Mother Niina Suni and her daughter Aino have been taking our Funky Monkey Club music classes at Mommy&Me, Kulosaari, since the beginning of the year 2018 – pretty much right when we started the program.
Music loving Aino came into our toddlers class as one-and-a half-years-old and now she is a performing and singing 3-year-old who likes to jam at home too. The fun music moment on Fridays between the mother and the daughter is a perfect start to their day together. Read more below what Niina and Aino think about Funky Monkey Club.
What made you to sign up for a Funky Monkey Club music class that was completely unknown at the time?
Niina: Aino likes music very much and Funky Monkey Club sounded very interesting. This fit also to our schedule and it was near. I would still come even if we lived further away.
How would you describe Funky Monkey Club music classes for people who don’t know anything about it?
Niina: This is an eventful and a relaxed music class with music from various genres. There is more than just traditional kids songs. What makes it unique is also the 2-piece live band and many instruments that everyone can play. There is also a microphone to which children can sing, make noises, knock or try to eat in turn… however they feel or are inclined to do. The class is a fun combination of familiar patterns and variety.
What expectations did you have towards the music class and how did they meet with the reality?
Niina: I think I saw a presentation video where the vibe seemed fun. In the video they said the class is a bit different. Both factors (fun and difference) are true!
What is the best thing at Funky Monkey Club?
Niina: Oh no, there are so many things I like. Hmm.. Paula and Ape!
What is your favorite tune at Funky Monkey Club and why?
Niina: The Water World, because the story is fun, the melody is catchy and the vibe is cool. Although the Cleaning Song is my practical favorite because it works at home too and Aino gets excited about cleaning up all the toys. That song is pure genius!
Aino (sings): “yeah yeah yeah monki monki kub” (the FMC theme song, that is. Niina confirms: Aino sings this the most at home.)
What do you think of the music Paula & Ape play?
Niina: It’s so wonderful that there is a live “band”! I like to listen to music in general so the band brings an extra special experience to the music class. In addition to the great theme songs the music varies from week to week which is really nice.
Aino: I think that… I like the zoo.
One of the missions of FMC is to encourage children to express themselves freely and have a natural take on performing. How does it show, in your opinion?
Niina: The kids can choose from different instruments what they want to play and can bang them as they please. They can make noise! Singing to the real microphone in front of everybody is a unique opportunity to practice performing (from the age when they are still eating the mic ;)) It is so lovely to see Aino’s happy face when everyone claps at her after her song. Also, free dancing without the specific choreography to different music styles encourages to self-expression.
The other mission of FMC is to get the adults to enjoy the class too. How does it come through, in your opinion?
Niina: There are songs other than classic kids songs. The band works for me too. And of course the fact that the parents can jam along, sing, play and dance as well.
How has the music class affected activities at home?
Niina: Aino sings and dances a lot. She takes a baking spoon from the kitchen, turns it around and starts to play it like a guitar. Then she stomps her feet and says “Look, I’m like Paula”. Aino can also recognize different instruments from the music she hears.
Aino, how do you play the music class at home? (after some steering): Mom can be Ape and I can be Paula and dad can be a student.
What benefits have you witnessed from this hobby?
Niina: I think all kind of musicality is a big plus. I don’t think there exists a person who would regret the singing/playing skills that he/she has. For example, singing to the microphone gives a child a lot of experience in performing and self-confidence just by having fun. I believe that Aino likes to perform because of the music classes.
Mommy&Me in Kulosaari, how would you describe the class location?
Niina: It is a very comfortable space with good facilities. There are toys for kids to play with, a changing table, a potty, a step stool, diapers etc. In the kitchen there is a microwave oven, a fridge and a good coffee maker that make it easy to eat your own snacks there. The metro station is right next to the location and there is a good amount of parking space for cars. We live close by so we usually come with a stroller that we can get a lock for from Mommy&Me.
Aino: It is nice to go sing there.
You have taken the classes for almost one and a half years non-stop, why?
Niina: Primarly because Aino likes it so much. It is amazing to see that joy and excitement in the classroom as well as when anticipating it during the week! I like to go too, the class is well executed. And I wouldn’t mind if Aino got excited about starting to play an instrument. At the moment Aino says she wants to play a violin! And she has said this all on her own without me trying to manipulate it! 😀
What would you say to a mom/dad who is still considering signing up for a Funky Monkey Club music class for kids?
Niina: I recommend warmly to give it a try if one is interested in a relaxed music class where both children and adults can play. And as I said, there are songs that differ from traditional kids songs (although you will hear them too). Paula and Ape create a nice atmosphere. The Funky Monkey Club music class is one of the highlights of our week.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about your music class together?
Niina: I am home with Aino one day a week and on those mornings we have the class. It is a perfect start to our days together! If we sometimes miss it, when Aino is sick or something, I notice that we are both equally upset!
Aino: I like Ape the most in the world.