Spotlight: Easy First Instrument Learning with Group Classes at Hoff-Barthelson Music School

Hi everyone!

This week we’ve partnered with Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale to bring you info about their program that’s perfect for kids interested in learning to play an instrument but who need some preparation time before tackling the rigors of private lessons.

HBMS beginners group instrument classes take place during the academic year and are perfect for little ones. Depending on the program, some take kids as young as 3 years and as old as 2nd grade. Choose from Piano, Recorder, Violin, or the easy-to-handle small guitar cousin Ukulele.

Come see for yourself at Hoff-Barthelson’s upcoming fall Open House for Early Childhood Music Classes. You’ll be able to visit the campus, meet instructors, and attend a demo class on Friday, September 6 from 10-11:30am. Click here for more info.

We visited the classes to see what they’re about and found a great learning environment for kids who might be too intimidated to start formal one-on-one training. The group setting fosters collaboration and learning through repetition. Kids loved showing off their skills to the room. The group setting made it easy to follow along. Here’s a rundown of the four programs:

Piano Together

These group piano classes are for kids aged 4 to 5 who are not ready to sit at a piano for a full 30 minutes. Time is divided between piano instruction and musical activities away from the piano that develop the children’s pitch and rhythm. Instructors monitor students’ development in anticipation of graduating to one-on-one lessons. This is the perfect class to ease a nervous kid, or introduce one whose attention span is still developing, into private lessons.


Little Pipers Recorder (Beginner and Intermediate)

This class for Kindergarteners is a great introduction to wind instruments. It covers note reading and other musical concepts. The recorder is a wonderful first instrument for kids because it’s easy to master, allowing them to develop their sense of playing by ear.


Suzuki Pre-Twinkler

This adult-and-child violin class is for Threes and Fours. Your little prodigy will begin with a foam violin and graduate to a child-size instrument as they get more adept with handling and playing. The Suzuki method of learning is a time-tested approach that stresses caretaker involvement, repetition, and a collaborative environment. Kids have their chance to shine within the group with small solos, or work together on a melody.


Begininning Ukulele

This class is for kids from Kindergarten to Second Grade and is the perfect precursor to playing the guitar or mandolin. Kids learn about chords, strumming techniques, instrument handling, and add their voices to the music. Learning in a group environment allows them to collaborate on musical pieces and get the opportunity to show off what they’ve learned in class during small solos.

Registration for classes starting in mid-September is now open and many fill quickly before the school year begins. Click here for more info and to register. And don’t forget about their Early Childhood Music Classes Open House happening on Friday, September 6.

That's it for this week! Like what you're reading? Help keep the computer screen on by following us on Facebook or Instagram and signing up for our weekly emails at And as always, check our website for events and our easy-to-navigate chart of every weekly kids library program in Westchester. Just be sure to check the date you wish to attend against the library's calendar, because many programs are off for the summer. 

See you next time!