Music Making Opportunties for Families in the Happy Valley

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 25, The Hootenanny

I am not one of those “organized activity” parents. I am also not one to push my kids toward music lessons.

Well, that’s because 1) I’m not at all musical, and 2) I’m lazy and I don’t want to force my kids to practice. Actually, to be completely honest, not only do I loathe the idea of forcing my kids to practice an instrument, there are many instruments I would not want to hear being practiced upon if my kids were to actually practice. Let me start the list with violin and continue to trumpet. You can add your own fingernails-on-chalkboard instruments if you’d like.

This is just one of those things about myself I’ve accepted without guilt or remorse. Besides, my middle two guys are not about performing. That’s just the truth, especially the third one. His favorite thing to do with the limelight is hide from it (except, now, it turns out, if the limelight can be a vehicle to showcase yo-yo skills).

❥ Anyway, there are great resources for kids and music, though, in these parts…

The Northampton Community Music Center is one (one of my kids took piano lessons there—fantastic). There’s the Institute for Musical Arts in Goshen (I already have set my sights on my daughter, Saskia, going there, although she’s only five and has many summers between now and being age-eligible). And then there’s the Hootenanny.

Old, lazy, overwhelmed me: I just never took Saskia—until this spring.

I can’t tell which of us enjoys the Hootenanny class more: Saskia or me. We both love the CD that accompanies the class. The only difference is I hear her singing songs more often than I do. I can only utter thanks to Nerissa and Katryna Nields for creation of a little musical institution of their own.

Hootenanny submitted by Sarah Buttenweiser


Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah is a writer, who lives in Northampton with her husband and four children. She contributes to Preview Massachusetts Magazine, as well as other publications and writes a parenting blog Standing in the Shadows at the Valley Advocate. She moved to the Valley to attend Hampshire College—and found the Valley such a nice place, she stayed!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: