My love of music began at age two or three when I would hear my dad playing the piano, my mom playing guitar and the whole family singing together. I began piano lessons at age four and my teacher was my grandmother. She was very positive and encouraging. Thus began a lifetime love affair with the piano, exploring the musical spectrum, but especially my beloved Beethoven and Chopin.
My siblings will never forgive me for forcing them to perform in my little musicals and variety shows, with my staging, choreographing, musically directing, costuming, for the parents and neighbors. It looks like it was in the cards that I would end up making my living as a musical theater performer for several years and end up composing and directing musicals for kids and adults.
From a very young age, I played and sang for school musicals, choirs, graduations, weddings and recitals and learned to love the pressure and pride of performance. Because I started so young, it just seemed like second nature to play in front of people. I believe in starting lessons at a young age, if possible, since it feels effortless to learn and builds great confidence. Reading music becomes a second language.
I played clarinet as my second instrument in school band, marching band and then orchestra in high school and college. My third instrument was oboe (and notice I say, “was”) which I found very difficult but still beautiful. When a student was out sick for a week, the orchestra leader would stick me on whatever instrument needed to be covered which was gratifying, if terrifying. I started voice lessons as well and performed in Madrigals in high school. My freshman year at Mount Holyoke, I was selected to be in the Chorale, which was the exclusive four girl only group. We did very complex harmonies and counterpoint in several different languages.
I began teaching piano and voice full-time in my late 20s and realized how much I loved the art and responsibility of teaching. I enjoy sharing what I love the most with others. Through my experience and analysis, I try to reduce the learning curve so that students feel successful early on. I like making students happy by choosing exciting repertoire that inspires them to want to practice and improve. I like that they trust me to lead them and I don’t take that trust for granted.
My daughter has been taking lessons with Laura for over 4 years. Not only has her technique grown, but her love for music has grown as well. Laura provides a comfortable environment for her students that allows them to thrive! She is learning the technical side of being a pianist as well as having fun. I highly recommend Laura for kids and adults of all ages!
Elena DeGeorge, Red Bank, NJ
When our 5 year old daughter asked if she could learn to play the piano, we hesitated, but said yes, on one condition… “if we ever have to remind you to practice, that will be the end of lessons!” Then we were lucky enough to find Laura as her first piano teacher – and Laura continued as her teacher until she went off to college! Laura taught our daughter the technical side of the piano but she most importantly sparked a love and enthusiasm for music in our daughter that we did not think was possible. She came home from each and every lesson with a deep passion for learning and embraced each new piece of music. Laura found a way to connect with our daughter, encouraged her to find music that spoke to her, and forged a warm and caring friendship that still exists today. We never did have to remind our daughter to practice – we credit Laura for that, and so much more!
Cara Barnhardt, Rye, NY
My piano lessons with Laura have shaped me into the musician I am today! After only three years of lessons, Laura helped me strive to reach a college level of music that I wouldn’t have reached otherwise! She truly cares about her students and works hard to instill the same love of music she has, in them. Now, as I go off to college and begin the rest of my life, I am sure that I will continue in my study of piano. And that is thanks to Laura Vien!
Alexa Tollevsen, Middletown, NJ
Laura was highly recommended to us by a teacher that was leaving the area. In just 3 years we cannot believe our daughter Keira’s progress, having just started playing. We really like Laura’s approach as well. She has a lot of patience and works with the kids to make it enjoyable and to not make it seem like a chore to practice. She truly cultivates their talent, but in a way that is fun for your child. This is vital as today, it seems like kids do not stick with anything, and if they have potential, that is a waste. When we attended the first recital, we were so impressed by her current students, and especially hearing how in a fairly short period of time, how they came to be such wonderful, talented performers. She will teach your child to love music and/or singing, wherever their interest lies, and make it a life- long passion.
Sonya Burke, Atlantic Highlands, NJ
I highly recommend Laura! Laura was my piano and voice instructor for an incredible 5 years! I have worked with many voice instructors in the past, and Laura’s unmatched dedication, attention to detail, passion, and outgoing personality made my experience with Laura by far the best. She is incredibly warm, patient, and motivating. Laura cultivated and strengthened my passion for music, making practice a desire and never a chore. The close-knit relationship that she had with me made my experience that much better!
Marissa Licursi, Rye, NY
My piano lessons with Laura were my earliest significant introduction to music-making, a part of my life that has only become more important to me as the years have passed. In nine years of lessons with Laura, I progressed to an early advanced skill level — learning works by Mozart, Beethoven, and Chopin by the end of that time — and have continued to study since then. She nurtured and encouraged my interest in music at a time when I might just as easily have left it behind, and thanks to that crucial early experience, I enjoy the special privilege of falling ever more deeply in love with music. I spend most of my free time exploring that passion, and can’t imagine life without it.
Charlie Volow, NYC, NY
From my very first lesson at the age of 5, learning “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, to mastering Beethoven’s “Sonata Pathetique”, my piano teacher Laura Vien has always inspired me and forged my deep love of playing the piano. Laura taught me the classics, but also let me choose pieces that spoke to me, such as pop music by Vanessa Carlton and Norah Jones. Laura had such a wonderfully, warm demeanor during our lessons, and I always felt comfortable and was never afraid of making mistakes or asking questions. She was personable, encouraging, and even let me pick out a piece of candy at the end of each lesson! Laura made me feel special and accomplished in my music, and to this day, over 20 years later, I still continue to play the pieces that she had taught me as a teenager! Thank you Laura for all the memories and wisdom!
Leslie Barnhardt, Los Angeles, CA