Thurnauer School of Music

Classes for Young Children and Introductory Instrumental Classes

Ages3 months - 7 years

Our early childhood music classes are designed to encourage joy, fun, and active participation. Through singing, poetry, rhythmic exploration, and movement, we help children discover music, learn to keep the beat, and develop their imagination and creativity. An ideal introduction of music to young children in a fun and welcoming environment!

Teacher holding guitar while toddler touches it.

The JCC Thurnauer School of Music is renowned as a center of artistic and educational excellence open to all.

The school has inspired thousands of students and families—transforming lives and sharing the joy of music through outstanding instruction, concerts, master classes, community events, and partnerships with local schools.

Toddler jumping off of a drum.
Young child in the classroom Students in a classroom in Tenafly, NJ at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades
Group of toddlers playing with a xylophone.
Baby touching a guitar.
Young boy playing a bongo.
Three children playing a drum.


Classes for Young Children

Musikgarten® classes are an ideal introduction to music for young children.  A fun and welcoming class filled with exciting songs, musical movement, dramatic play, and storytelling. Families receive home materials that reinforce lessons and involve the whole family!  All our teachers are highly experienced music educators who love to share their passion and knowledge of music with children.  Classes start the week of 9/18.  Classes will be held in person

Music Classes for Babies and Toddlers

3-36 months

Parents can drop in once, twice or three times a week. Purchase a “punch pass” for extra savings

Single Class: $30/$33
Five Classes: $140/$156
10 Classes: $270/$300

Musikgarten’s Music for Babies and Toddlers 
Babies, toddlers and grown-ups sing, chant, dance, listen, and play simple instruments! Our joyful music classes feature activities for vocal exploration, body awareness and coordination. Families receive a special CD with digital download, a parent activity book, and a colorful scarf to use at home for more fun times together.  Features bouncing and rocking songs, wiggle and peek-a-boo games, a dance party, and other fun activities.

Sun starts 9/24/23 9:45-10:25 am
Wed starts 9/20/23 9:45-10:25 am
Wed starts 9/20/23 11:00- 11:40 am

Tot Shabbat Sing-a-long
Celebrate Shabbat musically!  Our classes are designed to encourage joyful, active participation and play through music, both Jewish and secular!  Through traditional Shabbat songs, singing games, fingerplays, rhythmic exploration, and movement, we help children explore their voice, learn to keep the beat, and develop their imagination and creativity Jewishly!  Traditional Shabbat celebration with challah and grape juice included in the class.

NOTE: Tot Shabbat is cancelled for Friday, November 10. It will resume on Friday, November 17.

Fri starts 9/22/23 9:45-10:25 am

Musikgarten’s® Cycle of Seasons: Wind Dancers and Sun Catchers 

Ages 3-4

Through music, nurture your child’s ability to use language and participate in dramatic play within the theme of the four seasons.  Children sing, move, play musical games, explore instruments, and improvise through musical activities and storytelling that build alertness and creativity.  Family packets include CDs with digital download for use at home to increase family involvement in the learning process. 


Wind Dancers
16 Sun Starts 9/24 10:30 – 11:10 am
16 Thu Starts 9/21 3:45 – 4:25 pm

Sun Catchers
15 Sun Starts 2/18 10:30 – 11:10 am
16 Thu Starts 2/1 3:45 – 4:25 pm

 Musikgarten’s® In the Wild! 

Ages 5-6

Through music, children learn about animals, plants, and the environment! Children join in improvised and structured movement, play instruments, sing, and participate in guided listening activities.  The students work with written musical patterns and create their own simple songs. This developmentally sound approach to music literacy builds symbolic thinking, concentration, memory, and self-expression. Families receive CDs with digital download, songbooks, posters, game pieces, and a parent guidebook. 

32 Thu Starts 9/21 4:40 – 5:20 pm

Musikgarten’s® Around the World

Ages 6-7

Explore the music of the world and our own Native American and African American heritage. Children learn songs, dances, stories, rituals, and customs of these cultures to help them learn about and understand others around the world. By the end of the year, students are able to read and compose with simple notation. This class is excellent for preparing students to begin Creative Musicianship and private instrumental lessons.  Families receive CDs with digital download, recordings, games, song pages, and a viewfinder.

32 Thu Starts 9/21 5:40 – 6:20 pm

Introductory Instrumental Classes

Instrument Exploration

Ages 4-6

Students explore the guitar, piano, violin, and flute in a small-group setting and receive 7-8 weeks of instruction on each instrument over the 30-week school year. Instruments are provided. Parents are encouraged but not required to attend class. Class size is limited to 4 groups of 4 students in each rotation.

30 Wed Starts 9/20 3:45 – 4:30 pm
30 Wed Starts 9/20 5:15 – 6:00 pm

Ukulele Strummers

Ages 6-7

If you’re looking for a fun instrument for you and your child, the ukulele is a perfect choice. Learn the basics of ukulele playing including proper technique, strumming patterns and chords, plus lots of songs! Parents are encouraged but not required to attend class. Class size is limited to 6.

32 Mon Starts 9/18 3:45 – 4:30 pm

Ukulele Strummers @ Temple Emanu-El

Ages 6-8

Learn to play along to your favorite songs! Students will learn the basics of ukulele playing including proper technique, strumming patterns and chords, plus lots of songs! Musical movement activities are played throughout the class to enhance students’ understanding of rhythm and pitch. Class size is limited to 5. A link will be sent out with suggestions for where to purchase your ukulele.

$264/$319 (no drop-ins)
11 Tue Starts 10/3 4:00 – 4:45 pm

Piano Partners

Ages 4-6

Discover the fun of playing the piano and learning simple songs in a small class setting that prepares children for individual lessons. Parents are encouraged but not required to attend class.

Both sessions are FULL. Please call the music school office to be placed on the waiting list.

Young Drummers

Students love this fund “drumtastic” class where they learn to improvise, keep a steady beat, play in a group, and develop their own rhythmic and dynamic musical ideas! Parents are encouraged but not required to attend class.

32 Tue Starts 9/19 4:15 – 5:00 pm

Learn More About Thurnauer

To get more information or schedule a visit, click below.


How early should a young child take music classes?

A young child should familiarize themselves with music as early as the infancy stages; even at as young as 6 months, children are able to interact with music through dancing and movement. Our classes are available for children ages 0-5. 

Why should a child take a music class so young?

Early childhood music classes help foster a love for music, enhance cognitive development, improve social skills through group activities, and promote coordination and fine motor skills during an age that is crucial for a child’s development. All parts of the brain are in play for the child as they interact with music. These classes are a fun and engaging way for children to express themselves and develop a sense of rhythm and melody from an early age.

Do parents attend the classes? What do they do in these classes?

We love to see parents joining their children in our classes! Our early childhood classes provide an opportunity for parents to connect with their children through music, movement, and fun. Parents will typically be asked to join the class in singing and dancing, which will act as a model for their children to watch and follow. 

Get In Touch


Call for Information
(201) 408-1466

A pair of adult hands and child hands holding a red heart.