Preschool of Rock class

Teaching Kids How to Rock

Before You Go

For Michael Napolitano, founder and director of Preschool of Rock – a company that offers music classes for toddlers and kids up to 6 years old – influencing children with the power of music was not something he pictured himself doing. However, that all changed when he had children of his own and wanted to bring something new to the table.

Napolitano, who started to play instruments at 18 months old, basically spent his whole life involved in the music world. After 10 years in The Blue Man Group Organization, he was hired by the group’s co-creator to create a music program at The Blue School in New York City. Then, shortly after having two children and attending various music classes with them, he decided to create Preschool of Rock.

“Our classes feature actual live music and original songs that are more upbeat than traditional ‘mommy and me’ type classes,” Napolitano says. “I was looking to take a different approach on music classes for kids, in offering something new and fresh that many people have never seen before.”

Napolitano takes pride in the fact that his classes are “louder and hipper” than other classes aimed at children. “We go beyond basic kids instruments like shakers and things of the like,” he says. “Here we have instruments like guitars kids can interact with and drums they can bang on.”

Napolitano says the classes combine music with fun and education. For instance, “we offer a curriculum where we perform counting with patterns on the drums. That is great for building mathematic skills, along with learning rhythm and beat. And, we are always bringing in new instruments and props that allow the children to learn and grow.”

Founded in 2007, Preschool of Rock classes have expanded to eight different cities in New Jersey. The company has also helped revamp school music education programs by offering preschool enrichment classes as part of a 40-week curriculum.

“These programs teach much more than music,” Napolitano says. “I wanted to create a curriculum that focuses on issues in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. As an example, we discuss the musical and scientific terms related to the specific instrument we are playing, like its anatomy, geometry and form.”

Additionally, Napolitano performs, composes, produces and engineers all of the music for Preschool of Rock. His band Michael and the Rockness Monsters, which is aimed at older kids, recently had a song at the top of the charts on Sirius/XM’s Kids Place Live channel.

“A lot of big things are happening and we are looking at expanding into different avenues,” Napolitano concludes. “Whether it is through television, the Internet or licensing, I want to be able to reach kids all over the world, because learning music at a young age is important in the development of children. Not only is there extensive research that supports the idea that music improves literacy, mathematics and more, but, every day with the Preschool of Rock, I see that it is true.”


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