After School Program: Music, Piano, Theater and Art

  • February 14, 2013 · 3:30 PM
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After School Program: Music, Theater, Art and Chess

Ages: 3 years and up

Time: 3:30 - 6:00 PM

Before care available starting at 2:00 PM

After care available through 6:30 PM

Cost: One trial day only for $20 (One time only per family). After the trial day parents can register their children for 5, 3 or 2 times per week. Monthly plans are personalized, therefore they will be discussed in person.

Our After School Program offers high quality small group classes and individual lessons taught by excellent educators with many years of experience teaching their discipline. Our program guarantees that your children will enjoy to learn and to think in a safe and nurturing environment. We invite you to come and try TheSMARTsCOOL learning experience!

Note: We can also provide some assistance with homework.

Weekly Schedule:

Mondays: Theater, Pantomime and Tap Dance program. Instructor: Dr. Nina Hlava

Tuesdays and Thursdays: Comprehensive Music Training and Piano lessons.

Instructors: Dr. Mihai Preda and Leidys Monascal

Wednesdays: Art lesson. Instructor: Veronica Fazzio

Fridays: Integrated Piano and Math, piano lessons and Chess Program.

Instructors: Dr. Mihai Preda and Dorian Bermudez

Description of each after school program:

Comprehensive Piano Program

Directed by Dr. Mihai Preda, our piano program offers a comprehensive music education centered on the study of the piano. Our approach is inspired by the Suzuki method, and relies on Dr. Preda's twenty years of teaching and performing experience. We believe that anyone, no matter the age or level of ability, can discover or rediscover the beauty of music at the piano, and have great joy at it.

The benefits of learning how to play the piano go far beyond acquiring the ability to play. Students improve their ability to concentrate and develop a conscious approach to learning in general. Besides, students develop superior fine motor skills and coordination, among other great benefits.

Our studio follows the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program, which provides a recognized national standard of musical success through an effectively sequenced course of study from beginner through advanced levels.

Public performances are an integral part of our curriculum. Our students 
have the opportunity to perform in student recitals in venues like the 
FIU Wertheim Performing Arts Center or the Steinway Gallery.
To learn more about the piano program, please to the site of the Miami Piano Studio at

Integrating Piano & Math

Music and Mathematics abound with proportions, recurring patterns, formulas, and structures stacked inside other structures. An intuitive understanding of such common elements can be developed early in life by learning music. Piano is the best instrument on which to learn because it provides, in addition to the aural experience, also a visual representation of the structures present. 

The learning of both math and music involves acquiring three kinds of knowledge: factual, procedural and conceptual. A successful learning strategy distinguishes between the three and deals with each one separately.

Of the three, conceptual knowledge is the hardest one to acquire. It is fostered by looking at the same topic from different angles. Conceptual understanding is also the kind of knowledge that brings the most joy to learning. In the integrated Piano & Math approach, the connections between the two disciplines are made explicit, thus providing several perspectives to the same topic, and helping with the conceptual understanding.

The conscious approach to learning developed during the integrated study of piano and math can be applied to other academic subjects as well. 

Theater and Pantomime
Dr. Nina Hlava

Children will discover together in a playful atmosphere what theater is about. Together with Nina, they will start with the most natural expression of a human being: Pantomime. We will enter a world of illusion, fantasy and imagination. A mime can turn an empty stage into a park, with trees, flowers and birds. Children will learn how to walk many many miles without even walking. They will fly with an imaginary umbrella as high as an airplane. They will tell stories without words.

Little by little children and Nina will add words to their actions on stage and will learn how to combine words with movements.

As Nina says, an actor needs to be trained in many different fields. Children will learn how to juggle, dance classical ballet, tap dance, learn tricks and gags, and how to stand on their heads.

After all this training children will be ready for their first theater production, but are they really ready to invite their audience? No yet! Theater is much more than just being an actor or an actress.

In this course they will learn how to create their own costumes. They will paint their faces. With Nina they will build together their own stage. Theater is teamwork. Every little step they take to be ready for their first theater performance they will take it together.

