Notable Neighbors: Bet Frost & Dr. Sigrid Karlstrom

Spontaneous music-making around our family piano was a key part of my musical upbringing. From popular parlor tunes from the 1890s, Irish tunes,1940s hits, the blues, to the Beatles, we would all jump in to play this cherished music by ear. And to sing loudly!

When I was young, I thought every family made music together the same way. Now I realize how precious those moments were. I am delighted I could pass this tradition on to my own children and when I witness the joy of families within my studio making music together I know they are forming cherished memories like no other. Decades may pass, but playing these songs will forever take them right back.

Mary Bloom

Director of Music Education

Bet Frost and her family have found a new, creative way to stay connected: Bet, her husband, Michael, and their two adult daughters are all taking an online class together at NMS.

“Very happy that I can see my children during this pandemic via Martha Fiellin‘s Barre class, which all four of us take,” said Bet.

The Frost Family’s relationship with NMS stretches back to the mid-1990’s when Bet’s daughters, Elaine and Joanie, joined the Preschool and Toddler Program. Since then, the Frosts have participated in a wide variety of programs at NMS.

“Both girls took dance from the time they were two until they graduated high school. Elaine and Joanie both interned at NMS when they were in high school, and both girls worked at Audubon Arts for three years: Elaine as a Drama Director and Joanie as a counselor.”Bet and Michael also have studied at NMS for many years.“Michael and I have been singing with the NMS Chorus since its inception. Michael and my sister, Pam, have been taking Cabaret classes for years. Michael played with Pete DiGennaro in his Adult Rock Ensemble.”

NMS Chorus performs You are the New Day

Bet first became an NMS student through a Dance & Wellness class 20 years ago.

Martha Fiellin started a stretch/exercise class with Karen Baranski and me because we were hanging out in the hall waiting for our kids to finish dance class,” said Bet. She has taken dance classes for adults at NMS ever since.

Bet credits the people at NMS as the reason why she and her family choose to continue to learn and grow at NMS every year.

“The acceptance. You don’t have to be great at something to LOVE doing it, and NMS encourages that. I love Martha Fiellin‘s friendliness, Tracey Albert‘s sincerity, and Tim Gara‘s cheerfulness! To me, they are the faces of NMS.”

Bet reflected on all that her family has learned at NMS, and how much NMS means to them.

“A performance, whether dancing or singing, does not have to be perfect to be a perfect experience. Now that my kids are older, I think we all realize that participating in classes and functions at NMS made more of an impact in their lives than actual academics.”

Bet credits “the wonderful sense of community and belonging” at NMS for enriching the lives of her family. NMS has been equally enriched by Bet, Michael, Elaine, and Joanie.

Violin and viola instructor Dr. Sigrid Karlstrom is trained in the Suzuki method, in which parents are involved in their child’s musical learning. Sigrid works with both students and their parents as the entire family deepens their musical understanding.

In this video, Sigrid introduces herself and discusses her teaching philosophy:

Here, Sigrid shows what a violin looks like when you take it apart, and then demonstrates how the parts of the violin work together to create a beautiful sound: