How is Zumbini different from library storytimes or other music programs?

I love Zumbini, but why pay for a class when I can go to the library storytime for free?

Zumbini Scarf Dance

This comes up quite a bit as we have an amazing library system in Frederick County with a schedule full of fun and engaging storytimes. Here are some ways that Zumbini is different:

  1. Original music — You won’t find “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” or “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” here. There’s nothing wrong with nursery rhymes, but it’s a nice change to have fresh music that appeals to adults as well as children! All the music was written by Grammy-nominated producers specifically for the class. Many parents say it is the only children’s music they can stand as it has a Zumba flavor with child-appropriate lyrics.
  2. Take-home materials — Each session comes with a CD and app to play music used in the class, a story/songbook, and plush doll of the main character. This allows you to continue the fun at home and learn the songs used in class! When families use the materials and listen to the music at home and/or in the car, the children are more engaged and get more out of the class.
  3. Consistency and repetition — When you attend a library storytime or other drop-in class, you will have different parents and children, different teachers, and different songs each time you go. When you get into the routine of attending a Zumbini class each week, your child sees familiar faces each week, benefits from the repetition of the songs (we rotate in a few new ones each week while repeating others), and starts to learn routines. I had a little girl in my last session who ran away and held on to her instrument every time it was time to clean up. At the very last class, I was thrilled when she enthusiastically handed me her instrument when it was time to put them away! Repetition equals success!
  4. Small class size — This keeps things from getting too chaotic and also allows customization and improv that would not be possible with a large class. For example, we incorporate the kids’ names into some of the songs and also ask kids/adults for their ideas during some songs, which we incorporate into the music!
  5. 45-minutes of musical fun — There are no stories in Zumbini class, just music and movement.
  6. Parent participation — After I started taking my daughter to Zumbini, something that I noticed at the library is that many parents were spectators rather than participants. Many of them chatted with friends, looked at their phones or just watched while their children were asked to clap, shake instruments, wave scarves, dance, etc. (I am 100% guilty of this in the past!). In Zumbini, we require all caregivers to participate and ask that they do not talk or use their phones (other than for pictures) during class. Being a role model for your child and having a room full of other adult role models to imitate helps your child to learn.
  7. We teach through music and movement — Unlike other classes, we do not teach music or dance but we teach through the music and movement. The songs introduce your child to rhythms from around the world, while addressing basic concepts, feelings, motor movements, Spanish vocabulary and more! 

At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Free classes are great and we love the programs at the Frederick County Public Libraries, but sometimes it’s worth it to supplement those free activities with a paid class. As a mom with a limited family income, I hesitated before signing my daughter up for a Zumbini class for the first time, but I am so glad I did! In just 6 weeks, I saw her pick up routines and movements, learn the songs, and even start to sing along. The most important thing is that it is fun for parent and child and a great opportunity to interact with you child for 45 uninterrupted minutes. Your child is worth it!

If you have any questions, please contact me.

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