At Upper West Side Piano School we offer one-on-one piano lessons to students of all ages and levels. Whether you are introducing your child to the world of music, fulfilling your own dreams of learning piano, preparing for college auditions, or anything in between, we structure our lessons to meet our student’s individual goals. Lessons at UWS Piano School concentrate on the development of rhythm and note literacy, along with knowledge of music theory and history, to provide the foundation necessary for all musical pursuits. We strive to instill efficient practice habits and technical skills at the keyboard, enabling our students to confidently explore any genre of music they wish.
Helping pianists discover and develop their talents in an honest and encouraging manner is very important to us. We find that a fun and supportive atmosphere filled with clear, positive communication allows students to achieve the best of their individual ability.
Recitals are free of charge and are held in the sanctuary at Grace and St. Paul’s, with a reception to follow. They provide a comfortable atmosphere for our students to share the fruits of their hard work with friends and family. While participation is not mandatory, we encourage all students to take part in performing. Regular public performance is helpful in developing self-confidence and appreciation for the work of others.
Receptions follow our Winter and Spring Children’s Recitals where students have a chance to meet one another and make new friends. For our adult students, we organize cheese and wine soirées for you to perform in a casual setting.Additional performing opportunities are available.
Doctor of Musical Arts
Dr. Sean Carmichael is the Director of Music and organist at Grace and St. Paul’s Church and has recently completed a D.M.A. in Piano Performance at the University of Maryland, studying under Dr. Mayron Tsong. He completed his Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Piano Pedagogy and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance at SUNY Potsdam while studying with renowned pianist and painter, Dr. Paul Wyse.
With a passion for teaching, Sean maintained a private piano studio at the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD, taught at the Jubilee Enrichment Program in New York, NY and spent three summers as piano faculty at the State University of New York at Potsdam’s Crane Youth Music summer program, where he taught private lessons and lead masterclasses. In March of 2017, he served on the adjudication panel for the 69th annual Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, which attracts over 150,000 students throughout the course of five weeks.
A winner of the Crane Concerto Competition, he performed Rachmaninoff's First Concerto with the Crane Symphony Orchestra in 2007. Sean has given solo performances at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Rubinstein Hall in Munich, Binghamton’s Tri-Cities Opera Center, the Old Forge Arts Center and has toured New York State in a series of outreach performances with three former colleagues presenting the Chopin Etudes and Preludes.
As a collaborative pianist, he worked with the Crane Opera Ensemble from 2006 through 2009 with such artists as Sylvia and David Aronson of the Vienna State Opera and Christine Brewer. He was also privileged to accompany the Crane Chorus singing Bach’s B minor Mass under the baton of Helmuth Rilling as well as the University of Maryland Choir singing Britten’s War Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop. During graduate school, Sean was awarded with two collaborative piano assistantships.
Doctor of Musical Arts
Born and raised in Bulgaria, Dr. Nadia Christova Carmichael has been studying and performing piano since the age of six. She attended the National School of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria majoring in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. In 2006, she graduated with a Bachelors of Music with honors in Piano Performance from the National Academy of Music in Sofia. After relocating to the United States, Dr. Christova Carmichael obtained her Masters in Chamber Music and Piano Performance from the University of South Florida in Tampa where she studied with Dr. Svetozar Ivanov. She recently completed her doctoral studies at the University of Maryland, College Park under the tutelage of the renowned pianist and pedagogue Rita Sloan.
For over 10 years, Dr. Christova Carmichael has been teaching piano to students of all ages and backgrounds. She taught both Class Piano and Accompanying Skills at the University of South Florida. Along with maintaining a private studio, she held faculty positions at the International School of Music in Bethesda, MD and the Jubilee Enrichment Program in Manhattan’s Chinatown.
As an active chamber recitalist and a vocal collaborator Dr. Christova Carmichael has appeared extensively throughout the United States and Europe. She has spent summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School as a collaborative pianist with both the instrumental fellowship (2011) and the prestigious New Horizons fellowship (2012, 2014). Additionally, she participated in the Siena Music Festival in Siena, Italy as the official concerto accompanist of the program.
