From playpen to playlist! A group of toddlers in Brooklyn is trading in rattles for beat-making software.
Just when you thought you’ve heard it all, Cool Pony — a thrift-store in the Crown Heights neighborhood of the New York City borough — has debuted the first class for tots to learn how to be a DJ.
The class isn’t intended to transform kids into the next Tiesto or Avicii. It will, however, school them on how to develop their fine-motor skills using beat-mixing equipment.
Baby DJ School is the brainchild of seasoned DJ and composer Natalie Elizabeth Weiss, who has shared the stage with LCD Soundsystem and Dirty Projectors. While she’s never worked directly with infants before, Weiss has a background teaching at the School of Rock in Manhattan.
“The difference between listening to Mozart and listening to electronic music is that you can’t pick up a cello when you’re 3 months old but you can push play,” Weiss, 31, told the New York Post.
Over the eight-week course, which began on Sept. 18, Weiss will teach her class of six toddlers — all under the age of 3 — how to mix and match sample tracks in just 45 minutes.
For some, the new class is another sign of fast-paced gentrification in Brooklyn. Over the past five years, Franklin Avenue — a main strip of Crown Heights — has transformed from a row of boarded-up bodegas to niche organic coffee shops, frozen yogurt fronts and now chic baby schools. Indeed, the Cool Pony’s addition to the transforming landscape of Crown Heights may just perfectly encapsulate Brooklyn gentrification: baby yoga meets Slick Rick.
Plus, Weiss’ 45-minute class costs $200 per family.
Samantha Al-Fayez, the mother of one of Weiss’ new students, told the Wall Street Journal that her 1-year-old Julien “loves gangsta rap.”
That said, Weiss’ class doesn’t play the “gangsta rap” for grown-ups. She “refuses to use any music with profanity or sexism in her DJing work,” according to WSJ.
If the new baby beat-makers turn out to be anything like 4-year-old KJ, they’re going to be money-makers: