108-10 72d Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375 - TEL. 718.261,2237 E-mail:Directors@belleartiny.com

From Jennifer and Robert, parents:

Our son William has been attending Belle Arti for over 5 years, starting with the Aurora program and then piano and music theory.  Aurora was a wonderful way to immerse him in music and beginning note and sound recognition.  He was exposed to many different types of music and dance as well as a variety of instruments.  Small class size and engaging teachers made for lively sessions that kept his interest.  
We see the same thing now with his younger brother Aiden, who recognizes the notes and words (DO, RE, MI, etc.) outside of class.
William has been taking piano with Massimiliano Facchini for over 4 years.  Massimiliano has not only taught him piano pieces and scales at the most superior level, he has made it fun for William to learn and thrive.  He is extremely patient and always finds ways to keep William interested and motivated.  Massimiliano is passionate about music and this is reflected in his teaching.  He genuinely cares about his students and creates a fun and encouraging environment for my sons.
Massimiliano is a world class performing artist and a phenomenal and nurturing teacher.  The most important criteria for me as a parent when looking for a teacher for my children is to find someone who not only has high standards for his/her own work, but someone who also truly cares for the children with a genuine passion to on this love and appreciation for music.
We feel the same way about Ms. Norma, who teaches Aiden the violin.  She has been phenomenal in bringing out Aiden's musical abilities.  This is his first year learning the violin and we can already see his skills developing, and just as importantly, his awareness and appreciation of the music foundation and a healthy respect for his instrument of choice.  She has been spot on at reading Aiden's abilities and tailoring her instruction accordingly.
Belle Arti is a great place for children to learn a love, appreciation and respect for music.  Massimiliano and all the teachers share a belief that music can positively influence other facets of the children's lives, and have created a school that ensures musical success for all their students.

From Tyler Lee, student

I began taking music lessons at age 6. I was not tall enough to reach the pedal on the piano. My hands were not large enough to reach an octave. I was not yet mature enough to understand the complexities of Bach, Beethoven, or Mendelssohn.  But I learned quickly because my teachers were and are passionate about teaching.  Max and Norma cultivated in me a deep appreciation for classical music that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Some of my fondest memories have been in the music room with my fingers scratching at the keys to the time of the metronome.  Without Max's guidance I would have been lost amidst all the notes.  My love for music led me to the violin. It was a difficult transition, a challenge I was only able to tackle with Norma's help.  It took her persistant guidance in order for my fingers to run through the difficult double stops.  I would not have succeeded had it not been for Norma's patience and dedication.

I am thankful that Max and Norma have been so supportive throughout my last eleven years. Max helped me through the big chords of Rachmaninoff and Norma got me through the high harmonics of Sarasate. I learned discipline, musicality and to express myself through the art of music. I have been lucky enough to perform in recitals, play in orchestras, and tackle some of the biggest pieces ever written. I could not imagine my life without Max, Norma and the joy of music that they have brought out in me.  

My eternal gratitude,
Tyler Lee 

From Andrea, parent

My son started at Belle Arti with Musical Aurora when he was 2 ∏ years old.  By the time he began taking piano lessons at age 5, he already knew how to read music and had developed an excellent ear.  In the three years that he has been playing the piano, my son has benefited in many ways.  He takes pride in his development as a musician and in his ability to perform onstage in front of an audience at his recitals.  He has also gained more confidence in himself and better understands the value of working hard to achieve a goal.  His teacher, Massimiliano, has infinite patience and understands how to keep him focused without losing sight of the need for humor and kindness when teaching children.  The one-on-one attention that my son receives from Massimiliano is also invaluable and their rapport is special.  We couldn’t ask for more from our son’s musical education.

6/28/13  Andrea Schaefer

L. Esposito, parent (Mother of Richard and Peter Esposito, 17 and 15 years old

– When Maestro Facchini teaches, the student gets more than a piano lesson given by a highly accomplished pianist: Max “reads” his student very well, and with great care. His coaching skills as a teacher take into account the student’s individuality. Max connects with the student at his/her level of approach, but he also knows especially well how to encourage the student to reach higher, to try what truly challenges. He is a catalyst for the student’s musical and intellectual formation. Max gives his utmost, in both his concert performances and in his teaching. His virtuosity as a pianist is reflected in his pedagogical approach. Teaching can be as much an art as is music, and Max devotes himself to both. He is able to draw out the best in his students by communicating a sense of the adventure—and reward—involved when the student accepts a musical challenge and succeeds by mastering the piece. Especially important is Max’s genuine respect for the individuality of each student, and his ability to accommodate that student’s uniqueness, while leading them forward and upward. His students develop a sense of confidence which is based on their true accomplishments, because Maestro Facchini simultaneously guides, encourages, and leads his students to success.

