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KIDS ‘N’ KEYBOARDS group piano program teaches songs, rhythm and technique

Kids 'n' Keyboards participants

Kids ‘n’ Keyboards participants

Pianist Paul Sklar has made a career of playing for professional dancers and theater audiences. And on Friday afternoons, Paul can be found at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center playing with a much smaller crowd.

Kids 'n' Keyboards participant

Kids ‘n’ Keyboards participant

Paul teaches Kids ‘n’ Keyboards at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center for children ages 5-11 every quarter. The classes teach note reading, ensemble playing, technique and solo piano. For beginners, special notation is used for playing fun songs, as the students gradually learn more music skills. For younger students, Paul incorporates musical activities and stories. The affordable group program works to achieve all the same results as private, individual lessons. Additionally, when the students play together, the timing and musical interaction really improves.

“When a group of children come together, the good chemistry really helps them learn from each other,” Paul said.

Paul mentioned that most of his students return from quarter to quarter and he enjoys watching them grow as musicians. At the end of each fall and spring quarter, the kids are able to show off their skills at a community recital.

“Sofia, my 7-year-old, played in her first keyboard recital last December,” Northeast Seattle parent Eric Matza, said. “She constantly plays at home learning almost every new, fun song Paul brings to class. This is a great introduction to music for children.”

The Fall 2015 session of the program runs on Fridays from Sept. 18-Dec. 18. Registration can be completed by calling the community center at 206-684-7534 or online here.

Paul Sklar is currently a pianist for the University of Washington Dance Department. He is originally from New York City where he was a pianist for the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Martha Graham School and the Alvin Ailey Dance Center.