BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will offer a new curriculum of early childhood music in its Instrument Explorations for the Very Young program, Out of the Box Music for ages 3-5. Early Childhood educator Margaret Persing joins Wharton’s faculty to teach Out of the Box Music classes this Fall on Fridays and Saturdays at the Performing Arts School located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. The public is invited to attend free demo classes at the Fall Open House on Friday, September 7 from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.  For the complete Fall Open House schedule and more information, visit or call 908-790-0700.

Creative and “playfully theoretical,” Out of the Box Music prepares young children for success in singing, dancing, piano, violin, ukulele, and recorder—leading to future success in bands, orchestras, and choirs. This multi-sensory program builds musicianship by connecting beat, rhythm, melody, form, dynamics, tempo, and all things musical with the world of dramatic musical play. Classes feature live piano, guitar, violin, and recorder as well as hands-on experience with 30+ instruments at improvisation stations including marimbas, Irish harp, chimes, tone bells, xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels, and other percussion instruments.

Margaret Persing holds a Master of Music degree in Classroom Music from Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford and a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from St. Olaf College. Former NJ Director and Teacher of Mary Ann Hall’s Music For Children & Beyond™ for 12 years, she currently teaches Out of the Box Music™, a new branch of Music For Children. Persing grew up in a musical family and studied violin and piano from an early age. She fell in love with choral singing while in high school choir under the baton of Dr. James Jordan, now of Westminster Choir College. While at St. Olaf College, Persing spent three years performing and touring with the St. Olaf Choir. She also played violin in the St. Olaf Chamber Orchestra. She has sung with the Pro Arte Chamber Singers of Connecticut and the Harmonium Choral Society of Morristown, NJ. She is currently a violin soloist and part-singer/soloist at Garden State Church where she also conducts the children’s choir. Persing believes that music is essential to the well-being of the whole child, that every child is born with music intelligence, and that the child is the most important instrument through which music flows and grows.

The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.

Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,400 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 14 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve 500 students in grades 3 - 12. Beginning with Early Childhood music classes for infants and toddlers, We believe in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and believe that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay. We teach all instruments and voice and have a robust musical theatre program.

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 13 counties. All of WIPA’s extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.