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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Interview by Kristen Kemp (MontclairKids, now BaristaKids)

INTERVIEW with Alisa Harmon, Director of HARMONIZE
by Kristen Kemp

I’m cramming to get my baby boy into more activities this winter.  He can get a spot in Music for Aardvarks, my personal favorite. Even better–he loves it.

We have a blast listening to owner Alisa Harmon and her talented staff sing cool baby songs and play live instruments. It sure beats Barney.

Alisa recently gave an interview to MontclairKids about her local franchise.
Kristen: Why did you start Music for Aardvarks?
Alisa Harmon: I had been teaching for a different national music program in Brooklyn, and I was SO bored with the music, but not with teaching. Since David Weinstone (founder of MfA) and I were friends, I wanted to “spread the love” and be the first center director to bring Aardvarks to Jersey when I moved to Montclair.

K: What’s so special about MfA?
A: Aardvarks music is original, unexpected and fun! A lot of children's music drives parents crazy–with songs from the 1700 and 1800s–but Aardvarks is just good music, so everyone likes it. All of our songs are written locally by David Weinstone, founder of MfA.  If someone requests one of my songs, I’ll sing that. Also, I have real instruments–not just toy store versions of instruments–because I believe that the children are making real music with them. Quality products breed a quality experience.

K: What is the best part of a session for you? For the kids?
A: The best part happens a thousand different ways, at a thousand different times. When a child’s eyes light up, and he or she connects with the teacher, the parent, or another child.  It is pure magic when that happens.  I live for it!
Classes cost $210 for a 9-week session, and you can add a sibling for just $79. Go to Music for Aardvarks to sign up, or just email Alisa directly.
We’re going on Thursdays. Just look for the very fat, very excited 16-month-old boy who’s jumping around, singing and clapping his hands.

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