September 2013 Newsletter


A Message from the Director

Welcome to Vivaldi Music Academy! Studying music at VMA is a unique experience offering musical opportunities for students of all ages and abilities. With a variety of instruments taught by our world-class faculty, VMA students are assured of tailor-made learning opportunities, and a chance to explore the world of music in a fun and engaging community. We have an exciting inaugural year planned for academy students, including master classes from our very own Houston Symphony members, the upcoming Fall Festival at VMA in October, Faculty Concert, and much more. Come explore the musical adventures Vivaldi Music Academy offers for you!

– Zeljko Pavlovic

And Fun Was Had by All!

Laughter, conversation, and musical notes filled the air as the Vivaldi Music Academy officially opened its doors on August 21. A two-hour feast for the senses, the grand opening boasted a who’s who of Houston’s musical and business personalities, including Peggy Wilson, Director of Houston Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Leslie Crawford, Kids Directory Magazine, Andy Blitzer, The Buzz Magazine, and current/former Houston Symphony members Tony Kitai (cello), Sheldon Person (viola), Emily Kelly (violin), and Deborah Moran (violin). The event focused on its audience by offering refreshments– think hot dogs, sno-cones, and Michael’s Cookie Jar cookies – face painting by Rawr Party, and, of course, musical instruments to spark budding talent. The Academy’s LaDonna Jackson and Keisha Twitchell showcased a demo session of the popular Kindermusik class, which channeled the energies of the youngest attendees. All event goers received wrist-bands, t-shirts, and logo bags to commemorate the day. Zeljko Pavlovic, the Academy’s founder and director, says “We’re thrilled to offer world-class music education to the community. Our faculty are not only exceptional musicians, but equally outstanding educators who love to engage students.” The community seems to be equally as excited – enrollment for initial course offerings has exceeded expectations. Let the music begin!

In the News

Vivaldi Music Academy is proud to announce our partnership with River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and sponsorship of the ROCOrooters program. Bring your whole family to the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra concerts and let the kids explore the world of music. ROCO’s popular music education/childcare program for kids between 2 months and 10 years runs during and after concerts at St. John the Divine. Kids enjoy fun music and concert etiquette instruction, a trip into the concert hall (for ages 5-10), and an option to stay for pizza and movies after the concert, allowing parents (or grandparents!) to go out for a post-concert dinner.

Helpful Articles

Study Reveals Teens’ Strong Commitment to Music and Music

he NAMM Foundation announced the results of a recently published research study by Patricia Shehan Campbell, Ph.D., of the University of Washington as part of the Foundation’s “Sounds of Learning” research initiative. The study, titled “Adolescents’ Expressed Meanings of Music in and out of School,” was based on responses by 1,155 teens who submitted student essays to Teen People magazine as part of an online contest. Throughout their essays, students expressed their thoughts regarding learning and playing music and revealed that they value music making as a central aspect of their identities.

  • Playing music provides a sense of belonging for teens
  • Making music provides the freedom for teens to just be themselves; to be different; to be something they thought they could never be; to be comfortable and relaxed in school and elsewhere in their lives
  • Music helps adolescents release or control emotions and helps coping with difficult situations such as peer pressure, substance abuse, pressures of study and family, the dynamics of friendships and social life, and the pain of loss or abuse
  • Teens believe developing musical skills and performance is important since it paves the way to musical opportunities as skills develop
  • Teens long for more variety and options for making music in school, including the expansion to instruments and technology used in popular music
  • Adolescents are genuinely committed to their instruments and their school ensembles because they love to be involved in these musical and social groups
  • Teens believe that music is an integral part of American life, and that music reflects American culture and society
  • Teens feel that playing music teaches self discipline such as “there are payoffs if you practice and stick with something”
  • Adolescents are of the opinion that playing music diminishes boundaries between people of different ethnic backgrounds, age groups and social interests
  • Teens associate playing music with music literacy, listening skills, motor ability, eye-hand coordination and heightened intellectual capabilities.


Kindermusik Benefits Parents Too!

What’s in a Kindermusik class… for parents??? Well, for starters, there’s music, singing, instruments, dancing, and together time with your child – the very kinds of music education activities your child will love too. The real secret is that you can enjoy letting out your inner child and everyone else will only be thinking what a wonderful and interactive parent you are! But it really goes much deeper than that. Kindermusik educators are quite fond of explaining that Kindermusik classes are just as much for the parent as they are for the child during this critical window of early childhood development. While there are many benefits of Kindermusik enrollment for you and your child, one significant area is the social-emotional impact for the parents.

The social Outlet

Kindermusik classes give you a vital social outlet, a place where you can make new friends and keep up with old friends too!

The Support Network

Kindermusik is a place where you can belong and be supported by other parents going through the same things with their children as you are with yours.

The Emotional Connections

Kindermusik classes are where emotional connections between you and your child are strengthened, and where what you learn and enjoy in class will spill over into even more bonding and memories together at home.

The Window into your Child

One of the unique features of Kindermusik is that you will glean tidbits and insights into that precious little person that is your child. We use music as the vehicle to enhance every aspect of early childhood development, and to give you a peek into the wonders of the whys and hows of who your child is and what he is becoming.

The Best Choice

Knowing you have chosen one of the very best possible experiences for your child by enrolling her in Kindermusik makes you feel great – in class each week and at home all week long!

Spotlight: Teacher of the Month


Courtney Park – Suzuki Program Director

A graduate of Brigham Young University, Courtney Park has always had a deep love for music. During her childhood, she spent hours tucked away listening to recordings of the Boston Pops and performances of Itzhak Perlman.When she was in the first grade, she came home with a flier from school that told about Suzuki violin lessons. She insisted her parents sign her up, because she was going to play the violin! Since then, Courtney has spent many years studying, performing and teaching violin. Her deepest passion is sharing the gift of music with young children. She received her Suzuki pedagogy training from the University of Wisconsin – Steven’s Point, and has taught violin for over 15 years to children in public school programs and in her private studio. Her students frequently place in district and region orchestras, win top awards at Solo and Ensemble contests and perform with the Houston Youth Symphony, American Festival for the Arts and Greater Houston Youth Orchestra programs. She is a mother of four musical children and an active supporter of many of the arts programs in the Houston area.