Angie Lee, parent
(Mother of Tyler and Morgan Lee, 11 and 8 years old)

- My two children have been taking music lessons with Massimiliano Facchini for many years now, 6 years for my 11 year old son and 2 years for my 8 year old daughter. Max has not only taught them music at the most superior level, he has made it fun for my children to learn. As a parent, we all know how important that is for any child's learning process and motivation.

Massimiliano Facchini and Claudette Munné have developed a nurturing environment for the children to feel proud of their many accomplishments no matter how great or how small. They personalize each lesson according to the child's ability without ever compromising on the music.

The most important criteria for me as a parent when looking for a teacher for my children is to find someone who not only has high standards for his/her own work, but someone who also truly cares for the children. I have found this in Max and Claudette.

James and Chia Ko, parents

-Our two boys, 5 and 8 years old, have the privilege of taking piano lessons with Mr. Max since the last year.

Mr. Max is passionate about music and it is reflected in his teaching. He genuinely cares about his students and creates a fun and encouraging environment for my sons. He is extremely patient and always finds ways to keep his students interested and motivated.

Mr. Max is not only a great performing artist but also a phenomenal teacher. This rare combination gives him great success at bringing out the best of his students. Our 2 boys are truly very fortunate to have him as their piano teacher.

Camille and John Mavroudes, parents

- Our son, John age 13, started piano lessons with Massimiliano Facchini at the age of 7 after being taught by several other instructors. While learning the mechanics of playing the piano, he also was taught by Max the love and respect of music. Max connects with John through experiences outside of playing and practicing the piano. We know John will remember these lessons as invaluable and realize he has gained a friend as well as a teacher. My husband and I think of Max as a mentor and not “just a piano teacher”.

Diana (Parent of Kyle Parks Age 9)

- Working with Massimiliano Facchini has been a most rewarding experience for my son. Max teaches much more than how to play the piano. He truly encourages his students to strive for higher goals in a positive and nurturing manner. His love for music and children is apparent whenever he is interacting with his students. He is kind, patient and most of all extremely talented. Max has the wonderful ability to pinpoint the best technique for motivating each of his students using their individual strengths and personality types. It is our good fortune to have found someone who cares so deeply for children. Max has had a profound influence on increasing my sons’ level of confidence without ever allowing him to do anything less than his best. Sincerely

Rebecca Gomez, Parent

Musical classes for my 1 year old seemed a little premature to me but I trusted Ms. Munné’s experience so much that I decided to give it a try. My daughter is now 20 months old. She started when she was around 1. She can’t wait for her music class every week. She knows her scales and can identify the sounds of instruments when she hears them in other music. She can name most instruments when she sees them and she can identify a waltz and opera. For me it has been an eye opener. She is also able to identify letters because Ms. Munné has a technique where she teaches the kids the notes at the same time that she shows them the letters. I think that my daughter is not only having loads of fun but she has gained a great love for music that has enabled her to learn without knowing she is being taught. I think that Ms. Munné has a great way with kids. She doesn’t push them when they are having a scattered day and she doesn’t overwhelm them if they are having a very good class. It is over all a lot of fun. My daughter asks for Ms. Munné all the time and is willing to take the class alone with her without looking back at me, which I find amazing.

James McElroy, parent

My son Brandon McElroy is now 13 years old and he loves music naturally. Brandon is autistic and teaching disabled children makes learning the piano more difficult. Claudette Munné agreed to work with Brandon. Brandon has been working with Claudette for 4 years and he has learned how to play the piano and read music. I had to help my son a lot but now he is doing well and he is able to play.

Two years ago Brandon went to his aunt’s wedding in Mississippi. At the rehearsal Brandon sat down at the piano and started playing. Everybody was amazed at how well he could play. Claudette has been a great inspiration to Brandon therefore my wife and I decided to keep him in piano lessons. Brandon looks forward to seeing Claudette each Tuesday. Many teachers would not have had the time or patience to work with learning disabled kids. Claudette has been great with Brandon. She is a great inspiration to children of all abilities. Any child could benefit from learning how to play the piano.

Claudette thank you a lot for all you have done for our son education.

