Keys for Kids – New Location, Same Love and Passion for Teaching Music

By Devin Shaw

Keys for Kids students.

Keys for Kids has been a staple of the Lexington community for over two decades. Thousands of local students have learned music and life lessons throughout the various locations the school has called home. Inga Magid, Founder and Educational Director of Keys for Kids, has spent years trying to find a new location for the school in Lexington that was more centralized and visible—facing obstacles at every turn. Then recently, an opportunity presented itself when a vacancy became available at 411 Waltham Street, in the little shopping plaza, which is also home to Tricon Sports, Bruegger’s Bagels, and Nature’s Way Cleaners. For Inga, it was love at first sight.


Mrs. Magid told me, “What I love about our new location is it’s more visible—it’s close to the center, it’s close to the schools, and it’s close to many of the families that participate in our various programs. It’s great for the families because it is next-to-or-near a coffee shop, a donut shop, a sports store—pretty much anything you can think of. And, there is tons of parking!”


This was not just as simple as moving into the vacancy. With the new home for Keys for Kids, Inga has shaped the storefront into a musician’s dream. She told me, “It was a six-month project. We gutted the entire facility. It has turned into a music school built from the ground up. It has everything you need for perfect acoustics, along with a fantastic layout. It’s bright, sunny, and versatile. We even recently put the signup!”


Inga continued, “It has a very large main classroom which allows us to hold classes in person again, as well as online. We now have the ability to integrate the two.”


Like every small business, Keys for Kids was forced to adjust its entire business model overnight due to COVID. In-person classes were halted, and Inga was forced to innovate. She explained, “I will never forget it; it was Thursday, March 12th, and I was teaching my night class, and all of a sudden, all of the parents were reading their phones, and they said, ‘Oh my god, starting tomorrow school will be closed!’ So, by the next day, we had moved our classes online. At that point, I didn’t know how to use Zoom or even have a camera! I was moving my computer by hand so the students could see what I was talking about! The next day I ordered two more cameras, and every day our classes got better. I am proud that we did not miss one lesson!”


Inside the new Keys for Kids studio on Waltham Street.

That is a perfect example of the devotion and passion of Inga and the Keys for Kids faculty: faced with adversity, it took fewer than 24 hours to adjust and make sure no student missed a class. And now, the classes have become so popular they are a permanent addition! Inga told me, “There are obviously challenges when it comes to online classes, but there are also so many amazing resources online that we have never explored. Also, now with multiple cameras so the students can follow what my hands are doing from almost any angle. Another great aspect of online teaching is former students that moved away or otherwise cannot be in person are now able to be in our classes again!”

Keys for Kids provides a passionate and highly specialized faculty ready to work hard for its students and can adapt quickly. Inga said, “We offer piano, violin, guitar, singing, percussion, ukulele, and ensemble classes.” She continues, “Our faculty is amazing. It is a group of highly educated instructors with years of experience teaching all types of students—including those with disabilities. They are performers, they are teachers, and, most importantly, they are inspirational. We are so lucky to have such a fantastic faculty.”

Inga has been teaching piano for decades. In that time, she has created an education program unlike any other. She proudly explains, “It’s a very unique program because it’s a combination of all the many styles of teaching: Asian, Russian, European, and American.” She continues, “three-year-olds will start playing the piano and will learn to read music. It’s a program that I have been developing over the course of 35 years, and even after all of my years of teaching it still astounds me that children can learn to read music so well at such a young age. It happens every year and it truly is inspiring.”

Christiana Iyasere has had three children learning music at Keys for Kids; they all started around the age of four. She said, “Inga is a really exceptional music teacher in the sense that she clearly has a mastery of the music herself. It is rare to have a teacher who has such exceptional skill, and who is able to both impart the technical skills in a teaching format, and promote a love and appreciation for the arts in the same way that she can. The other thing that I think is particularly special about her is that she has incredibly high standards for each student, and understands where they are and what their potential is. I think it’s rare to find individuals or teachers that have such faith in what your children can truly achieve and are willing to do the work with them to get them to that point. She clearly is one of those individuals.”

Ted and Jen Murphy also love Keys for Kids. Their daughter, Courtney, has also been studying there since the age of 4 (she is now 8). Even more important to her parents is the fact that Courtney finds both her lessons and practice sessions to be enjoyable and a great source of pride and accomplishment.  “One of the many strengths of Keys for Kids is that Inga employs a ‘hands-on’ management style at the school,” says Jen Murphy.

Ted Murphy tells explains, “She brings a rare energy and accountability to all of the classes, which teaches children responsibility and ownership of their progress. This helps them in all of their studies and activities.” Courtney’s love of Inga’s approach motivated her to take up the violin as a second instrument. Ted tells me, “Nowadays, there are fewer distractions and activities to compete with playing and practicing. We are grateful that Courtney has developed a passion for music due to the inspiration of talented and devoted teachers.”

For Inga, Lexington is home. She has lived here for 19 years. Her business is here. She raised her children here. She has great pride for the town, and being part of the community is extremely important for her. She says, “I am so happy that we have been able to teach in Lexington for so long and truly become a part of the community. That personally means a lot to me as a longtime Lexington resident.” But, being part of the community isn’t enough for Inga—she also gives back. She says, “Music programs in most school systems are not as well funded as other programs, so each summer, we host our Summer Performance Gala, and we donate all proceeds to the Lexington Public Schools’ Music Department.”

And, while Lexington is both Inga’s and Keys for Kid’s home, the new home on Waltham Street is the next step for this staple of Lexington education and culture. Inga encourages people to stop by and experience her faculty’s passion and dedication and see the beautiful brand-new facility with the pristine sound. And, while you’re there, make sure to ask about the popular Summer Music Day Camp.


While you are there, you will probably find Inga teaching or playing the piano. She concludes, “The saying goes: ‘choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ Well, I can tell you—they were right.”

411 Waltham St,

Lexington, MA 02421



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