Shizuno Furuya is a recent graduate of Berklee and founder of the non-profit music education program EchoKids. Shizuno started the program while attending Berklee, and has grown the program immensely since. There are currently five mentors and 17 students at EchoKids, and it is growing every day.
EchoKids is a private lesson program that teaches kids from the ages of 2-13 various music lessons such as piano, voice, violin, etc. The mentors are all current Berklee students who have a passion for teaching and sharing their craft. Lessons are currently held at Berklee and take place 7 days a week, depending on both the families and the mentor’s schedules.
Shizuno grew up in Miami, Florida and started taking piano lessons at age three. Looking back on a few of her teachers growing up, Shizuno really understood the importance of making learning music fun when you’re young. Because of her positive lesson experiences, she carried a few specific skills with her into her own teaching. During her sophomore year at Berklee, she listed herself online for teaching opportunities around Boston. She started teaching lessons around the area, and became popular with families because of how qualified yet affordable she was. She realized this was something she was really passionate about, and decided to make it a career.
While she was in her last semester at Berklee, Shizuno crafted the idea for EchoKids in one of her business classes, taught by Joe Miglio. With the help of five other classmates, the idea for EchoKids was created and soon became a real business.
EchoKids is special because all of the mentors are Berklee students, therefore the lessons are taught by qualified teachers, but are very affordable. This creates a really unique connection between the students and mentors and allows the students to learn from musicians who are very passionate about their music. The students taught at EchoKids range between 2-12 years old. Each mentor tailors the lessons to meet the students specific learning styles and needs. Lessons are fun and engaging, typically involving a lot of games and unique ways to learn technique, theory, and basic piano skills at a young age.
Shizuno was really inspired to grow her passion for teaching when she heard someone speak at a lecture and say that “music has so much effect on people and there are not enough opportunities for lessons.” She is extremely passionate about creating fun, engaging, and affordable opportunities for kids to start their musical journeys at a young age.
Shizuno plans to grow EchoKids over the next few years, and continue to make the lessons affordable for families in the Boston area. Her ultimate goal is to help be a part of making music lessons just as available and abundant as math and other subjects.
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