Transformative Meditation and Music for Kids with Composer Murray Hidary

Episode Information

In this week’s episode of the Parent Pod Podcast, we are talking to Composer Murray Hidary about the many benefits of meditation and music for children.

Murray Hidary is a multi-disciplinary, creative visionary and tech pioneer who started his first company at 22 years old, after studying Music and Composition at NYU.

Murray’s success as an early Internet entrepreneur, starting in 1994, sprung from his innate sense that creating networks and platforms for connection amongst people could both elevate productivity and consciousness.

This purpose-driven approach to the Internet’s power garnered Murray considerable business success, including EarthWeb’s groundbreaking IPO in 1998, which was the third largest single day share gain in NASDAQ history at the time, and the growth and sale of several more companies including career site Dice and expert network Vista Research. In addition to his robust career in tech, Murray is an acclaimed photographer, composer, and musician with a voracious appetite for ongoing learning and adventure.

Murray has studied theoretical physics extensively; trained in the study of Aikido and the Shakuhachi (the Japanese bamboo flute) and its ancient music tradition of the Zen monks with some of the greatest teachers. Additionally, he journeyed the globe mindfully connecting with the fundamental elements that surround us. In an effort to gain deeper understanding of himself and of nature, Murray sought out experiences to simultaneously challenge and test himself physically and mentally as well as give him perspectives of natures core elements including water, rock and wind.

Learn more about Murray at


The Parent Pod podcast by Gymboree Play & Music is a weekly conversation that features various experts who are willing to share helpful tips for parents and grandparents on how to support their little ones during the first five years of life. Our podcast drives conversations around early childhood development and parenting strategies, with topics ranging from sleep training, and minimalist living to maternal mental health and postpartum depression.

Song & Dance Make Gymboree Play & Music Classes Fun!

Today we have a guest blog post from GymboFams Ambassador Allison!

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Allison started attending Gymboree Play & Music when son, Christopher, now 4 years old, was 16 months old. She also has a daughter Annie, now 2 years old.

Walking out of a Family Gym class, I often find myself humming Dance Gymbo Dance – its catchy. My kids sing it too. When we are stuck in traffic, mini-Gymbo goes “up and down” “side to side” and “peek-a-boo” in the backseat.

My favorite though, is my kids cleaning up their toys every night, singing/yelling, “Toys away, toys away, let’s put all our toys away.”


(Annie is always ready to help clean up in class)

Gymboree Play & Music fosters learning in a play environment. Christopher’s first word was “bubble” – I certainly wasn’t blowing bubbles at home every week. Some credit lies with hisGymboree Play & Music teachers singing “bubbles for Christopher” and all the other student in class, every week. The first complete song Annie sang to me was “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” We would sing it every week under the parachute in level 4.

Annie makes requests in class. She asks her teachers for her favorite songs: “Put Your Finger On” and “Apple Tree.” Her first year of Gymboree Play & Music was attending Christopher’s classes in a baby carrier. Before she started participating in her own classes, she would have Christopher sing her the songs.

Their new favorite is “Slippery Fish” from Family Music. It has been added to our bedtime routine. Christopher and Annie know all the words, and all the moves. They have started adding sea creatures to make the song longer (and bedtime a few minutes later). “Slippery Fish” has also been added to our “Gymbo Music” playlist (a playlist I created on my phone with our favorite songs fromGymboree Play & Music classes).


(Christopher singing about Hammerhead Shark in Family Music)

*Mom tip* Inevitably, there will be weeks when the kids get sick, or weather keeps you from getting to class, the Gymbo Music playlist is a lifesaver. Even when we cannot see our favorite teachers, or dance with Gymbo, we have his music to calm our bodies.

Follow Allison on Instagram right here:

Wobble Into The Weekend At Gymboree Play & Music!

Our GymboFams Ambassadors got Wobbling this week at Gymboree Play & Music by practicing their balance and coordination. Get YOUR Wobble on this weekend — find a location near you to book a FREE preview class.

Here’s is Baby Girl practicing her balance at Gymboree Play & Music. She was able to stand holding onto something for stability all by herself! From GymboMom April

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At Gymboree Play and Music, Music 1 we are learning how to dance! Bouncing, twisting and swaying — Ollie loves to bounce and sometimes likes to combine all 3. From GymboFams Ambassador Chantelle


Jacqui loves to do the see-saw boat!  When her friend gets off from the boat, she has to read just her weight and pressure to stay afloat. From GymboFams Ambassador Melissa


Try This At Home Wobble Activity For Baby!

The baby boogie!

Pick out a favorite song, hold your baby in front of you and swing them in and out or spin them round and round. Babies will squeal with glee when we move them around fast! Why? This simple activity is helping to stimulate their vestibular system. All leading to good balance when they are ready to stand up! So, wobble them around and have fun! You’re building up their ability to understand where their body is in space!

Building Brain Power With Music

From GymboFams Ambassador Melissa L.

One of the great brain building aspects of Gymboree Play & Music is the way that the classes incorporate music. Jacqui is constantly on the move, and now that toddlerhood has fully struck – she wants what she wants and exactly when she wants it!

musicBy participating in the music sequence of a Gymboree Play & Music class, she is able to experience the mix of a quick-paced tune as well as a slowing down, and quieting down tune.  Rather than running on one speed for an entire class, by participating in the music through singing along, playing her instruments, and also practicing a quiet voice or “freezing” during the song, she is building up her capacity to self-regulate and self-monitor.  She is watching her peers and teacher to also see the way that they react when the music slows, speeds up, and stops. Talk about social-emotional learning for a toddler!

