Course Descriptions

Music Classes

Piano for Beginners (ages 8-10)

Two sections: 10am - 11am and 11am-12pm  
Discover the joy of music-making! Learn how to play the piano in a group setting through a focused study of rhythm, note-reading and piano technique. Students will learn to improvise, make music together, and build a strong piano technique and excellent habits. This course aims to give students a strong foundation to support future musical study and a life-long love of music. ($112)

Instructor: Alex Peh
Alex Peh is a versatile and active teaching artist who has worked with school-aged children at the Northwestern University Music Academy, Stafford Music Academy, and the Levine School of Music in Washington D.C. He has performed throughout the United States in concert halls such as Carnegie Weill Recital Hall and Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. 

Music Therapy for Children with Special Needs (all ages)

1:00-2:00 pm
Enter the world of music, experience is not required! Sing, play instruments, improvise, dance, maybe even write a song, make a recording or do a performance. Music Therapy encourages opportunities for personal and social development within the joys of musical activity, often giving rise to wonderfully spontaneous, creative moments that have the power to inspire, uplift and transcend limitation. With the Music Therapist’s skillful guidance and support, children, adolescents, and families dealing with special needs can: Become involved and motivated, Express and share important feelings and ideas, Discover increased inner resources and independence, & Enjoy greater levels of fun, friendship and social inclusion. ($112)

Instructor: Rick Soshensky
Rick is the director of Hudson Valley Creative Arts Therapy Studio in Kingston, NY. He is a professor of music therapy at SUNY New Paltz and Molloy College, the author of numerous professional publications and an international speaker on music therapy topics. Rick’s work has been featured in print, radio, TV and web media, locally and nationally. 

Visual Art Classes

Morning Classes

Adventures in Art (Grades K-2)

10-11:30 am
For kids who love to get messy and make all kinds of art, this class is a hands-on, multi-media exploration of basic art making materials and processes such as drawing, painting, collage, printmaking and three-dimensional sculpture. We will experiment with a variety of media to make colorful and expressive works of art. We will discover together in this energetic and play-based approach to art making. ($168)

Instructor: Nicole Wistreich
Nicole Wistreich is a NY state certified art and elementary school teacher and has taught art and elementary school in public schools in NYC and Dutchess County. Currently she is the SUNY New Paltz Art Education Fieldwork and Student Teacher Coordinator. 

Color Lab  (Grades K-2)

10-11:30 am
Primary; secondary; complimentary; monochromatic.  In this class we will explore these color concepts while creating paintings, sculptures, and optical illusions. Together we will create a laboratory to experiment and play with color, and discover many of the unique qualities of the spectrum.  ($168)

Instructor: Kerry Pharmer
Kerry Pharmer is an artist and a teacher currently teaching at High Meadow School.

Paint It, Draw It, Build It, Stitch It (Grades 3-5)

10 am-12 pm
Explore your world and then paint it, draw it, build it and stitch it. Using wet and dry media as well as three dimensional methods and materials, we will create multimedia maps of our environments, both real and imaginary. We will have the opportunity to experiment using small and large scales of working, as well as collaborative art making. Use your art to create and change your world.  ($224)

Instructor: Beth Thomas
Beth Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Art Education at SUNY New Paltz and an art teacher with 14 years experience teaching in public schools in north central Ohio.  

Photograph Your World (Grades 8-12)

10 am- 12 pm
Everyone has a story to tell, each one of us is living an interesting and unique life.
Using a camera to discover and document your world gives light to new ways of seeing, questioning and understanding. Students will be guided through weekly assignments to see and photograph their world in new and different ways. Weekly discussions about students' photographs, ideas surrounding photography, and feedback from Deborah and other students, will inspire you in your photographic journey. Our class will culminate in an exhibited of your printed photographs. ($224)

Instructor: Deborah DeGraffenreid
Deborah DeGraffenreid is a professional photographer loving her life in the Hudson Valley. Her work can be see regionally in Chronogram and Upstate HOUSE magazine as well as publications such as Architectural Digest; she has also exhibited nationally in galleries. She teaches students of all ages and abilities, enjoying this role for the inspiration she receives from her students, and the ability to encourage and support those wishing to see the world in new and diverse ways.

