• Piano Lessons

  • 6 Ways I’m Different from Other Teachers

    1. I make learning music theory simple.

    Music theory is best learned when it is broken down to a series of interrelated concepts instead of amorphous rules and guidelines. When music theory is too vague, or taught too quickly, it is really hard to understand. I certainly don’t blame anyone for not getting theory the first, second, or even the third time.

    I focus on the “what,” “how,” and “why” of music theory concepts using lots of examples from the music we’re working while we also use handouts that encourage you to practice and master these concepts on your own time. The “what” is the concept at hand and how it relates to other areas in music theory. The “how” refers to how this concept works in sheet music and what to look for. Finally, the “why” is why it exists, a little bit of history behind it, and how it may have changed over time. That way, nothing is taught in isolation and the student always enjoys ties to other areas of music, so theory concepts are internalized.

    2. I focus on improving the whole person in addition to the person playing piano.

    Piano lessons aren’t just about the piano. While the benefits of piano playing can’t be understated, there are many tangential benefits to piano playing that don’t seem obvious at first but can improve one’s life after lessons end. We go over how to communicate effectively with other musicians and what to listen for in great music. These skills can easily be translated into other areas of life. Communication skills help build meaningful relationships. Listening skills in music deepen one's engagement with art, as well as fostering critical thinking.

    3. I teach healthy, sustainable piano technique.

    With the proper technique, piano can be a lifelong pursuit. To prevent injuries, I focus on body work during piano lessons. I almost suffered injuries playing piano. Many of my colleagues had to re-train their technique a few years down the road. So, preventing injuries and ensuring that students can enjoy playing piano over the course of a lifetime without worrying about getting hurt is among my top priorities as a teacher. To accomplish this, I teach technique that incorporates elements of the Taubman Approach and the Alexander Technique. I use this technique myself so I can keep playing without injury.

    You can read more about the Taubman Approach by clicking here.

    If you’re interested, you click here can to read about the Alexander Technique.

    4. I focus on developing a great relationship with my students.

    I want all of my students to be successful, enriched people. While we focus on keeping theory simple, improving the whole person, and learning proper technique, we can also have some fun and enjoy each other’s company in settings outside the lesson. I’m interested in making sure that my students don’t just feel like students, but a part of a studio where their musical needs are fulfilled.

    5. I have a multidisciplinary approach.

    I work professionally across a variety of styles. I produced electronic dance tracks released confidentially under other artists’ names. I can play jazz and pop music. I coach vocalists and attend master classes for instruments that aren’t my own. I studied literature and philosophy extensively in college, and can see the literary allusions and parallels between pieces of music and written language. While some teachers develop tunnel vision and become specialists in a small area, I chose to widen my approach to enjoy the riches that other genres provide.

    I'm interested in developing functional musicians. While studying classical music is effective, most musicians will be called upon to play a variety of styles, so it is more important to me that students develop a foundation in classical technique that they can use to improvise, too.

    6. I love what I do.

    I love teaching piano. I love seeing the look of joy in someone’s face when they finally master that piece of music that previously seemed impossible. I love when someone finds out that music theory isn’t as mysterious or complex as they thought it was. I love the tangential benefits that studying piano provides for everyone. I love developing relationships with the future generation of artists, and doing a small part in shaping the future of music. I love showing someone the richness of classical music and hearing “wow, baroque music sounds like that?” during a lesson. Most of all, I love passing down one of the greatest forms of art, the study and performance of the piano, to people who deserve it no matter where they are in life.

    Click here to contact me to set up a lesson or a coaching session.