Early exposure to music is linked to greater speech development, motor skills, memory (think of the ABCs!), empathy, social skills, self-confidence, and self-awareness. While many programs promote developmental growth through music, none achieve this in the unique, contemporary budget-friendly, and—most importantly—fun way that Lavender Blues does.
At the heart of Lavender Blues is its founder, Lady B, also known as Miss Alex. Miss Alex provides the humanistic element crucial to your child’s active participation and enjoyment. As a babysitter-turned-London-nanny, she is uniquely gifted at interacting with babies and toddlers. Her natural calmness, nurturing energy, and soothing melodic voice are the basis for intimate, 40-minute classes, which use music, movement, and repetition to stimulate your child’s mind.
Lady B began Lavender Blues in 2012, with the purpose of bringing energetic, fast-paced early childhood development classes that are equally enjoyable for adults to Brooklyn. She boasts that her program “teaches grown-ups and babies how to play with each other, so it’s always a game!”
Babies and toddlers—or “bunnies,” as she likes to refer to them—get a kick out of copying her sounds and motions, playing with parachutes, instruments, and bubbles, while grown-ups get to bond and engage with their own child and other children in ways they haven’t before. As the babies become more social and confident in their interactions, it is not uncommon for them to sit on the laps of adults other than their parents. Lavender Blues has become a supportive community for new mothers, fathers, nannies, and caregivers who are learning and growing together.
Their “Babies Only” class, for bunnies under 12 months, is shorter than the regular Lavender Blues program, consisting of 30 minutes of music with 30 minutes of playtime. A large part of the curriculum relies on repetition to enhance muscle memory and encourage certain developmental milestones, such as rolling over for the first time, first steps, and first words.
Classes are drop-in, so every week new families create a brand-new environment. Classes are offered on a weekly basis without commitment or prior registration necessary and cost $20. The cost of each class is also adjusted by neighborhood, to ensure that all bunnies have access to fun with Lady B. The fun can continue at home with the Lavender Blues YouTube channel, which features videos of Miss Alex singing her interactive classroom hits like “The Hello Song” and “How Do You Feel Today?”
Miss Alex holds Lavender Blues classes in six different Brooklyn neighborhoods, with 50-100 families per neighborhood. It requires her to be extra conscious of her lifestyle, diet, and sleeping patterns: She needs to keep her own energy high to maintain a high energy environment in class! She hopes to expand Lavender Blues by getting her own studio, where she can film classes to be aired on television. By doing so, Lady B would be ushering in a new wave of interactive Mr.Rodgers-Blues Clues-type television shows. Hers would be incredibly different, however, because unlike those shows, which were led historically by white males, she is a queer person of color. She would be giving children from diverse backgrounds a role model they could relate to and identify with. With her laid-back style, custom-made nursery rhymes, and child-friendly hip-hop tracks, Lady B is revolutionizing how we view early childhood development programs.