially appreciate the balance of a structured learning environment with fun activities that sucessfully captures even the youngest students' attention and prepares them for school. Jon's high expectations of students and parents allow the students to learn and participate to their highest potential. He uses real music terminology including "forte," "piano," and "crescendo" and has created songs and characters to teach the students rhythm, names of music notes, and more! My 2 year old son often marches around our house singing the train rythm song "Eigth, eigth, eigth, chord, chord!" and obediently follows cues for "forte" (loud) and piano (soft). His favorite phrase is "More Jon!" and the CD is a daily request! I highly recommend the class!
My daughter and I have been attending Jon's classes for almost two years. Its an immersive class with a good balance of variety and repitition. The kids (and adults) get to try out different instruments at every class as we learn the basics of harmony, scales, tempo, etc, plus the all-important dymanics of participating in a group/band. Great lifeskills here beyond music, and a good music 101 refresher for me.
Jon has been a real find for us. He is energetic, enthusiastic, creative, and just plain great with kids. The kids get exposed to a variety of instruments, including cello, violin, trumpet, drums and guitar. They learn to read music and have fun at the same time. Jon also has a unique and creative system for learning the keyboard that uses fun stories to help physicalize the piano for children (and adults). This music class is also a great opportunity for developing discipline and for socialization if you are homeschooling.
Our daughter is 3.5, has been taking classes with Jon since 12 mos. Through repetition of songs and play, she learns and understands some key concepts in music. She can demonstrate "forte" and "pianissimo", she is familiar with names for notes, she has been exposed to a variety of instruments. In addition, she loves the instructor, has fun, and has made a lot of friends in the class. Music is important for brain development and creativity and Jon's class has been an important part of our daughter's early childhood experience and beyond.
Jon's School of Music is one of the most fun and worthwhile activities for the "under 5 crowd" I have participated in (and I have attended many other music classes and young child activities with my 1- and 4-year-olds.) Jon does an excpetionally good job understanding and connecting with each child, and he has very creative ways of teaching music basics. My kids are really learning something about music and we are all having fun.
What a fun class! kids get to try out many different kinds of instruments while letting their musical creativity run free. Jon makes music fun and is skilled at teaching music fundamentals at the same time. parents play music together with their kids (no previous music knowledge required) and its a great way to bond and have a fun shared experience with your children. highly recommended.
Review from mrsdubyah w.
Hands down the best Music School in San Francisco. If you are enrolled elsewhere, ask for a refund and call Jon. I was looking for music class for my 1 year old and discovered
Jon's School of Music on Yelp. Unfortunately, all the 1 year old classes conflicted with naptime. I called Jon and asked if I could form my own class (at a later time) with some fellow moms. He was so flexible and said, "Absolutely. Let me know when you want to start." At first, I was a little apprehensive, as I went to a few of those "overly saccharine sweet"
classes at other schools, and both my son and I couldn't wait to leave. I was so pleasantly surprised with JSOM for the following reasons
- Classes are small, and by the second one Jon will know your and your child's name
- Jon has so many tricks up his sleeve. He introduces new instruments every week - xylophones, bells, full drum kits, stand up pianos (even a baby baby grand), keyboards, etc.; he combines music, books, dancing and magic; and no class is ever the same. There's always new songs and new tricks.
- Jon's flexible with makeup classes
- Jon lets the kids dictate the pace of the class. If they're not into a song or instrument, he moves on. He rarely keeps the children on the same instrument for more than 2 minutes, which is key with 1 year olds
- He actually teaches. The children are learning "forte" (loud), crescendos, where D is on the keyboard, and singing in different keys. I've actually learned a lot from him.
- His prices are the most reasonable around
- Jon is so laid back, genuinely fun and flexible. One class, a Grandma mentioned Oingo Boingo, and we sang a few songs while beating on the African Drums.
I can't recommend Jon or his classes more. If you want to take your child to a music class that you'll actually enjoy, check out Jon's School of Music.
From Yelp "Filtered Reviews":
- Review from Karen H.
