Give the Gift of Music This Season!


Join us this winter as we present “Hands On! The Travels of Punchinello“. We will accompany Punchinello, the celebrated clown, as he journeys to many countries. Children will enjoy Punchinello as he entertains us with his beautiful fairy tales and brings the stories and music to life.  Our teachers will play classical pieces on different instruments of the orchestra, featuring music by Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Ravel, Grieg and others.

Early sign up specials are still available.

An Audience for Music

Check out this opinion piece from the New York Times this past weekend, Is Music the Key to Success?, which traces the link between serious music training and success in other fields. Musical training not only provides the skills and creative thinking to excel, but also cultivates the ability to listen, musical and otherwise.

The Appearance of the Wolf!


Don’t be fooled by the mellow sound of the French Horn – the Wolf isn’t Peter’s friend, and Peter has to be very careful! The Digeridoo, a special Australian instrument, also comes out this week to demonstrate different animal sounds, growling low and loud. Exploring contrasting sounds is an important skill we practice this week, so get ready!

“Peter and the Wolf” Interpretations

Sergei Prokofiev composed this musical symphony and wrote this classic folk tale for children in 1936. The work continues to thrill young listeners, and at Hands On! it is the perfect vehicle for us to present the symphonic instruments of the orchestra. Every week we introduce the characters of the story, each represented by an instrument and musical theme!

This is our favorite reading by Leonard Bernstein who also conducts the New York Philharmonic in this superior 1960 recording. It’s on youtube in 3 parts: part 1;  part 2;  part 3

Interested in a visual adaptation? One of our mom’s recommends the animated 1946 Walt Disney version, found on youtube, as well.

Have fun!

Let’s Explore Yellow!


This week we are exploring the color yellow, one of the three primary colors. Last week we made printing blocks and this week we will print work from them looking closely at how the color yellow changes with different colored backgrounds. We will also create popsicle stick sculptures and paint these forms yellow. How does the color yellow change when it becomes 3D, and how is it transformed with highlights and shadows?


Time for Trombone!


Peter is a happy boy, always making friends and bringing people together, so this week we bring out some instruments to make happy music that we can all dance to. Then, the Marimba makes an appearance, and we review the Cat and the Bird – fast and slow. Practice with mallets helps with hand-eye coordination and introduces new sounds. Peter may even take a turn with mallets of his own!


Lili’s Travel to China!


Last week on our classroom trip to Beijing with Lili and her family, we listened to the sounds of Tiananmen Square and the National Stadium. We heard the “Dragon Song” played on the erh-hu, a Chinese two-stringed bowed fiddle and listened to traditional Chinese folk tunes and opera. Soon we were on the road again and traced on the map the route Lili and her Grandpa traveled  by high speed train as they arrived in Shang-Dong province. Here we visited the Temple of Confucius and listened to the ruan, a Chinese plucked string instrument. How exciting to also hear the flourishes from the finale of the Da-Chen Movements played on the trombone!

Let’s Listen to Highs and Lows


Last week, we wandered in the woods with Peter who lives with his Grandfather. We listened to his grumpy Grandpa’s low sound on the bassoon. We also meet Peter’s friend, the high-flying bird, represented by Prokofiev on the flute. Week two was all about exploring the contrasts of high and low, with sparkly star and bass rock songs!

Get in Shape. Meet Other Moms. Fight cancer.

Kristen & Helena with boys

Hands On! moms are you looking for a really good excuse to get in shape this fall? Here’s a way to get together with other moms, workout and raise money for childhood cancer research.

“Moms in Training” is an 8 week flexible workout program beginning Sept. 28th and culminating on November 17th with a 5mile run/walk.

Moms meet every Saturday at 9AM in 7 locations throughout NYC, including Pier 25 in Tribeca.  A trainer will be there to get you motivated and make you work in addition to family-friendly social events throughout the season!  All funds raised benefit The Leukemia Lymphoma Society. Registration is easy: click here for details or contact to learn more!

Also, for more information join us for a kick off event at 6 River Terrace  on September 21, at 9AM.  Kids are welcome!