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.
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.|
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.