So You’re Considering Piano Lessons… {Sponsored Post & Giveaway}


{NMB has partnered with piano instructor Cristina Marie for this sponsored post. We feel that fostering a love and appreciation for music is important for all children. Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children go on to use in other areas. In light of that, we wanted to share this new opportunity available in Nashville with our readers. All opinions regarding Cristina and the lessons she provides are those of the contributor—Mandy Wallace.}

To be honest, I didn’t really have high expectations for Cooper getting a lot out of a few piano lessons this Fall. When offered the opportunity to try out a new teacher in town, I jumped at the chance, though I really had no idea what to expect. I took piano lessons when I was young—maybe in third grade—but I think I could read music already. (My memories are really sparse, however. I do remember being told over and over again to keep my wrists up. There may or may not have been a ruler or two taped to ensure the correct form. Again, not sure if I’m remembering this or if my mom told me that’s what her teacher used to do or if I’m just appropriating some weird scene from a movie as a part of my own history.)

20141015_155511After ten minutes of Cristina working with Cooper, I was amazed. Cristina is a Juilliard-trained musician and composer who just moved to Nashville from New York. She knew exactly how to talk to my four year old, who immediately trusted her and followed her direction. After just three lessons, he knows the names of the piano keys and how to find middle C; the numbers of his fingers; dynamic symbols pp, p, f, and ff; what a quarter note looks like and how many counts it gets; and a coda…in other words, in three half hour sessions, she has already given my four-year-old an amazing taste of music theory—and he has retained so much of it!

IMG_20141008_085553Watching a child learn a new skill is so amazing—and it has been such a privilege to watch Cristina work with Cooper. She plays games, gently corrects when he can’t remember what to do, and, most importantly, keeps him engaged throughout the entire lesson. I can’t wait to see his understanding of the musical arts blossom under her guidance. Oh—and she reminds him to “hold apples” in order to keep his wrists up when he plays the keys…so there aren’t any rulers involved.

While you can start lessons at any time, Cristina believes 4-5 is a good age to start (depending on the child). Younger children (under 6) are encouraged to practice a few times a week in 20 minute sessions. Older students should practice four to five days a week in at least 30 minute sessions. She also recommend that children start listening to some classical piano music so that they know about the different sounds of the instrument.

CristinaPinkPiano_NashMomsBlogCristina has been called “one of the most talented young composers in America.” Nominated for a Latin Grammy in 2013, she is in demand from choreographers, film directors, and musicians. Cristina received both her BM and MM in composition from The Juilliard School where her main instructor was Dr. Christopher Rouse. She studied piano with Adelaide Roberts at Juilliard from 2001-2006. Cristina was Wet-Ink Fellow for the Metropolis Ensemble where she taught composition and piano to fourth and fifth grade students at P.S. 11 in New York City. She has been an instructor at Giuliano’s Music Center in Darien, CT for seven years. Her students have performed at Steinway Hall, participated in annual Young Composers concerts, and have attended the Interlochen Arts Academy. She is a dedicated music educator to students of all ages and levels. You can contact her at [email protected].

We are so excited to announce that one lucky Nashville Moms Blog reader will have the chance to provide her child (or herself!) with the opportunity to experience three FREE lessons from Cristina! Enter below to win:

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Mandy moved back to Nashville with her husband (Joe) to raise their kids a few years ago and is convinced it was one of the best decisions they've made. She loves setting off on adventures of all sorts, whether they be roadtrips to the coast, nature walks around their block in East Nashville, or camping with friends and family. Wherever she is, you will most likely find her with a book or two within arm's reach. Mandy stays at home with the boys and her baby girl and works as a grantwriter and general website whiz for small non-profits. A lover of spreadsheets and lists, she occasionally gets personal about personal finance, sharing challenges and strategies of efficiently managing a household, at her blog: Stay At Home Money Manager. You can email her directly at stayathomemoneymanager [AT] gmail [DOT] com.


    • I hear you, Christy. It’s crazy how much they seem to learn from other people (and their general eagerness to learn from others), especially when you have a talent or affinity toward something. I will say, however, that it’s been a true joy to be the spectator this time. I feel like I’m getting to see Cooper in a light I can’t when I’m the instructor/role model/coordinator etc.


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