Thirty years and 7,500 students later, Music in Chappaqua has set the bar high in town. With pupils ranging from toddlers in early childhood development music classes to a man in his 90s wanting to learn how to sing, it just goes to show there is no time stamp on when to start.
As for how the music school itself came to be, it all started when owner Angie Angier was 27 years old. She had six years of touring all over four continents with an orchestra under her belt when she decided that her next step would be to settle down.
After moving to New York City, she soon realized that the music scene downtown was nothing like the music scene in Italy–it was much more competitive and difficult to make a living. She started to consider other careers.
Some family members suggested she try law school, as they had done. Despite scoring well on the LSAT, Angier decided that returning to music was what she was meant to do.
“Let’s be real, most parents have all told you, be a doctor, not a musician,” she said. “People who have gotten into music love music. And they love to impart that.” Angier loves music, and she wanted to share her knowledge and passion with anyone willing to learn.
Music in Chappaqua today is not what Music in Chappaqua was in 1993. It started out as private piano lessons, seven days a week, all day long. As word of mouth spread, the teachings soon expanded to orchestral instruments, singing and more, and the business that was once a classical based program has continued to evolve with the times and the demand ever since.
Today, the school offers programs ranging from audition preparation to music production, private lessons in all instruments and genres ranging from drums to saxophone to songwriting and even DJing courses.
New teachers offered new ways of instruction that didn’t necessarily involve learning to read music off the page, but by ear. Students were suddenly learning and getting better faster.
Rock and roll and the electric guitar became popular, so much so that they even have multiple bands meeting weekly and a five-week summer day camp dedicated to learning the genre through the decades.
Angier is excited about it because students will learn rock history through playing the instruments. For questions regarding registration, call 914-238-3123.
With the digital age, people can teach themselves to play an instrument simply by mastering a YouTube tutorial. To Angier, this has totally changed the potential of becoming a musician. No matter what phenomenon or new style comes up, Music in Chappaqua is ready and willing to teach you. “We really, really care. The business is secondary,” Angier said. “We really love what we do.”
In fact, one of Angier’s favorite things about running the music school is finding out the goals and dreams of each student and doing whatever she can to make them come true.
When it comes to how the school operates, Angier bases it off of everything she wishes she had from a teacher growing up. Instructors make it known that you are allowed to make mistakes. They can identify the needs of their students, whether it’s confidence or fine-tuning a technique. Angier likes to call her teachers “teacher intuitives” because they understand what their students need and give them that through music.
Decades’ worth of students have carried their teachings with them even after they leave Chappaqua and have found success. Whether it’s being accepted into a prestigious acapella group in college or winning a Grammy, Angier is proud of all her students and has kept in touch with many.
To her, music is invaluable. It’s fundamental. It’s healing.
Whether you haven’t played an instrument since middle school or you’ve never played an instrument at all or whether you like to sing in the shower or you like to sing for people, Music in Chappaqua has been here ready to hear you, and will continue to do so.