meet jen & hilary
And their Biggest Fan!
Jen and Hilary are fun-loving and exuberant sisters who decided to learn music two years ago. “We were always arguing about what we were going to play,” reports Hilary. “Then we heard the piano.” Jen agrees. “I just said, it’s going to be cool to learn how.”
The girls and their father, David, visited CSMA and spoke with people who’d taken private music lessons with various instructors. The family was impressed that CSMA offered the girls an opportunity to participate in a variety of experiences, from lessons to choral instruction to ensembles, and represented a “community where they were going to be with other people and families who considered music important.”
The girls began taking weekly private piano lessons, usually accompanied by David, their biggest fan. Their instructor, the fan reports, is not only a “wonderful” musician, but also a talented and sensitive teacher. “He understands very well when to demand more and when to cut them some slack. You can hear their enthusiasm,” says David. “If piano had become a source of anxiety or concern, then we would be failing. The most important thing is not that they play Carnegie Hall. It’s that they’re playing at my age.”
The girls love to learn new pieces, often play duets, and have progressed beyond the point where David can play alongside them without practicing himself. “I don’t even know what my old music would look like,” exclaims Hilary. “The first music we had was for the right-hand only!” And if they like a new piece, Jen chimes in, “we’ll really want to go home and start practicing that piece right away!”
“I’m often on the verge of tears when I hear them play now,” confesses David. “Not that they are prodigies, but just to hear what they’ve accomplished in two years and to think that they can play like this. I get such joy—really!” The girls are only too eager to remind Dad that their playing a Beethoven piece brought tears to his eyes during a concert. “That was awesome,” he remembers.
“I don’t know how to thank the school enough. This has turned out beyond my wildest expectations.”