- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 23, 2013

New York City musician and teacher Natalie Elizabeth Weiss teaches babies — from birth to age 3 — how to mix their own beats at her new Baby DJ School program at the Cool Pony thrift store in Brooklyn.

Miss Weiss teaches the tots common DJ terminology, like “pre-cueing” and beat-syncing software. They also get to hear different beats as the teacher points out how she mixes and layers the sounds together, the Red Tricycle parenting website reported.

Turning knobs and pushing buttons is meant to help with motor skill development. As the program progresses, toddlers will learn how to make samples and use sound effects on those samples, the website said.

Classes run 45 minutes every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. until Nov. 6 and costs $200 for all eight sessions, the Village Voice reported.

Sharon Trehub, a child development professor at the University of Toronto, said Baby DJ School isn’t really geared toward children at all and that they “wouldn’t benefit from an avant-garde music program more than they would from a traditional one,” the Voice reported.

“It doesn’t strike me as the most developmentally appropriate, but I wouldn’t say it’s bad,” Miss Trehub said.

One-year-old Julian Al-Fayez’s mother, Samantha, said Baby DJ School gives her son a unique experience she hasn’t seen anywhere else.

“There are hundreds of music classes for babies, and they’re all nursery rhymes and the kids sit around and hit a little drum. This one is more interactive,” she told the Voice.

“It’s just like their toys at home, but they’re doing it in a group setting and hearing music at the same time, which I think is good anyway,” she said. “People think we’re trying to make kids cool by teaching them how to DJ when that’s not the case. It’s an amazing class.”

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