My son has been going to JSOM
since 2009 when he was two. Our experience in his group class and now
in private lessons has been overwhelmingly positive. The group class
gave my son the opportunity to try all different types of instruments
from every section of the orchestra. Over time we could see the
instruments that my son naturally gravitated toward so that we knew
exactly what to focus on in his private lessons.
- Review from Nina L.
We LOVE Jon! My son (20 months) is always so excited when he sees we're on our way into Jon's music class. As soon as Jon is in his sights, he smiles, giggles, and waits for Jon's fun and silly greeting. I've been taking my son to Jon for the last 3 months and not only has my son learned a lot (like when to throw his arms up at a certain beat and how to pluck a guitar string), but I have too! I know where to find the D note on a keyboard and what accelerando and decrescendo mean. Jon's energy, great creativity, and enthusiasm for music and teaching little one's is unsurpassed. As an educator myself (I've taught art to children of all ages and in many different settings), I know that a teacher like Jon is one in a million.
- Review from Paul O.
My older son LOVED John's School
of Music. Then we brought my younger son, and he liked it even more.
It is a full-energy, full-body, full-participation, musical experience.
If you want a class where kids can be kids and have a great time while
learning about music, then this is the place for you and your little
- Review from Alejandra R.
Ditto on all the comments from
previous reviewers! I have a 14 month old daughter and we play a lot of
music at home so she's used to that. She LOVED and the class and was
shaking her body from one side to the other (even though she was tired
from missing nap).
- Review from KD Credible
Another satisfied parent of JSOM. We'd done a number of music classes since my child was an infant but by the time he was 18 months, he was over sitting in a circle and tossing scarves into the air. I found JSOM through BPN and we loved it! Jon is professional and makes the class fun for the children. He is also pretty good at adapting-- if the kids seem overly energetic, he may shift into dancing time or plane flying time. By the time we left the class (our schedule shifted), my son was 2.5, and able to "lead the band" in drumming. I love that the class was hands on. Jon throws in some light theory here and there (my son understands "forte" is to play with force and understands the concept of building up to a crescendo). He has a little more control when playing drums and instruments now. He doesn't bang piano keys, he recognizes that each key makes it's own sound. My son is also a huge fan of Jon's CDs- "B" bus being one of his favorite songs! In all, we were very satisfied with our experience and will likely go back for lessons when my son is ready to learn an instrument.
- Review from Russell B.
I took my son to JSOM for many
seasons while he was two and three years old. Both group classes and
private lessons. Teacher Jon has a special way with children that I see
in only the most gift of instructors. Both my son and I learned a lot.
It was always one of the high points of our weeks.
We've attended Jon's classes for a couple years - our kids love his classes. They are very entertaining - Jon should get his classes televised, as it's much better than the Wiggles! I think my kids think of him as a rock star. It's a lot of fun for the kids and the parents. In addition to the classes being fun, they are also great for teaching the kids. My kids have learned a lot.
Jon's school of music is great! He put a class together for our mom's group- our 1+ years olds have a great time. I was a refugee from another baby music program in SF. Even though I have to drive to this class- it's worth it. So much better than the other classes which are the equivalent of baby talk- way too dumbed down and frankly, no fun. The babies and moms love this class. Jon is very flexibly, both in putting classes together and in allowing make up classes and the such. Highly recommend it- your baby will thank you!
Here's a great way to support a small local business/musician. Great music class overall! Kids get to play on real instruments such as xylophones and drum sets. It's a very hands on experience in a more laid back and less pretentious atmosphere as compared to those other classes in laurel village. My shy 1.5 year old likes it and repeats certain parts of music class at home. Jon is flexible with classes and enthusiastic about teaching.
JSOM is great. Both of my
children love it every time. Jon engages them both in the sibling class
that we're doing now. And he's been able to inspire them at each
developmental stage for the last four years.
Updated - 11/20/2008
Just an update to say that now I
bring both of my kids a sibling class at JSOM. He teaches to the older
kids, but still gets the young ones involved. My kids will always get in
the car if I tell them we're going to music class!
