Amanda Bywater is the founder of Musical Endeavors: Piano, Wind Band Instrument and Conducting Lessons for children. I recently chatted with Amanda about Musical Endeavors and what she offers. Read on to see if Musical Endeavors is the right note for your musical kiddo.
Amanda: I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Music Education, and a Masters of Arts in Education with a concentration in Wind Conducting from Hofstra University. I studied music education and conducting with Dr. Peter Boonshaft, author of ‘Teaching Music With Passion’. I studied clarinet with Naomi Drucker, wife of Stanley Drucker, the 1st chair of the NY Philharmonic for 60 years and Co-Director of the American Chamber Ensemble, and I studied piano and organ with Andrew Andela, a concert organist whose performances include concerts at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I have been performing on piano and organ at church services since the age of 12, and have been teaching since receiving my first job at 19 at my alma mater, St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens, NY. After graduating with my Bachelors in 1996 I began teaching at the Copiague Middle School on Long Island in 1997. My students’ performances have included Walt Disney World, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City, Giants Stadium and at the Aqueduct for Pope John Paul II. My former students in Copiague went on to be NY State Marching Band Champions in 2002, 2003, 2005, and 2006, and became USSBA Marching Band Champions from 2002-2006, performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, and in the Nicholas Cage movie, ‘Lord of War’. I relocated to the Capital Region in 2002 and worked as a Band Director for the Hoosic Valley Jr/Sr High School, and performed as a guest conductor for the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra’s Wind Ensemble in 2004.
In 2005-2006 my daughters were born 11 months apart; my second child was born premature and had significant lung issues at birth. I felt I could not be the mother and the JR/SR High School Band Director I wanted to be at the same time, and decided to leave Hoosic Valley and stay home and raise my children. Students from Hoosic Valley inquired about studying clarinet with me privately to get ready for college auditions, and I began teaching woodwind instruments and piano privately at my home in the evening. I really enjoyed this outlet, and I found a balance for my work and family life. I decided to put up a few business cards in the community center and at the pediatrician’s office, and Musical Endeavors was created! 8 years later I now have 30+ students including piano, conducting and woodwind students, and I now have a waiting list for the fall of 2016. My intention is to let parents know about my business so I can bring the joy of learning music to as many families as possible.
I believe that all children are born loving to learn. My job as their music teacher is to keep that spark of loving to learn alive, and to channel that enjoyment through music. I provide a fun and respectful environment where children learn to read music notation and learn to understand the basics of music theory which assists them with learning to read and decipher patterns in music more easily. Through this method they gain confidence in themselves and their own abilities, and once they begin reading notation they are also able to choose music that they wish to learn while continuing their music education through lesson books. I believe in students’ autonomy and having them participate in their own learning. I teach music ranging from Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” to Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” to Claude Debussy’s “Clare de la Lune”. As an educator I believe that motivating students to learn is just as important as teaching the subject itself. I have always been passionate about music, and I have had wonderful teachers along the way. They kept my spark of loving to learn alive and passing along this gift of music is my life’s work.
I begin teaching children ages 4+ that wish to learn piano and I begin teaching children ages 7+ for wind instruments such as clarinet and saxophone. My summer program includes all band instruments to support the local public school music programs. During the school year I have availability during the day for homeschooled children and afternoons after school available. I do travel to homes depending on where students are located in order to fill my schedule with as many students wishing to learn music as possible.
Parents can expect their child to receive an excellent music education that develops confidence in their children and their abilities. Students participate in a weekly 30 minute lesson and are encouraged to consistently practice throughout the week to make the most of their parent’s investment. I provide a sibling discount for families that wish to enroll multiple children. All students are encouraged to perform in 2 recitals each year scheduled in December and May. I am also a NYSSMA adjudicator, and students that wish to participate in the New York State School Music (NYSSMA) Festival are always well prepared.
To contact Amanda, reach her at 928-2434 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and find her on facebook here.