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.
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.
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.