I take teaching piano seriously and consider it my responsibility to guide the musical development of my students so that they can develop their full potential.
My teaching philosophy focuses on three goals.
First , I provide the tools that students need so that they can teach themselves. That is, I want them to become their own teachers so that they eventually no longer need my guidance. This will ensure that my students continue to play and enjoy music even after they stop taking lessons. From the very first lesson, students are taught how to practice. Effective practice skills and consistent practice habits are keys to a student’s success. It is not possible for me to be with my students every day to supervise their practice sessions. Therefore, it is crucial for them to know how to structure their practice sessions to get the most out of their time.
In order for students to become independent learners, they must be able to problem-solve. The first step to problem-solving is being aware of the problem. During each lesson, I develop critical listening skills with my students, so that they can determine whether they are playing a piece correctly. Once a problem is detected, we find causes, explore solutions and then the student tries the solution at home during his practice session. The ability to problem-solve can be applied to many other areas of study.
Secondly, I want my students’ to develop their full potential as musicians. I believe that all students have musical ability and an innate desire to be musical. I want them to use their ability to the fullest in order to reach their musical goals. My students are trained in sight-playing, aural skills, musicianship, improvisation, composition, ensemble playing, music theory, music history and performance. I want them to be able to function in a social environment where if asked for an impromptu performance, they will be willing and able to provide one. I also want them to be able to play a moderately level piece without practicing when needed. It does take some patience and regular practice to get to this point so attending lessons only without practicing isn’t sufficient.
Third, and one reason I started teaching, is to instill a love of music in all of my students. I can’t imagine my life without music. I want my students to appreciate and enjoy music as much as I do, so I strive to make our lessons interesting and fun at the same time creating a desire to learn. We study music that is both accessible and fun to play while presenting appropriate technical challenges and presenting essential musical concepts. I encourage my students to ask questions and give them projects that will stimulate their creativity and intellect.
Every student is unique. While I have a couple method books which I follow to teach critical music fundamentals, I also supplement with music that speaks to your individual student and will modify my plans based on your child’s learning style.
Although a student can learn if they don’t practice in between lessons, it is painfully slow and thus very discouraging. I believe it is critical that your child get in regular practicing experiences between lessons in order to have a positive learning experience in piano.