my teaching philosophy-part 1

As a classical and jazz trained pianist I have extensive knowledge to offer a student. Years of

experience have added to my skills as a teacher. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting elements

that, when combined, illustrate my overall teaching philosophy. This is not meant as a step by step

approach, rather, it is a simple way to explain my overall teaching style.

       The overall goal is to enrich the student experience and appreciation of music by exposure to

all styles and eras of music. I also encourage music expression not only by playing pieces with

dynamics and emotions, but also by trying Improvisation and Composition. Some examples:

A teenage student has been working on a Bach Invention. He plays the piece without many errors

but in pushing for speed, the work sounds tense, agitated. It calls for fast playing but also-tranquillo-

quietly, calmly. I suggest he practice more slowly and hands separately.

      When putting the hands together I have him shift, at will, his concentration from one hand to the other. When he can achieve this he can play with greater facility at a speed appropriate for him.

         A six year old told me she made up something. I ask her to play it, write it down for her and ask

her to expand on it encouraging her creativity.

      As early as possible I introduce chord symbols for playing pop music. The approach is what jazz

players do-not follow the written arrangement. The student learns classical and jazz theory.

In time they can play any music from Bach to the great show tunes  and more!