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Teaching Philosophy

Music is one of the most beautiful gifts in this world: I bring the fun of learning the piano to each lesson with my energy and enthusiasm. I am passionate about instilling a love of music and learning in all my students as well as helping them develop valuable life skills. I enjoy helping students discover a creative outlet and their own unique voice at the piano, as well as skills needed to succeed in performance. I find it rewarding watching my students develop skills such as self-discipline, goal-setting, confidence and a growth mindset. I demand a high standard of every student, keeping in mind their unique abilities, to help them become confident and independent musicians. It's always exciting to see students surprise themselves with their own success!

My students are aged 5 to adult, from beginner to late intermediate levels and I get to know each student personally. I work with students collaboratively to pursue their musical interests whether they want to play piano as a hobby or are driven to competitive events and performance. Students are expected to study several pieces simultaneously; then perfect and memorize select pieces for studio recitals, festivals or competitions, if participating in those. My students study music from each musical time period and genre in order to develop a well-rounded musical palette. Stylistic interpretations and an understanding of music history is accomplished through assigned listening, historical reading and composer reports. Students help choose repertoire and may play favorite music, such as jazz inspired pieces, Disney songs, Christian songs, or video game pieces.

My teaching curriculum involves learning by rote in the beginning, to develop a strong musical vocabulary. There is a focus on healthy piano technique, memorization, aural skills and a musical interpretation from the onset of lessons. I include sight-reading exercises, technical warm-ups and theory books to produce competent musicians. Lessons also include creative activities such as composition, improvisation, harmonization, transposition and arranging which help students apply skills they have learned in repertoire or theory study. Students also develop their ear through aural training exercises as well as through playing duets. Each student is encouraged to perform in the two annual studio recitals and performance etiquette is taught to prepare for this.

I utilize discovery learning, teacher demonstration, and hands-on exploration at the piano to help students think for themselves and to make the music their own. I encourage experimentation and the freedom to try more than one interpretation. We connect pieces to moods, stories or emotions to produce evocative performances. This gives them a rewarding experience at the piano!

Practice requirements are flexible according to the student’s age, learning style and goals, though each student is encouraged to practice 5 days per week. For students ages 5-8, parents are encouraged to attend lessons and assist in practice. I communicate clearly with parents and students to ensure students clearly understand assignments and expectations. I work to grow as a teacher and a professional by attending conferences, workshops and presentations. Additionally, I am in professional organizations and continually develop my own skills at the piano.