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Jessica was an absolutely wonderful flute teacher for my 8-year-old. She was supportive and enthusiastic and did a terrific job of engaging my daughter. We were so lucky to have found her and to have worked with her.
We connected with Jessica in May 2015 when our (then) 11-year-old daughter was transitioning to learning flute. Our daughter, Josephine, had studied piano for 4.5 years and French horn for two, but for a host of reasons, was at a point in her musical studies that felt stagnant and uninspired. We could see that Josephine greatly enjoyed music and possessed the aptitude and discipline for music but were struggling as parents with how to best support her. And then we stumbled upon Jessica and have never looked back! From ground zero of learning how to make a sound in the mouthpiece to just a year-and-a-half later under Jessica's tutelage, Josephine is well on her way to becoming an ever-more accomplished flutist. Jessica's effervescent personality combined with her kind and nurturing approach (and of course, her musical expertise) made all the difference for Josephine at an important juncture, when she may have not continued in music at all had it not been for Jessica's mentorship. Josephine made another important transition in the fall of 2016, when she left her small, private Montessori school where she had been a student since the age of 5, for public junior high school. She delved into all things music from the get-go, and is playing flute in the school band, jazz band, chamber ensemble, all county band, and was a soloist in the school's choral concert. She even returned to piano and is playing for the school's orchestra group! Josephine greatly enjoys her musical involvements, is a confident and out-going musician and middle-schooler, and continues private flute instruction despite Jessica having relocated from the Ithaca,NY area. We have the utmost gratitude for Jessica and the enormous role she played in our daughter's development as a flutist and musician, and being exactly what Josephine needed at exactly when she needed it! Jessica is a gem of an instructor and we can't speak highly enough of her.
Jessica was my teacher for more than a year. She is an amazing person and teacher! When I started playing with Jessica, I had two major challenges: I just moved to the US, with almost no background in music, and just started playing flute a year before our move to the US, when I was almost 40 years old. I am mentioning this two things, since I truly believe that Jessica has a special gift in understanding student’s special needs and sensitivities. She was strict and precise in her teaching, and at the same time very kind, respectful, supportive and inspiring. I recommend her with all my heart, to all ages and levels.
I had only a brief - but totally memorable and successful - experience with Jessica Smith as a teacher. Having returned to flute after an absence of more than 35 years - with enthusiasm and trepidation - I found Jessica's instruction superbly respectful, skilled, encouraging and very informative. In the few months we worked together, she led me confidently through basics I'd never learned as a child, and brought a shine to those aspects of playing that I most value - the open breath, calm control, rich tone, musical intuition. I could not be more appreciative!
I write this review with mixed feelings.... she is a fabulous teacher but I am sad she has moved away from Ithaca.
My daughter,Annika, was Jessica's student for approximately the past three years. Ani took up the flute in middle school and played with the band, but really had a passion for playing and so we looked for a private teacher to supplement her school lessons. When we met Jessica, she was a graduate student at Ithaca College. Ani has had a great experience with Jessica-- Jessica has an expectation for her students to continually improve, but is also able to nurture those students and bring out the best in them. She really encouraged Ani's love of the flute, and when it came time for us to invest in Ani's own instrument, she provided some guidance to find a flute that would move Ani's playing forward. Jessica has also encouraged her students to participate in extracurricular events to help them grow (e.g., Ithaca Flute Day) and, in December of this year, organized a recital for all her students.
She is a kind, communicative teacher with a beautiful personality. Your children will be fortunate to study with her.