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Clarinetist Ellen Landsberger Recommends Re-discovering Music After Retirement


“When I’m playing music I can’t think about politics and what’s going on in the world. It’s very calming. Playing and listening to music are very healing and beneficial.”

Several years ago, Ellen Landsberger heard about Lucy Moses School from a friend and stopped by to check it out. A recently-retired obstetrician, Ellen wanted to return the clarinet, an instrument she played in high school. She began taking private lessons with Morrie Sherry as well as a music theory class and Dalcroze Euthythmics for Seniors, and last fall she joined an LMS chamber ensemble.

“It’s a lot like riding a bike,” she says, noting that while she’s been steadily regaining her musical skills, the embouchure as well as finding time to practice can sometimes be a challenge. “Morrie has really encouraged me,” she says.

Ellen is passionate about travel, music and politics. “Over time, we get very caught up in work and family and move away from some of our passions,” she explains. “Since my retirement, being able to get back to things I loved in the past and having the freedom and the time to do it is really remarkable.”

Ellen enjoys the large variety of classes and LMS and the friendliness and warmth of the staff. “This is almost like another home,” she says. She loves the mix of children and older people as well as the school’s proximity to Merkin Hall.

Ellen has this advice for adults thinking about returning to an instrument or starting as a beginner: “Getting started is hard. Once you do, it’s just fun.”

FREE Adult Division Open House - Thursday, September 12, 4-7 pm
There’s something at Lucy Moses School for adults of all ages and skill levels. Beginners are welcome! Join a chamber or jazz ensemble, or take a Dalcroze or Sight-Singing class. Interested in private instrument or voice lessons? Make an appointment with LMS Adult Division Manager Alicia Andrews, who will match you with the perfect teacher based on your schedule and musical goals and interests. Email Alicia or call 212 501 3360.

Q&A: LMS Assistant Director and Adult Division Manager Alicia Andrews explains how adults of all ages can connect with music.