Senior Lifestyles

Local student gives piano lessons at Senior Center

Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Los Altos eighth-grader Ramya Krishna, left, teaches piano to Mary-Ellen White-Vondran at the Los Altos Senior Center. Ramya, who has played since she was in preschool, has a passion for music.

If you hear melodious music drifting from the Los Altos Senior Center Monday afternoons, it’s a good bet eighth-grader Ramya Krishna is giving piano lessons.

“People have expressed interest in lessons and now we have someone to teach them,” said Senior Center Coordinator Candace Bates.

Ramya, an articulate 13-year-old from Los Altos, said she loves helping people and decided to teach piano this summer as a way of sharing her talent and making seniors happy.

“It’s really fulfilling to play the piano,” said Ramya, who attends Pinewood School. “You learn to focus, and it’s fun to play at birthday parties”

Ramya began taking piano lessons in preschool and quickly developed a passion for music. She enjoys playing Mozart’s “Turkish March” as well as the music of Beethoven, and has performed her way to a Level 7 Certificate of Merit from the Music Teachers’ Association of California. If she doesn’t become a professional musician, Ramya aspires to become a doctor.

With her lesson plan typed onto note cards and pages of finger exercises for her students laid out meticulously on the table beside the piano, Ramya approaches her job like a veteran teacher.

Two seniors attended Ramya’s first lesson. V.L. Bhaskar of Los Altos signed up for four weeks of lessons because he wanted to learn a new instrument. Ramya’s other pupil, Mary-Ellen White-Vondran, wants to relearn an instrument.

“I took piano lessons many years ago while working,” White-Vondran said. “But I had no time to practice.”

Ramya said she hopes to have her students playing the piano quickly, and will offer another four-week class 1-2 p.m. Mondays, July 23 through Aug. 13, at the Los Altos Senior Center, 97 Hillview Ave. Lessons are $1 per session for Senior Center members and $3 for nonmembers.

For more information, call 947-2797 or visit

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