Teaching Philosophy

Have a Positive Mental Attitude. Think you CAN and WILL!


Music has always been a focus in my life.  Because music represents so much that is good for our lives, my goals for my students are not just to become musicians and advance with musicality and technical proficiency,  but to love music for how it enriches our lives and to carry this love throughout their lives.  Although my background was strictly classical, I understand that the goals of my students might not focus around the classics.  I believe that a classical background is very necessary for a proper education in music; but the addition of other types of music may be the best way to reach students of different ages.  I was extremely fortunate to have parents who believed in the power of an education that gave me all the opportunities available.  Their involvement and encouragement during this time of my life was of primary importance to my future endeavors.  I want to pass this on to my students.

My students' ages range from 5 years old through adult.  Each student has different reasons as to why they are seeking to study the piano or a stringed instrument.  I focus each lesson based on the goals of the student keeping in mind that the goals of a young student will be totally different from the goals of an adult student.

So You'd Like to Learn to Play

Who Are My Students?


I am delighted to work with students  from all walks of life and of all learning abilities.  I am experienced  in quickly discovering where a student is in his/her musical life,  whether a beginner or advanced player, and adjusting my teaching style  based on the student's particular needs.  It has been proven that music  enables a person to excel in all school subjects (with respect to the  younger student) and to improve and expand themselves as they go through  their lives whether it be with their career as an adult or simply  giving a better appreciation of the world.  

My  lesson time is spent not only on the understanding of how the  instrument is played but on developing a good foundation for reading and  understanding music.  A strong emphasis is placed on music theory,  history, harmony and sightreading.  Scales, arpeggios, and cadences are  part of every lesson.  No matter the age,  level of experience, or goals  of the student, my focus is to not only teach skills in reading music  and acquiring the technique necessary to understand music and move  around the instrument but to also acquire the kind of sound that  produces beauty and passion found in the performances of great  musicians.  I am happy to work with students interested in pursuing a  career in music as well as those students interested in learning an  instrument for personal enjoyment, simply to enrich their lives.

Young People vs. Adults


For my younger students, lessons are a three way relationship between myself, the student and the parents.   Inclusion of the parents is essential so that the young student has the support at home to develop good practice habits and be encouraged to  progress.  I attempt to present a laid back feeling at lesson time  expecting the parents to be “the heavy hand", getting the work done at  home.  A youngster should never feel afraid to come to their lesson  because they did not have enough practice time during the week.  The  lesson time should be an enjoyable, educational experience.  I encourage  the child to feel good about his/her playing even if the practice week  did not go as well as it should have.  I expect my student to put forth  their best effort, but will also be patient and encouraging if he or she  is struggling with a particular concept.  If a child feels encouraged,  the child will believe in themselves and progress will be made.   However, if the student is not producing as he or she should, time will  be spent discussing and reinforcing the need for working at home which, again, involves not only more of a dedication from the student but of  the parents for guidance.  

I  have a great deal of respect for a person who decides that they want to  study music as an adult.  Many of my adult students regret not having  taken advantage of this opportunity when they were of school age.  Many  have just decided it is something that will enrich their lives, be a way  to relax after a hard day at work, or it’s simply an item on their  “bucket list”.  A teacher needs to be very flexible with the adult  student.  They have more demands on their time and lives than a  school-age student does.  Practice time, although planned and hoped for,  doesn’t always come easy.  For this reason, I help work around their life’s demands so they can accomplish their goals


My  hope is to bring to each student a lifelong love for great music.   Learning to play an instrument teaches a person the valuable life skills  of dedication, discipline, and determination, and builds confidence and  self-esteem as he or she learns and excels in learning great musical  selections.  

Nancy Pikulik