Reviews

Parents


Julie brings her students to a higher level. She is the greatest teacher and person, and totally dedicated to you! Highly recommended.

—Laurie Lynn

Julie is a gem! She takes an interest in each student as an individual. Recitals are ever a pleasure because each one of her students has a different style and approach to their love of music, which Julie continuously nurtures. Julie works to keep lessons engaging while balancing technique and theory with the joy of playing. Julie is a gift to her students. At each lesson I am always impressed with her warmth and dedication as well as her sincere desire to bring out the most in each of her students.

—Michele Notte

This lady gets five stars. She is an exemplary individual who is a gifted musician, a thorough professional, and at the same time, a delightful person who relates extremely well to young people. Julie Cleveland is almost a “stealth bomber.” With her pleasant, happy demeanor, her patience, her use of the whimsical and her ability to relate to young people, students may not realize how much serious work they are really doing.

—Meredith Tufts

Miss Julie is more than a piano teacher. She used her private time to find the right piano for my children without any charges. She is very dedicated to the instruction of the children and their personal growth as pianists. She is very good with kids and never makes her adult students feel bad if they can’t remember the notes! We were so lucky that we found her on the web for a piano teacher.

—Arunee Salonsky

I am thrilled that my daughter actually loves going to piano lessons, so unlike my experience when I was young (and everyone else I know of my generation). Miss Julie has a warm and gracious way with kids; she is sincere and kind and playful while also inspiring them to practice and do their best. Because of Julie Cleveland, my daughter loves to play the piano and is flourishing!

—Robin Wright

Miss Julie will be missed! Our son has progressed tremendously under her tutelage. We as parents have enjoyed listening to the recitals Miss Julie put on. We especially took pleasure in listening to the differing styles of music our son plays. She was able to teach him classical music as well as current songs that are played on the radio today. One more thing we were grateful for was that Miss Julie took time out of her schedule to visit Shai’s other performances that had nothing to do with his piano playing.

—LisaMarie and Erez Cohen

Young Students

What I like about taking lessons with Miss Julie is that she does a really nice job teaching me. Even though I really don’t like theory, Miss Julie has a way of making it fun! I never knew that I would enjoy playing classics and jazz pieces as much as I do! Through playing with Miss Julie, I found out what I like playing—Tangos!

—Cat, Freshman, Academy at Penguin Hall

Miss Julie has challenged me to play things I never thought I could play. I also see that I get results the more I practice. 😉

—Hugo, 6th grader, Manchester-Essex Middle School

I like having lessons with Miss Julie because lessons are fun, she has a good sense of humor and is very nice.

—Rune, 5th grader, Rockport Elementary

After I have a piano lesson, I can focus more at home when I practice.

—Seamus, 3rd grader, East Gloucester Elementary

After I have a piano lesson, I can focus more at home when I practice.

—Adelaide, Manchester-Essex Middle School

Miss Julie’s lessons are so much fun. She is a great teacher and I love the way she teaches stuff.

—Bella, 4th grader, Manchester Memorial Elementary

Miss Julie makes music magical. Since the tender age of 6, she opened doors and windows to the enchanting world of music. I doubt any other teacher could have made my time learning piano more worthwhile.
—Chloe, now a graduate of McGill University, pursuing a career in architecture

I’m so glad I met Julie; she opened the door to improvisation for me.
—Laura, now a graduate of Endicott College, pursuing a career in dance

Adults

I came back to piano lessons at the age of 56, having given up 40 years ago for a variety of reasons, including a teacher’s cruelty and my own perceived inadequacies as a pianist.

Julie is the epitome of a great teacher, expressing love for her craft in every way, encouraging patiently, and making me believe in my abilities.  Through her gentle guidance and her enthusiasm, I have also come to the discovery that it doesn’t matter that I will never be a great pianist, that I am happy just to play, to struggle through the learning of beautiful pieces like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, and Chopin’s mournful Preludes, and to perceive my own improvement, and be lauded for that.

I am almost addicted to playing now, as I cannot walk past the piano room without going in and sitting down to play, with pleasure and delight.

