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Penny Lazarus

Newburyport MA | 01950

About me

Penny Lazarus was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has been performing and studying piano for over 30 years. Penny studied with Master teacher Natalie Phillips at the University of Pittsburgh and participated in Master Classes with notable pianist Eunice Norton, herself a student of Artur Schnabel.* In addition to piano performance and education, Penny has eight years of classroom teaching experience in middle school and was an assistant professor at the University level. In 1989, Penny founded the Jackson Street Piano Studio in Pittsburgh, where she taught school-age students piano performance, as well as music theory, history and composition. In 2000 Ms. Lazarus moved to Massachusetts’s North Shore with her husband, a playwright, and two school age children. When not teaching piano, Ms. Lazarus volunteers in the Newburyport Public School system creating educational gardens and teaching horticulture and environmental studies. She studies voice with professional teacher Martha Peabody and performs locally in Music Theater.

* Artur Schnabel was one of the most important pianists of the 20th century and the primary editor of Ludwig von Beethoven’s piano sonatas. Schnabel’s teacher was Theodor Leschetiszky , who was a talented student under Carl Czerny. Carl Czerny was a young piano prodigy whose teacher was Ludwig von Beethoven. The study of Beethoven’s sonatas and works for piano has always figured prominently in the Penny’s piano studio as well as those of her teachers.

Specialties

At Penny Lazarus Piano Studio no two students are taught the same way. Instead, Penny addresses each child's learning style, and teaches in a way most appropriate to the individual. Penny's students don't just learn to read notes; they learn to find patterns, repetitions and connections in the music, making practice more productive and learning more enjoyable.

The emphasis is on problem-solving and investigating mistakes as opportunities. Instead of scolding students for not practicing, Penny teaches how to practice and how to break a big project into smaller steps and reasonable time frames. Students learn that tackling a big piece of music is no different than handling a big project at school. Students study a variety of piano music, although emphasis is placed on learning to appreciate Classical music. Penny's music students become confident and polished musical performers and many go on to major or minor in the performing arts in college.

Lesson details

Worshops and mini-recitals
These very popular piano parties are held once every month on a voluntary basis. They are for students only and are included as part of the tuition. Individual performances, group discussions and games help students understand their music in the context of music theory and music history.

Projects
Finding a new sound to explore or a new rhythm to explore ... a new picture to look at, a story to write, a drawing to make or an emotion to express. Turning their music into an imagined story helps students devise their own interpretation for every piece. Students feel a sense of pride and ownership when their unique interpretation is a part of their performance!

Every student creates a performance repertoire list.

Education and Accreditation

Unlike most music teachers, Penny is a specialist in education as well as music. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Education, Psychology, and (of course) Music from the University of Pittsburgh. She's also has an Master's and completed PhD coursework in Art History from Pitt.

Penny has taught students in every age group. She's certified in Kindermusik and has training in Suzuki Piano, Eurhythmics and voice. She's a certified middle school social science teacher and has been a college professor in Art History. Penny is a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA). She is an adjudicator for the New Hampshire Music Teacher's Association and presents programs regularly for independent piano teachers in Massachusetts.

Penny's teaching skills were honored when she was chosen to sit on the Newburyport Schools Superintendent's Strategic Planning Committee, working to develop school goals and direction for the entire school system for the next ten years.

Most recently Penny was awarded the Ed Molin Award for Exceptional Volunteer Teaching in the Newburyport Public Schools. (create a link to the newspaper articles in the Daily News and the Current).

Testimonials

I thought in your presentation to students, "honorarium" would beautifully communicate
"the...

Hi Penny,

Sam is looking forward to starting! Very impressive that you are drawing students from 12...

You are amazing, Penny! Jonathan loves piano!!
Thanks-
Robin and Pete

Oh, that's wonderful Penny, thanks so much for that note. We're so proud of him and glad that music is an...

Experience

more than 20 years

Rates

$50 - $59

Availability

Monday 2pm - 7pm
Tuesday 2pm - 8pm
Wednesday 2am - 8pm
Thursday 2pm - 8pm
Friday N/A
Saturday 8am to 2:00pm
Sunday N/A

Teaching location

Teachers Studio

Genre

Childrens Music
Classical
Folk
Performance

Methods

Alfred Method
Bastien Method
Clark Method
Faber and Faber
Kindermusik
Kodály Method
Music for Young Children®
Pace Method
Royal Conservatory of Music
Rote Method
Suzuki Method
Thompson Method

Instruments and Subjects

pedagogy
piano
theory – analysis
theory – harmony
theory – music history
theory – rudiments

Levels taught

Beginner
Intermediate
Advanced

Type of students

Children
Young Adults
Adults
Seniors

Languages

English

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