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Golden Key Paino School’s April 2021 Newsletter

Dear Students and Parents,

We are truly excited to announce that the teachers at Golden Key Piano School are getting vaccinated and we started teaching in-person lessons starting April 5th. By May 1st all the teachers will be back to school.

Having your lessons in-person definitely adds value to what we offer. We are so glad to be back to our beautiful facility and to be able to hear the students on the nice baby grand pianos that we have in classrooms. We can’t wait to see you all back using the facility.

All current students must have received a letter from Mr. Arefi by now about your return to school. If you haven’t received it please check your junk mail and reach out to us by emailing to If you did receive and haven’t responded yet please consider letting us know about your plans ASAP.

1. School’s Improvement For Re-Opening

In addition to the basic norm of having hand sanitizer at the entrance door and checking each student’s temperature before they enter the building. We also did our part to make the air condition system more safe going forward.

The filter on our air condition has been replaced with MERV13 filters which is a higher quality filter that can clean the air more effectively. The air condition system was  readjusted to let more outside air come in instead of circulating the indoors air.

Since all teachers who are at school are vaccinated, and non-vaccinated adults are not allowed to walk into the school, we have a safe environment for the students and teachers.

We will also make sure the piano keys are wiped with alcohol wipes after a student leaves the classroom.

2. School’s Rules For In-Person Lessons

Here are our protocols and answers to some FAQ.

  • Only teachers who are fully vaccinated are going to be back to school.
  • We will check the student’s temperature outside of the school at the door before we let them in.
  • We will use hand sanitizer to sanitize student’s hands before letting them enter the school.
  • All teachers and students are required to keep a mask on to cover their mouth and nose at all times while inside the school.
  • Our waiting room and tea-room will remain closed and the water dispenser is not going to be in use. If the student needs to drink water during the lesson they should bring a bottle of water and keep it in their bag.
  • We encourage the students to minimize the use of the bathroom during the lesson as much as possible.
  • Parents, siblings, or whoever is dropping the student off, are not allowed to enter the school. They should wait in their car or outside. BUT the cool thing is that they can observe the lesson on zoom while waiting in the car.
  • Parents or whoever is picking up the student must be at the door 2 minutes before the end of the lesson since the waiting room is closed to the students as well.
  • Your teacher will meet you at the door (outside) to let you in and then walk you out after the lesson.
  • Students are allowed to be at school ONLY during their lesson time.
  • Bathroom is closed to parents, siblings, etc.
  • All communication with the office is still via email, text, or phone calls.
  • Adult students can come back to in-person lessons ONLY two weeks after they were fully vaccinated.


  1. Q. I don’t feel safe coming back to school yet because my household is not fully vaccinated. Can I still continue my lessons on zoom? Yes, absolutely. Everyone’s health and safety is our first priority. Just let us know when you are ready to come back to in-person lessons.
  2. If I choose to continue with zoom lessons for now is my schedule going to be the same? Yes. 
  3. Are we going to have in-person monthly performance days? Not yet. We will continue using the WhatsApp platform for our informal performances until it is safe to have a group of students in one room. 
  4. Is the Annual Solo Recital going to be in-person? No, we are pleased to offer another free online recital. The recital will be like our December recital. More information on recital will be in our April email newsletter.
  5. My current lesson schedule will not work for me once I come back to in-person lessons. What should I do? Please reply to this email and we will help you find a time that works for you.
  6. Can adult students come back to in-Person lessons? Adult students can come back ONLY after they were fully vaccinated. 

3. Annual Solo Recital

Our Annual Solo Recital will be happening online. We will have three groups, beginners, intermediate and advanced students. We will live stream the three videos. Dates are TBA.

Here is the recital information:

Where to submit:

Please email the final recording of your recital piece(s) to

If you choose to share your recital from google drive or a dropbox link make sure you do that using the above email address.

When to submit:

The submission window is Sunday April 25th through Saturday May 1st.

The final deadline for submitting your recital video is midnight on Saturday May 1st.

Who can submit: 

All current students at Golden Key Piano School are welcome and encouraged to participate in the Annual Solo Recital. We would love to see as many of you there as possible.

What to submit:

You may choose to submit one or two pieces.

All solo recital pieces must be memorized.

Formal dress is required.

Announcing your name and the name of the piece you are playing is optional.

Sending the video to your teacher for feedback before submitting is strongly recommended.

If you have a keyboard or not a very good upright piano at home and prefer to record on a grand piano call Kassman piano on Gilman street at 510-558-0765 and tell Ric that you are a Golden Key Piano School student coming for recording. They will arrange it for you and it is free. You may also email them at 

When is the live stream:

We will announce the date and time for the streaming of the recital  in our May newsletter. Make sure to invite your extended family and all your friends from all over the world! ☺

4. Free 20 Minute Zoom Lessons With Katrin or Ketevan

You may sign up for a 20-min lesson with teacher Ketevan or teacher Katrin to make the last touch ups on your recital piece(s.)

Please sign up only for one time slot per student on the Google Document here.

Sign Up 

5. Student’s Spotlight

Congratulations to Landon and Rowan for passing the Royal Conservatory of Music exam. Both Students received First Class Honors on the examination. BGreat job!

Congratulations to all students who received their medal this month. Well deserved! Bravo!

6. Our Head Teacher’s Suggestions Apears In A New York Magazine Article

This is a fair article about how to choose a piano. It is helpful for those who are buying a piano for the first time as well as those of you who are thinking about upgrading your piano. Katrin Arefy was one of the contributors to the article.

To read the artice click here:  Article Here.

Sincerely, Katrin Arefy

Founder and Artistic Director
Golden Key Piano SchoolBerkeley CA, & Manhattan NY
Phone: 510.665.5466

Golden Key Piano School 

Manhattan Piano Academy

If you have any questions please call the school at (510) 665-5466 or reply to this email.

Yours truly,
Katrin Arefy


Katrin Arefy, Head Teacher
1809 University Ave., Berkeley, CA

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— U. Galperina

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