Young piano and violin virtuoso

Warwick. Musician Molly Brady is the Superintendent’s Artist of the Week.

| 10 May 2023 | 01:06

After recently performing two New York State School Music Association solos, Park Avenue Elementary School fourth grader Molly Brady treated herself to violin earrings and a piano necklace – rewards she certainly earned.

“At NYSSMA I did piano and violin and on both of them I got a score of 28 out of 28,” Brady said. “So I got these earrings and this necklace to remember it.”

Park Avenue music teacher Keely Blaikner asked Brady if she wanted to participate in the NYSSMA Solo Festival on the violin because of her background in music and her work ethic.

“When the scheduled lesson didn’t fall like it should have and there were school breaks, Molly agreed to come in early before school to make up for lost time,” Blaikner said. “She worked so hard to be confidently prepared, and all of her hard work paid off with amazing scores on her solos.”

“I couldn’t have been more proud of Molly,” Blaikner added. “She is one of the hardest working students I have ever met. Every bit of advice and guidance I gave, she soaked it up like a sponge. I have never had a student score two perfect scores in the same year, and that’s coming from 28 years of teaching.”

The adjudicators at the NYSSMA evaluations graded Brady on included playing a piece of music, playing scales and sight-reading. She performed on the violin first. The song she chose for her solo was “The Morning Song.”

“Afterwards I thought I did pretty well,” she said. “Ms. Blaikner taught me that if I made a mistake, I could ask the judge if I could restart the line. So I did that, and I still got a perfect score.”

Molly became interested in playing the piano after her older sister, Samantha, now a junior at WVHS, started learning the instrument. She has been taking private piano lessons once a week.

“When I first started to play the piano I wasn’t really taking lessons, I was kind of learning from [Samantha],” Brady said. “And the same thing with the violin. But then when I started to take lessons, I started to get better.”

Both sisters play violin in Fiddle Frenzy over the summer and will be playing in the WVCSD String Fling next month.

“Music is just really fun,” said Brady, who wants to be a music teacher. “And I think it’s really cool to play an instrument.”

Music is not the only activity she enjoys at Park Avenue. She is treasurer of the Student Council and participated in the LEGO League for the last two years. Outside of school, she plays travel soccer and softball and was on the St. Stephen’s CYO girls’ basketball team that won the fourth grade Orange County championship.