Classes meet at Studio Helix in downtown Northampton, at Montessori School ofNorthampton, 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 (Winter Hoot is 9 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: $168 for 9 weeks. Includes songbook and CD. Second child over the age of 9 months is an additional $90.  

Northampton classes: Studio Helix, 3rd floor of Thorne’s
Wednesdays 9:30am, 4pm
Thursdays 9:30am

Winter 2019 session is a 9 week session.  It begins Jan 9/10 and runs for 9 weeks.  We will meet during school vacation week.  If there are snow days, we will add dates during the last two weeks of March.

To register write to



Local Chorus


Local Chorus is a privately run chorus for kids aged 5-13. We sing a wide repertoire of folk, pop, rock and classical music in one-, two- and three-part arrangements. When possible, we incorporate strings played by the students, as well as guitar and percussion played by adults and students. Our mission is to bring joy to the community through music and performance. We have a repertoire, and we also learn new songs.

The next session of Local Chorus starts on Tuesday January 8 2019 at the Montessori School of Northampton. We meet for 10 week sessions, skipping holidays and vacations.



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: $250 for 10 weeks. Includes songbook, CD and supplement.

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