Kids ‘n’ Keyboards teaches rhythm and technique

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

Paul teaches Kids ‘n’ Keyboards at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center for children ages 5-11 every quarter. The classes teach beginning note reading, ensemble playing, technique and solo piano. 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, the children learn to play music together. The ensemble helps their timing as well as their musical interaction in fun and productive ways.

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

Paul said 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 next session of the program runs on Fridays from June 26-Sept. 4. Registration can be completed by calling the community center at 206-684-7534 or online here.

Paul Sklar currently works as a pianist for the University of Washington Dance Department. Paul 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.