MusicMakers International Academy

MusicMakers International Academy

5.0 (3)
1 hire on Lessons.com
10 employees
26 years in business

About this pro

Hello!  My studio is MusicMakers Academy, and is a family owned and run studio founded in 1996. For the past 25 years my studio has been a staple of the community both local and nationwide, providing thousands of children and families with progressive music education.  

I have been teaching music for 32 years now, and I love it!  I am a lifelong musician, and I get to live my passion every day. 

My studio is unique - I have multiple studio spaces with different pianos and keyboards, and I am adjacent to a state-of-the-art recording studio.  

I have also been teaching online since 2011, and have students all over the country - adults, children, teens, amateur, professional, and college.  The pandemic has not thrown me at all!  It was very easy to transition my entire studio to online.  I am now teaching a mixture of online and in person lessons.  

If you are a college-bound student, you've come to the right place- I routinely coach students on college auditions, college choices, scholarships, etc.  In fact, I have a 100% perfect record of my students getting into their #1 college pick, and WITH scholarships!  

I  instill passion and purpose in my students - THEIR WAY - out of my genuine love of music and my own passion for music education.  That comes out in my dedication to my students and the families who support them.  

A few important distinctions you may want to know (in other words, why hire US when there are so many choices out there?): 

1. I love people.  That's important!

2. I love children. That's even more important!

3. I hold two degrees in Music Education in piano and voice

4) I am that rare CERTIFIED teacher, music Prek-12 - and I am actually permanently certified, having met the stringent requirements to earn this higher standard. 

5) I am a FUN teacher - not "easy" - but I love to make lessons truly enjoyable, even when things get hard. 

You can visit our Facebook Page at facebook.com/MusicMakersAcademy  

My website is www.paulapenna.com 

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Credentials

Manchester, CT 06040
Email verified
Phone verified

3 Reviews

5.0

  • Rebecca Kurland

    We are so glad we found Paula! She is perfectly attuned to the pace my daughter wants and takes her interests into account. She is a lot of fun too!

  • Brennan Spears

    Professional and friendly. Gets results

  • Rachel

    The teachers really love their students and pour belief into them, no matter their age or level.



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FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

The process really depends primarily on the student, their age, their level, their instrument, and their goals.  When I talk with a new student or their parent (in the case of minors), I ask about their personality, goals, needs, learning style, and other factors that help me determine if they are a good match for me.  If I don’t feel a student is a good match for me, I am honest about that. It is important that a student and teacher have a trusted relationship.


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have been teaching music continuously for 32 years, and have owned/taught at MusicMakers International Academy for 25 years.  I hold a Masters and Bachelors degrees in Music Education/Music/Arts Administration.

About the teachers who work for me at MusicMakers:  We are college-educated, most teachers have a masters degree in music, music education, or music composition.  Every teacher has substantial experience which has been verified by the owner/director.  Every teacher is passionate about teaching and about music, and make it their life's mission to continually improve.  


Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Yes, but it depends on the students’ lesson length, whether they are in person or online, and which program they are enrolled in - the general program or the advanced program.  Also, depends on whether or not the student comes to my studio, or if I (or a teacher who works for me) travels to the student. 


How did you get started teaching?

I knew my entire life, even as a young child, that music was my calling and that I wanted to share that with other people.  I spent my entire childhood studying and performing, and then went on to college to study music and music teaching.  I started teaching music professionally while still in college, and then earned certification to teach PreK-12 music.  


What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with a LOT of students. One of my students is now on this Season of The Voice, and I have had students on broadway, opera, and films.

I have over 50,000 hours of teaching/coaching experience teaching students from birth through senior citizens.  Although I do not believe that it is wise to expect every student to become a professional musician (just like we don’t only teach math to students who know they want to become mathematicians!), I actually DO have a LOT of students who have become professionals on Broadway, Opera, Pop, Country, Americana and everything in between.   For my more “serious” students, I have coached dozens of them on college applications, auditions, and the entire process which has resulted in ample scholarships and award money for them.  I have 5 students who all have gotten full scholarships to prestigious music colleges such as Berklee, University of Hartford, Michigan, and Miami amongst others.  

I never, EVER, pre-judge a child or person on whether or not they can “make it” at whatever level they want - it is not up to ME, that is up to YOU. I have seen many a student with moderate talent make it as professional musicians (performing, teaching, composing, etc) because HARD and SMART WORK always trumps innate talent.  If you are passionate about it, you’ll do it no matter what.  SO, I treat every student as if they COULD do music as a living, and then see as they grow up what they become passionate about and what they don’t.  


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

In 2019, both of my own daughters flew the nest and out on their own.  My oldest graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of Hartford with a degree in Music Business.  My younger daughter just moved to University of North Carolina where she is a film major, but is also very involved in their music program being she plays multiple instruments well and sings.  

Watching my very own student of 9 years on this season of The Voice has been thrilling - I am SO proud of her, and I know she’ll do well.  


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

My best advice is - there are a lot of good teachers out there, but there are far more BAD teachers.  Do your investigating - in the state of Connecticut and most other states, there is no required license or certification for private music teacher.  This is bad news for the consumer/parent because there is no way for you to truly know if the person you are interviewing to teach you or your precious child is actually the person they say they are. Are they safe? Do they hold the degrees they say that they do?  Have they ever been convicted of a crime?  Do they actually KNOW HOW TO TEACH?  They may be a good musician, but this does not mean they have done their due diligence in training to BE a teacher - this involves studying not just music but psychology, pedagogy, educational science, learning styles, etc.  A TRUE music teacher has studied all of the above, and continues to study their entire lives.  


What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What are your goals? 

Why do you want to study music?

Why did you pick this particular instrument?

Will you make the time to practice? 

Do you have an instrument at home to practice on?

Are you willing to pay for an excellent teacher? 


Lessons offered