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Fun with Hugh Hanley at NFPL

by Elizabeth Connolly

Hometown Weekly Reporter 

For over 35 years, music specialist and early childhood educator Hugh Hanley has been entertaining children with his presentations that include fingerplay, songs and dancing. 

He brings one of these programs to Needham Free Public Library (NFPL) monthly, and the children seem to just love him. It is easy to see why between his musical ability, engaging songs, and encouragement of movement. Children are entertained and most importantly, they are learning as they engage with their peers. Parents are able to sit back and enjoy their children’s amusement and watch them in action as they sing, twirl, play, and learn. 

On Thursday, July 13th, the most recent installment took place at NFPL for a crowd of several dozen that gathered in the community room. Most children sat up front, eagerly awaiting the next song or dance. 

Hanley led them through about 45 minutes of fun that included songs about hot dogs, sausages, alligators, crocodiles and bubble gum. At times, he took out his banjo to play along or put it aside to take part in the dancing, jumping and twirling. 

“Oh, we just love him,” remarked one mom. “We try to come whenever he’s here. He’s like a cross between Mr. Rogers and Bob Ross, very likable.”

“Circle of Songs with Hugh Hanley” is taking place next at NFPL on August 17th at 10am. Registration is recommended. To register for this event or to view the event calendar, go to

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