Birthday Party FAQs
How long do you play for at a children's birthday party?
I offer 2 options. The first option is to have me to play for the kids and then play for the adults (or vice versa). The second option is to have me stay and play throughout the entire party bookending the ”Twinkle Twinkle“ songs with ”Here Comes The Sun“ songs on both sides. In terms of specifically how long I play, I'm not one of those guys who watches the clock. That said, the general patience level of both adults and kids for ”Wheels On The Bus“ songs is only so long. As a result, for the first option, I typically sing and play for the kids for approximately 30-35 minutes playing all those songs you've known and loved for all these years (and more) mixing the standards with some new songs as well. After that, operating on the assumption that the adults are very tired of hearing those same kid songs for the millionth time (that day?), I then play a whole set of songs for you and your friends (for at least as long as I've just played for the kids) - sort of like a live jukebox. And again, for the second option, I stay and play the entire party.
Do you have any suggestions in terms of venues?
I feel like I've played absolutely everywhere over the past 12 years and will be happy to suggest some venues. Obviously the determining factors will come down to things like where your party will take place, what kind of budget you have in mind, what sort of venue you have in mind (a restaurant, a party space, a gym, etc.).
For a birthday party booking, do you charge per child?
I have basically 2 rates - based upon the 2 options that I described above. The only potential additional cost would be if the party is sizable enough to warrant me needing to bring and play through my sound system. (This becomes the case when the number of kids reaches or exceeds 25.)
How long would you say is the average length of a children's party these days?
The vast majority of children's parties tend to run somewhere between 90 minutes and 2 hours. I see it over and over every weekend: Right around the 2 hour mark both kids and adults start getting restless, start checking their phones and start losing patience. That being said, I have the stamina and the repertoire to play for far longer, but we'd have to discuss another rate.
Private Music Class FAQs
What's the right or best age to start a music class with you? How young is too young?
It honestly depends on what you're looking to get out of the experience. In other words, I've found that people tend to do these groups/these classes with us for a variety of reasons. Some families simply want their kids in a music class. Some like the customization of being able to choose with whom they do it, where they want to do it & when. Some Moms appreciate the socialization of Moms with Moms & kids with kids. Some Moms literally just want something to do. (It took me a long time to realize that there's an aspect of my job that is little more than an "activity", i.e. something to do, a reason to get out of the apartment - and that's o.k. too.) I mention all of this because I never quite know the specific reason or reasons that Moms choose to do these groups with me - but it's often for a combination of these reasons - and that being the case, many kids have been as little as just a few weeks old and others have been on the "older" side. (As you can imagine, I always tailor each class in such a way that it's most age appropriate depending on the make-up of the class.)
Do you have any thoughts on what we could do help the kids really engage?
Kids are basically kids. With that being the case, the variables are always the same: Toys and food. Food and toys. Toys and food. Food and toys. Toys, food. Food, toys. Is that clear? Given the choice, kids in my ”demographic“ will always choose to play with toys over everything else. And the only thing even more appealing to kids than toys is food. Food trumps everything for kids. Always. If you're hoping that the kids are going to focus at all, try to hide the toys and try to hold off on the food for a little while (if at all possible).
Are you open to a mixed age and/or sibling class?
I do my best to say yes to everything and have done countless mixed age/sibling classes over the past however many years. The one thing to keep in mind though with something like this is that, in addition to the general chaos of a mixed age class, I've found over and over that the bigger kids tend to not only dominate over the smaller ones, they tend to dominate the entire proceeding. You should just expect a lot of, let's say, maintenance with a mixed age/sibling class.
Do you require a deposit or do I have to sign something upfront to work with you?
I never ask anyone for a deposit or to sign something upfront. I like to operate on trust and things nearly always work out fine.de. (As you can imagine, I always tailor each class in such a way that it's most age appropriate depending on the make-up of the class.)
What would you say are the best ages for what you do?
I genuinely believe that my style, my approach, my songs all really tend to work best with the 0-3 set. It has been my experience over all of these years that the "older" kids often think of what I do as being too babyish. There are obviously always exceptions, but generally speaking, whether it's a birthday party or a private music class, it's the 0-3 ”set“ that respond best to what I do.