Musikgarten Musikgarten

The Ellen Johansen Music Studio
8 Stratton Square East Hampton, NY 11937

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Are you wondering about when to start piano lessons for your children?

Here is an inquiry:
Wondering if you have any recommendations for

younger children. My almost 6 year old has been begging
for lessons, whenever she has a spare moment she runs
to the piano and sits and "plays" and we cannot find
anything out here. Normally I'd hold off, but i'd really love
to start while she's so motivated. Would appreciate any
feedback. Thanks!

Here is my response:
It is alway a great pleasure to hear about a young child begging for piano lessons. As a piano teacher for over 35 years, this is music to my ears and hopefully yours as well.  I always think in the long term because this adventure can continue through their school years, college years and if she is fortunate and motivated throughout her whole life giving her the gift of music.  Isn't this a wonderful thing?
So as a piano teacher I look for two basic foundation skills before I place a child in front of a piano or keyboard.  These skills are part of what we call functional musicianship - Rhythmic skill (be able to keep a steady beat) and Tonal Skill (be able to sing in tune).  These will be the drivers for her future music studies.  A five - six year old loves to explore the keyboard and make small melodies, they love to press down the keys and explore the varying sounds they can create.  They love to count the black and white keys and make high and low sounds.  But the discipline to actually sit at a piano and "complete" an assignment or to "practice" what a teacher assigns is so much easier at around age seven.  This is the optimal time to offer formal piano lessons.  BUT, but but, this essential time is for creating the foundation I spoke of above and I do this through my Music Makers program.  I give the children ample opportunity to develop these essential skills in a creative, nature based curriculum developed specifically for this age and my students LOVE this program.  Best of all, the program integrates piano/keyboard studies at the right time when their hands can sustain a proper hand position and they are playing with rhythmic and tonal patterns they sung and moved to in my classes.
So my  suggestion is to let her explore that piano and assure her that the music class she can join will prepare her for piano soon.  It's like learning to swim before swimming across a pool.  Got to have a pool and a bathing suite and those basic skills of keeping your head above water!  
The program I will be offering will be on Monday afternoons after "school" (I won't get into that subject here) and it will be most likely online.  I started teaching my studio classes and piano lessons online at the beginning of lock down and have found that the children are continuing to enjoy the program as well as participate fully.  It's not like other programs of study in that we continue to sing, dance, play musical instrument, write and read notation, and improve our listening skills.  It's a lot more work for me but I have watched the children in my classes continue to flourish in their home environment, so I continue to offer my programs.  When it is "safe" to move the class back into the studio, I will carefully consider this.

​ I hope you consider my program.  For more information about Musikgarten, the curriculum, I suggest looking into and read everything about it for parents. 
 I have taught this program for over 25 years and watch my own children,  teenager students and my college grads continue to explore and create music in their lives with joy and passion.  And I am starting the next generation of children (the children of my students) and love teaching music and piano every moment that I can.

When can you join?  You are welcome to join an ongoing  music class and the prices will be prorated depending on the amount of classes you can attend plus material!  If you are unsure which class would be best for your child, call me, 631-324-9648.  Leave a message with your name and the age of your child and I will return your call.

Parent Orientation for Online classes

Yes! online classes work! Are they ideal? Hmmm.... I would prefer to be with the children in my studio sharing music that is appropriate, fun and active! But in these times this option is not available so I will be teaching online classes the summer months.  Call 631-324-9648 to find out which program is best for your child.  All classes will include home material and an instrument set so that you will be able to join in with all the activities.  Our Spring classes moved online and we never missed a beat! All our families are bringing music as a constant in their homes and celebrating with Musikgarten's excellent music and curriculum.  You can do this too! Join Now! 

Here is an online class for toddlers you can enjoy now



All classes at the studio are taught by Ellen Johansen..Ellen Johansen, pianist and highly trained early childhood music and movement instructor, has taught Musikgarten music classes for over 25 years.  All classes are taught in her music studio in East Hampton Village, New York. The music studio is a light filled, air conditioned,  and conveniently located space...a special place where children and their families fall in love with music.  
"We tried that other music class in town and came back because we find your classes intellectually stimulating."
- Parent enrolling in a Toddler Music Program

"Is Today Music Day?"
-a daily question from many of my enthusiastic toddlers!

We all enjoyed your program so much! What is truly amazing, is the fact that they all walked into the class and didn't know one thing about music. And look at them now. You did an amazing job!
- Parent of a child finishing Book 4 of Music Makers at the Keyboard

"Lillette woke up and twirled around singing "the north wind doth blow and we shall have snow and what will the robin do then? He'll keep himself warm inside of the barn and he'll hide himself under his wing. Poor thing. " I almost died from the cuteness. Thanks for giving her this gift. "
Mother of a Three Year Old Enrolled in Cycle of Seasons

From a mother of a piano student studying with Ellen Johansen:

Hi Ms Ellen,
I heard my son play the First Noel this morning. What a total change from a boring just reading notes play he did before your piano lesson with him. So beautiful with all the dynamics. My spirit just lifted and brought me memories.(we use to sing this in church when I was a little girl) Isn’t that amazing!? A simple music can changed your mood and can take you back in time. God is so good, for giving us the gift of music.Just want to let you know❤