Piano Outreach of New York provides scholarships to children who cannot afford the cost of group lessons (much less the cost of private lessons). PONY allows its students to benefit from the same excellent, conservatory-trained musicians who teach the paying students of the Piano School of New York.
PONY's scholarships cover 50-100% of the cost of the lessons, with parents, schools or PTAs making up the difference. Class size is small: three to six students. Piano-playing skills, note reading and writing, ear training, and rhythm are taught, together with music history. Each class is designed to meet the children.s individual needs according to their ages, and all children are introduced to a wide range of music, from sacred choral works of the Renaissance to 20th century jazz. PONY classes are educational, inspiring, and just plain fun! Each student receives individual piano instruction at every session, performs for and with classmates, and plays duets with their teachers. Year-end recitals at Alfred Lerner Hall at Columbia University provide a tremendous incentive and are highly rewarding to all participating students.
PONY was incorporated in 2003 and has been approved by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It is an outgrowth of the Piano School of New York, which since its founding in 2001 has experienced extraordinary growth. Today more than 1500 children in over 80 public, parochial, and nursery schools throughout the City are enrolled in our group classes. At a time when spending on the arts in schools has been drastically cut back, the Piano School and the Piano Outreach actually bring the only music into many schools in New York City. In fact, The Piano School of New York has been placing pianos and/or keyboards in schools where no instrument is available.
Vera Barskaya Anselmo founder of both the Piano School of New York and the Piano Outreach. Ms. Anselmo, born and raised in Moscow, Russia, holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School, and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from The Mannes College of Music, where she has also been a faculty member of the Preparatory and Extension Divisions since 1995. Over the past several years her focus has been on music education as she continues to develop after-school programs in public schools, kindergartens, and establishing music classes for children with special needs.