Parents looking for music lessons or art classes for their children can now find both in one convenient spot at RiverFront Studios in Waterville. Husband and wife team Michael and Claire Puppos recently moved their business to its new home at 36 North Third Street, and the couple is eager to share their love for the arts with the community.
“What really sets us apart from other businesses that do either music lessons or art classes is that we do both,” Michael says. “I think we provide a low-risk environment where kids can try it out and see what they’re comfortable with, find what they love and feel like they’re supported and that they can also be creative at the same time.”
The idea for the studio was born when Michael and Claire began offering online lessons in music and art as an outlet for families stuck at home during the pandemic.
Michael, a long-time music minister for St. John XXIII Parish in Perrysburg, who had taught piano lessons out of the couple’s home for years, moved those classes online. Claire, who left her job as an elementary school art teacher last fall to stay home with their two young daughters, decided to offer some art classes over Zoom.
The response was overwhelmingly positive, leading the couple to offer in-person classes and camps at the Waterville Playshop over the summer while construction was completed on a permanent space for RiverFront Studios.
New space, more classes
Claire hopes to offer art classes during the day for homeschool families and possibly adults, as well as after-school programs exploring sculpture, drawing and painting. “We’re going to be playing around with the space and (we will) see what works for our community,” she says. In addition to classes, the studio is available to host birthday parties and adult painting parties.
Michael says the art studio was designed with two large, farmhouse-style tables to encourage collaboration and conversation among the students. “We wanted it to be a place where people could gather around a table together in a larger community,” he says.
The piano studio is set up for small group lessons. “It’s basically a piano lab, outfitted with digital pianos with headphones,” says Michael. “I have five students coming in at a time, which has really been wonderful because they’re able to hear each other play, perform for one another, meet other kids that are doing things that they like to do, but they all have their own piano.”
Lessons offer activities to foster rhythmic literacy, pitch identification, music theory and ear-training coupled with engaging pieces of music.
Demand for the arts
Classes filled quickly over the summer, which Michael takes as a sign evidencing the appetite for the arts in the community. Music and visual arts lean on one another, he adds, so as the studio becomes more established, the couple hopes to develop programs to further combine both elements.
RiverFront Studios. 36 N. Third St., Waterville. 567-318-4205. email@example.com.To view the latest schedule of classes, visit