Temple City sisters Ashley and Kristen Mok study stringed instruments at the Pascale Music Institute in South Pasadena. They recently participated in the 2013 Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong. – Courtesy Photo
Classes are forming now in South Pasadena for KinderPiano for Little Fingers®. The five-week program launches preschoolers through first graders into musical instrument studies. Susan Pascale, director of the Pascale Music Institute (formerly the South Pasadena Strings Program), discovered through years of experience that the perfect age to start youngsters on piano is 3 ½ or older.
Several Temple City youngsters have completed this piano program and gone on to study stringed instruments. These include brothers Justin (kindergartener) and Adrian (4th grader) Kong; and sisters, Isabella (2nd grader) and Victoria (6th grader) Realzola. After completing the piano course, Adrian moved on to cello, while Justin still studies piano. Isabella went to violin and Victoria took up the cello. The Realzola’s travelled to Carnegie Hall in 2013 to perform with the Pascale Music Institute’s prestigious Los Angeles Children’s Orchestra. All the children are already gearing up for their 2017 performance at Carnegie Hall.
“What I’ve found is the kids who studied piano before strings were more successful at a string instrument than those who didn’t,” says Susan Pascale. “They have developed the brain pathways for learning music, and then are ready to tackle the more difficult physical challenges of the violin or other stringed instrument.” At her institute, Pascale adds, “KinderPiano is a prerequisite for youngsters who want to play strings.” Pascale has developed a Galamian-based violin method for children as young as 4 ½.
The five-week KinderPiano class session, Pascale explains, is just enough time to assess a child’s readiness to begin musical studies and lay the groundwork for success. “After five weeks, most children are ready to take higher levels of lessons. Some children, however, might take 3 to 6 months off before resuming lessons again.
KinderPiano classes are small. Each child sits at a keyboard, with a parent alongside them. They learn basic piano skills, including listening, rhythm, form, and simple note-reading. At the conclusion of the series, there is a recital “There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the looks on the parents’ faces when their
child is going in front of an audience for the first time,” says Pascale. “My daughter bowed backwards at her first recital. These are priceless moments.”
Each KinderPiano session includes 5 Saturday morning classes followed by a recital. The next session will begin on October 18th. The cost is $175 per class (including all books and materials). Keyboards for home use are available for rent or rent to buy. Call 626-403-4611 for more information or go to http://stringsprogram.com/product-category/music-classes/.