What Some of Our Parents Say
"In short, we've been impressed: the program included ear training, solfege singing, and rhythm training, in addition to piano instruction. We loved how the group setting and parent participation were integral to the early curriculum.
In the last four years, we’ve had so many wonderful experiences at Yamaha."- Jeanne Hayes
"We’ve enjoyed 3 years of classes with you and appreciated your efforts to make it a fun and supportive experience. As a parent, it’s been exciting to see my daughter go through the learning process…not always fun, but fascinating to see her learning that you have to stick with it…once she ‘gets it’, she loves the sense of accomplishment. Hearing her say ‘I get it, Mom! and I can do it, Mom!’ with a big grin and watching her go into the living room to play the piano without prompting, has been priceless!
Thanks so much… Looking forward to the extension course." - Marcia Rutledge
"We feel Yamaha Music School is playing an important role in our child's growing years. She learns not just about music but also about creativity and imagination. The teachers at Yamaha are very kind and passionate about teaching music and we are very happy to see our child learning from her teacher.
It is a beautiful melodies journey and happy to be a part of Yamaha Family." - Nima and Harrish Guntakatta
"Yamaha teachers are amazing, dedicated people with top-notch credentials, musical careers of their own and a real commitment to teaching. They are incredibly generous with their time, and they have never failed to challenge and inspire my daughter. There is a real community here. Through the amazing faculty and nurturing environment at the Yamaha, my daughter has excelled beyond what we had imagined possible, due to the support and coaching she received here. She has the confidence to help her school's string teacher on the days when she comes to teach. She has developed stage presence, poise, and confidence, all thanks to the Yamaha School of Boston and their dedicated faculty.
Beginning a musical education can be both daunting and expensive. Often, only children of the wealthy can afford a musical education, which can make for a homogeneous population of demanding parents and children alike. Educational environments such as these can make for an intimidating, sometimes unwelcoming reception for new parents and students, especially those coming from diverse backgrounds. But the Yamaha School is an extremely special place. Supporting excellence in teaching, and fostering a love of learning they welcome you. When I was shopping for a place to begin music lessons for my daughter, other local community schools felt icy in comparison to the this school. The administration is simply magnificent; they streamline difficult logistical processes, set up payment plans, and make scheduling and rescheduling lessons easy. Communication with staff is always pleasant there's always someone there to talk to in person, and they always remember your family and your name.
Quite simply, the Yamaha School services our community providing an educational environment that makes both students and parents feel comfortable and valued." - Rawan Seibold
“Thanks to all the Yamaha Boston staff who coached, coordinated and led a wonderful concert experience today! We were present for two concerts and enjoyed them both so much! We are truly fortunate to be part of an organization that is so dedicated to children's appreciation for music.
It shows in everything you do and we want you to know that we notice this dedication and appreciate it very much! The smiles on the parent's faces and the applause for the staff at the last concert today were just a token of our enthusiasm for all that you do at YMS Boston! Thank you, thank you! I hope you feel proud of how you have musically touched so many people's lives throughout the year.” - Kim McCormick & Shawn Ohler
"We are writing to congratulate you and the YMS community on the successful conclusion of the Grade 8 examinations and the submission of an impressive slate of original compositions to the annual Yamaha competition.
We would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the efforts of our son's teachers in coaching and preparing him for these trials. Indeed, Rebecca and Ayako have both exhibited a degree of devotion to their students and an amount of dedication to their musical excellence that we found to be far beyond the call of duty. With the extra hours, the cram sessions, and the mock examinations, we were left agape in wonder at their boundless energy and infinite patience. Let us not forget the work of Andy who managed in the space of a few short months to coax original compositions from each of his students, all of which showed independent flights of creative imagination and in wildly varying styles no less.
