DJ, composer and playwright Natalie Elizabeth Weiss is offering an eight-week programme to teach babies hip-hop, how to mix their own music and play air guitar with the best of them.
And her clients? Professional families in Brooklyn, New York, one of the most competitive cities in the world where wealthy parents are notorious for lavishing cash and attention on their progeny’s early development.
“Parents love it. They freak out. They all want to bring their friends. It’s growing so quickly,” Weiss said.
She teaches tots under three about electro, hip-hop and house; how to play records, match beats and create funky samples.
“Baby DJ, put your hands up, put your hands up, up,” raps Weiss at the start of the lesson as five toddlers sit or stumble around rugs on the floor of a vintage clothes and vinyl shop in Brooklyn.
She believes nursery rhymes are not challenging enough.
“They’re like geniuses -- just because they can’t say what they’re learning doesn’t mean they aren’t,” she said.
The parents are hooked, clapping on the beat and jiggling their hips.
Alexis Langsfeld, mom to 20-month-old Ellie, is a big fan.
“It’s kind of a combination of exploring the world, and physics and music,” she enthuses.
Warren Bernard, an art school professor, has brought 22-month son Charles to his second Baby DJ lesson.
“I figured, you know, DJ class let’s see what happens,” he said. “People take their kids to go swimming... there could be worse things that a baby could do at this age. I don’t know if this is going to be his profession when he grows up, but hey, it’s all about exposing your children to as many things as possible.”
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