There can also be great carry over of music from the Gymboree Play & Music playspace to the home and community environment.  After finishing up our Saturday class, Jacqui chose to buy two “egg shakers” to take home to make music.  Using the egg shakers during car rides has kept her content while in the car and she’s able to follow along with the pace of the music in a way similar to what’s been modeled to her during her Gymboree Play & Music class.

Rock out with Gymboree Play & Music and WIN!

Enter the Gymboree Play & Music to win a musical prize pack! Follow the instructions below to enter on Instagram @gymboreeplayandmusic


Contest details: Gymboree Play & Music Rock Out contest ends 3/31/2018. Only open to residents in U.S. and Canada. One winner will be selected randomly from all Instagram posts that use #GymboRockOut on or after 3/31/2018. Only one submission per Instagram account will be considered. All prize materials will be chosen by Gymboree Play & Music. Gymboree Play & Music reserves the right to change or cancel this promotion at any time. This promotion is in no way sponsored, administered or endorsed by Instagram.

What Are The Benefits Of Gymboree Play & Music The Baby Lab Music Class?

Baby Lab provides the opportunity for very young children to experience play and learning in a fun, supportive space with their parents as their partners. The benefits of Baby Lab will follow children throughout their lives by providing the building blocks of education andy play.


Image Credit: GymboMom Ambassador Yinqiu

What Are The Benefits Of The Baby Lab Music Class?

Music makes the world go round! Music elements build long & short term memory, support language development and create social/emotional connections for both parents and babies.

The benefits of the Baby Lab Music Class are creating multi-sensory experiences for babies through song and dance. We also work on coordination and balance through dance moves and basic movement.

The Music Lab uses playful language to spark imagination. We use the following words during Music play. Melody, tempo, loud, soft, slow, fast, pitch song, rhythm.

Find a Baby Lab Music Class near you!

Meet GymboFams Ambassador Chantelle

Hi Mamas! I am a working mama from Orange County California.

My husband and I both love music and knew we wanted to get our son, Oliver, into a music class. We impatiently waited till he was 6 months so we could finally join a Gymboree Play & Music music class. We’ve only been going for a few weeks and we all love it.


The first music class we took him to got him sitting unassisted for longer than 30 seconds, so we are excited to see what other skills he picks up in class!


Follow Chantelle on Instagram at:

What Are The Key Benefits of Music?

Here at Gymboree Play & Music our music program is designed to support growth and development, while reinforcing children’s cognitive, physical, and social areas of learning. Through participation in Music classes, your child will benefit from the following areas of development…

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Musical Development – We use play, song, movement, and musical exploration to teach your child the basic elements of music, and help develop and support rhythmic development and tonal development.

Speech & Language Development – Gymboree Play & Music classes will help support your child’s language comprehension, understanding  of vocabulary, expressive language skills and the ability to form words and sentences.

Physical Development – Movement is an essential factor in your child’s development. Our program features a wealth of movement activities to support children’s physical development and promote gross motor skills, fine motor skills and physical health.

Cognitive Development – Our music program encourages mental development, supporting growth in your child’s cognitive abilities, such as cause & effect, reasoning & problem solving, memory, spatial-temporal awareness and mathematical skills.

Social-Emotional Development – The social setting of our music program will support your child in developing temperament, attachment, social competence, emotional regulation and empathy.

Creative Development – As your child grows and develops his/her musical abilities, you will begin to observe more creative play and development, supporting musical expression, creative movement & dance, fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration.

Easy Musical Kid’s Craft: Make a Bell Shaker

Easy Musical Kid’s Craft: Make a Bell Shaker

By Megan Schiller of The Art Pantry

Last night we had friends over for dinner. All the kids were off playing together and suddenly they came marching through the dining room with various musical instruments and pronounced that they had started a band!

One of these instruments was a favorite DIY bell shaker that is super easy to make and is just as fun for our 6 year old to make as it is for a toddler.


  • 1 stick (You could also use a wood dowel or even a chopstick!)
  • Craft Bells (we used 5 for this one, but any amount will work. The more bells, the louder the jingle).
  • Craft Wire, cut to about 2 ft. (pipe cleaners work fine too). If the wire is sharp on the end, just wrap the ends with tape.
  • Craft/Washi Tape

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This is a fun project to do with your child. Young kids will most likely need help with the wire wrapping so it’s a good idea to work together with your child on one shaker or you can each make your own while you demonstrate the steps.

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  1. Wrap one end of the wire around the end of the stick a few times to secure it.
  2. Wrap tape over the secured wire and down the stick for decoration.
  3. Thread a bell onto the loose end of the wire and slide it down into place against the stick.
  4. Wrap the wire a few more times around the stick and make sure to keep it tight.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each new bell.
  6. When you get all of the bells onto the stick, wrap the rest of the wire around the stick and secure with tape.

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For added decoration, wrap the rest of the stick with craft tape.

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Shake, shake, shake and have fun with your new instrument!

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Megan’s Bio

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Megan Schiller is a former art teacher who designs children’s creative play spaces at The Art Pantry. She especially loves to help families set up art spaces that encourage exploration, independence, and joyful learning. When Megan’s not doing art with kids or designing spaces, you might find her out in nature, reading, or chatting with her husband on their podcast about creating the life of your dreams.