My son went to Jon's class for
three years and it rocked! This is the best, most age appropriate music
class for preschoolers. Jon has a great program that's perfectly
paced. Fun for kids and fun for adults, and lots of great learning
Our son loves Jon's classes. He started classes when he was 19 months old and he would not sit for any activity for more than 10 minutes at a time. Jon keeps changing instruments and activities to keep the kids engaged. My son looks forward to music class each week.
For the last thirty yearsI have been either a pre-school teacher, a mom or a nanny. I have taken four children to Jon's class and I love it!
I'm a professional musician, and I wholeheartedly recommend Jon's School of Music to anyone who likes music! Our daughter was 4 when we found out about Jon's classes and signed her up. Over the past year has had a ton of fun in his classes and learned a lot from him about music. She's 5 now and still loves it.
Updated - 9/29/2008
Fun! Fun! Fun! AND worth every (extremely reasonable penny)! My husband and I stumbled upon this hidden gem of a music class while out on a walk one day with our 1 year old. We had been looking to start some sort of fun, group music class and after checking out various venues (JCC, Gymboree, Golden Gate Park rec dept) we were pretty disappointed with the choices. Jon's classes are entertaining, educational and filled with personal touches we hadn't seen before. The array of musical instruments is fantastic and there are always plenty to go around. His curriculum is set up in such a wonderful way, the time flies by and you come out realizing you were just given the building blocks to playing guitar, piano, drums and more!
The best testament I can give is that when we stroll up to the building and my daughter recognizes it - she squeals with delight and grins from ear to ear. Enough said!
My 3 1/2 year old son just
started taking classes with Jon in Berkeley and he is literally out of
his head with excitement before the beginning of each class. My first
son (Now 7 1/2) took classes with Jon for 3 years and has continued to
be excited about music.
I would highly recommend Jon's
School of Music. We tried other music classes, but switched over to
Jon's class as he teaches music in a way that is very fun for young
children. Thanks to Jon's teaching of music terminology and music notes,
my 3-year old son knows where the D notes are on the piano and the
difference between forte, crescendo and decrescendo, among other music
My child has blossomed at John's
School of Music. I am a musician and I shopped far and wide for a class
that wasn't just singing and clapping. At Jon's, my son actually plays
piano, bass, drums, horns, and other string instruments. Plus he has
learned how to control the dynamics of the band, how to sing in a mic,
where notes are on a keyboard, and how to react to signals of other band
mates. In many ways Jon's classes teach not only passive music
appreciation, but how to actively create it.
I would like to give a strong
recomendation to Jon's School of Music. (http://jsom.com)
We were looking for a class we
could bring both of our toddlers to (16 months apart) and have them both
get something out of it. We found Jon's School of Music after trying
Music Together and Gymboree Music - which were fine for play, but
certainly not much teaching of music. What a difference! Our daughter
(2 1/2) who tends to be "slow to warm" just loves "Teacher Jon" and
really participates in class. We were delightfully surprised that our
son (16 months) participates too and really bops to the music and digs
the drums. Whereas other music classes tend to run off a corporate laid
out song list, Jon let's the kids contribute to the lyrics of the music
and really makes them feel like they own their music. He also
teaches respect for the instruments, toy props, and each other! Jon
is very comfortable re-focusing a child when needs to be. He is very
patient with the little ones who tend to take longer to focus. Very
quickly the kids learn what to do and joyfully participate. Using real
instuments really makes this class, along with Jon's ability to
incorporate real music knowledge into his class repertoire. Jon is
great about make up classes (and trust me, many other music classes are
not flexible about this - so you tend to find sick kids in class when
they shouldn't be!)
My son has been enjoying Jon's
music classes for almost a year. He's 3 now, and he talks about Jon all
week -- "I'll show Jon my new shirt"; "When I see Jon I'll tell him
that I went to the park." Since he's a pretty shy kid, when we come to
class, he's doesn't actually tell him any of these things, but he plops
down next to the other kids and I can tell that he's ecstatic to finally
be at music school.
