Cynthia Van Arsdale
Cynthia Van Arsdale
Hear Me Play!
"Come, Savior of the Gentiles"
is 30 minutes of weekly one-on-one piano fun!
Itís a powerful early learning program in music, math and life for children
ages 3-5. Enroll today!
Hello, I'm Cynthia Van Arsdale. It's my pleasure to welcome you to my website.
My goal as a piano teacher is to help each of my students to learn to play for
pleasure. Realistically, maybe only 1% (or less) of students will ever play on
a concert stage. However, it is equally realistic that the other 99% are
capable of learning enough to play for their own enjoyment for a lifetime. Not
all will, of course, but there are things we can do to increase the success
In addition to teaching my students how to read music and count, I encourage
them to spend time at the piano picking out familiar tunes-- Christmas carols,
"Happy Birthday", hit songs, etc.. I show them how to embellish a simple
melody with basic chords and simple rhythm patterns. Suddenly, it appears they
are playing "by ear". By creating their own arrangements when they play, they
are MAKING music and having FUN. They will spend hours at the piano without
The biggest motivator of all is
. Every child craves love, approval, and praise-- especially from parents.
they are making-- every day.
With encouragement, their technique will improve in time.
Until last year, I required beginning students to be at least 5 years old and
in Kindergarten to start lessons. Finding the
program has made it
possible for pre-schoolers to start two years sooner! Through the adventures
of five cute animals, kids discover numerous musical and math concepts.
Thirty-minute one-on-one private lessons include games, songs, finger poems,
keyboard time, book work, and pattern manipulatives. Every lesson is designed
with fun in mind. There are also activities that you will do together at home
to reinforce concepts. Everything is provided. No music experience is required
on your part. The three-book series will prepare your child for traditional
lessons with any beginner's program, plus give them a serious advantage when
they begin school.
If you feel that your child would enjoy taking piano, please call
or email to discuss his or her particular needs.
Why take piano?
"...scientific evidence proves that an education in the arts makes better math
and science students..."
Michael Greene, Recording Academy President and CEO at the 42nd Annual Grammy
Awards, February 2000
In a study conducted by Dr. Timo Krings, the brains of pianists and
non-musicians of the same age and sex were scanned using "functional magnetic
resource imaging" (fMRI)... compared to non-musicians, the brains of pianists
are more efficient at making skilled movements... musical training can enhance
Weinberger, Norm. "The Impact of Arts on Learning." MuSICa Research Notes 7,
no. 2 (Spring 2000). Reporting on Krings, Timo et al. "Cortical Activation
Patterns during Complex Motor Tasks in Piano Players and Control Subjects. A
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study." Neuroscience Letters 278, no. 3
Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of
medical school applicants. He found that 66% of music majors who applied to
medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. 44% of
biochemistry majors were admitted.
"The Case for Music in the Schools," Phi Delta Kappan, February 1994
Used with permission of TED-Ed.
My son has been taking piano from Cyndi since 2007 and I just recently
began lessons myself. Not only did it look fun, but I had also heard that
learning to play music-- especially piano, can help improve memory, which is
something I struggle with now that I'm over 50. I had only been playing for
about four months when I started noticing that I was using vocabulary words
that I hadn't used in years. I also seemed to be more clear-headed. I can
only attribute it to learning piano since nothing else has changed. Besides my
son giving me a hard time about my amateur skills, we thoroughly enjoy taking
Music has always been my passion. When I was 3,
my parents won a miniature grand piano in a contest. To my eyes,
it was as beautiful as the one in the picture above! For the next year, I
played it endlessly. Convinced of my desire to play (and tired of the
pling-pling sound), my parents replaced it with a real piano when I was 4.
Lessons began shortly thereafter.
For 9 years, I was fortunate to take lessons from Mrs. Wilbur Cary Curtis
Morton, a graduate of Boston Conservatory of Music. When I graduated from her
studio, she referred me to Mr. Cary Epes McMurran, also a BCM grad. At that
time, he was a well-known concert pianist and conductor of
the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra, which he founded in 1947 in Newport News, VA.
