Claudia Knafo

Claudia K.

New York, NY
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Claudia passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Claudia delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+ and special needs

Teaching since:

Over 30 years teaching students of all levels: children, adults, professionals/teacher training. Professor at Hunter College and on faculty at Manhattan School of Music Pre-college.

I feel responsible to get my students excited about classical music and pique their curiosity about contemporary music. These students are the future of our art, if not as performers, then definitely as audiences, patrons and administrators. It is our mandate to guide these students to appreciate and understand how the study of music will enhance their lives, no matter what field they choose.

Music is an essential aspect of who we are as human beings. My goal, then, is to develop in students a love of music, and an enjoyment of learning how to play the piano. I host performance opportunities for students to perform on stage, as well as piano parties and piano 4-hands group-a-thons. I use technology when appropriate to help kids get excited about learning.

I’m often asked whether I enjoy starting young children at the piano. My answer is always the same: give me a student, and I will be thrilled to guide my pupil and get him or her excited about studying. The age is unimportant. The challenge is keeping a student engaged and enthusiastic along with the hard work that goes into training. No matter the student’s age or level, educators have an enormous responsibility to create and nurture life learners, and to ignite a curiosity and passion for the arts.

What matters, then, is to develop the skills inherent to studying music: discipline, inquisitiveness, problem-solving, and, most importantly, active and acute listening.

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Professor of Music
Jan 2015 - Present
Hunter College

Piano lessons, chamber music, performance classes and music history classes.

Piano Faculty
Sep 1995 - Present
Manhattan School of Music Precollege

Piano lessons and chamber music.

Piano Department Chair
Mar 2011 - Aug 2016
Diller-Quaile School of Music

Chaired piano department of 15 faculty. Taught private lessons, chamber music, group lessons. Scheduled and organized student recitals. Created and taught Piano Pedagogy class. Designed and launched "Keyboard Celebration," a keyboard festival and national pedagogy conference.

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Piano Department Chair
Sep 1993 - May 1997
Boys Choir of Harlem

Taught private and group lessons in piano and theory.
Developed a program to cross-examine academic history with music history for middle- and high-school students. Oversaw all faculty input toward a curriculum and recommended all associated materials.

Teaching Fellow
Sep 1986 - May 1990
Boston University

Authored curriculum and materials for college-level class piano. Implemented and taught course at Boston University, where it became the blueprint for first- and second-year required piano credit.


Doctor of Musical Arts–Piano Performance
Sep 1986 - May 1994
Boston University
Master of Music—Piano Performance
Sep 1984 - May 1986
University of Michigan—Ann Arbor


Artist Residency
Jul 2016
CedeMusica, Ambato, Ecuador
Artist Residency
Jul 2016
Orquesta Juvenil Sinfonica de Guayaquil, Ecuador
Radio Interview
Apr 2015
Rachel Katz–
Best Soloist with Orchestral Performance nominee
Feb 2010
Grammy Awards

Photos & Videos

2016 Ambato, Ecuador: Workshop Participants

2016 Ambato, Ecuador

2016 Ambato, Ecuador
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2 Reviews

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Paul Aug 20, 2018
Piano ·

Claudia Knafo is a master — a master teacher, a master performer. I cannot recommend her highly enough. She has an extensive background in piano pedagogy and works superbly with students of all ages and levels. She is warm, compassionate and beloved by all. She runs a very professional studio and provides her students with countless learning and performing opportunities. She is a magnificent player and is able to provide magnificent guidance and inspiration. Lucky are those who have the opportunity to study with Claudia Knafo.

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Joli Aug 19, 2018
Piano · In studio

Our 10 year old son began learning from Claudia nearly 3 years ago. We all love her! We weren't sure if he would enjoy learning the piano, but Claudia ignited his interest and he has been very engaged ever since. The hour that he spends with her each week is rigorous, yet it passes quickly and he always leaves with a smile. His level of playing far surpasses our expectations. Each week, she emails us a custom practice log with notes about which pieces he should study. She is thoughtful about making sure that he has a grounding in the mechanics, while enabling his talent and natural feel for music. Each piece that he is assigned to play is purposeful and he really enjoys his repertoire. We are due to purchase a piano and Claudia is giving us tips in that process as well. We feel so lucky to have found Claudia!

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