Tap Dance
Dr. Nina Hlava

Tap dance is a complete mind and body workout!
In this course children will learn how to understand rhythm through dance. Together with Nina they will use their favorite music to tap along and they will learn how to count steps, how to coordinate movements, and how to create their own choreographies. Tap dance is a lot of fun because it combines dance, music and theatrical expression!

Thinking Games
Dorian Bermudez, Instructor

In a small group class children five and older will learn how to play this highly educational and benefitial game. 

​The most effective way to learn is through an immediate and authentic experience that leaves one wanting more. Game-playing is the perfect example of such an experience – it is entertaining, engaging, and exciting, and therefore stimulates eager involvement. Game-playing also provides fertile ground for the training and application of thinking abilities and life skills.

In other words thinking games stimulate learning and simulate real-life.

The philosopher Plato best articulated this with his sayings:

“Not by force shall the children learn, but through play.”

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

Since the dawn of civilization, strategy games have played an important role in human culture. Teachers would draw lines in the sand upon which their pupils would place the game pieces, as part of an engrossing, mind-sharpening activity. Family members of all generations would sit together and enjoy the challenges inherent in strategy games.

Much knowledge has since been forgotten and lifestyles have changed. The fast pace of our lives has given rise to other types of games. Violent, action-packed computer games, intense video clips, and a plethora of television programs have replaced the traditional activity of sitting together around the game board, an activity requiring deep thought, patience, perseverance, and social cooperation.

Our mission is to prepare the next generation to the complex challenges of the 21st century: by strengthening a broad range of cognitive, emotional, and social skills; by teaching children how to think reflectively; and by encouraging students to “learn how to learn.”

Most important, we want to help our children to become fulfilled, contributing, and happy human beings. 

Chess has long been regarded as a game that can have beneficial effects on learning on development, especially when it is played from a young age. below are some of the most critical benefits that chess can provide to a child:

•Develop analytical, synthetic and decision-making skills, which they can transfer to real life

•Learn to engage in deep and thorough chess research which will help them build their confidence in their ability to do academic research

•Help children gain insights into the nature of competition which will help them in any competitive endeavor

•When youngsters play chess they must call upon higher-order thinking skills, analyze actions and consequences, and visualize future possibilities

•In countries where chess is offered widely in schools, students exhibit excellence in the ability to recognize complex patterns and excel in math and science.

Art and Crafts Veronica Fazzio, Instructor
At the core of the Waldorf approach are the arts and crafts, which are an effective development tool for children. They are also great sources of personal satisfaction, as children will feel proud of themselves when they are able to finish a project.

Benefits of Arts and Crafts for Children:

  • Creativity

The most obvious benefit of doing arts and crafts is that the activity foments creativity. This is a useful skill in life, no matter what career kids will end up pursuing. Because children are inherently curious, arts and crafts provide a way to create something unique out of raw materials and is a positive, constructive way for them to express their thoughts. Arts and crafts also help kids learn how to make choices, as they will have to decide along the way what tools to use, how to decorate their crafts and how to use them once finished. Children can learn to express their emotions and appreciate the importance of following their creative instinct.

  • Dexterity

Most arts and crafts require the use of at least some tools. Scissors, brushes and glue are commonly used. Modeling clay and paints or coloring markets can also be used and will help kids gain better control over their hands. Older children can try other tools, including hooks and latches, beads, carving knives and knitting or crocheting needles. 

  • Concentration and Perseverance

A single piece of craft usually takes some time to complete. If the craft is complex, children will need to follow a series of steps, which requires them to memorize the process and concentrate on following it through. Some crafts require delicate work and may need more than one try before kids get it right. This is a good way for kids to learn patience and to understand that sometimes it takes work to achieve a positive final result.


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2 went

  • Leidys M.
    Event Host
  • Mihai P.
    Director of The Miami Piano Studio, Co-Organizer
    Event Host

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