Jivana P. Condak, Founder and Director of Fort Greene Music Scene teaches Piano, Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, Voice, Ear Training, Music Theory and Songwriting. Born in NYC, Jivana was exposed to music and art early on. Her mother, from Manhattan was an art director at Columbia Records and her father, from Brooklyn was a jazz musician and a painter. As a child, Jivana was very influenced by her parents love for music and art. She began her classical piano studies at the age of six, taking weekly private lessons for 10 years, as well as studying guitar in the rock/folk/pop genres by the age of 12. She also sang lead soprano in her Elementary, Junior High and High School Choirs, played guitar in the School Ensemble and was tutored in piano in the pop/rock/folk styles by the School’s Musical Director. After school hours, she attended classes for keyboard and guitar in the pop/rock/blues/folk styles at the Guitar Study Center in NYC, run by Paul Simon’s brother. At the age of seventeen, she began writing songs and teaching music lessons to her friends. Jivana spent a summer semester at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and as a senior in high school, interned at major recording studio in NYC. In 1982, Jivana was accepted to Berklee College of Music where she majored in Performance for Piano and Voice. Upon returning to NY, she furthered her studies, attending classes at The New School. Courses included: Advanced Song Writing, The Business of Song Writing, The Pop Music Business, Recording and Production, Management, A&R, Promotion, Publicity, Publishing & Copyright. Jivana also took private voice lessons and studied drums for four years. In 1995 she opened up a private music studio called 'Fort Greene Music Scene' in Brooklyn. In 1996, one of her songs Tell Me It’s Safe (©1993) was featured and performed at a BMI Songwriters’ Showcase in NYC and in 1997 she formed the children’s performance group, The Koolkidz™ then launched an indie label, Musicskool Records while writing/producing/directing children’s music and videos. In 2002 her childrens’ group The Koolkidz™ performed her song Put the Drugs and Guns Away (©1997) at the Million Mom March in Washington, DC in 2002. In 2008, her album Songs For Koolkidz™ won a Parents’ Choice Approved Award and in 2009 her childrens’ music video Positive (©1999) performed by the Koolkidz™, was chosen as an official selection for the Coney Island Film Festival in Brooklyn, NY. Soon to release her latest DVD, Colors of the World (©1997) A Multi-Language Experience, Jivana strives to make a difference in the world, through her music and through her message. To date, Jivana has taught hundreds of children, written over one hundred songs and serviced over 250 pianos. She feels blessed to have had music in her life since she was a child and feels even more blessed that she gets to pass it on. Jivana has lived in the Fort Greene / Clinton Hill / Bed Stuy community for over 20 years and is pleased to see her students grow up to be professional musicians traveling the world. They are now recording artists, actors, directors, writers, producers, dancers, choreographers, teachers. They have won awards and scholarships and are amazing individuals. She has witnessed first hand, how music can change the life of a child, a community and the world. This drives her to continue her work with children into her third decade. Her love for children is matched only by her love for music.
Jivana is also available during the winter months to teach lessons and tune pianos in the Miami-Dade area (from Brickell/Key Biscayne to Hollywood/Dania). Please inquire.
Meeting creative, passionate people. Watching students grow through music. Sharing what I love with others.
"My son, age 12 and daughter, age 10 take weekly Ukulele lessons with Jivana in our home and they are excited each week. A bit of a struggle at first, but they are coming along nicely and they like their teacher. I recommend Jivana Condak as a highly competent and passionate teacher who is experienced and patient with her students. I'm glad my kids are getting the nurturing and discipline they need to learn a new instrument. So fun to watch them grow through music. Thanks, Jivana!"
"Jivana Condak has been teaching my teenage daughter Jane classical piano for over a year in our home and I can see major improvements. Jivana pays attention to detail and makes sure Jane stays focused. They are working on some classical pieces together that are challenging, but worth it. My daughter feels comfortable pushing herself and Jivana is very patient in her approach so they work well together. It's so rewarding to have music in the home! I highly recommend Jivana for any teaching position involving children and music. Her years of experience show when she teaches with confidence and passion. My daughter is happy with her teacher and recommends her as well."
“My experience learning piano with Ms. Jivana has been an amazing one. I’ve been taking lessons with her for eight years, and the skills I’ve learned will stay with me for the rest of my life. Learning music theory has helped me pick up other instruments and improved my singing, and being able to read and understand music is something I’ll use for the rest of my life. Learning with Ms. Jivana has given me opportunities I would have never gotten elsewhere, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the time and encouragement she’s given me.”
Jivana is a caring and articulate teacher who can meet a student on their level, strengthening their weaknesses and utilizing their strengths. Whether music is a hobby or you are advancing towards a music career, she will encourage you to be the best you can be, in a non-judgmental, non-competitive environment.
