Student Composers– Nocturne by Ryan Skelly

Welcome to the dark side! If you’re a night owl like me, then it’s hard to resist the allure of a nocturne. If you’re not familiar with the genre, a nocturne is a musical composition that is evocative of the night. Beautiful, mysterious, and a bit eerie, it’s no wonder the form was favored by composers like Frédéric Chopin.

After starting lessons for the first time about a year ago, adult student Ryan Skelly recently completed his first major piano composition. At nearly fifty measures long, his Nocturne in C# Minor is a substantial accomplishment, particularly for someone with only one year of lessons under his belt. Oh–And did I mention he was able to achieve all of this while serving active duty in the military?!? 🇺🇸

Perhaps Ryan has his career to thank for his incredible discipline and industriousness. However, I wondered if the regimented life of a military man might be at odds with the creative and individualistic side of being a musician. He replied:

“I go through all the same things as everyone else. Frustration with work, relationship ups and downs, pride in accomplishments, joy from small things. We all have ways of coping with the world around us, good and bad….I don’t always know how to express myself through words so I like to use music.”

Beautifully said! Now without any further ado, I’m incredibly excited to present “Nocturne” by Ryan’s Skelly. Enjoy!


Tomorrow, my students and I will be headed to the Massry Center for the Arts at the College of St. Rose for the annual NYSSMA Piano Festival.  In case you’re not familiar, NYSSMA is an organization for music educators In New York State.  Each spring, NYSSMA hosts a piano festival which gives school-age students the opportunity to be evaluated by a panel of expert musicians and music educators.  Students receive a score based on their performance of a graded solo, scales, and sight reading ability.  My students have been preparing for months and I can’t wait for them to finally show off all their hard work!

For now, we’ll keep calm and practice on. See you tomorrow at the beautiful Massry Center for the Arts!


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Happy Holidays!

This is not your average holiday piano recital! We are featuring jazz and modern arrangements of your favorite tunes, including a number by yours truly.  Turn up your speakers and prepare to have your ears tickled by these merry musicians.  Happy Holidays to you and yours! 🎁😎🎹