Jam central station: In-home lessons, New York City
Jammin on: Piano, Voice
Jam studies: Belén began taking private piano lessons at age 8 and continued her music education at Blink Music Studios in Cambridge, MA until age 22. She trained extensively in classical piano, jazz technique, songwriting and composition, as well as formal vocal training based on a functional approach.
Favorite jam: Any style, but particularly classical or jazz
Jams of note: A solo artist who writes and performs Latin Soul music, Belén has recorded an EP and released several songs digitally on streaming services. She is shooting several music videos and writing new music in order to complete a full-length album. Her work can be found at http://www.belencusi.com/video
How she jams with you: Belén has taught for more than five years and believes in meeting students where they are. She advocates formal, classical training (learning to read sheet music) paired with jazz/pop training (playing by ear and improvising). “While I create a curriculum or path for each student, I also allow for spontaneity and surprises, letting the moment and the student guide our lessons and his or her progress,” she says. “My goal is to inspire kids to want to learn, to have fun and to be unafraid of making mistakes.”