"Music is a skill, a learning tool, a feeling, a passion. The abilities a child learns through music at an early age, whether it's a beautiful classic piece or self-discipline and diligence, are skills which will last a lifetime."

These words, enthusiastically spoken by Susannah Marks, founder of Kids on Keys and inventor of Musique Rapide, show her firm belief that there is a special connection between children and music. She continues her observation remarking that "Maybe your three year old has a penchant for banging pots and pans in triumphant rhythm, or has a taste for Chopin; either way your son or daughter has a place in Kids on Keys."

The interest in Kids on Keys, a unique beginner piano experience for students ages four years and older, has become so popular that the class schedule has many options. Students may enroll in this class on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons or early evenings, or on Sunday mornings, at the New Jersey Workshop for the Arts studios at 150-152 East Broad Street in Westfield.

Students registered in Kids on Keys use a powerful learning aid called Musique Rapide. This is in the form of a game composed of a miniature piano keyboard, game board and game pieces. Musique Rapide helps students to quickly learn the note values, count the rhythms, find the notes on the stave and sight read on the mini piano. According to Ms. Marks, "With our unique music curriculum that starts early with Musique Rapide, we bring music to your child in a way that is fast, effective and fun."

Instructors for the course include Ms. Marks, a graduate of Trinity College in London. She taught these classes in Australia and New Zealand before bringing the program to the United States 8 years ago. Other instructors, trained by Ms. Marks, include David Bokil, an accomplished pianist, who composes original music and is pursuing a masters degree at New York University. Mia Elezovic is a veteran performer and teacher, who is obtaining a second masters degree at the Manhattan School of Music. Terezija Cukrov, who has a masters degree from Mannes College of Music in New York, has performed widely throughout Europe and North America and her students include prize - winners of national and international competitions.

Kids on Keys is a 45 minute class offered in 10 week sessions throughout the year. The next session begins on February 21, 23 or 24. Students may enroll at any time and tuition will be pro-rated.

Ms. Marks, commenting on the value of the program, tells parents that music "is not just about scales and practice and the school orchestra. Music is fun; it brings joy and it never runs out of supply. Invest in your child's future and we'll do the rest to make his or her musical journey a success."

For information on Kids on Keys, or any program of the New Jersey Workshop for the Arts, please call 908-789-9696, visit their studios at 150-152 East Broad Street in Westfield, or log on to www.njworkshopforthearts.com