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Golden Key Paino School’s April 2023 Newsletter

Dear Golden Key Piano School Community,

Happy spring to all. As we enter a new season, here are some successes from the past month and what to expect in April;

1. Advanced Students’ Masterclass

We are excited to have professor William Wellborn (learn more about him here) back this year for another master class for our advanced students. If you have been invited by your teacher to join and have your piece ready please register now.

You may make the payment on paypal account ( bring a check to school or simply reply to this email and request that we charge your account for the class.

Here is some information:

Date: Sunday April 23rd

Address: Kassman Piano 843 Gilman st. Suite b, Berkeley, CA,

Fee for participants: $140

Fee for observers: $30

Duration of the class: 2-3 hours. Each participant takes a 30-min lesson.

Can I participate on Zoom? We prefer in-person classes, but if you are not living in the area, yes, we can have you on Zoom.

NOTE: We can have maximum 5 students for this masterclass. Only 2 spots left.

2. Fundraising Recital

Our next recital is the annual fundraising event for Elaine’s Scholarship Fund on Thursday, May 4th at 6:00pm at the beautiful Kassman Piano Store on Gilman street in Berkeley.

The recital is open to the public. Please come to listen and invite friends and family.

Tickets are sliding scale ($25 to $50); all the ticket sales go towards our scholarship fund.


If you are unable to attend but want to donate, please see the link HERE.

We really appreciate your support in helping us to make someone’s life more wonderful by bringing them the joy of music.

3. What is the point of doing the composers project ? (A note from our Artistic Director)

One of the requirements in our level 3 and level 4 curriculum at Golden Key Piano School is for the student to have a research on three composers that they choose and make a booklet about it.

The goal for this assignment is to foster the student’s curiosity to learn about the composers. The assignment also helps them build the skills to be able to research about the composers on their own in the future.

And, why is it important to learn about the composers, you might ask? Well, besides the fact that learning about the composers is part of the music education, it also helps the student understand the historic content of the piece they are working on and helps them connect with the piece more.

In the long run, this familiarity will, with no doubt, engage the student with classical music more and helps them with what is our main goal at Golden Key Piano School; nurturing the life long love of music in the student.

As we are preparing for our annual exam this June, now is a good time to start making time for this project. Here is the exact requirement from our Curriculum Guidelines:

“Music Literature

Students should choose 3 composers and make a little booklet about them using pictures, stories etc,. This is a side project throughout the year that requires little guidance form the teacher. The booklet should be presented at the evaluation date.”

4. Please meet Elyce Berrigan, our new in-person Office Assistant

We are pleased to welcome Elyce to our office team. You will see Elyce at the school’s front desk in the headquarter in Berkeley, greeting you and facilitating the communication between you and your teacher, head teacher, or Mr. Arefi. Or you will see her helping you by text or email for Manhattan students.

We are grateful to have Elyce’s warm and caring presence at the school.

5. Teachers’ News


We are pleased to welcome another teacher to our team and are excited to have her as part of our community at the Manhattan Piano Academy for in person lessons, as well as anywhere for online lessons.

Maryam Arvanaghi has a Bachelors of Art degree in piano performance from Tehran Conservatory of Music under Maestro Mohammad Reza Shajarian’s supervision. She has about ten years of teaching experience both online and in-person. Although still a young and ambitious musician, Maryam has both the experience and the patience to work with students of all ages.

Maryam also has been active in the field of Iranian music and started a project in collaboration with Iranian classical and traditional musicians to bring the sound of traditional instruments such as Taar, Kamancheh, and others in association with piano as a western classical instrument. Maryam has participated in many festivals and radio programs since 2012 in Europe, Turkey, and Iran. In addition to playing piano, Maryam has studied music theory, harmony, ear-training, and counterpoint with Mohsen Elhamian, Marina Aghabakian, Mehran Rohani, Kiawasch Sahebnasagh, and Sharif Lotfi. Maryam is currently teaching piano to younger generations and music lovers.

We are pleased to have Maryam as part of our wonderful team at Manhattan Piano Academy starting March 2023.

If you have any questions please call the school at (510) 665-5466 or reply to this email.

Yours truly,
Katrin Arefy


Katrin Arefy, Head Teacher
1809 University Ave., Berkeley, CA

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— U. Galperina

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