Hello! and welcome to the website for Musical Toolbox; a small music education studio dedicated to building musical skills through movement, singing and the keybaord. Lessons are offered on Tuesday afternoons at student’s homes in Greenfield, MA and at our home studio on the Amherst/Shutesbury line on Wednesdays.
Liz Tonne (or ‘Miss Liz’) is the primary instructor at the studio. Her approach to teaching combines a number of different methods learned over her more than two decades of teaching with the goal of leading her students to be expressive, musical, and confident in their individual paths as musicians.
Liz performs publicly as a vocalist and almost every skill taught at Musical Toolbox, even keyboard playing, comes back to the voice and developing the musical ear through song. Liz’s teaching is greatly influenced by her certification in both First Steps in Music and Conversational SolFeg; music education curriculum developed by John Feirebend of the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. She is also inspired by ‘Pattern Based’ instruction to support ear training, memory, and music theory; Liz was an Accredited Simply Music teacher from 2011 to 2013 and introduces pieces from the Suzuki repertoire to her Intermediate Level students.
Many years back, Liz injured both her arms in an overly excited Bach binge. She subsequently rebooted her keyboard technique through studying the Taubman Approach and has studied with Taubman/ Golandsky specialists Julia Bady and Yoriko Mizuno Fieleke and now brings careful attention to technique, even at the most elementary level of playing, to her teaching.
We sing ALOT! in our piano lessons. It is our most important tool to strengthening memory and a sense of pattern and is the core to developing a musical ear. Many kids first come to the studio very shy of expressing their singing voices - but not for long! Many students arrive saying that they are not good singers, which is never true, and COMPLETELY DOESN’T MATTER. Repetition and consistency get everyone on board and families usually find that singing our piano songs together is a super fun way of practicing at home.
Musical Toolbox offers private, one-on-one Piano Lessons for kids aged 5 1/2 and up. Together, we patiently work on developing a solid understanding of basic musical concepts brought alive by technique and creative expression. The curriculum is greatly informed by the Feierabend Association for Music’s Conversational Sol Feg program with the best songs from the Simply Music and Suzuki Methods for added awesomeness. Lessons are 30 minutes weekly and usually paid by the month at $30 a lesson. If you’d like to have a Single Lesson just to try it out that’s great too; they are $35.
Moving and music just belong together. At Musical Toolbox, we develop a strong sense of beat through creatively responding to songs and artistically expressing ourselves with our bodies. Movement at Musical Toolbox is inspired by the First Steps in Music Program developed by the Feirerabend Association for Music. Accompanied by traditional Folk Songs and Rhymes or famous Classical Music pieces, we use exploratory play and age- appropriate activities to develop the basic movement skills outlined in Laban Movement Theory.
Lessons are offered Tuesdays in Greenfield & Wednesdays on the Amherst / Shutesbury border.
Please reach out to find a time that works for your family.