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Although I was classically trained in a highly competitive, performance-oriented environment, I have a passion for teaching what has recently been termed “Recreational Music Making.” This kind of piano instruction is geared toward individuals who want to learn to play the piano without the pressure to compete or perform. They often want to learn to “play-by-ear” in addition to or even instead of reading traditional notation. They do not aspire to become music teachers or performers, they just want to learn for their own personal enjoyment. They want to experience the stress-relieving, satisfying rewards of playing the music they enjoy the most. Although all my students are invited to perform in yearly studio recitals and various events sponsored by the North Fulton Music Teachers Association (NFMTA,) no one is required to participate.
While I give the finest instruction in good old-fashioned note-reading, I encourage all my students to learn to play by ear and improvise from “fake books,” because it’s a wonderful skill that brings SO much enjoyment to the player. I expose my students to all types of styles, and then assist them in playing the music they enjoy the most - whether it’s classical, jazz, blues, pop/rock, Broadway, country, gospel, contemporary Christian, ethnic folk music, or any other genre that makes them happy.
No matter what style of music my students eventually want to play, I give them all a very thorough, solid foundation in music reading, theory, and technique using the finest method books along with my own supplemental material. I make the lessons as understandable, fun, and engaging as possible, in an environment that is relaxed, non-threatening, and encouraging.
I don’t know who I love teaching more, kids or adults! It’s exciting to see how each age group uniquely benefits from private piano study.
HOW KIDS BENEFIT FROM PIANO LESSONS
Students frequently tell me that their study of rhythm in piano lessons helped them understand fractions, multiplication, division, and even algebra in math class! Classroom teachers have told me that students who previously struggled in reading suddenly began to make progress after starting piano lessons. Kids who take private piano lessons statistically score higher on achievement tests and get higher grades in all academic subjects in school (especially math and reading.) School-age music students exhibit superior temporal-spatial reasoning skills, superior organizational skills, higher self-esteem, lower delinquency rates, and better social skills.
HOW ADULTS BENEFIT FROM PIANO LESSONS
I have found that adults make exceptionally motivated piano students, including senior adults. Though nearly all adults seem to approach lessons with an extreme lack of confidence, they progress at lightening speed, much to their amazement and delight! Studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and other periodicals show that music instruction during the adult years enhances cognitive ability on many levels, and not only protects against all forms of dementia but improves memory and concentration as well as physical coordination. Private piano lessons have been proven to beat the blues, decrease anxiety, promote relaxation and increase feelings of emotional well-being. Adult music students can also expect to enjoy a stronger immune system, decreased feelings of isolation and loneliness, and enjoy increased opportunities for social interaction. I have taught adults from age 18 to 85 and am constantly thrilled by the tremendous feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment they derive from piano study. Their lessons bring a new purpose to their lives, a sparkle in their eye, and a bounce in their step!
Whatever the age of my students, it is my mission to impart to them an art and a past-time that will perpetually sweeten their lives!