Many believe that New York City is among the best places for a child to receive a first-rate music education, but now aspiring musicians in and around Mineola won’t have to travel far to receive the teaching they seek. The Music School of NYC recently opened up at 234D Jericho Tpke. in Mineola, and offers students ages three and up a chance to receive one-on-one lessons from a staff of seasoned instructors. The program’s director, Natalia Lavrova, believes strongly in the effectiveness of individual private lessons.
“With music especially, once you get past note-reading, it’s about emotion, ideas and imagination,” she said. “So in terms of development, it’s important to nurture students individually. There are so many benefits because they get to use both sides of their brain. So when you cater specifically to a child, it gives them that extra boost.”
Though the school offers group lessons for subjects like music theory and ear training, much of the curriculum revolves around individual lessons for piano, violin, cello, guitar and voice, among other instruments. Lavrova believes that her staff plays a big role in ensuring that the students get the most out of their private lessons.
“The main thing is our faculty,” she said. “My dream was to have a school that provides faculty that can cater to any kind of musician. The type of teachers we have are high-performing, high-caliber musicians.”
Lavrova has been teaching piano for 15 years and received her education at both the Moscow Conservatory and the Julliard School of Music. Other members of her faculty have attended the Manhattan School of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute, to name a few. While the teachers’ respective backgrounds certainly make them qualified to teach music, Lavrova believes it’s their experience as performers that is most crucial to their ability to connect with students.
“I feel it’s very important that your first teacher inspires you,” she said. “And I believe that the best music teachers are not only great educators but great performers. If kids see their teachers play, it adds that extra layer. Kids pick up on that and it gives them that extra little spark.”
The school’s curriculum is designed in such a way that encourages students to continue their education; there is no maximum age limit for private lessons. But while Lavrova understands that adults may not have enough time on their hands for music, she is hopeful that the school can inspire former musicians to return to doing what they had once loved.
“It’s harder for adults to commit, with how busy life is,” Lavrova said. “But I don’t think you’re ever too old to start or to bring back your passion for music. I’ve seen a lot of people who want to come back to it.”
Lavrova’s goals for the Mineola location include possibly implementing skill-based group programs for students and setting up specialized programs that can prepare kids for particular auditions or recitals. She also hopes to double enrollment this year, with the current number of students standing at 60. However, first on her agenda is establishing a relationship with her new community.
“I’m trying to focus on getting to know the community, getting involved, giving back,” she said. “I’d love to do community service with the kids. We could perform at nursing homes, or for people who wouldn’t normally get to see a performance, we would bring the performance to them. And it would also give the kids a chance to have an audience.”
The school will be holding a grand opening party on Friday, Oct. 28, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. There will be food, drinks and of course, music.
“I would like to grow the music community all around,” said Lavrova. “At the end of the day, my goal is to make sure music is in everybody’s life.”
For more information on how to register, visit www.musicschoolofnewyorkcity.com or call 516-515-0144.