After an initial meet and greet w new student and/or child/parent, I ask why they want to take music lessons, what are their goals, how serious are they (it's ok if they are not serious, we can still have fun, with less structure). I ask school-aged students how they are doing in school and what are their favorite classes and why. I'll ask the teens what they want to be when they grow up and why. I may suggest how music can help them in school, hobbies, career, etc.
I'll have new student/child sit at the piano (or w the guitar) and play/sing anything they want. I remind them that they are here to learn and I am here to help. I encourage them to relax and open up so I can see what lies within (there's a lot of talent often hidden underneath the fear). After that, I have them play a few scales/pieces of my choice (some by reading, some by ear) observing the students technical level, I focus on proper posture and body language (and breathing for vocalists) as well as developing the students inner pulse. During the lesson, I may suggest books to buy, or I may purchase for them (the first round of books are usually $25 to get started).
Weekly private classical piano tutoring as a child, NYC. Age 6 to 16.
Guitar Study Center, NYC. Pop/Rock Guitar and Keyboards. Age 17-18.
Berkle College of Music, Boston, Mass. Piano/Voice Jazz Performance. Age 18-22.
Reggae Performance/Promotion experience with bands in NY, BOS, LA, MIA. Age 18-40.
The New School, NYC. Music Business, Advanced Songwriting, Copyright, Legal, etc. Age 30-32
School of Visual Arts, NYC. Music video editing. Adult continuing. 2002 to present.
Director of a private music school in Brooklyn, NY for 24 years. Have hundreds of students on the roster. Age 31 to present.
Taught group music/vocal classes in NY Public school system.
PRICE RANGE: $30 - $60 PER LESSON, READ BELOW.
< < < Ages 4 and 5 > > >
1.) Single: One 30 min lesson: $40 (in our studio only) paid weekly in advance before start of lesson.
2.) Package: Five 30 min lessons: $175 ($35x5) paid in advance ... save $5 per lesson.
3.) Package: Ten 30 min lessons: $300 ($30x10) paid in advance ... save $10 per lesson.
< < < Ages 6 and up > > >
1.) Single: One 60 min lesson: $60 (in your home or our studio) paid weekly in advance before start of lesson.
2.) Package: Five 60 min lessons: $275 ($55x5) paid in advance ... save $5 per lesson.
3.) Package: Ten 60 min lessons: $500 ($50x10) paid in advance ... save $10 per lesson.
I only travel for 60 min lessons (not for 30 min lessons).
Cancellations must be done 24 hours in advance to receive make-up lesson. Otherwise, lesson is considered missed.
I spent my early years as female musician in the 80's in LA dragging keyboards and equipment around til 4am, moved to Jamaica, West Indies in 1990, more late nights, started teaching locally. Moved back to NY in 1993, more keyboards up and down the subway stairs, needed a more balanced lifestlye during daylight hours, wanted to work with kids. Opened up "Fort Greene Music Scene" in Brooklyn, NY in 1995. Got to spend the last 27 years with children and music all day, everyday! Living out my dream (well, have a few more dreams but this is the best ... :-)
I've worked with everyone from high energy 4-year old boys to 94 year old church ladies and the lessons are equally satisfying, including students with Aspbergers, mild Autism, physical challenges, etc. I have taught all levels of piano from beginner to advanced. Styles include: Classical, blues, folk, rock, pop, ballades, contemporary, RnB, Reggae (I only teach latin and jazz piano on an introductory level). Beginner through intermediate Rhythm acoustic guitar as well. Can focus on songwriting, music theory, scales, chords, ear-training, vocalise, solfeggio, exercises, arpeggios, technique for more advanced students.
I love live concerts whether free outdoors or a ticketed event in an indoor theatre. I love all genres of music so I can appreciate (and/or tolerate) any type of concert as long as it's safe. I encourage my students to watch live music being played, wheather at a small jazz club or a big arena ... the charge you get from the music, the lights, the sound are inspiring for any musician ... on the stage is my favorite place to be ... I often support my super-talented musical friends in NY and in Miami. I am often at the Arsht Center in downtown Miami where I see all types of shows from ballets to operas to jazz concerts.
Make sure the teacher has many years of experience. There are alot of talented musicians out there who are actively gigging, but cannot dedicate themselves to music education, and are not able to structure the lesson in a comprehensive way. Make sure the teacher is not always on tour or in the studio, making them hard to reach should any scheduling issues arise.
How often will I be able to practice in between lessons? Will I have time for homework the teacher may give? How long am I expected to practice? How long will the homework take? Do I have an instrument to practice on at home? Is it in good condition? If not, where can I rent/buy another? What will my travel time be to reach the lesson on time stress-free? What day is best to commit to a weekly lesson day and time? How and when do I have to cancel my lesson if I cant make it? What are my goals?