What Is WeBop?

WeBop is an early-childhood jazz education program which invites families to stomp, strut and swing to the joyous rhythms of jazz as they learn about the core concepts, instruments, and great performers of jazz with their parents or caregivers. These 45-minute classes offer a creative outlet for children to explore jazz through movement, songs, storytelling and play.

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Produced in collaboration with Lori Custodero, Teachers College, Columbia University.

New York Family is the Official Media Partner of WeBop.

Mission: WeBop provides creative experiences for parents and children featuring jazz as a vehicle for self-expression, communication and play through singing, movement, playing instruments and storytelling. Like jazz musicians, WeBop students move freely within a commonly understood structure, an environment that encourages all to participate in an improvisatory spirit, each contributing in their own way to create a unique ensemble.

Guiding Beliefs:

  • We believe jazz is rooted in expressing our everyday human experiences and emotions
  • We see jazz as an artistic response to life that furthers our understanding, appreciation, and respect for both commonalities and differences
  • We provide musically authentic experiences that are true to the artistic integrity of jazz
  • We offer a jazz-like responsive pedagogy, based on improvisational interactions that address the developmental strengths of learners
  • We encourage and engage the diverse ways children and adults learn

Program Aims:

  • Instill a love of jazz, love of self
  • Introduce families to jazz in a musically authentic way
  • Awaken and enhance skills in listening, creativity, and imagination
  • Give young people a supportive and challenging jazz environment in which to thrive.
  • Teach to multiple active modes of understanding
  • Create an inviting, responsive, and inclusive atmosphere
  • Encourage adults to use music as a parenting tool to not only educate their child, but also to encourage their development, self-expression, and individuality
  • Create awareness about how children learn and respond to their environment
  • Students progress throughout the terms and age groups, constantly building on what they have learned