What parents say …

David is learning so much from you about music and loves it so much. What a joy it is for us to see his excitement in the discovery of different aspects of music. He is singing so much around the house these days — now with much more sense of the music, his voice, etc. On his own, he plays the piano, experiments with things. It’s such a joy. I was taken with how focused, energized, and — grown-up — he seemed when I picked him up last week. 

It is clear that he takes what the two of you do together very seriously.  It’s just wonderful to see David blossom in the wonderful environment you provide. The exploration that you do with him is just so rich, and I love the idea of trusting the process and, even if it may not be clear at any particular moment, that it will go somewhere eventually.

We were talking about his sessions this evening and he said, “I’m going to Music House for the rest of my life.”  Then he began to muse that at some point he would come by himself and then maybe he could drive up to see you.  And then he wouldn’t be living here anymore, but he would still come.  That’s quite a testament to his enjoyment and involvement. We feel so fortunate that David is attending Music House. Thank you so much.

-Martha Edwards, parent of a 10 year-old
Founder and Director
Center for the Developing Child and Family
Ackerman Institute for the Family


I continue to be so moved and relieved and thrilled and just plain happy for Isaac that he is having the gift of starting with you. What you do is exactly what Isaac needs to nourish him musically. I wish we had a video recording of his face throughout that session. I was the only one who could SEE him gradually relax, and gradually smile and gradually allow himself to be himself and trust that he was in a safe place to play and play musically, the way he does at home. I know he identifies as a musician, fully, and since forever. But he already seems to feel that what he does musically, like so many other things in his life, is compromised. So seeing him loosen up and allow himself to go for it with an adult musician and supporter, and seeing the sense of wonder on his face was really remarkable.

When he plays with you, he is so nourished, in ways that we can’t really provide. The spoken language you offer, that is music language, that offers such rich feedback to him about what he is doing and what you are doing, and the musical support that you provide as background to what he is creating is such a gift for him. What you wrote about how you are keeping the harmonies regular for him, to use as a cushion, is really helpful. It helps me when you explain stuff. I see it in action, but I don’t always have the tools to be able to put language to it!

To see him play with a musician … (and we are not at all musicians, just enthusiastic!), is awesome… to see him get the nurturing and nourishment he gets from playing with you…. and I mean playing in both senses — playing music and playing with the music and within the music…. it’s what he is starved for!

– Nancy Meyer, parent of a 5 year-old


You certainly make me look at things in different ways! I realized how many ‘definitions’ we take as gospel truth – just because we learned that way.

Can’t believe how present you are in our musical lives.  It’s mystical! I’m trying to follow your example because you always find the beauty in the child. Thanks for being such a great influence on Julien! He loves his time w/you.

-Amy Farge, Author, The Mushroom  Lover’s Mushroom Cookbook and Primer (Workman 2000), parent of a 12 year-old


At this point both of my boys have surpassed my meager musical skills.  Learning to play a flute 40 years ago did not prepare me for chords, the bass clef, minor keys, harmony, all the things they are starting to talk about these days!

-Lisa M., mother of 10 year-old twins


You are absolutely correct about Talia’s “tenacious inner voice.” Glad there’s a place where it’s acknowledged and appreciated. With your gentle yet enthusiastic encouragement, you are helping to guide her towards developing a sense of mastery that is so crucial to her ability to work towards the goals she will set for herself, as well as the necessary demands placed on her by others.  Music and your special way of relating to children has been a wonderful vehicle for that kind of growth for Talia.

– Susan Berger, parent of an 11 year-old


Cole cherishes his lessons. I think that you have tapped into his inner “workings” that very  few have seen and not until he started studying at the Music House did he really take an interest in putting it out there. Your patience as a teacher and mentor is really key here. I think he feels safe and therefore secure at the Music House. 

We really trust you. I think Cole has stored so much- you are peeling away the layers to it. And I’m really amazed at your descriptions of his talent. I’m so glad for Cole that he has this gift, something of his own that he can do well and is so motivated to do, for him it’s piano before breakfast and school, piano at every piano he comes across, and piano waiting while we make dinner. It lives and breathes with him. We are so excited and grateful that Cole has you to guide him through his musical journey, or is that journeys?

-Elena Pavlov, parent of a 9 year-old


I don’t know what you’re doing, but all Sam does is talk about music! We can’t get him away from the piano. The other day he showed us chord flips and then how to make ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ sound cross-eyed. What’s going on???
-Michael B.,  father of an 8 year-old

It’s been so much fun to see Anna blossom musically.  She comes home so excited about “playing jazz” and other explorations that you are doing together. Thank you so much!

– Lauren H., parent of a 7 year-old


I remember with trepidation, when I was a little older than William, the idea of studying music theory — it sounded so dry and, well, theoretical.  And to think that he is learning so much theory as he experiments with the sounds of these musical pieces. It’s so exciting! Thanks for sharing the process with us.

I do feel your mentoring of William has been crucial to his development as a musician and SUCH a positive factor in his life. He just lights up whenever he sees you. I hope you’ll continue to find time for him as he grows.  He clearly benefits so much from working with you. Whatever goes on between you, it is obviously working. Working? That’s an understatement; it is the highlight of my son’s entire life.

-Heather Henderson, mother of William


What students say …

Well, it’s not exactly a lesson …
– David W., age 9

I’m so unconfused right now.
 – Simon P., age 16

When teachers tell me what to do all the time I feel like monsters are closing in on me. When they let me figure it out for myself, the monsters go away.
– Harrison, age 7

Music is my talent because music is music to my ears.
– Amanda, age 6

I’ve been playing the piano all along and I never knew anything about those chords and things. Now it all makes sense!  
-Shakima, age 16

Let’s do the ear-training game again. I think I need that today.
– Julien F., age 11

All of Mozart’s songs about wine sound the same.

- William S., age 8, son of Heather (above) …

… and his letter:

Hi Meryl!

I have a new book of Beethoven and Purcell and I’m figuring out a hundred things on the violin!  And I’ve figured out the fugue by Bach on the guitar, and many other 
things. And I listen to the Four Seasons almost every day. And I found out 
that Ode to Joy is the national anthem of Europe. 

And I’m composing a lot. A few of my titles are called: Purcell’s 
Volkswagen, The Angel, Ten More Days till January, The Revenge, The Earthquake, The Composers, The Amadeus, Mr. Beethoven, My Violin, Chopin’s Bath, Napoleon’s Guitar, Elvis and Liszt’s Toy Store, Mussorgsky and Meryl, Rossini with Me and Wagner, Mendelssohn’s Shower in the Sun, Handel’s First Birthday.