About the Music Program at TBWS

Music is an integral part of a child’s experience at The Brooklyn Waldorf School. Children sing songs from a variety of traditions and cultures, beginning with simple singing games in the early grades to polyphony in the upper grades choir. Children begin by playing the Choroi flute and choose a string instrument (either violin, viola, or cello) in the third grade. Starting then, children also begin to learn the fundamentals of notation and solfege, with history and theory woven into the later grades.

After starting with individual strings lessons, there is a progression from group classes (separated into upper and lower strings) to grade orchestra, culminating in a full combined orchestra (6th through 8th grade) playing in four-part harmony. The long-term goal for the orchestra and its members is to play music from the standard classical string orchestra repertoire (such as Palladio by Karl Jenkins or the Holberg Suite by Grieg) while also enjoying arrangements of different musical styles (rock, pop, jazz, world music, etc.).

In the strings and orchestra classes we are striving for excellence, beauty, excitement, and musical depth. While we work to achieve those ideals, the children will learn the following life lessons through their work: working as a team, discipline, patience, self-awareness, mindful behavior, respect, and positive working habits, among others. We teach the children to deeply appreciate music in many different ways, setting the stage for life-long enrichment.

To support its strings and orchestra curriculum, TBWS expects every child to take individual stringed instrument lessons from third to eighth grade.

Stringed Instrument Individual Lessons

Individual lessons are an important factor in making the school’s strings and orchestra program a success. It is in the individual lessons where students and teachers can focus on the intricate technical elements of playing an instrument. A progressive curriculum tailored to each individual student is implemented by the lesson teacher. The one-on-one attention with focus on details of playing, note reading, and musicianship is what enables the student to strive in the school’s string program, making it a life-forming experience.

Students may choose to take individual lessons either outside of the school or through The Brooklyn Waldorf School. The School is offering individual stringed instrument lessons to help families and string teachers by providing them with individual lessons in a safe, convenient, professional, and community environment. The connection between the string music programs and the individual lessons within the same school and setting ensures continuity and an integrated approach.

Only individual lessons are offered at TBWS.

TBWS offers the following Individual Lesson Program:

28 lessons per year between 3:15PM and 6PM, with 2 makeup lessons.
VIOLIN: Monday- Thursday

VIOLA: Mondays & Thursday

CELLO: Monday through Thursday

Makeup Lessons: If the student is unable to attend a lesson, the parent will call the school 24 hours in advance. Each student is entitled to one 1 makeup lesson per year for an excused absence, which implies that either the school or instructor bas been notified at least 24 hours in advance. No makeup lesson will be given with less than 24 hours notice. All missed lessons due to the teacher’s absence will be made up.

Safe Space: The School Library will be open with staff to accommodate students who are waiting before their lesson time.

$50 per 30-minute-lesson
$90 per 60-minute-lesson
One-Time Registration Fee of $42 (per lesson registration)

Tuition Assistance: Families in Tier 1 and 2 will receive Tiered tuition for lessons. 

Director of TBWS Music Program, Sibylle Johner

All students are expected to practice 20 minutes at least 5 times per week.

AfterSchool Coordinator, Kefah Spreitzer

Lara Brodsky & Susana Giles- cello

Sarah Goldfeather, Pete Lanctot- violin

Trevor Day- viola & violin

Registration: Register now for lessons for the entire school year. https://fs6.formsite.com/tbws/form171/secure_index.html

For questions, please email kefah@brooklynwaldorf.org.

Sign up: Online – register and sign up for specific spots on a first come first serve basis. Familes will be emailed as soon as registration becomes available.

Strings recitals at 630PM for Individual Lesson students on:
Fall: TBA
Spring: TBA

About the Teachers

Lara Brodsky, cello
Since 2004 Ms. Brodsky has taught cello and violin to adults of all ages and children as young as three. Alongside Suzuki and traditional methods, all students develop aural comprehension skills and gain a basic understanding of music theory in order to improve memory, musicality, and technique.
Ms. Brodsky has performed at the Swedish Embassy, Tenri Cultural Institute, The Kennedy Center Concert Hall, and historic clubs such as The Bitter End and The Knitting Factory. Her experience includes international performances across genres, with artists such as Lenny Pickett, Mos Def, and Alan Menken. She completed her B.M. at NYU in 2004 under the tutelage of Marion Feldman and an M.A. with Marcy Rosen in 2012 at CUNY Queen’s College Aaron Copland School of Music.

