Music classes for families – Tipi TamTam

September 21, 2023 | Blog, Education

Tipi TamTam is a newly launched family music and movement program in Barcelona, developed for families of babies and children from all over the world, with music from all over the world!

Experience a whole world of music, together as a family

When was Tipi TamTam created?

Tipi TamTam was born two years ago when classical guitarist Bernat Padrosa, head of Barcelona music school Escola Trémolo, asked his friend Piero Faustini, a pedagogical music expert to develop a new family music program that rocks!

It turned out that Piero was already thinking about a new program. He ran other successful music programs and methods (Music Together, Jacques Dalcroze, Kodály, Petites Notes…) and wanted to create something more universal, inspired by music from all continents. They teamed up and the rest is history.

Who are the classes aimed towards?

Typically babies, toddlers and kids up to the age of 5, together with an adult. We also offer a baby-only version (Tipi Tam Mami), a version for older children up to age 8 (Tipi Tam Jam) and a version for schools and playgrounds.


Music classes for families


How does the program work?

Families come together for their weekly session with a teacher who conducts them on a musical journey through world music. This means playing small instruments, dancing and above all, lots of singing.

How does it work having babies and older kids together in the same session?

Piaget research shows that up to around the age of 5, children have similar social learning patterns to toddlers (or even babies). Imitation is their main playing activity, along with the usual individual experimenting (which has no age limit). From 5-6 years old, this partially changes as the “game playing” pattern comes into play. The child now needs stronger social ties and stimulus, which is when you really need to switch to a different approach for learning (in our case, the “Tipi Tam Jam” class).

But babies can’t dance, play instruments or sing?..Can they?

Well… this is debatable, but it’s true that they can’t do anything close to singing “in tune” or moving in time to a rhythm. However, research (and common sense) suggests that direct exposure is a great way to kickstart learning something as natural as dancing or singing.

The best analogy is with language. You don’t directly teach your children every word they know (probably not even 2%). But they will have learned almost all of them from hearing you use them.

Also, they learn a lot more about language than just words or grammar, but also the basic “rules” and “conventions”, like listening before speaking, answering a question, addressing other people etc. Music is just the same: a child learns by being exposed, and then by imitating. And before learning notes, rhythm or singing in tune, one needs to learn to start and stop banging the drum, to move faster when the music is faster, to shout less when the music is softer…


Music classes for families Barcelona


What does the adult need to do during class? What if they are not musically gifted?

The adults can (and will learn to) make music without worrying. The best example you can give your child, is not to do things (including music) perfectly, but to try no matter what, and have a great time while trying.

Where does your repertoire of songs come from?

Tipi TamTam has a lot of folk and children’s songs from English speaking, Spanish speaking, or European countries such as Italy, France, Greece, Germany or the Netherlands. But all continents are represented in our programme, even the rich nomadic or diaspora-based traditions such as Roma or Jewish music. And of course there’s a fair amount of Catalan and Occitan children’s music too! Some music is from the classical, ancient, or jazz repertoire. We also play Tipi TamTam original songs, with a more pop or modern appeal.

Songs from many cultures mean a lot of languages, won’t it be confusing?

Every language has a musical value, from the specific sounds it uses. Tipi TamTam teachers are trained to respect the musical value of the original language. In any case, most of the songs are also translated (to English, Spanish or Catalan) so their meaning can be understood and enjoyed. And some “songs” have no lyrics, or the lyrics are not necessary!


Music class songs for families


What if a parent wants to learn or sing the songs at home?

That’s our main goal at Tipi TamTam! To help foster this, every week families are given a song card with the lyrics, written music, instructions or trivia, and some great art related to a new weekly song. Together with the recordings, this builds a family world music repertoire.

What does the name “Tipi TamTam” mean?

The Tipi is the North American nomadic tent. It represents a family nucleus that travels great distances. It represents the Family experiencing the World. The TamTam, on the other hand, is a big drum carved in tree logs, used in some West African or New Guinean traditions to communicate long distances and possibly gather around it. It represents the World becoming Family. Together, they are not only cool concepts, but they form a great rhythm: Ti-pi-TAM-TAM, resembling the rhythm syllables used in Kodály and other music learning methods. They sound cool!

Where is Tipi TamTam located?

In the Barcelona areas of Sant Gervasi (near Lesseps), Clot, and soon it will be in l’Hospitalet, and in more venues in and out of Barcelona. There are classes in the morning, afternoon and evenings, from Monday to Saturday, to suit every need!

Why recommends Tipi TamTam:

This enriching musical program takes parents and their little ones on a voyage around the world. Tipi TamTam is a fantastic introduction to the sounds and rhythms of many different cultures. 

Perfect for multilingual families (although speaking different languages is not required), their dynamic, hands-on musical sessions will build your child’s confidence and skills while having lots of fun. We love the emphasis on family and inclusivity at the heart of their philosophy.

Find out more about Tipi TamTam on their website.

Contact Details:

Carrer de Homer, 45, 08023, Barcelona
+34 932 37 13 79

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