Piano Lessons

Below, I relate some of my experience and philosophy as a teacher of piano since 2007. For my credentials, you can take a look at my music bio or my tutoring bio. You can also visit my profile on Steinway's website, as I have been a Steinway Educational Partner since 2009.

As a piano teacher, I have worked with adults and children, with beginners, and with more experienced players looking for a push or a new direction.
I have developed many different teaching methods based on what each of my students wants to get out of lessons. The heart of most lessons I teach is learning to play or understand songs. Usually, I rely on my students to select the songs they wish to study, which I then transcribe to make personal arrangements fitted to their abilities. Of course, I will suggest or recommend songs at times. I also supply relevant exercises and music theory to accelerate the learning process. 

In teaching piano, I differentiate between concepts and skills, while stressing the importance of mastering both. As important as it is to understand the intervallic relationships in something like the major scale, this knowledge does little for the pianist if she or he cannot pick out the notes to the different scales in real time. In observing that each person demonstrates unique learning patterns and abilities, I have learned that some people will come to understand the conceptual through mastery of memorized tasks while some will succeed with technical mastery only after achieving some conceptual understanding.

As my own musical journey has required me to internalize and master so many different styles of playing, I am well-equipped to help my students down whatever musical paths they choose. I also do my best to make it as fun as possible. Learning new things can be frustrating, but I try to structure things as gradual as possible.

For Beginners:
I use three different progressive series of books that each have slightly different focuses: Alfred Complete Adult Piano Course, Faber and Faber's Piano Adventures (different trajectories for either adults, kids, and very young), and Bela Bartok's classic Mikrokosmos. I find that once most students (especially adults) get past the first hurdles to learning music, we tend to break away from these books (at least in part) to pursue music that specifically interests them. I use the books because they provide easily conquerable songs and exercises that gradually introduce new techniques.

At the heart of my teaching style is my personal method of introducing and instructing music theory. I tie the theory back to the songs we study and spend a lot of time developing and marrying the intellectual and practical understanding of chords and scales. Even students that have no interest in improvisation or composition benefit from theory in that it makes it easier to learn songs.