The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled. – Plutarch
Thanks for dropping by. My name is Andrew and I specialize in teaching music to children here in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I believe music should be an essential part of every child’s education and should be fun, and enjoyable while learning the building blocks of music, art and life! I teach the basics starting with voice and keyboard and then branching out to other instruments – it helps that I’ve been a multi-instrumentalist and composer! All styles of music are included and tailored to your child’s interests. So whether it’s classical, folk, reggae, pop, Broadway, film scores, rock, jazz, or klezmer, we have it covered. Take a look at some of the videos to see the results!
Lessons available in: Piano, Guitar, Ukelele, Strumstick, Voice, Songwriting, and General Music Theory.
To inspire, instill and unleash creativity, artistic appreciation, expression and wonder in children/young people through learning music. Music has the power to bring joy, focus, self-confidence, discipline, and has been proven to grow neural connections in the brain. There have been many studies showing that music lessons make you smarter. Music is also just plain fun to play, listen or dance to!
“Highly Recommended” – As reviewed by Park Slope Parents
What do you like most about Andrew’s teaching methods?
The “system” – colour coded music sheets, and how easy he makes it to learn music. I also love the fact that he starts of with songs that children can easily sing along with. Finally I love the fact that he adapts the teaching to the student and is playful about it. – Parent to a 5 year old piano student
What To Expect In Music Lessons With Andrew
- Personal, one on one 30 minute lessons customized to your child’s natural inquisitiveness and curiosity
- Unique system of graded lessons that build upon each other
- A combination of Suzuki, Kodaly and Dalcroze curriculums along with Andrew’s own delicious recipes!
- 2 recitals per year (optional) – one in the Winter and one in the Spring to further propel your child to performance level preparation
- Starting with playing music and then gradually introducing music theory and reading
- Organized lesson notes with parent and/or student log-in that provides billing history, lesson notes, invoicing, payment and calendar. To help me with all this, I use a great system called Music Teachers Helper.
Here’s a video from my iPad multi-touch book which is a very good indication of how I teach. By the way, you can purchase this right now at the Apple iBookstore.
Winter 2012 Recital
Expectations of Students and Parents
Studying music is a commitment of both students and parents. Unlike other activities at this young age, music requires daily practice and listening away from the teacher. It requires lots of parental involvement. And, given the expense of lessons and instruments, wouldn’t you want to ensure your child’s greatest success? Here’s some things that will make the entire process go smoothly.
- Sit with your child when they practice. Help them when they don’t understand. This may require you to pay attention in the lessons and/or send an email to me for further clarification.
- Organize your lesson materials. Use a 3 ring binder for your notes – bring this and your book(s) to lessons every time.
- Daily listening – this can be “passive” background listening but just as important. Music is like language, we learn it by listening first.
- Praise and celebrate every accomplishment (and even mistakes!)
- Have family concerts – make music a part of your family’s greatest values
- See live music – living in New York, we are blessed with access to the finest concert halls and musicians on the planet.
- Place the instrument(s) in a central part of the home – ideally the area where you spend most of your time as a family. Practice becomes natural when it is the focus of your home.
- Set practice time at the same time every day. Make it become a habit and a routine.
Children have a natural curiousity, wonderment and openness that allows for experimenting, discovery and play. Through music, and the strategies, processes and methods learned and discovered, children are naturally stimulated to carry over these gains to other fields of endeavor outside and inside of music.
Teaching children usually doesn’t require fixing bad habits or out-moded thinking. Yet, it does requires patience, bite-sized lessons and plenty of encouragement and positive feedback. Lessons are like games with stars earned and high fives for effort.
A recent study finds a true correlation between music lessons (in or out of school) and academics. See my recent article on this.
At What Age To Start Lessons?
Children naturally respond to the sound of music in voice or instruments or recordings from in the womb. From 0 to 4 years old, it consists mainly of play, discovery and exploration with instruments like a xylophone. From ages 4 and up, more formal piano studies can take place as their fingers are large enough and strong enough to push down the keys. I take children usually from around the age of 4 through teenagers. If your child can sing the ABC song, and order the letters properly, then we can do some great things. I’ve written a more detailed blog post about the proper age to start music lessons.
Before this age, I would highly recommend Music Together of Park Slope where we had our son for several years. I’ve also heard good things about Music for Aardvaarks, and John Carlin’s Kids Music Underground in Brooklyn Heights. If you want a Spanish class that incorporates music and art, you must go to Juguemos A Cantar – maravilloso!
I teach using a combination of materials including exercises and games I have created, and books. See Curriculum for more details. After the initial lesson, I will recommend certain books and materials for your child.
I’m located at 114 Garfield Place, Apartment 3R between 5th and 6th Avenue in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Lessons are given in a semester-based system with Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.
For further information, check the Lesson Fees page.
A portion of proceeds is donated is annually to the local PTAs and the Brooklyn Public Library.