As a native of the Dominican Republic, Claudette Munné loves merengue beats—but as classical pianists, she and her husband Massimiliano Facchini also cherish traditional piano pieces by European composers. To celebrate these dual passions, the pair arranged a series of fresh, merengue takes on old classics, a project that resulted in a sold-out two-piano show at Carnegie Hall and an interview with NBC.
Revamping traditional piano music isn't the couple's only collaboration, however. They also worked together to found Belle Arti Center for the Arts, a music school that caters mainly to children. Their toddler classes focus on training young ears and building a sense of rhythm that moves beyond freestyle clapping. During private lessons, they train students on instruments from the guitar and violin to woodwinds. Their classes follow a semester schedule, with each semester session culminating in a recital for family and friends.
Even though it?s been lauded by CBS New York, Time Out New York Kids, and Nickelodeon Parents Connect, ABC Do-Re-Me! most values praise from its students. At each energetic studio, newborns to 6-year-olds ecstatically bounce along to children?s songs from a live guitarist or to tunes by pop artists such as the Beatles, the Black Eyed Peas, and Madonna, as they build cognitive skills, develop socially, and create dance routines that will wow at baby prom.
Nothing captures emotions quite like music. Whether it's the elation of "Ode to Joy" or the sorrow of "Adagio for Strings," music grabs ahold of the human experience and expresses it in a way that anyone can appreciate. The Williamsburg School of Music dedicates itself to sharing that experience with anyone who wants to create music. Its classes include private lessons in voice, guitar, piano, and orchestral instruments as well as rock-band experiences for kids aged 6?17. For very young children, Baby Rock with Craig Howe classes bring shakers, drums, and rhythm sticks into homes for a personal introduction to music. These classes involve rhythmic and tonal exercises and homework assignments that include banging on pots early in the morning.
The story of Penny and the Puppettes traces back to Bob Munstedt, a children's musician and puppeteer who captivated youngsters from the 1940s through the 1970s. Inheriting her father's love for kid-friendly performances, Munstedt’s daughter Jane Stratten founded her own touring puppet show, Jane Stratten's Musical Puppets. The family business entered its third generation when Jane's daughter, Merissa Morin, graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and founded Penny and the Puppettes, a program dedicated to delighting children with interactive, educational, and engaging shows and classes. Morin's and her staff's mission is to give kids an outlet to improve their musical, creative, and social skills.
Lessonface connects music students with friendly, knowledgeable teachers for face-to-face practice sessions. What's more, they do it via video-conference software, so it doesn't matter if clients are too busy to schedule an appointment in person, or if they're a sentient program trapped in a desktop computer. The choices are staggering: teachers are on hand for four kinds of guitar playing, full string sections, percussion instruments from drums to djembes, and vocal lessons from opera to hip-hop. For those that love music but don't want to play, they even offer mixing and digital-mastering lessons and music theory.