The ultimate testament to the high quality of music education at the Sharon Music Academy is not the amount of awards our students have won at various music competitions, but the amount of new students that come to us by referral. Reading the testimonials of our parents and students one can understand why they refer their neighbors, friends and family members to the Sharon Music Academy.
What Parents Say
Dawn A. - mother of Julia
The Sharon Music Academy is a rare gem in a myriad of music schools. I feel extremely fortunate to have found the school and its director, Tanya Schwartzman. Tanya is a highly professional, warm, and kind person. My daughter, Julia, has blossomed as a pianist in The Sharon Music Academy. The Sharon Music Academy not only teaches piano technique and style, but through imaginative storytelling it imparts a wonderful body of knowledge of the lives of the composers and why they wrote their music. This enables Julia to reach inside herself and bring her piano playing to a higher emotional level. As a parent, I thoroughly enjoy observing Julia's piano lessons and witnessing this musical growth.
Maria and Terry T. - parents of Sophie
My daughter Sophie has been taking piano lessons for almost five years; my son Byron, at age 7 is in his first year of piano. I can honestly say that my kids are getting a unique music education through the Music Academy, for two main reasons: they have come to understand and show, at a young age, the artistry and depth of feeling that comes with the experience of making music. Technical accuracy and music theory is a foundation of their training, but somehow it is as background, supporting but not dominating their experience. I have listened quietly during virtually every lesson my children have taken, and I am continually struck by the use of metaphor and storytelling to help my children learn. A visual picture is painted for the student – an interesting story or image which gives them context and meaning for each piece. And boy does this work! The children are captivated and motivated to create the picture themselves with their music. As the mood of every piece is created through metaphors, vivid descriptions and/or discussions of the composer’s intentions, somehow it seems to translate directly into the child’s fingers – an amazing thing really. Even when Sophie began her lessons at age 6, she played simple yet beautifully moving, melodic compositions – no “baby” pieces. She learned how to hold her hands, wrists and arms to create her own presence and power, over what was then, a relatively enormous piano. This style of teaching I believe not only encourages kids to love to play their instrument, but creates very impressive artists and musicians. The bar is higher, no doubt, at the Music Academy, but the study and practice pays off with abound; without wanting to sound elitist, I believe you do see and hear a real difference with these kids. My own 10+ years of piano lessons gave me what I thought was solid music education, but I never became anywhere near good as my daughter is already at age 10. We highly recommend the Music Academy indeed!
Myra & Frank B. - parents of Brandon
We have been very happy with the level of musical training provided at the Sharon Music Academy. Brandon's piano playing has improved dramatically in the three years he has been taking lessons there. Expectations are high and the work is challenging, but it all leads to a solid background in both musical skills and music theory. Focus on commitment also develop, which benefit areas outside of music as well. The opportunity to perform is another important aspect to what is provided by the Music Academy. There are recitals and other public performances throughout the year which allow students to enjoy the benefits of their hard work. There is also an opportunity to participate in competitions at various levels - state, national and international. All of this happens in an atmosphere that is warm and supportive of each student's goals. Most important is that Brandon enjoys attending the Academy, and he is continuing to grow as a musician.
What Students Say
Sophie T., 10 years old
Here is what Sophie wrote about her music teacher in a school homework assignment titled "Important Person in My Life".
Have you ever had someone really special in your life make a helpful difference for you? I have Tanya, my piano teacher. She has done so much for me. I would not be where I am today if it was nor for her.
First, Tanya expects a lot from me. She taught me to be very detailed with my arms and hands on the very first day, she gave me a sparkly glass swan to help me remember in graceful songs to sway my arms up and down. Also she taught me to sway my body back and forth to show how the song is feeling.
Second, she has faith in me. When she has a hard song to give to someone, she usually knows that I can do it. I might play in Carnegie Hall if I get accepted from the judges. I asked her, “Do you think I will make it?” and she said “You will”.
Next, Tanya helps me to go onto bigger and better things. If it was not for her, I wouldn’t have gotten any shiny trophies. The reason I won a 3 rd place shiny red trophy two years in a row was because of her excellent teaching.
Last, she helps me to learn step by step. If I don’t get it or I am frustrated, she would have a brilliant idea. She would take it phrase by phrase. Or Tanya would get a piece of paper and slow move it so that I could read it note by note and I can play the song slowly.
In summary, Tanya expects a lot from me, has faith in me, helps me to better things, and teaches me step by step. I will always remember Tanya forever. She really made me who I am today.