Art. Language. Music.
These are the dynamic and interdependent avenues of expression that we all use in our everyday lives. They employ the same faculties of understanding and imagination, and together they work to help us communicate our deepest thoughts and feelings.
We at A.L.M.A believe that every person is born with the innate ability to create, and that to share our gifts and truth is a fundamental human need. Our passion is using art, language, and music to unlock the potential in every person and to help create paths to authentic self-expression, cultural consciousness, and human connection.
Our ideas about what art is and how it is made are open-ended and ever-evolving. To us, “art” encompasses all forms of creative activity. From baking to pottery, and everything in between, we are happy to guide you in discovering your artistic passions. Please click here to tell us the nature of the classes that would most light your fire.
Anyone can learn a language, at any age. In our program, students acquire their target language in the most natural way possible – through play, participation, and performance. Our program features specifically designed materials that include interactive games, music, dance, fine arts, storytelling, and celebrations. Click here to communicate with us for more information.
Music is innate and instinctive. It applies all of our faculties and touches us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Existing within all domains of the human experience, our instructors know that music is a transformative technology. Our classes don’t just teach music; they teach the power of music. Click here for more information about our offerings.
A.L.M.A. — Arts, Language, and Music Alliance – was founded in 2017 by Rita Cassiano and Gingi Lahera to guide people in exploring paths of authentic self-expression through art, language, and music. Our passion is creating connection, and we believe in the unbounded potential of each person. A.L.M.A is an inclusive community, and we value each person for their unique individuality.
Stay up to date on all things ALMA! Join our mailing list for information about upcoming class, performances, community events and programs.
Miss Gingi's approach to teaching young children complex music concepts is genius. She uses common children's toys to teach music theory - blocks of different sizes and colors, circles and wheels - things they are already familiar and comfortable with. My son began to understand how music works, even how it is arranged and composed, in a totally organic way. I don't think he knew how much he know until his middle school music teacher started teaching some music theory concepts that he had known since he was in first grade with Miss Gingi. Carl also learned great lessons in patience, cooperation, critical thinking, leadership, and perseverance during his time with Miss Gingi. Early music education with Miss Gingi gave Carl a head start in so many areas of his life. And he had so much fun doing it!
Ms. Gingi has been teaching my students music for years. I am continually amazed at the attention students are able to give as they sing and listen to Gingi’s beautiful music. She affords the children the opportunity to play many types of instruments and the children treat them with care because she trusts they will be careful. Gingi sings fresh songs and old favorites, and incorporates movement to keep the children engaged. She has a great command of the group, allowing things to get silly while knowing how and when to calm the group back down. Gingi teaches complex musical concepts, like musical notes and scales, in a way that 3-6-year-old children can understand. All the children look forward to her visit each week and they sing the songs each day in between music lessons.
Gingi has been working with my students for the past two years and it has been such a pleasure to see not only their love of music grow, but their understanding of it. My classroom is made up of about 30 three to six year-old students who absolutely adore Gingi. It is not always easy to work with a wide age range but she always finds a way to engage everyone and create a lively and supportive musical experience. It is rare to find an instructor that make such an effort to connect with each individual student in order to find a way to encourage them to develop an intrinsic love and curiosity of music. She doesn't just have them sit in a circle and sing familiar songs but incorporates movement, music theory, and unique songs that they just can't get enough of! For example, instead of just teaching the children to memorize the "musical alphabet" she found a way to make it a hands-on experiences that was appropriate and exciting for a wide variety of learners. The songs she sings cover a wide variety of topics that allows children to explore their emotions, other cultures, practice good social skills, and develop confidence. She also brings in musical instruments such as the glockenspiel, bells, (I can't remember the names of all the instruments!) and more for the children to experience and explore I cannot rave enough about Gingi! The children light up when she comes to school and can't wait for her to come back. When I speak to parents they have nothing but praise for the lessons the children bring home. She is an incredible professional and I highly recommend her.
As a beginner-level adult guitar student, I feel so privileged to be learning from not only a well-rounded music instructor (who has a depth of knowledge in music theory, education and application), but also an experienced and talented musician and performer. Gingi has this marvelous ability and willingness to creatively tailor lessons to a student's ability level, interests and goals (e.g. I want to know, not only how to play certain songs on the guitar, but how to make them work with my voice, style and capabilities; so my lessons include trying several different approaches to find the one that fits.) With all of this added to her very evident love of music and (even more evident) love for others, I find that my lessons with Gingi inspire me to keep growing and enjoying more and more the beauty and fun of music!
I've known and worked with Gingi Lahera for 23 years. She performed as a vocalist with my jazz variety show, The Original 21st Century Review, including tours to the Middle East and India. She also worked with my smaller ensembles at music venues all around the Chicago area. We've collaborated as partners on many recording and other musical projects. I know Ms. Lahera to be a highly creative and sensitive individual, always ready to contribute ideas, and always full of enthusiasm. She's gifted, in that the same light-hearted spontaneity that has charmed her audiences translates to a natural touch with young children. Over the years I've observed this connection on many occasions. Even more significantly her genuine respect for their point of view and potential is quite apparent. More often than not they tend to affectionately offer the same in return.