When Amy Laber, Children’s Librarian at the Gardiner Library, decided to pursue a degree in Music Therapy, she arrived at SUNY New Paltz armed with a degree in Psychology and a beautiful singing voice. She could also play guitar and has since picked up the banjo, autoharp, ukulele and mountain dulcimer. Her first encounter at the college was with the late Professor Mary Boyle, founder of the Music Therapy Program. Professor Boyle encouraged Amy to pursue the degree which propelled her to move to the area from her home in Connecticut. “I love Mary. She changed my life and was one of my very favorite teachers. She made me feel, “I can do it!” and I did,” Amy adds.
As an Early Childhood Music Specialist, Amy has taught Musical Munchkins classes and freelanced in libraries, day care centers and has taught private classes. In 2006, Amy was certified in Ashtanga yoga and currently has students ranging in age from three to 90. She’s been utilizing the Gardiner Library since 2003, eventually teaching classes there including a combined yoga and music program for children. Amy was chosen for the Children’s Librarian position in October. Understandably, the children and their parents have given her an enthusiastic welcome. Music brings a whole new dimension to the children’s program, Amy explains. “Children absorb information through play and music. It’s a natural way of learning that helps in the development of their self-esteem.”
Currently, Amy is in the process of being certified in hoop dance (a form of dance combining creative movement and prop manipulation with hoops) and plans to teach a class for adults this summer at the library. Meanwhile, at any given time, you may catch Amy performing at The Falcon, The Town Crier and The Bearsville Theater, hear her on several CD’s she’s recorded, take a yoga class with her at Ignite Fitness, or watch her combine all these abilities as she conducts a Children’s Story Hour at the Gardiner Library.
For Amy’s performance schedule, go to davidandamymusic.com. For Amy’s programming at the Gardiner Library, go to gardinerlibrary.org. You can also check out Amy’s music on CD at the library. And stay tuned for the hoop class!