art & culture

Non-musicians are familiar with more classical music than they think.  I often reference pieces of music to friends who aren’t musicians and get a blank stare- but upon humming just a few bars, most say “oh yeah!” and can join along humming the tune.  Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours, and La Donna e Mobile from Verdi’s Rigoletto are just a few that most people immediately recognize but can’t easily identify.  For example, you might know The Barber of Seville from Bugs Bunny cartoons, Canon in D from wedding ceremonies, and you may refer to Dance of the Hours as “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh”!  Movies, TV shows, commericals, and popular music are always sampling from the wealth of public domain music out there.  Below, are 3 examples we think you’ll recognize.

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For Monet’s birthday, we picked 10 of our favorite paintings by the artist.  Share with your children and visit them in person if you can! Click on images to enlarge.
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Wassily Kandinsky’s paintings are perfect to share with young children- his abstract artwork is full of recognizable shapes and colors! We created a printable coloring activity using Kandinsky’s 1932 painting “Decisive Pink”.

“Decisive Pink” by Wassily Kandinsky

Click on the images below to enlarge and print.

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The Modern Museum of Art in New York City is a fantastic place to bring your children to inspire creativity and teach them about modern art.  After searching through the collection currently on view, we chose 8 of the most important paintings that appeal to children and created a MoMA scavenger hunt!  Before your visit, be sure to go through the featured art and learn the name of each painting, the artist, and the extra information listed below. (More scavenger hunts: click here.)

1. The Starry Night- This painting is by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. It depicts the village Saint-Rémy in the south of France in 1889. He created it from memory during the day! The tree to the left is called a Cypress tree. (Post-Impressionist)
2. Three Musicians- Created by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso in 1921. Picasso is known for co-founding the Cubist art movement. He created 2 similar paintings under this title. One is owned by the MoMA and the other is owned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Cubist)
3. The Park- Austrian painter Gustav Klimt completed this painting in 1910. Interesting fact: “I have never painted a self-portrait. I am less interested in myself as a subject for a painting than I am in other people, above all women… There is nothing special about me. I am a painter who paints day after day from morning to night… Who ever wants to know something about me… ought to look carefully at my pictures.” (Art Nouveau) Continue reading


Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 in Wales, UK.  Some of his most beloved children’s books include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, and The BFG.  Take a few minutes today to read a little Roald Dahl with your kids in his honor!

One of our favorite quotes from the author:

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Click through to view our photo collection of stunning sand sculptures.

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Our coloring sheet is perfect for identifying healthy fruits and vegetables by color. After your kids color it in, use the sheet for counting activities! Click below to download and print.

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Scroll below to get inspired by 20 creative cakes! Continue reading

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Creating origami art is a perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon.  It’s a quiet activity that will exercise your child’s concentration and fine motor skills.  Try making this little piano today!  We created a template for you to download and print.  Use regular copying paper and print page 1 first, then print page 2 on the reverse side.  Follow the pictures below!

Click here to download the Piano Origami Template

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Next week, we’re hosting a FREE Art Workshop for children at our Upper East Side studio!


WHEN:  Wednesday May 16, 2012 from 3:00 – 3:45

WHERE:  TLB Music, 266 East 78th Street
(between 2nd and 3rd)

LED BY:  Dutchess-Venita Adomakoh,
founder of Those Art Kids

FOR:  Children ages 2 – 6

RSVP:  Call 212-744-0404 or email to reserve a spot for your child!


Those Art Kids (TAK) is a free-spirited, multi-media art exploration for toddlers and preschoolers that introduces budding young artists to the art world’s masters. TAK classes enable children to express themselves uniquely, improve fine motor skills, learn about different cultures and explore the environment and the world around them. TAK has been acknowledged by both the Keith Haring and the Romare Bearden foundations in NYC.

At our music studio, our students love creating music-inspired art by drawing with crayons while listening to live classical music.  We picked 3 of our favorite classical pieces for you to share with your children.  Creating music-inspired art is easy! First, give your children a simple introduction to the music- the title, the composer, and more talking points depending upon age.  Then, ask them to listen to the music and draw what they feel.   You can start with a blank sheet of paper or print out the coloring sheets below.  Paper-free option:  save the images to your iPad or any other tablet and “paint” in a drawing app!

1.  Flight of the Bumblebee Rimsky-Korsakov

Flight of the Bumblebee is an interlude from the opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Rimsky-Korsakov was a famous Russian composer who wrote the piece in 1899-1900. In the opera, a magic swan-bird transforms the Prince into a bumblebee so that he fly to visit his father, who does not know that his son is still alive! This piece of music is very fast! For this one, you may want to ask your children to first watch the short video and then listen a second time while attempting to color in the bumblebee before the music finishes!  Simple talking points/questions for young children:  What colors are bumblebees?  What sound do they make?  How do they move?  Have you ever seen one? Where?

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One of our favorite classical pieces to play in our music classes is Aquarium by Camille Saint-Saens.  Aquarium is the 7th Movement of Saint-Saens’ Suite Carnival of the Animals.  Our students love dancing to the soothing melody and shimmering glissando of the piece.
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We put together a list of great works of art to share with young children.  The list includes artwork from Picasso, Chagall, Dali, Rousseau, Van Gogh, Monet, Kandinsky, and more!   Give your children the full experience of appreciating artwork by asking engaging questions about each painting that you view.  Experiencing art is entirely subjective so you’re sure to be fascinated by what your children see.  We’ve included sample questions for each piece to help you get your children talking and thinking about art.  Click on the paintings to view them larger!

Check the locations of the paintings listed below so you can see the artwork in person if it’s in your area.  New Yorkers- several of these paintings are at the MOMA, the Guggenheim, and the Met.  Make sure to get out there with your children to see them up close!

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