My son and daughter (ages 4 and 6) are long-time students of Jon's, and I highly recommend his school of music. Both of my children adore Jon, and from him they have learned so much about so many aspects of music. In my professional opinion (I am a child psychologist), Jon has very engaging, creative, and age-appropriate ways of connecting with and teaching children music basics, including notes, pitch, rhythm, timing, etc. As a parent, it is one of the few kid classes we've taken - and we've taken many - that we ALL really enjoy. Take a free preview class, and you'll see!
My daughter started at 16 months.
She was a little cautious at first, but Jon kept engaging her in the
activities and now she's totally a part of the class laughing and
banging away on pianos and drums. Jon's also really good at stepping in
when my daughter starts to have a melt down and he totally diffuses the
situation and back to the music.
It goes without saying that Jon's
School of Music was one of the highlights of my trip to San Francisco.
Accompanying my daughter and grandson Kolya to his weekly music class
was a treat indeed. As I sat and watched music and magic unfold,
children of very small ages and sizes were fully engaged in learning
many aspects of music, including hands on instruments, rhythmic concepts
and most importantly, having a blast with their teacher, Jon. I have
known a lot of music educators in my thirty-five years of teaching
music and I honestly have not seen one with more energy, more control
(in a very good way) than Jon.
I'm a lifelong musician. Jon's
School of Music is the class I wish I had gone to as a kid. He packs a
gigantic amount of real-life nuts and bolts of music into what, from the
kids perspective, is an hour of playtime. Everything from notes on the
keyboard to how to hold a microphone to relative pitches and a healthy
mental approach to mistakes(it's an orange strawberry flub, let's try
that song again, and if we get it, we eat the flub!)
I'm a musician who (erroneously)
thought I could teach my preschooler alone. It wasn't working. Then I
found Jon's School of Music. It is out of this world -- we've been going
almost two years and Eric (now 5) can't get enough of it.
The first time I heard of Jon was when another mom told me "There's this crazy music guy in North Berkeley that kids love!" So I went to check it out and she was right. My kids loved the singing, the movement, and trying all sorts of instruments. I loved the way the kids learned to recognize musical notation (eg. eighth notes, treble clef, forte, half rest, etc.) My daughter "discovered" violin during one of Jon's classes and has been taking lessons now for 2 years. She still remembers the notation she learned with Jon. My son started piano lessons a year after finishing with Jon and spontaneously started singing Jon's keyboard song ("D is in the doghouse..."). They remember so much. Children are sponges for learning music--so get your child to Jon's School of Music now!
Review added 10/27/2009As a daughter of a few generations of singer/song writers I was not surprised to find my son banging his spoon in rythm to twinkle twinkle little star (the rocknroll version) and singing in perfect pitch before he could barely talk. Ate age 6 it became apparent that my son was more than ready for music lessons, as every utensil he picks up tends to become a drumstick. My father always told me, you don't need music lessons -music is everywhere. I'm a labor and delivery nurse and a single mom and just wanted to find a place for my son to express himself and develop his craft. Jon's school of Music is the Ultimate musician building playground! My son not only gets to express himself with the drums, bongos, xylophone and other various percussion instruments but he gets to communicate with other future budding artists of the Bay Area as well. This is what my father was talking about, music is communication and it's everywhere. Jon's school of music is the playground (with Jon acting as referee/coach)and well worth more than any money spent on other so called music lessons. If you or your child have any interest in the art of music -this is the venue- this is the place to commune!
Review added 6/17/2009Fun! Fun! Fun! AND worth every (extremely reasonable penny)! My husband and I stumbled upon this hidden gem of a music class while out on a walk one day with our 1 year old. We had been looking to start some sort of fun, group music class and after checking out various venues (JCC, Gymboree, Golden Gate Park rec dept) we were pretty disappointed with the choices. Jon's classes are entertaining, educational and filled with personal touches we hadn't seen before. The array of musical instruments is fantastic and there are always plenty to go around. His curriculum is set up in such a wonderful way, the time flies by and you come out realizing you were just given the building blocks to playing guitar, piano, drums and more! The best testament I can give is that when we stroll up to the building and my daughter recognizes it - she squeals with delight and grins from ear to ear. Enough said!
