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About Piano Lessons --

LESSON FORMATS  In studio lessons (not currently offered) 
All lessons are taught on a beautiful Kawai grand piano. Depending on availability and need, students can choose to register for weekly 30 or 45 minute lessons. Lesson content is adjusted to match the student's needs.  A flexible summer schedule allows for vacations, camps, sports activities etc. and is part of the trimester tuition.  Convenient parking is available in front of the studio. 

Small group lessons are an important part of my studio.  There are usually 5 or 6 groups scheduled throughout a typical school year but this year, there are 4 scheduled and will be on line.  Musicianship skills such as theory, arranging, composing, and ear training are included  We also learn about composers, musical genres, and musical forms.  Please see "Groups" to find your child's assigned group.  See the calendar to determine which are group weeks. 

The studio sponsors several recitals a year.  Students may also have the opportunity to participate in adjudicated events through the Junior Festival, Guild Auditions, and MMTA programs.  Recitals will be scheduled for the 2020-2021 year.  We will start with an on line format but will possibly move to in person recital by the end of the spring. 

Parent / Student / Teacher role in lessons  These descriptions are in the process of  being modified  8/22
to accommodate remote learning. 

    Parent's role  You play a large role in your child's musical journey. First, you need to provide a decent instrument. A little keyboard sitting on the kitchen table is a recipe for a very short and unrewarding encounter with piano lessons. At the very least, you need a full size keyboard and better yet, a decent acoustic piano. And you need a bench. Pianos are plentiful and many are offered at very reasonable prices.  Without a strong commitment to careful regular practice, progress is very slow and children often end up getting discouraged.  I loved piano growing up and my mom STILL had to tell me to practice! You do not have to be a concert pianist to help your child. They need your guidance. The little ones do need more direct help. But we work towards adding more independence.  Most children need your help setting up a daily practice routine that works for them and this needs to be at a time when they are not exhausted.  Pianists are coordinating: two hands; ten fingers; eyes; ears; usually a foot; and processing a complex notational system IN TIME!!!!  And these are just the basics. To that, we want to add some character to our pieces and capture the emotional intent of the composer. Is the piece energetic, dramatic, peaceful, humorous ?  No matter the character of our given piece, we always work for a beautiful full sound. You simply cannot do all of this if you are very tired. We will discuss what careful efficient practice looks like.  

  Student's role 
 Older students, please read. Younger students can go over with mom or dad helping.  (New students--don't worry.  We will go over this at your lessons)  

You have one job and one job only---come to your lessons prepared and be ready to work.  This means that you bring your music and notebook to your lesson; it means that you have done regular, careful practice throughout the week (unless you have been out of town or sick), and you are ready to show me what you have done. This means that you have studied your music carefully;  tried to figure things out; and noted places that are still confusing.  

For every new piece,  you should be asking yourself these questions: Have I looked at the overall layout in order to find patterns and repeated sections?  Have I broken my piece down in order to develop accuracy in notes, rhythm, and fingering?  Am I trying to play too fast too soon?  Truthfully, there are even more questions to ask, but this is a good start.  It's a long list, I know.  That's why you have to practice regularly.  

    Teacher's role
I wear many hats--trouble shooter; motivator; psychologist; occasionally nurse; and instructor.  In 30 or 45 minutes,  I try to explain new concepts; get students started on new pieces; assess where progress has been made on existing pieces and determine possible ways to help the student move forward. What is he/she doing well? What are the remaining difficulties? What might be causing the difficulties? What tools could be used at home?  In addition to learning repertoire, I also cover music theory, ear training, and technique. It is my belief that these components help children develop into well rounded musicians and that is my ultimate goal.  I try to be positive and encouraging but at the same time, I also want to help students develop the ability to honestly assess their own playing.  Developing as a musician requires us to NOT be satisfied too soon; We have to continue to ask ourselves--"Can I make this better" At the same time, we can't beat ourselves up for small mistakes and being human. It is a challenging but exciting dance!  Welcome aboard.