HNN Staff

HUNTINGTON, W. Va.

– Parents who want to take advantage of the advance discount for “Time For Music,” a popular program for babies and children up to age 5, have until Jan. 10 to register, according to Joni Pappas, director of the program. It is offered through the Speech and Hearing Clinic on Marshall University’s Huntington campus and sessions begin the week of Jan. 24.

Classes are available for babies from birth to 18 months; toddlers from 18 to 36 months; 3-year olds, and 4-and 5-year olds.  In the baby category, a “baby-and-sibling” registration is available so that parents may register two children at a combined rate.

Parent participation is required for the classes, which take place in the daytime and early evenings Mondays through Wednesdays. A maximum of nine children is accepted per class and children with special needs are welcome.

“As an elementary school teacher, I know how important music is for a young child and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity for Hayden to get involved with music,” said parent-participant Brie Grimmett. “I am glad I followed my instincts! This class has been wonderful for her … Joni is awesome with the kids as well!  She makes sure that she spends a little time with each of the children throughout the class. It is so much fun to watch my 1-year-old clap and dance to the beat of her favorite shows and songs now.”

Pappas said the 45-minute sessions are designed to enhance a child’s cognitive, social/emotional, speech/language and physical development by using age-appropriate music activities and movement. Emphasis is made on American folk music, with which most of the parents will be familiar, and virtually all of it will be performed live.

“… I am amazed at what my son has learned in just an hour a week with Miss Joni,” said Kelly Walker, another parent-participant. “… He has come to love musical instruments, finger plays and connecting with other children his age.”

Pappas is a board-certified neurologic music therapist specializing in early childhood intervention, special education and older adults. Her private practice has included work in numerous pre-schools, early childhood centers, special education programs, nursing homes and rehabilitative centers in Iowa, Mississippi and Indiana. She also is a music educator, having taught pre-K-12 general and choral music in Dubuque, Ia. She is currently serving as adjunct faculty for the Department of Music at Marshall.

For information on “Time For Music,” persons may visit the program’s website at www.marshall.edu/commdis/music, contact Pappas by e-mailing pappasj@marshall.edu, or call her at 304-697-0211.