Hudson -- A conservatory of music opened this school year at the Hudson Montessori School. It offers in-depth musical training in many areas, said James Rhodes, music and conservatory director.

The school set aside three rooms to be used as its conservatory of music in addition to the music room.

"The rooms are well lit," he said. "It's a natural fit for a conservatory type environment. It's a good fit for learning."

Previously, lessons were given only in the music room at the school, 7545 Darrow Road.

Rhodes said the conservatory is not just for Hudson Montessori School students.

"It is open to the entire community," he said. "They do not have to be Montessori students to participate."

Head of School Matt Virgil agreed.

"The fact that we can reach out to the entire community makes this even more special," Virgil said. "We see this as a premier school in Hudson. This is another way to introduce ourselves to families."

Rhodes said the idea was "to create a conservatory program to give students more opportunities for lessons at the school."

"We can offer individual lessons for all string, woodwind and brass instruments and piano," he said.

Among the teachers are Hilary Houff (piano) and her husband, Michael (violin and viola).

"We have high-level teachers," Rhodes said. "They teach not only the advanced students, but also the young students. We want to get a strong foundation at an early age that will allow them to progress.

"Every student at the school starts out with an instrument in fourth grade," he said. "The parents want to get their children lessons. To make progress, you need that one-on-one attention. There are many teachers who will be able to teach at our school and provide more in-depth training. Becoming a professional [which most students don't] is not the point. It's about learning those skills."

Virgil said when Rhodes was coming up with the idea for the conservatory, he knew "the families value strong teaching and wanted us to provide that. It is something that I appreciate a great deal. It is a nice complement to what we try to do here.

"It is important that the arts play into the development of the whole child," Virgil said. "That is critical. We value that a great deal. Our arts program is superior. The conservatory adds on to that. We know our families are excited about it."

The school offers quarterly recitals that are listed on the school website at The first one is Oct. 21.


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