Stacey Peasley spends her days doing what she loves: singing, dancing, and being with children. In September of 2009, Stacey opened the MetroWest chapter of Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals, a New York City-based music program for children and their caregivers.
The program began in 1997, when musician David Weinstone took his son to various music classes and was displeased with what he heard and saw. Rather than settle for subpar instruction, David took matters into his own hands and began writing children’s music. Before long, he had designed an entire program, and it took off immediately. Weinstone currently has 13 CDs, and each semester at Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals is based on one of them.
Stacey began singing as a child and joined her first band at age 18; however, after giving birth to her two children, the life of a professional musician was not always conducive to life as a mother. She knew she wanted to explore teaching children’s music, but, like David Weinstone, she was unimpressed with the classes she took. At the suggestion of a friend, Stacey traveled to Brooklyn to try Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals and was thrilled with the program. As if by fate, the program was looking to advance in the Boston area, and Stacey became the director of the Metrowest chapter.
The classes run in Needham, Newton, Sharon and Natick and span a multitude of days and times to fit a variety of schedules. Though Stacey teaches many classes, she is assisted by Jesse Friedberg, a graduate from the highly acclaimed Berklee College of Music.
Classes are catered to families with children from infants to five years of age. Caregivers stay for the classes and watch as their children enjoy a mixture of fun activities. Stacey describes some of the activities as “obviously singing and dancing, and instrument play...we do shakers and scarves and rhythm sticks...and special songs that have parachutes and bubbles. The kids and parents love it, I get such great feedback.” The feedback does not just pertain to the class: each family takes home a CD with the semester’s songs on it, and they are a big hit.
Stacey is also preparing a CD of her own. After becoming a mom and taking her children to live children’s music performances she said, “God, I would love to do this! It became a natural thing and songs just kept coming.” She has been collaborating with producer Marc Soucy for about two years on her first album, a compilation of 13 songs inspired by her children. “My kids are my biggest inspiration,” she says. She began writing and performing children’s music in 2009 and won the Nickelodeon Parents Connect Award for Best Kids Party Entertainer in the Boston area in 2010.
Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals is a hip and unique New York City program that Stacey and her students are excited to have here in Natick. She invites anyone interested in the program to attend a free trial class to get to know her and the class. Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals is located at 17 Willow Street and the phone number is (617) 861-7477.