You might get tired of hearing it, but we’re certainly not tired of saying it: The Cunningham Piano Co. Music School is -absolutely thrilled with it’s staff and it’s students, and we’re excited to spotlight the teachers of our group classes! It’s not an easy task, walking into a new music school and developing an excellent program, but these two ladies have done nothing but impress our school and their students since they walked through the door.
Today, we’re going to talk to Lauren Lucerne (R), the director and teacher of our Early Ears developmental music program for children ages 6 months-5 years, and Beatrice Osborne(L), the director of our show choir for performers aged 13-18 years.
From Early Years to Early Ears: How our Early Ears Teacher went from Classroom Work to Infant and Toddler Music Classes
Lauren Lucerne (MTBC) is a teacher in the Council Rock School District. She holds a degree in music from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music. She has enjoyed her work with children both professionally and semi-professionally for over 12 years in various settings–most recently schools, day-cares, and a pediatric psychiatric hospitals. This year, she started to work with infants, toddlers, and young children in Upper Bucks County in a parent-child music class of her own design. There is something unique about Lucerne’s approach–she doesn’t use the pre-packaged classes that a lot of developmental music teachers use for their classroom–instead, she approaches each group of children as a group of individuals with individual thoughts and needs and levels of musicianship. There’s a lot of improvisation and going to the level of the children to help them make strides, instead of pushing the children to educational goals that need to be met by the end of each class. Both children and parents agree that her developmental music classes are a joy.
Cunningham Piano Co. Music School was thrilled by Lucerne’s ability to have a wide age range of children engaged (the difference between 6 months to 5 years is rather insurmountable for a teacher that doesn’t have the experience and lesson plans that they need) and her excitement on the subject. In her own words, she said that: “Being involved in or listening to music is somewhat of a surreal or magical experience, especially for children. Listening to live music is most likely a child’s first experience with believing and experiencing something that they cannot see with their own eyes. However, with the early childhood music classes, children can begin to make connections with how music is made, what can make music, and how they themselves can partake in some of the magic of music-making. You can also witness your child making these connections and help foster their creativity and understanding of a phenomenon that has taken place throughout most of humanity’s existence. Along with musical experiences, children will have ample opportunities to make friends, have social connections, and cooperate while learning to work with others. When your children reflect back on their childhood, music may be one of their earliest and fondest memories.”
An Award-Winning Choral Singer, A Voice Teacher, and a Lover of the Stage: Show-Choir Directing Just Adds Up for Beatrice Osborne
Beatrice Osborne, a long-time lover of singing and the stage, joins our staff in addition to her performance schedule and teaching schedule to spear-heard our show choir. Beatrice boasts a long list of stage credits starting from a very young age, and has been able to play some of her favorite roles in some of her favorite shows. She looks particularly fondly at her performance of The Witch in Sondheim’s famous twisted fairytale, “Into the Woods”. She certainly doesn’t just fit in the musical theatre mold, as she also snagged first place in the Lancaster Opera Competition.
Since graduating college with a degree in vocal performance and receiving the Esther M. Schulz award for choral excellence, Beatrice has been auditioning, performing, and teaching voice and piano. She is thrilled to be the director of our show choir, as it is an exact intersection of her skill set and interests. “In directing a show choir, I’m able to work with an ensemble of voices and work with performers in an academic setting, talking about blending, vocal technique, harmony, and the like–but I’m also able to work with things like stage presence, performance practice, choreography, solo work, and other things that just don’t come up in normal choral work or in a private voice lesson.” It’s important to have a show choir director that understands that the ensemble isn’t just about tight choreography and flashy smiles–there is performance practice and lots of technique that goes into performing in this regard, and Beatrice is excited to get to work with students who are interested in learning about that.
There’s also something to be said for students who are joining their first ensemble after taking private voice lessons by themselves. “It’s very important to sing in group setting as a young singer.” Osborne said. “Just like you can’t blossom into the singer you could be if you only sing in choirs and only sing in shows, it works the other way around. Singing in a group helps singers gain listening skills that they would not get in a solitary setting.” It also is worth saying that singing in a group is scientifically proven to make your brain release endorphins, which help holistically lower stress, depression, and anxiety.
What group classes would YOU like to see Cunningham Piano Co. Music School develop next? Let us know! Drop a comment, send us an email at [email protected] or give us a call at 215-991-0847.
In addition to these classes we, as always, have an incredible staff of lessons teachers for piano a voice students ages 5 and up. If you’re looking to start with us this September, sign up here!
For more information on signing up for Early Ears, click here, and to sign up for an audition spot for our show choir, -email [email protected] with your full name and age. You will receive an email back with audition requirements, dates and times and a schedule of rehearsals for the semester.