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Bring Music to Life

Grand Piano Lessons Image

Help your child be a more confident and happier person while having fun and learning to play.

All piano lessons are provided with one-on-one teaching methods in my private piano studio located in Excelsior Springs Missouri.  Each student receives my full and focused attention.

What sets me apart

Method, theory and fun music available in the studio for purchase with no mark-up. The music "shop" is only for my piano students. Parents do not need to shop for the music. There are opportunities to perform in area nursing homes plus one formal recital each year. If interested, a student may enter competitions with monetary awards in the areas of music essay, composition, and/or poetry. These are offered through groups in which I am a member.

There are no registration or recital fees.

Each piano lesson is carefully crafted for the individual's abilities and interests and is reinforced with music games, fun worksheets and may have opportunities to learn improvising, lead sheets, composition, memorization, duets and/or rhythm cups.

"Our seven year-old daughter has been taking piano from Miss Dorothy and we have been impressed by the progress she has made. She can read music, has learned some theory and most importantly, loves playing the many fun pieces she's learned." -- Anne

"Our daughter loves the piano games." -- Julie

Techniques Provided Technique Topics of Study

Piano pedagogy involves the study and teaching of motor, intellectual, problem-solving, and artistic skills involved in playing the piano effectively.

Topics of Study
Rhythm Teaching rhythm is important for the student to be able to play a piece accurately and also to confidently perform a practiced piece. Developing an internal metronome plays a significant role when teaching rhythm. I employ rhythm cups early in their studies, progressing to more difficult rhythms as they experience them. Rhythm cups are plastic cups played with both hands in a variety of manners and I have approximately 30 rhythm "pieces" in each of four different levels. I encourage students to count out loud when practicing and to tap their toe inside their shoe when performing. A metronome is used to determine the tempo the composer desired.
Notation Learning to read music is a critical skill for most pianists. In the first lessons a student plays simple, familiar tunes in a variety of locations on the keyboard by following finger numbers shown on a chart. We move quickly to reading as many as five notes in the right hand but the left hand is basic. This very innovative approach was begun by Piano Pronto and has proven to keep interest high with successful performances. The right hand moves around and is rarely in Middle C position as was formerly taught a couple of generations ago.
Technique Good piano playing technique involves the simultaneous understanding in both the mind and the body of the relationships between the elements of music theory, recognition of musical patterns in notation and at the fingertips, the physical landscape of the entire range of the keyboard, finger dexterity and independence, and a wide range of touch and tone production for a variety of emotional expressions. Pentatonic scales are begun in the first month of lessons and generally 7 scales are learned with the corresponding arpeggios, broken and blocked chords in about 3 months.
Sight Reading Sight reading heavily depends on the students' ability to understand rhythm, and recognize musical patterns. Teaching sight reading can include teaching students to recognize intervals, scale passage patterns, note reading and the ability to internalize rhythm. I teach sight reading, focusing on this for 3 months of each year. This shows both the students and myself that they read notes, understand rhythm and recognize intervals.
Ear training Introduction of listening to expressive music as a method of sensitizing students to the meaning of music. Ear training is another section focused on for 3 months. Within 2 lessons a student is listening for which note is higher, which beat is longer, what touch is being used.
Lead Sheets Every student is introduced to chords and offered lead sheets to show why the understanding of chords is important. The approach is varied, depending on the student's age and desire to spend time in this area.
Improvisation Improvisation is also introduced and whether we continue working with this depends on the student. Some are very interested in making the music their "own" by expressing how they feel about the music. Many styles are offered.
Compostion Composition is begun with the student following suggested rhythm and inserting their melody and chords in the left hand. Some students enjoy writing pieces to be evaluated by college professors and winning monetary rewards. Many of my students have won money on the state, regional and national levels.
Memorization Memorization is useful to perform a piece confidently. It gives the student ability and freedom to experience the music for all of its intricacies as opposed to focusing on the technicalities of notes and rhythm. Memorization can come easily to some students, and harder for others.

What Does Your Tuition Cover?

Tuition reserves your time for personal evaluation and teaching. I offer 30 minutes standard piano lessons for beginners once a week; two 30 minute lessons a week for ages 5 to 7 (these can be 15 minutes each for 2 in the same family); premium lessons which are 45 minutes once a week.

music lesson in studio
  • Lessons and performances
  • Studio expenses
  • Recital costs and preparation
  • Your teacher's training and experience
  • Teacher's prepartion time for students
  • Continuing education
  • Certification costs

About piano lessons

Piano helps strengthen a child's self-esteem, creativity, brain function and mental health.

"Music is the art of thinking with sounds."

I offer individual lessons for ages 5 through 80. You are never too old to learn to play.

"The only musician you have to be better than is the one you were yesterday."

Student Requirements

Preparing for success

When a student begins you need:

1) A desire to learn something new or refresh your abilities

2) An accoustic or a good keyboard with at least 61 weighted keys or electronic piano

3) A good stool or bench that is appropriate height for student and proper posture

4) A time you are available each week for lessons and practicing

Getting Started

Is it possible to schedule a Meet-and-Greet before committing to the first lesson?

Absolutely!  I schedule free Meet-&-Greets by appointment only. Besides getting questions answered, I provide a sample lesson (for beginners) which typically gives people a direct experience and an opportunity to go home and play a song.

Simply give me a call at 816-637-3507 or request one through my contact form below.

About the Teacher

Ms. Dorothy

music teacher photo in studio

Piano instruction began for me at age 5 from my mother and moved to professional teachers by age 10. Throughout my preteen and teenage years, I studied with Mrs. Lemon and had 2 hour long lessons each week, necessitating several hours of practice each day to be proficient enough for the lessons. College was at Southern Nazarene University where I majored in Piano Pedagogy and was required to perform a memorized piece each month in front of my peers and instructors. I was the area elementary and high school accompanist for many years and held a staff position as organist/pianist at a local church for over 35 years.

I am a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Kansas City Federation of Teachers and Fine Arts ( holding the positions of out-reach secretary and programs featuring women composers), Piano Pronto teachers and Faber Music Teachers.

My students have excelled in piano performance, earning 1 ratings (exemplary) on both the district and state levels and also in the composition category on state, regional and national levels, earning the student cash awards.

"Ms Dorothy is so good with the kids. She makes playing the piano fun and knows just when to challenge them to move them forward. We are blessed to have had her teaching piano to the youth (adults, too!) in our community." -- Courtney

Studio Location

Dorothy's Piano Studio

415 Hazelwood, Excelsior Springs, Missouri 64024 | 816-637-3507

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