Located in the heart of Queens, Varta Academy is a place that prides itself on high quality musical education. Owner and director Varta Tchakarian started the academy after growing up in a family full of musical traditions, which led her to receive a master’s degree from The Juilliard School (while also serving as a prestigious fellow for the school). Her background influenced her to help children ignite their own passion in music at a young age.
“The school emphasizes the importance of performance opportunities and has achieved consistent high marks at ABRSM Music Exams,” she added.
The school started as a service offering in-home lessons, and continues to do so today, but has expanded its services significantly.
In home lessons are offered in voice, piano, guitar, and violin. Tchakarian said these lessons provide performing opportunities you would find at a traditional school, while also incorporating private lessons at your convenience and schedule. The majority of their in home lessons are offered in Manhattan.
Offering the same instructions, plus group piano, and individual drums, acting the song, songwriting and musical theater lessons, their Rego Park, Queens facility gives students and parents more options for programs. Their unique Theory Classes supplement the musical lessons to “further develop musicianship skills and ear training.” You can even get your child started early with their introductory level classes for 3 to 5 year olds.
Your child can learn how to carry the notes of a pop song, how to play the keys of a classical piece, or what it takes to jam out in a rock band. Varta Academy does not discriminate when it comes to musical styles and teaches a wide variety of genres.
An advanced program is available for refined training and those students who may be preparing for college auditions, exams or competitions.
Regardless of skill level, or class type, Tchakarian said they find what works best for each individual student, through professional and passionate teachers and small class sizes. Each student is matched to their teacher, taking into consideration personality, style of music and expectations of parents.
“Learning a musical instrument or voice technique is a process,” she said. “Everyone learns in a different way and with a different speed. But everyone does learn. What matters is how the process of learning music makes you feel. Emotion is the most effective driver in any learning experience.”
Continuing her own drive to cultivate the minds of children, Tchakarian recently opened the Active Minds Universe as a facility for enrichment and tutoring that draws on the same values of the Varta Academy of Musical Arts.
“We strive for high quality education and focus on disciplines that have proven to expand the mind and develop problem solving skills,” she said.
From problem solving and strategic thinking, to math & logic, chess, and Spanish skills, Active Minds Universe offers classes on well-researched topics to engage and educate children. Whether it is a two hour homework help program in the afternoon, a kids club to participate in educational and creative activities, or tutoring and exam prep to ensure your child’s success in school, there’s a lot to offer with this new program.
“Everyone can learn,” Tchakarian said. “Each individual has a different learning style and our experienced teachers will find the right approach to stimulate learning. Not everyone learns at the same speed. It is more important to take your time and understand the process rather than getting quick answers.”
Tchakarian added that this mission and understanding of what works best though education is why you will find unique classes for all ages at Active Minds Universe.
“We have created some unique classes like Thinking Skills, designed to prepare the 4-year-olds through games, movement, and puzzles for the more intensive and structured G&T prep course; Math & Logic, a fun class for school aged children that stimulates thinking out of the box and entertains the students with non-traditional math problems,” she added.
Whether it is education through music, or education through unique classes, Varta Tchakarian has shown that she can successfully work with children while expanding their minds to create well-rounded and intelligent individuals. Between the two programs, there is a class available for almost every child. Just like the children she instructs, Tchakarian continues to expand her programs to ensure there are multiple options available for parents and children when looking for extracurricular programs.
“We constantly develop new classes for different age groups,” she said. “Our next project will bring a combination of our own toddler classes that will be offered in the morning and on weekends and will include music (in collaboration with Varta Academy of Musical Arts), numbers, letters, and Legos.”