(It has since merged with the Virginia Symphony.) For many years, he was
also conductor of Colonial Williamsburg's Governor's Palace Orchestra. I took
from Mr. McMurran for 5 years, at which time I moved to Florida.
In the 50s and 60s, there were no computers, stereos, cable TV, or most of the
other distractions kids have today. Both my parents worked long hours and I
was alone a lot. My free time was spent playing the piano. This is why I love
to play so much, I guess. It never seemed like work. When I was 15, I played
my first church service and began teaching my two little cousins to play.
This is how many piano teachers get their start.
I studied music and business at Brevard Community College ('74) and the
University of Central Florida ('82). I have a BS in Business Management from
From 1997 to 2007, I was organist at Murfreesboro United Methodist Church
(Murfreesboro, NC). My last service was January 7, 2007. I've included a
couple organ pieces recorded on the church's Allen organ.
We moved to Midlothian due to my husband's job transfer to Richmond.
When I began lessons in January of 2009, it had been more than 30 years since I
played regularly. I needed help to reach my goal-- to fill in as a substitute
pianist at my church when the regular pianist is unavailable. Cyndi quickly
assessed my skills and helped me improve fingering, strengthen counting, note
reading, etc.. She selected pieces that would build my musical abiltiy as well
as provide some exposure to classical and contemporary music. Cyndi helped me
find free music scores that I could download from the Internet. As a retiree, I
appreciate not having to buy a lot of expensive books. Cyndi is very
professional and has high standards for teaching. Lessons begin and end on
time. She has a very patient manner and is strategic with her instructional
techniques. Her well-organized approach makes learning fun and easy. Cyndi
gives each student her undivided attention, focusing on building the student's
love of music and playing with confidence in front of an audience. I
particularly enjoy the annual Halloween and Christmas parties (recitals), when
students ranging in age from 5 to 65 come together with their families for a
wonderful experience and performance opportunity. Whether you are a beginner
or returning to the piano after many years, I highly recommend that you allow
Cyndi to open the world of music to you. Working with her will enrich your life
in so many ways.
Sara P. Reed
retired elementary school teacher
Not sure if it comes across naturally or if I've told you, but I'm grateful
you're in my kids life! Thanks!
In the three and a half years Andrew has been taking weekly piano lessons from
Miss Cyndi, both his musical ability and fine motor skills have improved
immensely. She has been able to meet him at his level while making the lessons
both fun and productive.
Click to view/print
Wise Words from a Retiring Band Director
Understanding the Importance of Music...
The answer has some lifelong implications. MUSIC offers every individual
the chance to experience the pleasure of self-expression at a new level. It is
built-in; the process itself provides the reward. Music is music for its own
sake. It is beauty within itself and offers the performer new realms of
self-satisfaction. The mental stimulation of wonder and imagination is a highly
intellectual activity and brings about a unique personal joy that can only be
felt through personal accomplishment. It stretches one's understanding, and
this growth can be transferred to every facet of learning. Many feel this
expansion of comprehension and awareness mixed with the development of positive
self-discipline habits is the reason that those who study MUSIC perform at a
higher level in other academic areas. Widespread research confirms this theory.
Music improves brain development and even enhances skills in subject such as
reading and math. Simply put, learning a musical instrument and continuing to
explore the limitless possibilities of music provide an excellent preparation
for life. Music enhances creativity and promotes social development,
personality adjustment and self-worth.
Understanding the Importance of Parental Support...
There are no shortcuts to the development of young artists. Motivation,
dedication and commitment serve as the key foundation blocks in making it all
work, as is the case with every facet of life. Motivated individuals always
seems to have the extra energy needed to stay on task while others give up
along the way. Music offers your child the chance to develop this habit, and
your support in this endeavor is crucial to his/her success. You play an
important role in the nurturing of your young musician. Please look for every
opportunity to praise your child as they explore their talents. A daily
practice schedule with a personal compliment from Mom and/or Dad is very
important, because parents are the child's most important audience. They are
less likely to get discouraged if you continue to reward them for their
Moving my piano onto the truck to go to our new home in Midlothian...
Need a piano tuner?
John Poliquin, owner
(804) 794-5489 or 741-3878