Review added 6/17/2009JSOM is great. Both of my children love it every time. Jon engages them both in the sibling class that we're doing now. And he's been able to inspire them at each developmental stage for the last four years. Tons of instruments to play, awesome techniques to introduce kids to music and theory, and often hilarity ensues, especially with flub flavors and the alternative responses to "hey"! Also of note, Jon has always been very flexible with make-up classes. Vacation and sickness alike. I highly recommend these classes.
Review added 6/11/2009Jon’s School of Music is really spectacular and I highly recommend it. As a former early childhood educator, teaching at UC Berkeley for 15 years, and in more recent years, a student of music at the Jazzschool, Jon provides exactly the kind of music education I was hoping to give my 4 year old granddaughter and certainly the kind I wish I had as a child. Jon recognizes that young children learn best through play, and his playful approach makes learning fun. He is very respectful of each child’s temperament and developmental level, and individualizes his interactions with them. He even builds in mistakes so that a “flub” becomes expectable and made acceptable. He meets children at their level and challenges them appropriately. Jon has designed many activities and games all geared to teaching the principles of music education. Throughout the class children are exposed to rhythm, harmony, melody, dynamics, tempo, and more. They also have the opportunity to play real instruments, some that are child size, so that they get to experience what it’s like to play a cello, trombone, guitar, drums, keyboard, violin and more. He reinforces what he teaches them with hand-outs to take home and a CD. In addition, children learn a tremendous amount about working together to make music. They work as a band and learn about how to listen to each other and play together. Team work is crucial to many of his activities. Best of all, this class is sheer fun. Jon’s zany personality brings out the belly laugh in all of the children as well as all of the adults.
Review added 6/11/2009Jon has a knack for 2 year olds. He keeps little ones engaged with real instruments, humor, puppets, toys, and books. The kids don't realize they're learning about music fundamentals; they're just having fun. As a mom, I've found it a great way to play with my little guy, far more creative than most classes.
Review added 6/10/2009My son and daughter (ages 4 and 6) are long-time students of Jon's, and I highly recommend his school of music. Both of my children adore Jon, and from him they have learned so much about so many aspects of music. In my professional opinion (I am a child psychologist), Jon has very engaging, creative, and age-appropriate ways of connecting with and teaching children music basics, including notes, pitch, rhythm, timing, etc. As a parent, it is one of the few kid classes we've taken - and we've taken many - that we ALL really enjoy. Take a free preview class, and you'll see!
Review added 3/2/2009First, these are great, great music classes. We used to drive an hour total just to attend the Berkeley classes (yes, there are classes in Berkeley, too!). The teacher holds children's attention via puppet shows, games, chants, and whatever he can think of, and in each class the children get to play several different instruments (a different selection each time) as part of a band. In these classes my daughter learned to like drums and harps and cellos. She now plays cello. However, the teacher was not able to understand that my tall daughter had only recently turned three years old. She was the youngest in her three-to-five year old class, but she was a bit taller than a four and a half year old in the same class. The teacher, Jon, who is otherwise wonderful, was openly impatient with my child often enough that we stopped attending his classes. So, I would recommend these classes, with the caveat that it may be necessary to remind the teacher several times if you have a taller, younger child, as he seems to have real trouble remembering that kids are not always as old as they look.
Review added 11/21/2008I checked out a lot of the music classes in the city, and Jon's music classes for kids are the best. Jon goes well beyond the usual sing-along-scarf-waving tactics and transforms groups of (sometimes unruly)toddlers into an improvisational band. The kids learn music theory, practice basic keyboard, guitar and drumstick skills, and get to try out a huge variety of instruments (keyboard, electric and acoustic guitar, drum and drum set, violin, cello, harp, upright bass, xylophone, trumpet, trombone, french horn, recorder, slide whistle, tabla, saaz, accordion, microphone). I highly recommend these classes for anyone who wants to introduce their child to music and instruments.