Learn more about apple seeds

Interview with Allison Schlanger, Co-founder, apple seeds

By Anu Kapur, Publisher, Lower Manhattan Macaroni KID & Upper West Side Macaroni KID January 26, 2022

Allison, please tell us a little about yourself and your background.

apple seeds founders are Alison, Allison, Bobby and Craig. A chance meeting between Alison and Allison in an elevator on the way to our kids’ music class sparked a friendship. At the time, Allison worked at MTV and Alison was at UNICEF. We loved our jobs but quickly bonded over the dream we had to create professional lives that included our children (or allowed us to be with them more). Along with our husbands, Bobby and Craig, we conceived the idea for a play space and classes that we would want for our own families, and our community, and nine months later apple seeds and songs for seeds were born.

When was apple seeds/songs for seeds incorporated? What was the concept behind creating apple seeds/songs for seeds?

We opened apple seeds in 2007 and launched songs for seeds music classes in 2009. We saw a need in our own families, and in our community, for an indoor play space and classes that taught learning through play, in a space created specifically for families with young children. songs for seeds was born out of a desire to teach the fundamentals of early childhood education through music.

What is the ideal age group for your classes? How are classes structured?

songs for seeds music classes are currently given (live) online four times a week for all kids six months to six years old (and their adults). They are forty-five minutes long. Our incredible teacher/musicians take the students on a musical journey singing, dancing and playing along with their own instruments (pots and pans and oatmeal cans too). Your children will experience music and language from cultures around the globe, help identify shapes and colors, be amazed by magic tricks that are used to practice numbers and counting, get fully engaged in an animal matching game that reinforces the names and sounds of animals and get a chance to sing on the mic, Karaoke-style, at the end of class (our favorite part). Parents tell us it is the most fun they have in forty-five minutes with your kids... which we could not love more.

What makes apple seeds unique from other music classes?

songs for seeds is not just a music class. We engage children through music and musical activities, all while laying the foundation of early childhood education. In each songs for seeds class, your child will be exposed to rhythm patterns and be given the space to experiment with singing and playing real instruments. But, we also reinforce shapes, colors, numbers and animal identification. Thanks to the "magic" of Zoom we have been able to reproduce our exact songs for seeds class curriculum and all the songs for seeds fun - live, online four times a week.

Please tell us more about apple seeds’ virtual birthday parties? What themes do you’ll cover?

The format for our birthday parties/events is very similar to our live, online class but customized to include your special requests. songs for seeds parties are approximately forty-five minutes long. We sing, dance, play instruments, "travel" to a different region of the world, perform magic tricks, play an animal matching game and give the mic to your guests for a little Karaoke session right before we sing "Happy Birthday" in unison as the birthday child blows out the candles on their cake. We make the day super special for your child, family and friends (kids and adults). Soon after the party is over you will receive a recording of the event to re-watch whenever you want. 

How has the pandemic affected you?

During the first few months of the pandemic, we made the hard decision to close our brick-and-mortar business, apple seeds. We quickly pivoted and transitioned our songs for seeds music classes online for families that did not have the option to go to class in person because of COVID-19. Some of our franchise owners continued to offer songs for seeds classes outside throughout the past ten months. Hundreds of families have joined our online community and come to class multiple times a week to sing, dance, "travel" to a different region of the world, throw scarves in the air and blow bubbles. The smiles on the kids' faces as they help us find the missing number and watching parents dance like crazy in their living rooms with their children has made us realize that we all need to have fun and let loose a bit - even during these times. songs for seeds online classes have been the absolute silver lining of the past 9 months.

Are there any music apps you would like to recommend for young kids?

songs for seeds YouTube channel   

Where do you see apple seeds five years from now?

That’s a great question. For the first time, we don’t have a "five year plan". Our songs for seeds franchise owners will each make individual decisions about their businesses as the world comes back together again. songs for seeds online classes have been a huge success in every way that is important right now. They have given families an incredibly joyful and educational break in the day where they are letting loose but also bonding with their children and watching their kids do incredible things, possibly for the first time. We have a community of families that see each other multiple times a week at a time where that is rare and needed. The online classes have given our teachers work and the kids have given them so much happiness and positive feedback. We have the digital offering as a bridge to get us through this pandemic but we would love to find an outlet for this content in the future so that it can reach families that don’t have early education music classes in their areas or don’t have the ability to get to them.

We invite all Macaroni Kids families to take a much deserved (and needed) break in their day. Grab your children and join us in songs for seeds! Use the code macaroni for a free week of classes.

Thank you!