New Student Information: Private Piano and Composition Instruction
BENEFITS OF PIANO LESSONS
Studying piano is an extremely rewarding experience. Becoming a musician has a great impact on your life in many ways:
Mentally- Learning to play the piano is a mental exercise that keeps the mind challenged and engaged. It is a widely accepted view that children who study piano do far better in school. This is because learning piano requires critical and abstract thinking which strengthens their ability to comprehend language and math
Physically- Piano requires independence of each hand, and eventually each finger. With training, this develops a high level of manual dexterity and coordination.
Artistically- Music unlocks the artistry in all of us, and is a medium to explore creativity and expression.
Personally- Discipline and dedication are necessary to progress and will become engrained in the student’s work ethic, which can be applied to any goal in life. There is a great sense of accomplishment when mastering a piece of music, which gives you a tangible result that you can share with others by playing for them. It also brings friends and family together.
Why Piano? Compared to other instruments, the piano is a great choice because you can play multiple notes at once, which allows you to carry a song without the requirement of any other instrument, unlike woodwinds or most string instruments. Pianists tend to have a strong understanding of music theory because of this.
I aim to create well rounded musicians that can play many different styles, including classical, jazz, pop, rock, and more. Lessons will cover the following skills:
Fundamentals: A series of method books with guide us through the first few years of navigating the keyboard, learning the music alphabet, rhythm principals, reading music notation, etc. I am familiar with all the different traditional method books as well as newer series. I will choose the best fit for your child.
Ear training: Includes games on the piano, listening to and conducting various styles of music.
Composing: Composing is integrated into lessons for all students, even the youngest beginners can make their own music with guidance. This will include improvisation, creating and developing themes, song form, and music theory.
Repertoire: Outside of the method books, I will also teach familiar "special" songs (ex: Star Wars, Frozen, Fur Elise, etc). I encourage students to request pieces they are inspired by. I will personally compose arrangements of these songs to fit their current skill set if an appropriate arrangement does not exist . The longer the student has been studying, the more music will become available to them. The first year is the most limiting, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve to get through it!
Lessons are once a week, and the length of time will be determined individually.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO BECOME A PIANIST?
Every student progresses at different rates, and there is no guaranteed time frame. There are several factors that will affect progress, primarily practice habits and frequency of lessons, in addition to natural abilities. Learning to read music is similar to learning a new alphabet and language- it takes time, discipline, dedication, and patience!
DAILY PRACTICING EXPECTATIONS:
Age 4-5 5 minutes
Age 6-7 10 minutes
Age 8-10 15 minutes
Age 11-13 20 minutes
Age 13 + 30 minutes plus.
Above is the minimum practice times recommended, but the more practice the better! Practice is vital to the student’s progression; this is because repetition is necessary to process information and build technique and muscle memory. Practicing can be broken up throughout the day. It is normal for every student to go through different phases of interest. There is no reason for alarm if practice is occasionally a struggle. If they are genuinely interested in music, the motivation will always come back on it’s own. I will do my best to make sure your child is inspired to practice. .
Piano: A piano in your home will be required for lessons. If you do not already own a piano, I can assist you with finding one for purchase or rental.
Tools: A metronome and books will also be required. I will purchase the materials needed, and can be reimbursed via cash or check.
I offer lessons out of my home, in Culver City, as well as lessons in the student’s homes (if the neighborhood is logistically possible within my current schedule).
I am simply looking for families who share my commitment and passion for music.
The Music Educator: I have taught piano for 15 years in different capacities in Phoenix, New York City, and Los Angeles as of 2010. I started teaching piano when I was 16 years old and discovered my passion for sharing music with others, a passion that would continue to grow over time. When I was younger, my goals were to become a concert pianist and composer, but what a wonderful discovery is has been to realize the joy and fulfillment I receive from creating music in others through education. I feel that I am able to touch so many more lives in an exponential way through teaching, rather than just keeping my musical knowledge to myself. The families I work with become valued friends as well, and it is an honor to lead so many wonderful people into the world of music.
The Musician: I have been fortunate enough to have a wide variety of experiences within my career, which are continually growing and taking me to new places. Although classical music is my first love, I have played and composed every musical style imaginable and have performed in a variety of ensembles- from the classical symphonic stage, to the Broadway pits, to heavy metal international tours- it has been a blast! My musical journey started at 5 years old, when I begged my mom to let me take piano lessons after hearing Chopin’s “Minute Waltz” in my Dad’s pick up truck on the way to school! I was passionate about music from a young age and started composing around 8 years old. I studied piano intensely all the way through college, where I earned my degrees in Music Composition and Theory, and Piano Performance from Arizona State University in 2006. Unlike many of my classical piano peers, I had a strong interest in popular music as well, which led me to my career in the rock industry. After college I toured around the world professionally with several different bands as a keyboardist and singer and wrote and recorded 6 albums released internationally on a few different labels. After touring for 4 years, I decided that I would like a more stable lifestyle that allowed me to live in one place, so I moved to Los Angeles in 2010 to compose music for film/television, and began building a new piano studio, which has grown to approximately 30 students.
The Person: I grew up in Scottsdale Arizona and love to visit my family there frequently. Outside of music there is not a whole lot of time, but I also enjoy cooking, hiking, yoga, and traveling. My husband Kyle is a commercial producer, a die hard 49ers fan, and competitive soccer player. We had our first born son Charlie in July 2015 and are loving the adventure of being new parents together!
In closing- thank you for choosing to begin your musical journey with me! I am looking forward to making music together