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Events and News

Newborns are FREE at Musikgarten!

At Musikgarten, we believe in the transforming power of music for children of all ages, even from the very first months of your sweet newborn’s life! But we also know that it is sometimes difficult to predict how your baby will react in some situations, which makes it hard to commit to weekly classes at such an early age. We want you to be able to experience the bonding of a sweet music class together without worrying if your child will fall asleep or need to be fed in the middle of class (though we believe that the child is soaking it all in even during these times!).


For this reason, we are excited to announce that for a limited time, babies under 5 months of age can now attend classes with no tuition fee at Musikgarten of Oak Park! A small materials fee is necessary to purchase instruments and the CD/parent guide, which is yours to keep and enjoy at home!

Spots are currently available in 11:30 AM classes on Mondays & Wednesdays. Please email Katy at
musikgartenoakpark@gmail.com for more information or to claim one of these valuable spots!  Limited enrollment. 


The spring recital will be held on Sunday, May 19, in the ballroom of the Oak Park Arms in Oak Park. Please sign up for recital A or B at your keyboard class. 

RECITAL A:  3:00 P.M Recital and reception. 

RECITAL B:  4:15 P.M. Reception and Recital.        

At each recital we will be starting with singing, dancing, and music games with the formal recital directly after. Please plan on arriving 15 minutes before your scheduled recital so your child can try the piano and become comfortable in the space. Siblings, family, and friends are very welcome to join us in celebrating your child’s musical accomplishments.  Please bring a healthy appetizer to share and a canned good to donate to the local food pantry.  Both recitals will participate in the reception that begins at 4:15 P.M.   

As the Oak Park Arms often hosts recitals and other musical events as a service to the residents, plan on seeing and greeting these guest audience members in the ballroom for the recital.  The Arms offers their space as a service to the community so there will be no recital fee for this event.  
In preparation for the recital, please keep in mind the following:  If your songs are memorized but were originally reading pieces please bring all your music so it will be available.  Please remember to bring your music and handily mark the page if your child will be using the book.   Please dress appropriately, no jeans, t-shirts, or gym shoes; this is both a performance and a celebration of your hard work.  Again, please bring a snack or appetizer to share afterwards and plan on enjoying the fun! 

What a joy to listen to the wonderful piano performances of the children. How happy it made us to celebrate your musical accomplishments.  I smile to remember the children in their fancy attire, playing with gusto and confidence and skillfulness. The dances and ensemble performance were special delights.  The parents, family members & teachers beamed with pleasure.  We are truly blessed with the lovely talent and dedication of our wonderful keyboard teachers Maria Bolchert, Laura Moglia Kelley, and Beky Koontz.  We are so thankful for your gifts of teaching.  

Wonderful thanks to the Oak Park Arms and the gracious Desi Vasquez, social director at the Arms. We are tremendously grateful for their extra-ordinary support. “It is a wonderful world and it’s all at the Arms.”  

If you have questions about the recital, please contact Maria Bolchert bolchert@yahoo.comLaura Moglia Kelly mogliakelley@gmail.com, or Beky Koontz elizabethrkoontz@gmail.com  




The Oak Parker Magazine 
The Art of Diversity: New Space Helps Musikgarten Grow

musikgarten 3By Tim Nichols, freelance writer

Imagine fingers dancing across the keyboard. Tapping out a Bossa Nova beat on a table. Playing the recorder over and over, eyes transfixed by the notes arranged on the page. Well, that’s just me remembering my meeting with the director of Musikgarten in Oak Park, Amy Pappageorge.

Rewinding and playing the recorder again, I can picture Pappageorge in person. Her childlike excitement swaddled in a very supple, inquisitive mind. For an hour, she paints a picture in my mind that shows how vitally important early exposure to music and the arts is to the development of children: Sometimes singing to illustrate a point, sometimes standing up suddenly as if moved physically as well as emotionally by the importance of it, and always supremely articulate.

musikgarten 1“The Musikgarten curriculum educates the child from birth in a carefully sequential plan that we refer to as the pathway to music literacy,” Pappageorge explains. It’s clear, though, that this is about much more than learning how to play the piano. “All aspects of learning are enhanced when music is a key element in a holistic approach” she adds. “Research clearly shows it is helpful to all later learning and strong cognitive functioning.”

Then I simply follow that up with, “Wow, really?” to be serenaded some more: “When information is embedded in an emotional context, it stimulates neural circuitry more powerfully than information alone.”

The next question is designed to impress her with my exacting knowledge of the subject matter: “Is it really true that an early arts education can lead to higher concentration levels, more motor coordination and better—better—you know—”

“Verbal skills?”


“Among many other things, It promotes language development, creativity, a love of singing and dancing, social interaction, and cooperation,” Pappageorge responds patiently.

After earning her master’s in Performance Studies from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Pappageorge and her husband moved to Los Angeles with their two children to pursue acting, professional storytelling and a general process of self-discovery. Fortunately, for the children and parents of Oak Park, a combination of bad public schools in LA and too much waiting on tables between auditions led the family here.

They were immediately influenced by the “the wonderful schools, the community-wide support of the arts, the idealism of its citizens and their passion and caring about the welfare of others,” says Pappageorge. “Oak Park is a tight-knit, open-hearted community. There’s a ‘teamwork makes the dream work’ spirit in this town.”

musikgarten 4One of Oak Park’s great teams is the Oak Park Arts District Business Association on Harrison Street, where the first Musikgarten space was located.

“OPADBA just works wonders to support Arts District Businesses and to provide cultural events and bring beauty and opportunities to the village.”

To underscore that point, Pappageorge recently moved her studio space even closer to the heart of the Arts District, right next to the Buzz Cafe on Lombard and Harrison. An increased demand for classes also made it necessary to find a larger environment, after operating for years in a one-room school house.

“Everything about the new space and the overall design fulfills my requirements for a lovely and well-arranged music and movement studio,” she says.

The move also helps continue a collaboration between Pappageorge and her friend Gigi Hudson, director of The Actor’s Garden.

“In the new location, we have made Musikgarten and The Actor’s Garden accessible to each other by adding an inside adjoining door. This allows us to use one another’s spaces and helps the families to stay connected to us as we share students and pedagogical goals.”

Additionally, the backyard of the new studio features a community-supported organic vegetable and flower garden.

“With our nature-based preschool curriculum that encourages an understanding and appreciation of nature, what could be more perfect and harmonious?”

Pappageorge is particularly proud of a second room in the new storefront that will serve both as a studio for her own pursuit of painting as well as a studio for keyboard classes and possibly Zumba dance classes for adults.

As we stand in this second room, surrounded by keyboards, oil paintings and colorful bongo drums, Pappageorge points to two incongruous plaid-patterned recliners against the back wall. She smiles longingly and talks about how they will be perfect for sneaking naps during the day. However, if you’ve ever met Pappageorge, you’ll agree that this is one dream, maybe the only one, that will not likely come true for her.