Update: As of August of 2016, Viva! is no longer offering classes. For other music classes, FFTC’s Guide to Family Music Classes offers several options throughout the Twin Cities.
In January, I was invited by Keidy Lora to attend Viva! Music and Movement in Spanish — one of her Spanish Music classes. It wasn’t long before I was headed off for Thailand, so I put it on the back burner until I returned. After I recovered from our incredible experience, something reminded me to double check my emails and came across Keidy’s invitation.
By the time we finally were able to touch base, her Spring session was about to start. (Yes, I know. It was months later. Keidy is so gracious!)
So I packed up my 4 year old and my 5 year old and drove through Minneapolis and into Edina to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on France Avenue. We followed the signs to the lower level of the church and walked into an already-started class. We were greeted in English and then her Spanish took over.
The class was taught in Spanish with a few English interpretations but very few. Even though the English words were far between, I had no problem following along. It was music with repeated words and actions. We sang. We played instruments. We danced in a circle. And at the very end of the session, we sang a Spanish lullaby that sounded just like Twinkle Twinkle.
The classes are for the ages of birth to age 5. For some reason, my 5 year was being extra clingy and didn’t want to participate. I’m not sure if he was feeling like he was too old or too shy. He’s not usually shy–but it was an experience unlike any he’s ever had before. All the younger children loved it. Babies and toddlers and some of the most adorable twins I have ever seen. All children are welcome to explore in ways that appropriate for them.
Some families who attend have at least one parent from Latin America or Spain, but many of the families were English-speaking, Scandanavian-looking ones. I guess what I’m trying to point out is that everyone is welcome. Keidy is very welcoming and encouraging. She is a wonderful teacher for both adults and children.
The curriculum that Keidy uses is called Canta y Baila Conmigo (Sing and Dance with Me). The songs are traditional children’s songs from Latin America, so not only do the Viva! students sing in Spanish, they are learning about the history and culture by singing songs that many Latino children have sung through the years. Every family gets a book and CD to bring home to continue singing!
Sessions are 9 weeks long, and right now they are in the middle of their Spring session (like I said before). Viva! does not take place during the summer, but it starts back up in the fall. The class is 45 minutes in length with 15 minutes of free play when the structured activities have concluded.
Are you wondering about the cost? Viva!’s website lays it out very simply.
New Parents: $165.00 (first child) – $90.00 (second child – 7 months & up) 3rd child FREE!
Returning Parents: $150.00 (first child) – $90.00 (second child – 7 months & up) 3rd child FREE!
Every family is welcome to try out a class for free with no strings attached.
If you are asking why this is a great opportunity, let me share from Viva!’s website.
Our immersion program gives your children the opportunity to hear, repeat and experience the Spanish language and culture through songs and music,
Each session provides an opportunity to explore Spanish and cultural elements through Latin American songs, rhymes, finger plays, stories, music, creative movement and lots of dancing! Children gain exposure to native Spanish speaking at a comprehensible level.
Even for parents, this is true. If you are looking for something enriching for both your child and yourself, this is a great class. I enjoyed myself thoroughly. And what could it hurt to try it out since there are no strings attached for trying it out.
If you are interested in learning more, you can contact them:
Facebook at: Viva Spanish and Music