Are your children musically inclined? Are you? The Smith School of Music (131 West 86th Street) is offering people of all ages and skill levels free trial lessons at its upcoming open house on Sunday, August 27 (and again on Sunday, September 10).
This is a chance to get an intro to guitar, piano, voice, bass, drums, ukulele or flute from a professional musician (more on them in a bit). These lessons are by appointment only, so you’ll have their full focus. Also, if you’re not sure where to start, you can try a few different instruments.
The school has also created an innovative guitar class called Riff Raff which aims to make the learning process a bit more engaging; you can learn more about that here.
Founded by husband-and-wife duo Damien and Jessica Kelly, the Smith School of Music is an offshoot of the Smith School, a private alternative learning establishment where class sizes average five students.
Whether you’re looking to pursue a career in music or just want to pick up a new hobby, lessons are customized to meet all needs. But for anyone who does think they might want to go pro one day, one student was recently accepted into Berklee College of Music and another recently performed at Carnegie Hall. So the sky’s certainly the limit under the guidance of Smith’s instructors.
Meet a few of the instructors:
Jordan Dodson is a classical guitarist, once dubbed “one of the top young guitarists of his generation” by Performance Today. With a plethora of awards and stints with the Alabama Symphony, Seongnam Philharmonic Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, Dodson holds degrees from Curtis Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. The opportunity to learn guitar repertoire and technique from Dodson is a unique opportunity only Smith can offer.
Jenny Xu is a a Canadian pianist and graduate from the Berklee College of Music and Manhattan School of Music. Xu has received an arsenal of awards, including the MSM Outreach Award, Stingray Rising Star Award and the Berklee Jazz Performance Award. She holds the record for fastest graduation without transfer credits at Berklee; she’s a boss. Xu has taught piano since the age of thirteen and has worked with students as young as four, so she’s equipped to handle any skill level or technical aptitude. Her approach to lessons is hyper-personalized, and her commitment to the keys is something to behold.
Samantha Lucas is a professional actor, vocalist and vocal instructor, holding a Bachelor of Music in Theater Performance with honors from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory. Her credits include performing with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Orchestra, Front Porch Theatricals and Tony Award-winning powerhouse Billy Porter. An accomplished teacher, she’s been delivering lessons since 2015.
To sign up for the upcoming free trial lessons (scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), please click here. If there are no time slots left, contact the school to arrange a trial lesson on another occasion.