Your NYC Neighbor – is a way of introducing New Yorkers to a rich community of savvy parents and business owners. New York is a diverse City bustling with all kinds of families and personalities. We also love to grab tips and recommendations from moms and dads in certain neighborhoods and throughout the 5 Boroughs, and especially people who have created a product, service or site that helps new parents or appeals to children. Meet Lora Heller founding Director at Baby Fingers.
Lora Heller, Baby Fingers
What’s your background Lora?
I grew up in Rochester NY and went to the College of Wooster in OH for Music Therapy. After a couple years working in the field, I met my husband at a music conference and asked him to marry me the next day – then moved to NYC 4 months later because he lived here! I got my master’s degree in Special Ed/Deaf Ed from Hunter College and started Baby Fingers 15 years ago based on my bachelor’s and master’s theses. We have two teenage boys who used sign language before they could speak! In addition to running Baby Fingers and a private practice, I work and teach in the music therapy program at Molloy College in Long Island.
Where do you live? Why do you like that neighborhood?
The Upper West Side is the only place I’ve ever lived in NYC – 20 years now. I love that it’s close to Riverside Park and Central Park, a real family neighborhood with good schools, playgrounds, and grocery shopping!
Tell us about your biz?
Baby Fingers, A Musical Journey through Language and Learning offers creative sign language classes, music and music therapy. Our program helps foster the bond between parent and child, clarifies communication and jumpstarts language. We offer baby/grown up classes around the city, in addition to private music therapy, music lessons, and sign language sessions, and preschool based music-mediated sign language instruction. We also train teachers and caregivers to implement sign language in their work. We also offer birthday party entertainment/ “edutainment” in addition to sign language Webinars, and I’ve authored 7 sign language books for kids.
What’s cool about it?
I started Baby Fingers in 2000 based on my thesis and my older child’s early signing. He signed “more music” at 10 months old when his mobile stopped playing! He had been signing since 6 ½ months, but this was one of his first two-word phrases. I love helping families communicate with their children
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