Opus Ithaca School of Music is a non-profit music school located in the lower level of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, at the corner of Court and Aurora Streets in downtown Ithaca, NY. At Opus Ithaca, we strive to create a positive environment for students of all ages and abilities to study and appreciate great music. We believe communities are strengthened through music, and we want to provide quality music education for all those who wish to learn.
Founded in 2011 by Dr. Andrea Merrill, Opus Ithaca has grown into a vital institution in Ithaca, serving over 450 active students each week. The school provides private lessons for all ages and levels in various instruments and voice, as well as a multitude of chamber ensembles and vocal groups. Our wonderful space has 11 large rooms with 6 grand pianos, a harpsichord, a pipe organ, two upright pianos, and several electric keyboards. We are a 100% music school, focusing on both individual and group music making.
Our overall vision consists of a multi-dimensional approach of music education for the community, with our various musical offerings enhancing private study of an instrument and building community. The Opus Ithaca faculty are all professional performers, highly educated in music, and experienced teachers. Throughout a term, we offer group classes to all enrolled students focusing on different elements of musicianship. Class topics range from performance and repertoire (where we talk about performance anxiety, etiquette, and offer supportive experiences of playing in front of others), basic music theory and ear training, percussion, and jazz. Some of our upcoming classes include music technology, composition seminars and improvisation. By rotating our faculty to teach these classes, we utilize the strengths and variety of talents each teacher holds, while creating a positive musical experience for all ages.
Performance opportunities are available throughout the year at Opus Ithaca. We hold as many as 10 optional recitals for our students in our own beautiful space at the end of each semester. (In Spring 2017 183 students performed!). We have held fun “themed” concerts such as Halloween “Spooky” music or Piano duets. And our annual Opus Piano Fest in April provides another goal-oriented adjudication experience for our piano students.
Several times a term, students are also invited to perform at various retirement communities in Ithaca. Our chamber groups have performed in the middle and high school concerts, Cornell University celebrations, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra gatherings, in addition to our own recitals.
We want our impact to extend past the walls of the school. Our faculty has given masterclasses and performances in various public schools, and performs together regularly in free public concerts. We believe by working together we can help build a stronger community in Ithaca.
Music offers so much to each and every person. As individuals we gain confidence, build a sense of discipline and accomplishment, and create beauty every time we practice or perform.
And most important, music is fun.
Smiles are abundant at Opus Ithaca!