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Faces & Places

The Fabric of Our Community


403 East Putnam Avenue

Cos Cob, CT 06870

(203) 661-9500  |

By LIZ LEAMY (click here for bio)

Owners of Atelier Constantin Popescu and Riverside School of Music

It is a well-known fact that the sounds generated by stringed instruments such violins, violas, cellos and basses trigger feelings and emotions that tend to be magical, inspirational and emotional, indicating how important the role music, particularly the type generated through these types of incredible tools play in the lives of people and at the same time, also shows how profound the benefits of playing these incredible tools can be.

        This whole concept certainly seems to be the reason for the terrific success of Atelier, the ever-popular stringed instrument stepping ground located on 401-403 East Putnam Avenue in Cos Cob (there is also an Atelier based in Westport), which offers its customers everything from an extensive retail selection of violins, violas, cellos and basses and cases to private instruction with an incredible staff of esteemed teachers, violin restoration, bow making and assistance with any sort of repairs related to stringed instruments.

        At this unique locale, all things seems to be centered around the importance, power and positive effects of playing a stringed instrument, which is said to have a multitude of physical, mental and social benefits, including an increase in overall brain function, strength and sensory development, among other incredible things.

Further delving into its many benefits, the experience of playing a stringed instrument is said to help boost one’s intuitive and social skills and serves as a viable emotional outlet that can help build physical strength, reduce stress and improve posture, making it a win-win pursuit in every regard.

        Taking this body of vital information into account, it is understandable as to why Atelier and its adjoining Riverside School of Music locale has become such a main stepping ground for so many Greenwich residents, as well as for so many people based in and around the Fairfield and Westchester County regions.

Originally opened in 1994, Atelier and the Riverside School of Music is owned by Constantin Popescu, a double bassist and graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and the Bucharest Conservatory in Romania and his lovely wife, Rodica Brune, who holds a Master’s Degree in international business, economics and business administration, was a member of the Romanian Olympic swim team and who oversees the entire business, have both helped build it into a primary destination for so many in and around the New York metropolitan area due to their tremendous dedication to the role of stringed instruments and their many benefits.

        Truly, Atelier and the Riverside School of Music has the feel of a whole other world, one in which melody and music, rather than technology and time, drive its whole mood and atmosphere.

Upon walking into this shop, one is immediately taken in by the walls, which are lined with rows of violins and violas and display of cellos and basses displayed on the floor, making up a rich selection of stringed instruments that are available for sale or rentals.

These are all available for use by either the general public or for the extensive list of Atelier’s dedicated and enthusiastic clientele, many of who are children, teenagers and adults of all ages looking to learn and cultivate their understanding of these incredible instruments.

        Based upon the magical feel of this old world musical environment, it is no surprise that Atelier’s list of clients, many of who take lessons at the Riverside School of Music on a regular weekly basis, are said to be delighted with their experience there, especially in considering all the benefits associated with playing stringed instruments, as mentioned prior.

According members of this group, including the parents, the experience and education learned through the teachers at Atelier and the Riverside School of Music has helped shape and increase the overall brain power, confidence and level of motivation within their children, among other positive things.

        Specifically, the process of learning to play a stringed instrument is also beneficial because it involves a great deal of work, focus and commitment, tools that inevitably carry over to so many other areas of life, including academics, socializing and athletics.

These are tools, no doubt, that emerge as an important asset throughout one’s life, as music, particularly the sounds of stringed instruments, affect one at such a deep emotional, mental and ultimately physiological level, a fact that only further drives home the importance and role of a business like Atelier and the Riverside School of Music.

Moreover, learning to play an instrument such as a violin, viola or bass provides an individual, regardless of their age or stage in life, the opportunity to learn, grow and benefit from this more intimate type of relationship with music.

In addition, there are many possibilities for younger people who, through hard work and dedication, might be able to reach a level where they could perhaps pursue a career as a concert player at the local, regional, national or even world levels. (Several of Atelier’s former students have gone on to play with the New York Philharmonic and the West Point Orchestra and also study at the Juilliard School of Music, among other impressive organizations and places.)

At the end of the day, however, it’s all about the pursuit of music, which is everything, as evidenced by the success, high energy and terrific mood at this one-of-a-kind place, as it continues to gift the residents of Greenwich and those in the surrounding areas with such a treasure trove of individual benefits. 


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