Angel Ramón Rivera was named director of NEC Prep at age 27, a position he held for 17 years, and he is now on the faculty at both NEC Prep and the Conservatory.
His NEC Prep Piano Seminars —five classes for students aged 9 to 18—are unusual in that they welcome students from both within and outside NEC Prep. When studying a musical instrument, so much time is spent in isolation; in contrast, the seminars bring the kids together to learn and grow in a way that doesn’t occur anywhere else in their educational development. “I’m in a position where I make a different kind of connection with the students,” Rivera said. “These students meet each other in a way that they wouldn’t in their own studios; they come together to form a family. They work as a team and support each other enormously. It’s one of the wonderful things about the seminar class.”
Rivera’s goal is to teach more than just the instrument. “I also teach the person, and that comes first,” he said. “I don’t give the same lesson to every student. They each have their own voice. And I also hope to foster kindness in their development as a musician and as a human being.” Rivera’s piano seminars are filled with extraordinarily talented young people, but not all NEC Prep students will pursue a musical career. Though keeping students engaged and motivated when they are planning to go into a different profession can be challenging, Rivera believes in the lasting power of music. “At NEC Prep, along with developing fine performers, we also create the future audiences and trustees of music,” he said. “They may become doctors or lawyers, but their lives are richer today because they were at Prep, and they will always be musicians at heart.”
When you support NEC faculty like Rivera, you connect young students with exceptional, dedicated faculty who play a key role in developing them into citizens who will have a positive impact on society.