Lesson content and pacing matched to every student
How are lessons unique for each student?
The following answers provide basic information on how lessons are created to match every student
Piano study must draw on each student’s personal strengths and provide the right tools and guidance to overcome any weaknesses. A strong technical foundation is important for all students because correct technique makes the process of learning and creating music easier and more enjoyable. Technical exercises and repertoire are selected to match each students abilities. Theory concepts are worked on until a student fully understands how they relate to the music they are playing. Lessons progress at a pace that matches the student.
There is no single method series that suits every beginning student. After evaluating a student’s learning style and interests, the most appropriate materials are selected, frequently from a variety of methods. I believe in the importance of presenting the student with music they find engaging and interesting without being so challenging the student quickly loses interest when they begin their musical studies.
Students wishing rigorous training follow the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) program. This curriculum introduces students to a wide array of music from earliest Baroque works to contemporary pieces by living composers. Repertoire, etudes, technique, and musicianship skills are sequenced from Preparatory through Advanced levels. All students who study the RCM syllabus are encouraged to take regular professional assessments as a record of their achievement.
Students are strongly encouraged to ask questions and to be an active participant in their musical education. Difficult concepts are addressed in multiple ways to ensure complete understanding of the material. I draw on knowledge and situations a student may already be familiar with to provide context and inspiration for their musical studies.
Creativity and collaboration are fostered through group classes and ensemble playing. I believe even the earliest beginner should be encouraged to compose simple pieces. All students are given opportunities to compose their own music with as much or as little guidance as they desire. This creative process helps students to better understand the music they are reading and playing and fosters a willingness to take chances. Students also apply the music theory they are learning to making arrangements of music they are studying.
Studio recitals are held twice yearly. Participation is not mandatory but all students are strongly encouraged to perform. Those choosing not to participate are still taken through the process of preparing repertoire to be “recital ready” so that they develop the skills and discipline necessary to master a new piece. Memorization is also not mandatory but many students choose to memorize their pieces to showcase their abilities. A student is never excluded from performing because of an inability to memorize their music.
Yes. I have enrolled students with Autism, Selective Mutism, and other special needs. Lessons for Special Needs students are developed using the same guidelines as all other students’ lessons.
I truly enjoy working with students of all ages and aptitudes. I am constantly researching new material and pedagogical approaches to address the unique needs of each student. My goal is for all students to become life-long learners and music lovers and to teach them the skills they need to be self-motivated to learn new repertoire and play creatively with or without printed music.
They gain confidence in public performance as they acquire the discipline, patience, and perseverance necessary to bring a piece to performance level. They also learn to identify and appreciate different styles and genres of music from all eras and parts of the world.