How to Write a Picture Book (Adults, 16 and up)

9:00 am-12:00 pm
Do you love children's books? Ever had a great idea for one but didn't know where to start -- or how to finish? No matter your level of talent, you can learn how to write for children. In this course, we will study illustrated children's classics, and you will draft your own book. We will discuss how illustration and text work together, how to develop a great plot, and most important, how to create an irresistible character. You will workshop your draft with the goal of arriving at one that you can submit to a publisher. A guest illustrator will talk about picture-book artwork and storyboarding.   ($336)

Instructor: Amy Bronwen Zemser
Amy Bronwen Zemser is a NY State-certified public school teacher with two published children’s books. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times.  She blogs about children's literature at, and she is working on an unusual personal narrative titled "How to Thaw Your Unborn Children." 

Afternoon Classes

Adventures in 3D (Grades K-2)

1:00-2:30 pm
Do you love to build, combine and create? Come experience the fun and challenge of making three dimensional art. Young artists will explore form, color, and texture as they create with clay, papier mache, wire, plaster, fiber, found and recycled objects, and more! ($168)

Instructor: Victoria Kari
Victoria Kari is a SUNY New Paltz graduate with a BS in Visual Art Education. She recently returned from teaching abroad in Honduras, and is currently working on a Masters of Fine Arts in Printmaking.

Stop-Motion Animation (Grades 2-8)

1:30-3:30 pm
Students will learn the complete production process of stop-motion animation. They will use various objects and materials to animate, capture footage in an animation software, use iMovie to edit, add sound, and upload to the internet or send via email to share their creation. The focus is on spontaneity and experimental fun—each student will create at least one complete short movie in each class. ($224)
Take a look at some of the videos we've made

Instructor: Keiko Sono
Keiko Sono is a multi-discipline artist based in Bearsville. She holds an MA in painting from New York University, and is the owner of Flick Book Studio, a stop-motion animation studio in Saugerties, where she teaches and produces animation with youth and adult artists. 

Sculpturama (Grades 5-8)

1:00-3:00 pm
Explore the world of three-dimensional art making in this multi-media sculpture class. We will make sculptures using recycled wood, wire, kinetic elements, conductive clay among other exciting materials. Learn how to create relief sculptures and three-dimensional plaster forms from waste molds. Experiment and innovate as you learn to create multidimensional art. ($224)

Instructor: Elena Sniezek
Elena Sniezek’s work consists of works on paper, sculptures and collaborative socially-engaged projects.  She has exhibited both nationally and abroad. Elena lives, teaches and has a studio in the Hudson River Valley.

Drawing  (Grades 9-12)

1:00-3:00 pm

This is a course in life drawing, meaning students will learn to draw what they see. The essential concepts of composition, perspective, proportion and shading will be taught using graphite, charcoal, pen, collage and even a bit of Sketchbook Pro. This formal, technical instruction will give students the tools they need to take their personal work to a higher level. ($224)

Instructor: Kerry Pharmer
Kerry Pharmer is an artist and a teacher currently teaching at High Meadow School.

Design and Sew Your Own Clothes (Adults, 14 and up)

1:00-3:00 pm
No class March 28
If you have always wanted to make the clothes YOU envision in your head, here is your chance! Using the techniques from her book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes, Cal will teach you how to draft your own basic patterns for a skirt and shift dress based on the measurements of your unique body. Then you will learn how to take those patterns and stylize them into endless variations. Students must be at least competent beginner-level sewers, and comfortable using a sewing machine. Intermediate and advanced sewers are also welcome and can take on more challenging projects. No previous patternmaking experience is necessary.   ($224)

Instructor: Cal Patch
Cal Patch has been a clothing designer for over 20 years, and loves teaching people that they really can make their own wardrobes. She sews, crochets, embroiders, prints, dyes and spins yarn at her mini farm in Accord; find out more at

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