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Q&A with Alicia Andrews, Lucy Moses School Assistant Director & Adult Division Manager

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Lucy Moses School’s Assistant Director and Adult Division Manager Alicia Andrews explains how adults of all ages can connect with music.

“When we talk about getting started with private instrument lessons, a lot of adult musicians tell me, ‘I played an instrument as a kid and then I stopped. I wish I’d kept doing it.’ I’m here to help them reconnect with an old passion, or start something new!”  – Alicia Andrews

Tell us about the 2019 Lucy Moses School Adult Division Open House on September 12.

Get event details.  We’re very excited to launch our Adult Division programs for the new year with a free Open House for adults of all ages and all skill levels – including beginners. People can try out new instruments by meeting with members of our private lesson faculty and explore new pathways of discovering music through our Dalcroze Program, which is a method of teaching music through movement, improvisation and Solfege. People can explore our Sight-Singing Program, one of the hallmarks of our institution, through a sample class with Liz Fleischer, who’s an amazing teacher. And musicians who are currently participating in our Chamber Music Program and our Jazz Program will show off what they can do in Merkin Hall. Our jazz musicians will also have a jam session that anyone can join; you can bring an instrument, get up on stage with our musicians and our faculty, and really play together. As a beginner, you might want to explore a lot of different things and figure out what you might want to try. And as a more advanced student, you can really dig deep and see what might be the next step for you.

What kind of community is Lucy Moses School?

Lucy Moses School is a wonderful, vibrant home for musicians and artists of all ages. Our community includes kids as young as 18 months all the way through senior citizens, and everyone comes together to create a building that is humming with music. When you come in the door, you’ll see musicians, actors and dancers all creating art together. That sense of community and teamwork is tangible. In addition to being excellent artists, our teachers are thoughtful in their approach and really tailor what they’re doing to each student’s needs. There’s really something for everyone here.

How do you get started with an instrument as an adult?

One thing that we really value here at Lucy Moses School is the personal matching of each musician with a private lesson faculty member who is right for them. Every musician is different, and so every private lesson setting is different, too. Our faculty can really tailor their approach depending on the student. As an adult, you know more about how you learn than you did when you were six years old, so you have an advantage in that way. When people begin the process of starting private lessons, we talk about their learning style, whether there’s a particular genre of music they might want to focus on, and of course their schedule. We’re thinking about all those factors when we’re matching a musician with a teacher. When people get started, it’s a very friendly, welcoming, low-stress situation. We have a very individualized approach here, and so, the more information someone can give us about what they’re excited about, what they’re nervous about, and what they’re thinking about, the more that we can tailor what we’re doing here to be exactly right for them.

Great! How do you sign up?

There are several ways. Give us a call at 212 501 3360 and talk with our registrars about the next steps. You can also email us at lucymosesschool@kaufmanmusiccenter.org, stop by and pick up a catalogue, or visit our offices to speak with our staff members (129 W. 67th St. between Broadway & Amsterdam Ave., NYC).  

Is the Open House on September 12 appropriate for seniors?

Absolutely! Our Adult Division has been an important part of Lucy Moses School since it was founded in 1952 and is something that we value highly. Many families with kids already know about us. We really want to make sure that everyone in our community – adults of all ages, and especially older adults – has an opportunity to learn what Lucy Moses School has to offer. We have many older adults who participate in private lessons, in our dance and movement classes, in our Chamber Music Program and in our Nashir! chorale for Jewish music. All of those groups are such welcoming, supportive environments.

What do you think most appeals to senior students that tend to take classes here?

Many of the older adults that are part of our programs really prize the sense of teamwork they feel. In a chamber music group or a jazz ensemble, you’re not only learning to play your instrument or building your skills, but you’re part of a team. You’re communicating with others. Music really brings people together, dance brings people together, theater brings people together. And the opportunity to be with like-minded individuals working on a project together is really valuable.

Why is it important for seniors to have access to music lessons?

I think it’s important for all people to have access to the arts. For older adults especially, there are so many activities that are really valuable for keeping your brain active. Building new skills can keep your brain and your body ready for anything. We’ve read lots of studies recently about how music in particular builds new pathways in the brain, and how working on something like Dalcroze (a method of teaching music through movement) or dance can build skills for balance and help people retain their mobility, or regain it too. Besides being just a wonderful outlet for creativity and self-expression, music can really be a tool for continuing to live a full and rewarding life.


Come talk with Alicia about starting private lessons! Call 212 501 3360 or email lucymosesschool@kaufmanmusiccenter.org.