Riverside Music Studio
Katie DePalma has been actively teaching music to all kinds of students
in all kinds of settings since 2006, from private individual instruction to
classroom music theory, from toddlers to adults. She has been playing
violin professionally for over 9 years and is also proficient at viola,
piano, and drums. As a teacher Katie has experimented with both
curricula and pedagogies, the result of which is a multidisciplinary
approach to music education, using samples of the best practices and
approaches across the spectrum of instruments and genres. This allows
students to develop in ways that traditional classical training alone
cannot provide, and also serves as a great strategy for keeping the
student's attention focused during the lesson.
|"I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin." -Albert Einstein
Katie's teaching methodolgy initially focuses on the student's primary instrument,
which is studied through all kinds of musical lenses. More time is spent on the subjects
that inspire and interest each student the most. Then, unlike traditional approaches to
instrument study, Katie gives every student the opportunity to devote some time to
learning another instrument in addition to the one that is their main focus.
"I’ve found this to be one of the most important aspects of any music curriculum," she
explains. "Switching to a different instrument serves as a refreshing break without
losing any of the lesson’s momentum, and by allowing students to express themselves
using all kinds of instruments they achieve a much deeper understanding of music
theory, and their creativity is encouraged in ways that are otherwise lost to students
who only ever touch one instrument!
"Piano students may discover that they love to play drums, and consequently decide to
incorporate more percussive textures into their piano playing. Violin students may
discover that they love the broader range of notes that the piano allows them to access.
No matter which instrument a student chooses to learn, I encourage them to use as
many creative ways as possible to express themselves through music in their own
Katie grew up and went to school in New York, where she earned her B.A. in violin
performance from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her
violin study has brought her into the company of some truly amazing musicians,
many of whom became her teachers and mentors. In grade school she played with
Allegro Youth Orchestra, which eventually led her to study under Emily Faxon after
she headlined an event with the group. As an undergraduate Katie studied violin
performance under Hillary Cumming and chamber music performance under
Victoria von Arx.
After college, Katie auditioned for a musical tribute group called “Groovin' - A 60’s
and 70’s Musical Journey,” spending the next two years performing with them
inNew York and New Jersey at incredible venues like the Golden Nugget Casino in
Atlantic City and Proctors Theater in Schenectady. Though classically trained and
having a deep love and appreciation for the classical genre, her experience in
Groovin' began a transition away from studying traditional repertoire, and Katie
discovered that she also loved to play rock music, in addition to playing and writing
music for bands and learning how to record her own compositions. She especially
loves bringing her experiences with classical orchestral music into her songwriting.
Curriculum is divided into several sections and lesson plans are customized to
fit each individual student’s interests and weekly progress. The most popular
sections are music performance, music theory and ear training. Other sections
include songwriting, improvisation and music history. While reading music is
an important part of the curriculum, it is equally weighted with ear training and
This approach creates a well-rounded musician who is capable of handling
many of the multi-genre challenges that today’s professionals face. Students
will be able to sit down and play a piece of music written on a sheet of paper
that they have never seen before, and then listen to a recording of a song that
they have never heard before and play along without looking at any music at all.