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!