my teaching philosophy

I can remember moments from my youth when I felt the raw power of music, how it lit me up inside, inspiring me to play, create, and perform. I can remember moments early on teaching music when I realized I had found my true calling, understanding with ultimate clarity, what I truly desired: Helping students find the power of music within, keeping that fire lit until the they can carry the torch, leaving with a lifetime desire of playing and learning music. This is why I teach and this is my ultimate goal as your piano teacher. 

Being organized and prepared is an essential part of my philosophy. I impart these important life skills onto my students by creating a certain amount of accountability week-to-week.  I develop a custom curriculum for each individual using a comprehensive digital note system, supported with other technological resources.  I firmly believe in order to achieve long-term goals, you have to see the path in front of you clearly and have attainable goals along the way. 

Understanding student’s abilities and talents allows me to be an effective and efficient teacher. Before ordering materials, I take my time with each student the first month of lessons focusing on the students learning modes and where they fall in the spectrum. This way, we avoid wasting money on incorrect teaching books and I can truly engage and prepare the student. There is a special way to teach each student and doing it right in the beginning is critical to the student and teacher success. 

These are the areas which I find to be the center of my teaching approach: Sight-reading, Technique, Creativity, and Music Appreciation. Depending on the goals of the student or program they are in, a student may focus more on certain areas, along with some not mentioned. I train my students to be: Proficient Music Readers, who can recognize patterns and musical elements quickly; Solid Technicians, who understand the physical mechanics of playing; Creative musicians, who can compose and improvise in a variety of styles; and Music Lovers, who appreciate and are open-minded to all styles of music. 

As a student and performer, I have had the unique opportunity to learn and experience a wide variety of piano skills and styles. I believe that all students should have a solid foundation in classical technique and musicianship (reading, ear-training, and performance skills). However, I also believe that students desire to study current music styles and I have developed curriculums for students to do this, ranging from: traditional classical, blended (classical and contemporary), jazz, pop, music college prep, and many others. 

My studio has a diverse mix of students of all ages and levels of study. For young beginners, I prefer to teach students who are at least 6 years old. We focus on playing by rote until musical patterns and landmarks are comfortable. At this point, we focus on a well-rounded curriculum covering a wide range of areas. For teen students that are looking for music as a recreation or a different kind of challenge, I tailor a curriculum that based of your interests and that will work around your school schedule. I typically suggest studying a contemporary style of music (popular or jazz), which gives us ample opportunity to develop ear-training, improvisation, and composition skills. For adults, I tailor the curriculum to fit your goals as an adult student and to fit around your work schedule. Depending on your practice goals, we will come up with a plan where expectations are reasonable.