ROCKING ??On the Go??

January 23, 2013

Eight- month- old Fiona Grady may have been listening to instrumental music while she was still in her mother's womb, but her first chance to dance with other little people took place on a Thursday morning in Waverly.

Parents, grandparents, infants and toddlers made a connection with music and each other during a Jan. 17 Gymboree On the Go class, the first in a series planned at The Waverly Community House.

Casey Grady, Dunmore, said her infant daughter Fiona had been crawling, pulling herself up and moving along furniture at home prior to the music session. But as a mom she was excited for her to share the fun with other little people her age.

Jan Schoenberg, of Clarks Summit, said her favorite part of the 45-minute session was seeing daughter Jillian, 11 months, and her classmates in Music 1 engaged in the excitement around them.

A large drum, neon maracas, red bells and brightly -colored crows, in the guise of scarves, seemed like new discoveries to at least half of the 13 musicians in the room during the class for children 16 months and younger and their family members.

Sarah Rosenstein of Lake Winola, said it was definitely a first -time experience for her 3- ½ month-old son Jonathan.

And though 18- month -old Gracie Keeler of Clarks Summit is known to get up and dance when music erupts on TV at home, her grandmother Elaine said a class of this sort was new to Gracie as well.

Caregivers were reassured during this flu season, by the introduction to the yucky bucket where musical instruments that received extra love, in the form of baby kisses and drool, were deposited for extra disinfecting.

Gymboree owner Maurita Pascale and instructors Tara Pliska, Scranton and Sarah Pellegrini, Exeter, shared songs and insights with those in attendance. Pascale, owner of the company's local franchise in Wilkes-Barre, said each part of the program is designed by age and that after just one or two of the seven- week sessions, the children would come to expect certain aspects. She added that everything they take part in will benefit their physical, intellectual and social development

Pascale earned a bachelor of science degree in Physical Education from Pennsylvania State University and a master's degree in education from James Madison University. She taught health and physical education for years locally and in the Washington D.C. area. She has owned the local Gymboree franchise since 2007.

The morning session would not have been complete without the appearance of company's familiar multicolored parachute and icon, Gymbo, a brightly decorated stuffed clown.

Expressions of awe could be spotted on the faces of the new musicians right up until they were mentioned by name during a rousing goodbye song to the tune of For He's a Jolly Good Fellow called, Lets Sing Goodbye Together

Gymboree On the Go music and art classes will take place through Feb. 28 at the Waverly Community House, located at 1115 North Abington Road.

For details about the sessions, which range from Music 1 for those under 16 months to other music and art sessions for children 18 months to age 5, call 570.208.2908. Art and Music classes will be offered with parent participation and drop-off options. Pre-registration is required.

Editor and mom Kristie Grier Ceruti audited the Music 1 class with daughter GiGi Ceruti.