Bravo! Vail After-School Piano Program reaches 112 students in two counties |

Bravo! Vail After-School Piano Program reaches 112 students in two counties

Daily staff report
The 20-week Bravo! Vail After-School Piano Program is offered for $100 to students grades two through eight at seven locations throughout Eagle and Lake counties.
Bravo! Vail | Special to the Daily |

VAIL — Bravo! Vail’s After-School Piano Program, a hands-on and engaging music education initiative, enrolled 112 students for the 2015-16 academic year. The 20-week program is offered for $100 to students grades second through eighth at seven locations throughout Eagle and Lake counties.

Approximately 40 percent of students are receiving partial or full scholarships to participate in the program. Additionally, 25 percent of students participate in the Keyboard Lending Program, which provides them with a keyboard to use at home for the duration of the school year, allowing them to practice and refine their skills. These programs are made possible by contributions from the Vail community and Bravo! Vail supporters, including Alpine Bank, Wall Street Insurance, National Endowment of the Arts, US Bancorp Foundation and the town of Gypsum.

‘Amazing’ Opportunity

“I am so happy there is something like this offered in our community,” said Arzu Basyildiz, parent of a former piano program participant who now works as a teaching assistant. “Children will realize later how amazing this opportunity is and how much it helped them succeed in the future. The After-School Piano Program helped my son to open up and have a better view and perspective.”

Keelin Davis, Bravo! Vail’s education and community-engagement coordinator, explained how the program fits with the festival’s mission statement, which includes a commitment to fostering music education, as well as promoting lifelong appreciation of the arts.

“Through our After-School Piano Program, Bravo! Vail provides the opportunity for Vail Valley students from all walks of life to receive quality music instruction,” she said. “Our students are exposed to a wide range of musical and artistic experiences that include attending performances by world-renowned artists and instruction in unique areas like movement, improvisation and composition.”

Bravo! Vail artistic director Anne-Marie McDermott, a world-renowned concert pianist, will visit individual classes and perform for students and their families in early March. These interactive events will allow the young musicians to experience exciting performances of classical music in their own local environments.

Final Showcase

The program culminates with an end-of-year recital, allowing students to showcase their progress. Student recitals are scheduled for the last two weeks of the program.

“Children hear music all the time, but to actually be able to play a piece of music … is a ‘wow’ moment,” said Cookie Flaum, longtime Vail resident and Bravo! Vail Education Committee chair. “When a child plays his or her first song, the smile on their face, the twinkle in their eyes— the sense of accomplishment is priceless.”

With so many students enrolled who are excited to have these “wow” moments, Bravo! Vail continues to ensure that students in the Vail Valley can have access to high-quality musical experiences.

Information regarding Bravo! Vail’s Education and Community Engagement programs, in addition to the After-School Piano Program, can be found by visiting, by calling 970-827-5700 or by emailing Davis at

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