A devotee of choral music, Dr. Christova Carmichael had the chance to accompany the University of Maryland Concert Choir, singing Mozart’s Requiem under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach. Additionally, she was the accompanist for the Washington Sängerbund, the oldest German singing society in the Washington DC area, from 2011 to 2016. Currently she serves as the Minister of Music at Zion Lutheran Church in Maywood, NJ; the pianist for the Ars Musica Chorale in Ridgewood, NJ; accompanist and choral assistant at Collegiate School on the UWS; and an accompanist for Education Through Music – a program partnering with inner-city schools to provide children with high quality music education.
Master of Music
Based in New York City, harpist Tomina Parvanova has performed with a myriad of major orchestras and ensembles, including Boston Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Boston Ballet, to name a few. Ms. Parvanova has served as principal harpist for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Orchestra for three consecutive seasons. On Broadway she performed for Carousel and Hello Dolly. Past shows include, The Fantasticks and Amelie. She is the principal harpist of New York Repertory Orchestra, and performs frequently with Albany Symphony Orchestra and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. She has played at some of the most prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Seji Ozawa Hall and Koussevitzky Music Shed.
Awards include first prize at the Bulgarian International Music Competition “Young Virtuoso”, and second place at the USA International Music Competition (Boston, MA). She is also a two times winner of the AHS Boston Chapter "Ann Hobson Pilot Scholarship" (2010, 2011). In 2011 Ms. Parvanova was a harp fellow at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center where she performed under the baton of world renowned conductors, such as Jaap van Zweden, Kurt Masur, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and worked closely with Pulitzer Prize winning composer Charles Wourinen. Ms. Parvanova has premiered works by some of America's most celebrated composers, including Charles Wourinen, Gunther Schuller, Aaron Jay Kernis, Martin Boykan, George Tsontakis, and has performed with new music groups, such as Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Sound Icon. Ms. Parvanova is also featured on recordings with Albany Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Providence Singers. Her teaching experience includes Adjunct Professor at the Boston Conservatory, and harp teaching assistant for undergraduate minor students at Boston University. Under a full tuition scholarship, Ms. Parvanova received her Masters Degree from Boston University - College of Fine Arts, and Bachelors Degree from The Boston Conservatory.
Great instructor, very patient with kids. Made my girls love piano and enjoy practice time.
Nadia taught our girls piano over the course of eighteen months. My girls looked forward to their lessons and strove to impress her. She made sure they learned the basics well but challenged them on a regular basis with harder pieces. Her cheerful personality and ability to connect with kids made it so much easier to keep them engaged. We were saddened by her move from the area but knew that she will do well anywhere as a piano teacher.
Nadia is so encouraging, patient and joyful to lean from. One of my favorite things about Nadia is that she will help you achieve your best with every piece of music both technically and emotionally, she never let me get away with shortcuts or mistakes. The best part is that she does this patiently and full of encouragement! She would always pick music pieces that I like to make the practice fun. I always felt happy, encouraged in our lessons. I studied with Nadia for over a year and we have accomplished so much! Nadia is an amazing piano teacher and I highly recommend her to anyone seeking enjoyable and greater achievement in piano studies.
Nadia was my daughter's first piano teacher (and we would have stayed with her had she not moved away). She was terrific with my daughter - helping to instill a love of music and, always important in the earlier ages, making her lessons fun. My daughter also told me how funny Miss Nadia is! My daughter progressed very quickly and I was quite surprised at how much progress she made in such a short time. I highly recommend Nadia - she is a teacher who helps build discipline but also ensures that piano never becomes a "chore." She's a wonderful teacher - and what a thrill it was to see her perform her dissertation piece!
First trial lesson is 50% off. Subsequent trial lessons are billed at the regular lesson rate. Registration is required after the third lesson if you wish to continue.
UWS Piano School accepts students on a rolling admission basis. A registration fee of $60 is required to reserve the student’s timeslot. Registration fees will apply to all students annually, but can be waived under certain circumstances (see Payment).
Lessons may be paid monthly or per semester. If a student wishes to pay on a monthly basis, payment must be received by the 1st of each month or prior to the first lesson (whichever comes first). Per semester payments will have the $60 registration fee waived. Full semester payments are also due prior to the first lesson.