Laurel Staniszewski, 2, said she loves going to “momo class.”


“When she was little, she couldn’t say music, but she could say momo, so it just stuck and it’s still ‘momo class,’” said her mother, Gina Staniszewski. 


“She loves it and she looks forward to coming every week.” 


 

Laurel Staniszewski, 2, said she loves going to “momo class.”

“When she was little, she couldn’t say music, but she could say momo, so it just stuck and it’s still ‘momo class,’” said her mother, Gina Staniszewski. 

“She loves it and she looks forward to coming every week.” 

The Washington residents started going to Amie’s Music Together when Laurel was just 8 months old. 

Gina said the classes have helped her daughter’s verbal development. 

“She’s been speaking in full sentences for a while,” Gina said. “She’s singing all kinds of songs and she knows all the words.”

The class, she added, also serves as a bonding experience for the two. 

“I work full-time, so it’s something we can do in the evening together,” Gina said. “Also, she’s with my mom during the day, so I think she needs to be able to be around the other kids.” 

Amie’s Music Together recently found a new home in Washington. Owner Amie Yaniak moved the classes — which were previously held at Crossroads United Methodist Church — to their new location in the Cherry Tree Shopping Center. 

The new location, she said, offers “a safe, kid-friendly environment for children to learn and grow.” 

Yaniak, a music therapist, began teaching music classes in Wisconsin in 2004. After moving to central Illinois and having her two children Grace, 6, and John, 3, she decided to open Amie’s Music Together. 

She offers a mixed-age program for children from birth to 5 years, a 5- to 7-year-old big kid program and a program for babies 8 months and younger. 

“We teach them how to sing in tune and have accurate rhythm,” Yaniak said. “We think all children are musical and all children can achieve basic music competence.”

For the Dozier family of Washington, the weekly music class is a family affair. 

Heather and Chad Dozier have attended classes with their three children Brianna, 5, Rose, 3, and Gwen, 7 months, for the past three years. 

“They really enjoy it,” Heather said. “They love to dance, they love to sing. It’s amazing to see how they get into rhythm and pick up different sequences.” I look at is as a family fun time too.” 

The mixed age class, she added, is very convenient for her family of five. 

“I look at it as a family time,” Heather said. “That’s the nicest thing; you can get the whole family in here.” 

Music Together teacher Terra Edgell got her start with the program as a parent who brought her two sons Tavian, 5, and Trezdyn, 3. She said it was the educational aspect of the class that made her want to switch roles from parent to teacher. 

“It’s so amazing to actually see that when they are this young they are totally capable of developing and learning,” she said. “It’s amazing now to see it from the other side. I love being trained to know what to expect and what to see.” 

And while it is obvious to anybody sitting in on a class that children and parents alike have a lot of fun participating, Edgell said Music Together goes beyond merely having a good time. 

“To the untrained eye, it looks like we’re just playing and having fun,” Edgell said. “Sometimes people might not take us seriously because of that, but really an important aspect is that children learn through play. To them we are playing, but there’s a science behind it and there is research behind it. They are learning and there is education even though to most people we’re just playing.”  

For more information, or to register for a class, visit amiesmusictogether.com.