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      Syracuse area mother invents music appreciation program for toddlers

      Toddler's Tango started as a playdate, and has grown from there.

      When Tamara Frieden had friends' young children over, the activities had a music theme, and the little ones loved it. Her friends thought she'd hit on a great idea, so she turned it into a formal program. That was 11 years ago, and now the company is also franchised around the country.

      Frieden says its a way to get 2 to 5 year olds moving, along with their moms (the sessions are 45 minutes), and also teaches the little ones the basics of music and instruments. Most sessions include music from other cultures, as well.

      Syracuse-area libraries offer Todder's Tango for free (their website has a class finder).

      The company also sells a do-it-yourself DVD and sample instruments for small hands. That effort is also a fundraiser for the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund. Tamara is a survivor, and says she was helped, after her surgery, by the Camillus-based organization.

      Toddler's Tango may be for 2 to 5 year olds, but there are next steps as they get older. There's also 'Babies Boogie,' and even a Senior Samba for older adults, all with the theme of keeping active, and enjoying making music.