Local business develops cutting-edge music program for children

urbanmain2It’s a cutting-edge music cognition program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their caregivers that is more than just a fun playtime! Dr. Tonya Bergeson-Dana and Dr. Jessica Beer, with The Urban Chalkboard, stopped by Indy Style to show us what the music program is all about and how our kiddos can really benefit.

urbanplayThey say recent studies have shown that active participation in structured music training leads to near- and far-transfer effects on other perceptual and neurocognitive skills, such as:

  • hearing speech in noise
  • processing emotional prosody
  • phonological skills
  • processing linguistic pitch
  • verbal and auditory memory
  • auditory attention
  • executive functioning
  • and even gains in IQ

urbanteachWhy? Far-transfer effects of music training may be due to changes in structural and functional brain development as a result of active music experience.

1)    Music and spoken language both involve a complex, sequential auditory signal.

2)    Moreover, some of the inherent qualities of music encourage children to attend to sound, thereby enhancing auditory-related skills and higher-order neurocognitive processes.

3)    Music experiences allow children to actively participate in learning an embodied, complex auditory signal, and music is inherently enjoyable. In fact, music perception and production may be two of the best examples of embodied cognition, in which the body and the brain are intrinsically linked, such that concepts and perceptions in our minds are intimately related to our actions and interactions with our environment.

The first goal is to develop a group-based music cognition program that improves performance in these related processes and skills. The second goal is to empower parents with the most up-to-date research knowledge and musical tools they can use at home with their children. The program teaches caregivers to scaffold child development skills using music as a tool. Caregivers are seen as equal and active participants in the music classes, receiving as much benefit as their children.


In Babies Play Music, caregivers and babies will sing and move to new and familiar songs and nursery rhymes. Prepare to revisit your favorite childhood songs, learn a few new ones, and experience lasting and loving memories with your baby through music.
Ages birth to 12 months
Wednesdays 9:30 – 10:00
$100 / 10 weeks

In Toddlers Play Music, caregivers and toddlers will direct this energy into singing songs with finger play, imitation, body movements, and playing instruments during musical games. Children just learning to communicate will enjoy songs that combine sign and voice and lots of repetition. Expect the unexpected in this high-energy class.
Ages 12 to 30 months
Wednesdays 10:15 – 10:45
$120 / 10 weeks

In Preschoolers Play Music, we will build on your child’s developing language and social skills. You and your child will learn new songs and expand on familiar ones through make-believe and play. Prepare to play musical games like “loud & soft” or “fast & slow” using rhythm instruments, ribbons, scarves, and the joy of new friends.

urbanstickAges 30 to 48 months
Wednesdays 11:00 – 11:45

$120 / 10 weeks

Fall Session through December 9th

Add Stay-n-Play $3 per class

To learn more, visit www.theurbanchalkboard.com.

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