For us as parents, it is a pleasure and indeed a privilege to be able to work with such a team. Under the tutelage of the trio, our son has managed to achieve a level of musicianship at a tender age that far surpasses our greatest expectations. For this, we owe the three our deepest gratitude." – Josephine and Shiufun
"I think it's a great method. When I was taking piano lessons as a kid, I don't think I learned nearly as rapidly or as comprehensively, and have since forgotten almost everything of my training from the early years. The whole ear training that Yamaha does - the approach to singing music first and actually hearing the music with the CD. It is a very integrated approach. I've been shocked at how rapidly the kids have been learning." - Michelle Cicolo
The one thing that the teachers have shown is a tremendous flexibility in order to meet the needs of the kids. They are very involved, very knowledgeable, and have a great way to work with the kids. That's not something that everyone has; someone can be a great player, a great musician, but working with the kids requires a different mindset, and the teachers here are very well prepared and work with the kids in ways that they can learn. - Ed Lopez
Looking back on the past two years, I really see the progress and the development. I'm not a pianist, so I can say that everything that Jennifer is today is really attributed to what she learned at the Yamaha School. The technique works, the singing - after two years, I know it was a very important and critical part of it. And the listening - because just after a few months, Jennifer would sometimes hear a song outside of the Yamaha book, and she'll start saying, "Mommy, this is in G Major." And I'm thinking, "How did you know that?" And it was through the approach. So I'm very convinced, a strong believer. - Joy Murphy
My daughter loves the music and activities in the Junior Music Course (JMC) class...Speaking as a music educator with extensive teaching experiences, I am convinced that the JMC is highly effective in introducing the world of music to young children, while providing an enjoyable, enriching, and well-rounded musical training. As a parent, I want my child to develop her music potential and cultivate a life-long appreciation and love for music. I would not hesitate to encourage parents to enroll their children in the Yamaha program." Patricia Ooi Englehardt, Ph.D.
"Thank you for your support. I am enjoying the class immensely. It is just what I need. I am using the course to work on a couple of areas: ear training to improve my general musical facility and my hand-based fine motor skills."
"I am enjoying the class... particularly because you are treating us like adults and doing your best to be sensitive to our individual sensitivities."
Family SpotlightWhy I Chose the Yamaha School
By Yamaha Parent Jeanne Hayes
Mitch and I considered at-home piano lessons and other music schools closer to our house, but chose Yamaha because of their “whole child” approach to music education. In short, we were impressed: the program included ear training, solfege singing, and rhythm training through movement, in addition to piano instruction. We loved how the group setting and parent participation were integral to the early curriculum. But what we found most compelling was the focus on process over product. When I was a child, I was taught “when you see this, you do that.” But for young, preliterate children, the idea of “If you can sing it, you can play it” made a lot more sense to us.
In the last four years, we’ve had so many wonderful experiences at Yamaha. My husband and I valued sharing those first years at the keyboard with our kids. It was a great opportunity to spend time together, see the program working, and get to know the teachers. Between the two boys, we’ve had five Yamaha teachers, all of whom have been so great. The all-school concerts and private lesson recitals are special too; both experiences have taught the kids a lot about supporting one another as musicians. This year, both boys have enjoyed the ensemble playing in their classes, and are really engaged in writing their own music. It ties together what they have been learning through the curriculum with their individual creative interests, and cultivates a dynamic that makes them excited about what they’re learning. To me, that’s the best.
When we first started at Yamaha, we didn’t have too much trouble with practicing and music homework. A regular practice at the same time every day worked well for us. But as the boys have advanced, we’ve had to adjust. Like most families juggling busy schedules, our biggest challenge now is finding time — duration and time of day — that allows both boys to get their practice in. What works better for us now is a flexible schedule, practicing some days in the morning before school, some days after school and sometimes a bit of both. Letting them be more responsible for running their own practice has helped too. My musical background is limited, so we sometimes rely on emailing with the teachers during the week with questions, which is yet another compliment to our Yamaha teachers who happily support the boys outside of class in any way they can.
One day, about a year after we had started at YMS, we were driving somewhere and it was raining. Ethan said to me, “Mommy, listen to the windshield wipers.” I listened, and then replied, “What about the windshield wipers?” And he said, “They’re singing ‘do-so, do-so, do-so’… Can you hear it?” Sometime later, Elliot reported a big truck engine was humming “meeeeee…” That they were hearing music in the sounds of everyday things was a lovely surprise, and they continue to surprise me with what they are able to hear with their musical ears. They are so happy to share their music. Whether at family events, school, church, or even scouts, they always love to play. I think the Yamaha program imparts a feeling of fun and delight into music education, and the children then pass that along when making music. That’s really the core of it for us: the love of music, the skills to appreciate and make music, and the pleasure of sharing music throughout their lives.
Jeanne Hayes is the proud mother of Ethan and Elliot Hayes, who have been studying at YMS Boston since September 2007. Ethan, a recent Young Musicians Course (YMC) graduate, joined the first class of Junior Advanced Course students with Rebecca Helm this year. Elliot graduated from the Junior Musicians Course (JMC), and in 2009, became a member of the first Junior Special Advanced Course with Aaron Jackson, and this year with Ayako Hattori. Ayako also teaches private lessons to both boys.