I would also like to share a little of what philosophy guides my work as a piano teacher. I break down my teaching philosophy into two general areas: the expressive and the technical. First and foremost, the student learns to play piano in order to express themselves and to be able to communicate in their own unique voice. Therefore I feel it imperative that the student be able to think independently and ultimately gain the ability to analyze music on their own. The student should not learn to play a work of music as others might play it, but instead how they feel it inside of themselves. I strive to spark the imagination of the student in their work and to connect it with their own life’s experience.
At the same time, the student must follow a strict technical training in order to obtain the ability to play freely and expressively. I work at molding the student’s physical control of the instrument in order to develop a sensitivity for the variety of different touches that each musical style requires.
Most of my students take the exam given by the Royal Academy of Music for their own reassurance and confidence about learning their instrument. The exam is very extensive and includes knowledge of theory, scales, sight reading and aural training. I encourage all my students to take this exam, which is a great opportunity to strive for comprehensive music development. There are eight different levels, plus you can take a diploma exam after the last level.
For my beginner students I use Wunderkeys piano methods. WunderKeys takes young children on a magical journey where they acquire the piano skills, keyboard awareness, and rhythmic understanding needed for a successful future at the piano. Using a story-based format with loveable characters, off-bench learning, game-based teaching, and age-appropriate music, WunderKeys Piano books have unique ways for kids to engage with notated music based on research that shows that learning improves when skills are accessed and explored in different ways.This book is fun, imaginative, and pedagogically on point. Your students will have a blast while becoming brilliant piano players.
Recitals: There will be two recitals during the school year, which will be held either in Tateuchi Hall or in the Reay Recital Room.
Music History: We will be learning about the background of each composer of the pieces that you will be playing.
Music Theory: It is very important to understand music theory. For every lesson there will be short theory assignments for you to complete.
Technique & Scales: The more comfortable you feel with the piano, the more confident and connected you are with the music and the instrument. For every lesson there will be technical assignments, whether it is a new scale, technical exercises or a new etude.
Ear training: How we hear the musical melody effects the way we play. We will be doing some ear training exercises approximately every other lesson or two.
Repertoire: Every quarter we will learn a variety of new repertoire – ranging from the Baroque (Bach), Classical (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven), Romantic (Schubert, Schumann, Chopin) and contemporary compositions (including jazz and popular songs). Royal School of Music Exam Students that are interested in music exams are encouraged to take this exam.
A notebook is to be used for any assignments, comments and instructions that the teacher might have. Students are expected to arrive to lessons, recitals, or competitions on time. Any time missed due to lateness to lessons will not be made up. This is important because one’s lateness can interfere with another student’s lesson time.
Students are expected to practice at home everyday (15min-an hour or more, depending on the level of the student). Some improvement needs to be shown at each lesson (if a situation should occur where practice is prevented, please talk to the teacher).
A studio recital is given twice a year, which every student is required to attend and perform at.
Whether a student will enter competitions is decided upon both by the student and the teacher. However, to be eligible for entering, the student must show his/her determination to enter, performance at lessons, and good sportsmanship.
Piano exams are strongly encouraged for students to participate in because it gives a sense of achievement and professionalism.
Parental involvement for students under the age of 8 is strongly recommended. Younger students usually improve quickly and have a better understanding of materials learned if parents are actively involved. However, for older students, if no progress is made, parents will be asked to monitor practicing. It is also very important for parents to participate in annual recitals, studio workshops, and competitions along with the students.
Students are expected to come to each lesson with his/her books and an assignment notebook. Progress should be shown at lessons from practicing at home.
A metronome is required and essential to developing a good sense of rhythm and tempo. A basic metronome can be purchased for around $20.00. There are also a lot of free metronome apps available on the myriad of mobile devices currently on the market.
It is expected that students have a well-maintained instrument at home to practice on. An acoustic piano is not required, but strongly recommended.
If you would like to set up a trial lesson, please email me at the address below, and I will contact you right away.