The Allegria Music School, which has partnered with the Nosara Spanish Institute, offers the option to combine learning to play guitar or piano and improve your language skills, a challenge for a real brain workout.
Music instructor Gerardo Monge Deras, age 37, is originally from Heredia but moved to Nosara nine years ago. “I first found Nosara 19 years ago and visited a little bit every year,” he related. A year ago, Monge Deras realized his dream of opening a music school, and in November 2012 he moved the school to the 506 Condominiums in Esperanza where he shares classroom space with the Nosara Spanish Institute. “It has been a long process, like with any business, to get the word out so people know about the school. But Nosara is growing up and I think there are many people that are interested,” he commented.
Monge Deras breaks down music to its fundamentals and theory. That may sound like work, but many studies point to the brain-strengthening benefits of both music and bilingualism.
His specialty is classical guitar, and you may have heard him playing Bach or Beethoven at area special events or weddings. Don’t expect to find him at a noisy restaurant, because his style of music demands the full attention of the audience. While playing the classics may seem daunting, it’s the way to go if you want to learn to read music and follow a score, he says. Tempo, or rhythm, and interpretation, are studied as well, he explained, as part of the process of becoming a musician.
While his own introduction to music started with heavy metal as a teenager more than 15 years ago, his education at the Universidad Nacional of Costa Rica showed him that classical training opens the doors to all other kinds of music.
Even though you may want to play ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ he’ll start you out on ‘Minuet in G’ by Johann Sebastian Bach. “It’s not easy, but I’m trying to make real musicians. It challenges students to really focus,” Monge Deras explains. If you understand the fundamentals, you can then play blues, jazz or rock, he said.
Music instruction is available in either English or Spanish, and Monge Deras has spent years as a Spanish teacher as well as a music instructor. Monge Deras can be reached at [email protected] or 2682-1460.