Classes meet at Cradle in Northampton, at North Star in Hadley, and at Nerissa’s home in Northampton. Classes are structured so that kids have plenty of space to move while staying safe. Classes run for 45 minutes (HooteNanny Parent Guitar runs for an hour). Sessions run for 10 weeks and take place seasonally (Fall is Sept-Dec., winter is Jan-March, Spring is April-June and Summer is July-August).


HooteNanny is an early music program for children aged 0-5 and their grown ups. There are nine discrete seasonal curricula, and each one endeavors to contain a mix of uptempos, ballads, familiar and new, songs with different time signatures, languages other than English, major and minor, silly and sublime. We are very fond of repurposing old favorites with new lyrics, and encouraging kids and parents to do the same. HooteNanny families have been instrumental is helping us to create our curricula. We firmly believe in the folk process. Some of our favorite songs have come from parents in our classes, songs they learned from their grandparents. HooteNanny is all about drawing all of these communities together–– generational, geographical, cultural. In a typical class, children start on their parents’ lap, play with simple musical instruments or props, and at some point get up and move around, returning to laps for lullaby and the goodbye song (“Sweet Rosyanne.”)
Cost: $165 for 10 weeks. Includes songbook and CD. Second child over the age of 9 months is an additional $100.

Northampton classes: Cradle, 3rd floor of Thorne’s
Wednesdays 9, 10, 1:30pm
Thursdays 9, 10

Hadley class: North Star, corner of Routes 9 and 47
Wednesdays 4:00


HooteNanny Singers

Focusing on basic musical elements– singing, dancing, movement and rhythm, with an emphasis on fun–HooteNanny Singers gives kids aged 4-10 a space to explore their voices, learn how to match pitch, sing in parts (starting with simple rounds), free dance as well as organized dance/movement, play with songwriting and work towards a performance at the end of each session. Class is limited to 12 families. Parents may sing along too! We use part of the seasonal HooteNanny curriculum with songs and dances added for older children.
Cost: $165 for 10 weeks. Includes songbook and CD. Second child over the age of 9 months is an additional $100.

Northampton class: Cradle, 3rd Floor of Thorne’s Marketplace
Tuesdays 4:00pm


HooteNanny Parent Guitar

Nerissa teaches parents how to bring HooteNanny home. In a warm, encouraging group setting, parents and grandparents strum together, learn chords, finger-picking patterns, rudimentary music theory, sing together, laugh, share their struggles with practicing after bedtime, and make amazing progress. We start with the current HooteNanny curriculum, but we invite participants to bring in songs they would like to learn, and together we decipher these songs.

Cost: $220 for 10 weeks. Includes songbook, CD and supplement.

Northampton class: Nerissa’s house
Tuesday 10-11am (one hour)