Sylvia Fernandes and Christopher Pais
Parents of Ryan (10) and Rayna (8)

This is to state that I have known Claudette Munné since 2001, when she started teaching our almost 5 year old son to play the piano. Right from the first lesson, our little boy took to his teacher and has since developed a keen interest in the instrument. Claudette has a way with children and instills in them a love and a respect for the music and the instrument. She is passionate about what she does and takes a personal interest in her students. A few years later, our 5 year old daughter joined her older brother and they are both currently dedicated students of Claudette. Claudette tailors her lessons according to the learning styles of her students. She can be tough, but is always a caring teacher.

Apart from regular weekly classes, Claudette organizes piano recitals where all her students, irrespective of ability, are given a chance to show their skills in a public forum. These recitals are a joy to watch for the parents, and are a character building exercise for the students. During these recitals, Claudette ensures that all her students are comfortable and she helps each one of them out based on their need without embarrassing them. This is a hallmark of a true teacher.

Today, our children have graduated from playing simple lullabies to more complicated pieces by the masters, and this improvement can be largely attributed to the care, perseverance and dedication of their piano teacher. Our son is a multi-instrumentalist and can play the drums, bass recorder and the trumpet and we believe this is primarily due to his strong grounding in music imparted by Claudette. Claudette is an accomplished concert pianist and both our children enjoyed watching their teacher play in Carnegie Hall. We have no reservations about endorsing Claudette as a competent, passionate and caring teacher for children of all ages and wish her well in all her endeavors.

Maureen Lopez, parent
(Mother of Guiselle and Rebecca Lopez, 10 and 7 years old)

Claudette Munné is the best piano performer and teacher I have had the pleasure to know. My two daughters have been taking music lessons with Claudette Munné for about five years. Before beginning lessons with Claudette, my 10 year old daughter had taken lessons with another teacher. The progress that she made during the first three months with Claudette as a teacher far surpassed any expectations I had and confirmed to me what a superb teacher she is. Not only has she taught my 10 year old about piano and how to play complex pieces, she has also taught her about good posture and sight reading. I particularly appreciate Claudette’s balanced approach to teaching-kind but firm.

Claudette is my 7 year old daughter first piano teacher. When she started taking lessons, I was able to observe a few of her lessons. This is where I witnessed the wonderful connection that Claudette has with her students. My little daughter is the type that if she does not understand something she gets frustrated, but time after time Claudette has demonstrated her teaching gift by helping my little one focus on exactly what needs to be fixed gradually. Claudette is not only friendly and patient, but also good gauging her student’s level of knowledge and ability. Her commitment to her students is evident. She sees each student as an individual and draws upon their strengths to teach them in ways that work best for them. She provided both my daughters with a recorded tape of the piano piece that they were working on. Thos allowed my daughters to hear how the music should be played and reinforced the lesson material. She is a wonderful teacher and her judgment has earned my trust.

Parents of Sabrina & Brianna Vargas

Claudette Munné is not only a gifted classical pianist; she is also a talented piano instructor. Our two daughters are only two years apart in age, but could not otherwise be more different. Claudette has the insight for understanding each of their unique strengths and weaknesses.

Our youngest daughter, Brianna, started with Claudette when she was only four years old and could not even read yet. Despite this, Claudette discovered that she had very keen hearing, and could remember notes by ear exceptionally well. Combining our daughter’s auditory memory with tunes geared to her attention span brought out her innate musical gifts. Additionally, Claudette’s piano instruction is also benefiting Brianna’s academic education as well, as she is able to sit quietly and focus in school better winning “Student of the Month” in her Kindergarten class this month.

Our oldest daughter, Sabrina, although a strong student, is naturally shy and introverted. Claudette, made a point of ensuring she participated in, and prepared for all her piano recitals. Playing piano in front of dozens of people was at first very intimidating for her. However, with consistent practice, and several piano recitals under her belt, Sabrina no longer dreads public performances. Most recently in school, she got an ‘A+’ in a class presentation she had to give. We attribute her ability to confidently present in front of her large audience to Claudette’s instruction and preparation for her piano recitals.

Our daughters also benefit from having exposure to someone who has so much poise, charm, and dignity. Claudette has traveled around the world giving her own classical piano concerts, and she brings some of that with her to every instruction. She puts on no airs, is always polite and kind, putting our daughters at ease. However, our daughters also understand the high expectations she has of them both and they respond accordingly.