Bennett Daponte-Smith
Stratford, CT
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Bennett Daponte-Smith

Bennett D.

Stratford, CT
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
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Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I've been teaching music for five years. Within the first few lessons, your technique on the piano will vastly improve and you'll learn how to sit at the piano, play scales, and maintain correct hand posture. Once you have the basics down, you'll be able to start playing whatever style of music you want. I teach all ages, experience levels, and musical styles and I can't wait to meet you!

About Bennett D.

I'm a professional guitarist and pianist who has recently graduated from New York University's Jazz Performance program. I am also a student in Manhattan School of Music's master's jazz program.

My mom started me on piano before I can remember - I was one or two years old. I quickly developed an affinity for music, and by the age of five I was performing Mozart and Beethoven. I went on to participate in countless classical musical festivals, camps, and competitions when I was in middle and high schools, and I continue to play and study classical piano to this day.

When I was 14, however, I picked up my mom's acoustic guitar and became immersed in rock and pop music. Soon afterwards, I started listening to jazz music, and this new obsession became my career. In 2016, I was accepted to NYU's jazz program, and during my time in New York I played with many of the top names of the New York jazz scene, including Lenny White and Ralph Lalama. I've also been a guitarist with Hank Lane Music for four years and I've performed at the Plaza Hotel, the Rainbow Room, the Pierre, and the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach.

I listen to and study many different kinds of music. Although I consider myself to be primarily a classical and jazz guitarist and pianist, I've performed with rock and funk bands, singer-songwriters, metal groups, and klezmer musicians. I also play bass, trumpet, drums, and pipe organ.

I believe that technique is key to playing any instrument or style of music at a high level, but I also believe that playing music is the quickest way to learning it. My students are always learning and playing new music, and I hope you'll become one too!

Reviews

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Bridget B.
Profile-location-online Online

Bennett is a fantastic teacher. He's patient, knowledgeable, and encouraging--basically everything you would want in a piano teacher. We highly recommend him.

Posted Aug 23, 2020
Eileen
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bennett's a great teacher! My seven-year-old son has been taking piano lessons with him for a year, and right now they're working on Fur Elise, one of my favorite songs. My son loves his lessons and looks forward to them every week.

Posted Jun 29, 2020
John
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I met Bennett when he was the musical director for two musicals that my daughter was in. I was totally blown away by his piano skills and my child really enjoyed him, so we started taking lessons with him. He's been an amazing teacher over the last couple years and my child has developed a passion for music. He's an incredibly nice guy, very relatable, down-to-earth, and very passionate about what he does.

Posted Jun 25, 2020
David
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I've been taking lessons with Bennett for over a year now. He's a great teacher and musician - after a few months I was playing Free Bird! Can't recommend him enough!

Posted Jun 25, 2020
Emma
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I've been taking guitar lessons with Bennett for almost ten months. His instructions and feedback are always clear, and he's very personable, as well! I highly recommend.

Posted May 28, 2020

Photos & Videos

6 Photos & Videos

Experience

Guitarist
Sep 2016 - Present

Hank Lane Music

I play at weddings, corporate events, and other functions in the New York. These are often high-profile events at world-famous venues like the Rainbow Room and the Plaza Hotel. With Hank Lane, I've performed every genre of music under the sun - pop, rock, funk, soul, Motown, jazz, and classical, among many others.

Guitarist
Jun 2019 - Aug 2019

Theatre Workshop of Nantucket

This past summer, I worked for Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, playing guitar in their production of Grease.

Musical Director
Jan 2015 - Mar 2016

Homeschoolers Theatrical Company

I was the musical director the Homeschoolers Theatrical Company for two seasons. I was in charge of teaching children ages 5-18 their vocal parts and accompanying them on the piano.

Education

Master of Music, Jazz Performance
May 2020 - Present

Manhattan School of Music

Bachelor of Music, Jazz Performance
Aug 2016 - May 2020

New York University

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

German

Limited Proficiency

Awards

University Honors Scholar
May 2020

New York University

Steinhardt Scholarship
Sep 2016

New York University

Billy Joel Scholarship
Sep 2016

New York University

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