“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.”
The goal of my teaching is to help develop in each student his or her potential as piano player, and to encourage a lifetime of music learning and enjoyment. I teach a variety of music from the traditional piano repertoire, but I also encourage students to bring any other music of any genre and style that they would like to play.
I offer piano lessons at my studio in Mamaroneck. Beginners usually start with 30-minute lessons and progress to 45-minute lessons in the second or third year. Advanced students and those who are preparing for exams like Royal Conservatory Music Development Program take 60- or 75-minute lessons.
All lessons include instruction in music theory and history. This helps students understand what they are playing and what characterizes music of each style. I teach theory and history using worksheets, various music games and flash cards, music apps on the iPad, and white board with music staff. Students love having piano lessons infused with this type of instruction because it adds interactivity, contextualizes concepts, and breaks the monotony of drill and repetition.
You need to be comfortable with me and I need to get to know you and the student. Sign up for a free lesson and this will give us an opportunity to get to know each other.
Performing is an important aspect of my piano studio because it boosts self-confidence and teaches commitment, perseverance, and endurance. Music is a performing art and an inherently social endeavor, and that means that you grow in your ability to express your musical ideas when you share them with others. That is why I encourage my students to perform at non-competitive and competitive events.
To prepare students for performing, we work on memorization techniques, talk about performance anxiety, and practice music performance etiquette--bowing, sitting at the piano, pausing between pieces, and receiving praise (or critique).
Good sound at the piano is a result of good technique and musical understanding. I help my students gain the appreciation of--and the ability to produce--good sound by training them to use their hands and their whole bodies correctly. Everything from body alignment to controlled relaxation of shoulder/arm/hand, to relaxed hand arch, fluid approach to the keyboard, and even the awareness of the bench height and distance affects the sound production. I also teach how the piano action and pedals work, and that tends to further raise awareness of how to approach the piano as a player.
I regularly assign students scales and cadences--the building blocks of music--because that helps with music learning in general, and sight reading and improvisation in particular. Control and technique improve too. Internalizing patterns and gaining dexterity by practicing scales removes huge barriers to learning new pieces.
I want my students to play musically from the very beginning, so I teach them how to shape their phrases and how to voice properly even when they are playing etudes and scales.
When I choose repertoire, I try to pick the style of the piece that I think a student will like, or I let the student choose the piece. If the student is preparing for an audition or event, such as NYSMTA District 4 piano events, NYSSMA Festival, or Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, certain pieces may be be required.
I have high expectations for my students--I expect consistent practice, attendance, and respect. In return I offer them my love of music, experience as performer, and teaching skills, hoping to enrich their musical lives.