Private Instruction is the Foundation for a Lifetime of Music

The Difference Private Lessons Make

Dee is a classically trained piano teacher who gives piano instruction to students age six through adult.  Her educational philosophy focuses on building a solid foundation of classical technique, which ensures a well rounded musical education. Private piano lessons are key to a student’s growth as a musician.  Unlike group classes, private lessons allow Dee to tailor curriculum to the needs of her students, allowing students to grow with musical consistency. (For students with learning or behavior challenges that require the services of a learning specialist, please click here.)

Students are taught reading notation, music theory, technical proficiency, ear and rhythmic training, finger exercises, sight reading, transposition and repertoire.  They are encouraged to engage in their musical exploration with the same enthusiasm and passion Dee brings to her teaching.

Students are given many opportunities for performance including yearly recitals, preparation for school and church performances and joining the Creative Harmonies performance groups (for both children and adults), performing at NYSMTA recitals and preparation for NYSSMA Festivals. All students are prepared for each stage of performance up to and including the final bow, so that performance is a pleasure for both student and family to enjoy!

A background in music is not required to enroll for lessons at Creative Harmonies. They only need to be able to identify their numbers 1-5 and letters A-G.

About Dee

Dee Cucinotta is an award-winning piano instructor, active community participant, and one of the very first music instructors within NY’s Capital District to offer specialized piano lessons backed by education and experience to individuals with disabilities. She holds a BA in Music and an MS in Special Education, and was the recipient of the 2016 Steinway & Sons Top Teacher Award.

Dee has taught private piano lessons since 2003 and continues to teach students of all ages, abilities and skill levels. Her education supports expert piano instruction for individuals who may benefit from additional attention, including students with Down Syndrome, Autism, ADD/ADHD, TBI, SPD, learning disabilities and students with anxiety, focusing, fine motor skill and executive functioning deficits. She is also sensitive to the diverse needs of all students, and welcomes those with communicative, sensory, behavioral, or physical challenges.

For almost 20 years, Dee has been a highly-recommended instructor with a reputation as an exceptional music educator, with students demonstrating proficiency in musicality, technique, and theory in their performance settings. She is known for her unique approach to lessons, teaching the whole individual and treating music as not only a skill for performance, but also as an activity for lifelong enjoyment and fulfillment. Before relocating to NY’s Capital District, Dee worked both as an aide and Special Education Music teacher for BOCES on Long Island, NY, teaching children with emotional and behavioral disorders, developmental delays, learning disabilities, Autism, ADHD, ADD, PDD and Down Syndrome.  She was also a Special Education teacher for the New York City Board of Education and taught children with learning disabilities and behavioral issues.

Dee has received multiple awards for her excellence in teaching and community outreach:

  • Steinway & Sons Top Teacher Award 2016
  • The Arc of Rensselaer County Community Partners Award 2010

Professional Associations include:

  • CEC (Council for Exceptional Children)
  • MTNA (Music Teachers National Association)
  • NYSMTA (New York State Music Teachers Association)

Dee is the parent of two adult children, one of which is diagnosed with ADHD.

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