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David Estalote

New York, NY 10075 (map)


Lessons Offered

Composition, Music Theory, Organ, Piano, Music

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

In Student Home


About Me

I am the director of music at St. Edmund's Episcopal Church. I also sing in the Cecilia Chorus of New York, which is led by Dr. Mark Shapiro and performs twice a year in Carnegie Hall, as well as his smaller, more advanced group Cantori New York. I love teaching and am very passionate about helping students understand music in a way that brings it to life.

My Musical Education Background

Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance, University of Kansas (2003).

Private study in piano, theory, ear training, and composition 2006-2012 with Deborah Jamini (faculty, Mannes College of Music; composer-in-residence, St. Patrick's Cathedral).

Private study with Mark Shapiro (head of the choral conducting department, Mannes College of Music).

Private study with concert pianist Robert DeGaetano (pupil of legendary Russian pianists Rosina Lhevinne and Sviatoslav Richter).

Genres and Subjects Taught

I teach an integrated approach to learning classical music. Not only will you learn to play keyboard literature, but at every step you'll be learning practical music theory, developing your ear in such a way that the notes take on a life and meaning of their own, and acquiring the skills to create your own music through composition and improvisation!

Learning music is like learning a new language. You wouldn't study French just to be able to pronounce Victor Hugo's works aloud. You'd want to understand what's being said, to be able to fluently engage in casual conversation, and even compose your thoughts in writing.

In the same way, these skills are analogous to acquiring a musical understanding through harmony studies and ear training, gaining the flexibility to create your own music through keyboard improvisation/playing by ear, and learning to craft your own written compositions.

It is fun and thrilling to develop these other skills to the point where you're able to play both written pieces and your own musical creations!

Lesson Rates

$60/hour, $30/half-hour
First lesson is free of charge with no obligation.

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

I happily work with all ages. You're never too old to learn new tricks! As long as you have a pulse, I can teach you music.

My Certifications and Awards

1st Place, 1997 AACS National Fine Arts Competition: Organ

My Musical Influences

Two of my recent teachers both studied at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, which was run by the most renowned music teacher of the 20th century, Nadia Boulanger. I am a huge fan of this approach to music.


Service Area


Student Reviews




New York, NY

I can tell this is the right way to learn music. I wish someone had taught me this in college.




New York, NY

These lessons have been much more helpful than the adult classes I took at Juilliard.


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David Estalote

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