Thank you Julie!
—Anne Bouwer, Essex, MA

This is simply to say that Julie is the most patient and uplifting piano teacher I have ever had. And, I have had a few! She always listens to what I am really struggling with and gives me doable solutions that work. Julie understands the things that I struggle with as an adult student with other responsibilities, but also expects that I will put in an honest effort and try to practice if I say I am going to. I highly recommend Julie to get you going in the right direction with your love for the piano and learning to play music that really does give you a sense of accomplishment!
—Julie Oulton, Gloucester, MA

Have you tried to pick up playing the piano but not had much success? Before you give up on your dream of playing, call Julie Cleveland. Whether you are a complete novice or someone who was taught the rudiments as a child, you can benefit from Julie Cleveland’s inspiration, method, and patience. Her technique is straightforward: to progress as an adult, try using your grown-up faculties. This approach makes lessons and practice an act of discovery, something lively and fun. With Julie’s help, the satisfaction of accomplishment is possible.
—James Caviston, Essex, MA

I began playing piano once again upon retirement, after having taken lessons until I was in my mid-teens. The idea was to pick up some old finger exercise books, some sheet music, and go. What a mistake that was!!! The playing progressed quite nicely, until I hit a wall. I could not play evenly, and progress came to a halt. This is when I began to think that perhaps I needed some professional help.

I got Julie’s name from a friend, and made contact. The very first lesson was a very pleasant introduction to Julie’s world of music. Her love of music is inspiring, her knowledge is awesome, and in her gentle way she is quite the taskmaster, who keeps me directed towards the goal of playing as well as I possibly can.

Julie quickly diagnosed my playing difficulties, and prescribed several classical music compositions, which along with a playing discipline has done wonders for my playing. Progress was initially slow since I had to unlearn many bad playing habits, which had become part of “muscle memory.” But after every lesson with Julie, I came home inspired to get back to the piano and continue. Now, after less than three months, my playing is better than it ever was, and I cannot wait to get up in the morning and sit down at the piano. Thank you, Julie. Thank you so very, very much.
—Walter Class, West Newbury, MA

I took advantage of a discount Julie offered on Election Day and couldn’t be happier! I’m enjoying both my lessons and practicing the piano–now that I’m an adult and no one (MOM!) can tell me what to do. Playing the piano is such a wonderful rest from the work I do. I think it actually engages a different part of my brain. After a good practice session I feel renewed and energized. Try it! You may find this is a wonderful gift to yourself or to someone you love.
—Ann Olson, Gloucester, MA

I am a trumpet player who decided late in life to add piano. Though I can read music well, I had never wrestled with the fingering and arm motions of piano playing, challenges that Julie has helped me with successfully.

Julie is first of all a fine musician and insists on musical integrity. But much to my happiness, she is also a superb and highly inventive teacher. She listens not only to the notes I play but also to the questions I ask, and responds with insight to both.

In addition to her individual teaching, she lets her enthusiasm for music spill over into organizing a number of musical events where her students can share their trials and successes, something very valuable for those of us not in a musical performance career.
Jay Blake, Gloucester, MA

Julie’s the best!

Julie has made the difficult—and somewhat unusual—transition for me from an accordion player to being able to play the piano a fun and challenging experience. She has the talent, experience, and patience to be able to instruct adults—and children—of any experience level at whatever speed they are comfortable at. She was able to get my left hand up to speed on the keyboard (years of playing accordion buttons with the left hand will make it seem quite alien on a keyboard) by intensive scale progressions and other exercises.

Whether you are looking to play for fun, knock the rust off of your chops, or become a classical pianist, I would not hesitate for one moment to recommend Julie. I look forward to Julie’s Adult Piano Party Soirées and a lot more instruction with her!
—Jim Capillo, Gloucester, MA

If you’re looking for a piano teacher, you won’t find a better one than Julie Cleveland. She’s not only a highly accomplished pianist, she’s an amazing teacher. I am most impressed by Julie’s versatility and spontaneity. She knows exactly what pieces and technical drills to assign to get me to the next level quickly, and with the most fun. If I want to play classical pieces, she finds the best choices for me to work on, but if I want to play popular tunes, jazz, or even gospel, that’s fine too. She encourages creativity and improvisation in her students, even beginners like me. I speak, obviously, as an adult piano student, but her young students always leave the studio with big smiles on their faces, too. They clearly enjoy her piano lessons as much as I do.
—Laura Phillips, Boynton Beach, FL

Teachers


Julie Cleveland was the guiding force in my older daughter’s acceptance to music performance departments at the college level. Her background in theory, technique, and performance is evident in my daughter’s success.
—Eileen Egan, retired teacher, West Parish Elementary School, Gloucester, MA

Julie Cleveland is a scrupulous and disciplined scholar, a brilliant musician, and an excellent teacher. We need more creative teachers like Julie Cleveland. Our young people are starving for art and magic and good teaching.
—Paul Wann, English/Drama Dept., The Governor’s Academy, Byfield, MA

Julie is a fine teacher and model for younger musicians. I am impressed with Julie’s high level of artistic integrity and her ambition for excellence in craft and interpretation.
—Bruce Herman, Professor of Art, Gordon College, Beverly, MA