European School of Music & Chess Marks 30 Years

European School of Music & Chess Marks 30 Years

The music school was founded by Ukrainian immigrant and music professor, Angela Oyzboyd.

Sasha Heller is the Web Editor and Copy Editor for the Atlanta Jewish Times

A piano duet, “Flight of the Bumblebee,” by N. Rimsky-Korsakov, performed by Vedant, an advanced student, with his teacher, Jo, at the ESM 30th Celebration Concert. With this virtuoso piece, Vedant, who is from an Indian family, is developing his technique for a challenging piano competition in the spring.
A piano duet, “Flight of the Bumblebee,” by N. Rimsky-Korsakov, performed by Vedant, an advanced student, with his teacher, Jo, at the ESM 30th Celebration Concert. With this virtuoso piece, Vedant, who is from an Indian family, is developing his technique for a challenging piano competition in the spring.

Music is like love – to feel its greatest effect, it should be shared with someone. And like love, a passion for music can be nurtured so it flourishes and grows into its own unique beauty.

The European School of Music & Chess, located in Sandy Springs, does just that. Led by its founder, Angela Oyzboyd, the school has been nurturing young students’ interests in music for decades and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Gavriel, a talented violin student from a family of Jewish immigrants, performing Vivaldi’s masterpiece, Double Violin Concerto in A minor, at ESM 30th Birthday Celebration Concert.

The European School of Music & Chess method of teaching significantly develops music abilities, focus, concentration and attention, and an understanding of music theory. The students also learn relaxation techniques that can aid in their performances as well as their daily lives.

“It is foundational knowledge about basic techniques that involve complete relaxation of body and arms, and using gravity to make a full tone that could express, for example, the genius music of Beethoven and Chopin. If this technique is learned from the beginning, young children can easily do this, portraying the character and the feelings in the songs they play,” Oyzboyd said, adding that the lessons apply not just to classical music, but to all forms, including popular, folk, and Jewish music.”

A talented beginner piano student, Aina, who came from Spain, playing in a chamber trio with piano teacher Susanna, and violin teacher Mariya, in a rendition of Vivaldi’s “Autumn” as ESM teaches how to portray nature in music and how to play in a music ensemble that is enjoyable and inspiring for children.

Oyzboyd said the students can learn how to make beautiful singing tones that imitate the human voice simply by using the piano.

“It doesn’t depend on musical talent. Any student could do this if they follow this teaching,” Oyzboyd said. “This allows them to play with a panel of colors and inspires them to practice as they enjoy the end results.”

The school’s curriculum stresses that the most important goal is to teach the students how to connect with the music they are playing and make it their own.

Oyzboyd and her staff are proud of the litany of alumni who have graduated from the ESM and been accepted into leading conservatories and universities, including Harvard University, Columbia University, Oberlin Conservatory, the Eastman School of Music at Rochester University, Manhattan School of Music, Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, Boston Conservatory, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, University of Edinburgh, Duke University, Cornell University, Washington & Lee University, Amherst College, Middlebury College, Emory University, California Institute of Technology, University of California-Berkeley, University of Chicago, Brandeis University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and more.

From the ESM teacher’s ensemble performance that was included at the end of the concert — they are singing and playing “Happy 30th Birthday” to the school. The teacher on the left is Juliana, a Jewish voice teacher and remarkable singer from Brazil. The teachers at the piano are Susanna, who came at 8 years old to the U.S. from Moscow with her Jewish family, and Jo, who has a double major in performance for both piano and clarinet, and just discovered that he has Jewish roots. Misty, in the red dress, is a piano teacher who has been with the school for 27 years. (Rosi, who played on the second baby grand piano, and is not get into this photo, is from Bulgaria and has been 14 years with ESM.)

“Our teachers from Europe and the United States have been working together at the European School of Music for three decades. They are highly educated and trained professionals, united by a mutual teaching philosophy and European teaching method.”

Oyzboyd noted that the European School of Music & Chess is a 501(c)(3) — nonprofit educational organization. The school, along with the Southeast Nature Society, are part of The Conservatoire, a nonprofit established in 1993.

The school is looking to expand its facilities and is currently accepting donations and financial contributions. The ESM depends on volunteer support as well as the community’s generosity to help fund concerts, facility services, equipment needs, and scholarships for students identified as especially gifted and students from families who cannot afford music lessons.

The European School of Music and Chess teachers Jo, Rosie, Mariya and Susanna with their happy students after a successful performance at one of the 30th Anniversary recitals, on the stage in front of two grand pianos in ESM’s own beautiful recital hall.

“One of our goals is to build an outside auditorium in a nature setting on our campus. This will enable us to share our performers’ beautiful music with more people from the community, in addition to our indoor performances.”

Oyzboyd said she chose the name, The Conservatoire, as it reflects her school’s mission: teaching students to understand the importance of conserving beautiful music and beautiful nature, and developing a lasting love for both, and passing on this spiritual value of music and nature to their children.

The European School of Music & Chess is located at 5187 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs. For more information, call (404) 255-8382 or visit

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