Sarah Goldfeather, violin and viola
Ms Goldfeather is a Minnesota-born, Brooklyn-based violinist and vocalist whose diverse activities range from solo, orchestral and chamber music to performing with indie, folk, and bluegrass groups.
An honors graduate of Vassar College, Ms. Goldfeather has performed as orchestral musician with the Trinity Wall St Novus Orchestra, the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, the New York Repertory Orchestra, the Northern Dutchess County Orchestra, and the Vassar College Orchestra (where she was concertmaster for 3 years). Ms. Goldfeather is also active as a chamber musician and has performed throughout the US and Europe, most recently featured at the IES Abroad Music Program in Vienna, at Killington Music Festival, at the Artaria Chamber Music School, and the Madeline Island Music Center. As a soloist, Ms. Goldfeather has been twice featured with the Vassar Orchestra, performing the Lalo Symphony Espagnole and Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. Ms. Goldfeather has received scholarships from Vassar College and the Eastern Music Festival.

As a bluegrass, folk , and rock musician, Ms. Goldfeather is the violinist and vocalist for her own self-titled band, the New York-based Great Dog Almighty, the New York-based Mixtape Cover Band, and the Northfield, MN based Sideporch Trio. She has performed with the Atlantic Theater Company as has recorded music for Meredith Fierke and the upcoming film Welcome to Harlem.

In addition to her active performing life, Ms. Goldfeather has taught violin and music history at Vassar College, assisted research with the International Gustav Mahler Society in Vienna, and maintains an active private violin studio.

Program Calendar

Week #






Sept 9 

Sept 10

Sept 11

Sept 12


Sept 16

Sept 17

Sept 18

Sept 19


Sept 23

Sept 24

Sept 25

Sept 26


Sept 30

Oct 1

Oct 2

Oct 3


Oct 7

Oct 8

Oct 9

Oct 10


Oct 21

Oct 15

Oct 16

Oct 17


Nov 4

Oct 22

Oct 23

Oct 24


Nov 11

Oct 29

Oct 30

Nov 7


Nov 18

Nov 5

Nov 6

Nov 14


Nov 25

Nov 12

Nov 13

Nov 21


Dec 2

Nov 19

Nov 20

Dec 5


Dec 9

Dec 3

Dec 4

Dec 12


Dec 16

Dec 10

Dec 11

Dec 19


Jan 6

Dec 17

Dec 18

Jan 9


Jan 13

Jan 7

Jan 8

Jan 16


Jan 27

Jan 14

Jan 15

Jan 23


Feb 3

Jan 28

Jan 22

Jan 30


Feb 10

Feb 4

Jan 29

Feb 6


Feb 24

Feb 11

Feb 5

Feb 13


Mar 3

Feb 25

Feb 12

Feb 20


Mar 31

Mar 4

Feb 19

Feb 27


Apr 7

Mar 11

Feb 26

Mar 6


Apr 14

Apr 1

Mar 5

Mar 13


Apr 21

Apr 8

Mar 12

Apr 3


Apr 28

Apr 22

Apr 2

Apr 10


May 5

Apr 29

Apr 9

Apr 17


May 12

May 6

Apr 16

Apr 24


May 19

May 13

Apr 23

May 1

Class Make up

June 2

May 20

Apr 30

May 8

Make up

June 9

May 27

May 7

May 15

NO LESSONS on Holidays and Non-Lesson Days:

Mondays: Oct 14, Oct 28, Dec 23, Dec 30, Jan 20, Feb 17, Mar 10, Mar 17, Mar 24, May 26

Tuesdays: Nov 26, Dec 24, Dec 31, Jan 21, Feb 18, Mar 18, Mar 25, Apr 15

Wednesdays: Nov 27, Dec 25, Jan 1, Mar 19, Mar 26

Thursdays: Oct 31, Nov 28, Dec 26, Jan 2, Mar 20, Mar 27



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