Teaching Philosophy

“Music is the tool to express life- and all that makes a difference” (Herbie Hancock 1940-). Throughout my life, music has been meaningful. Music has helped me with my confidence in social aspects in my life and has had healing aspects for different challenges. It has helped me and wish to share that with my own students. Music study is important because it teaches everyone on how to be a human being with expressing themselves. It is something you can have for life. I teach piano because it helped my confidence.  It taught me how to express myself nonverbally when words failed.

                In my studio, I want my students to have strong technique with proper fingering and maintain healthy hands and wrists. I want them to develop strong rhythm, aural skills, and theory. It is important to me for each of my students to express their emotions through their own compositions.  I aim for my students to become good sight readers. I want them to use this knowledge from me by continuing to use their study of music in their lives. I want my students to enjoy themselves. I want them to be proficient and pass on their love for music to others for life.

                 Discipline and structure are achieved with consistent practice routines and asking questions. Teaching young students to respect their teacher is also important by not arguing and doing as asked. I also encourage creativity and personal expression with having students create their own pieces and learning how to improvise. All my students receive knowledge in technique, theory, aural skills, composition, and improvisation.

I like to have my students set goals. I teach them how to practice effectively and keeping a consistent practice routine. This method teaches them how to learn and teach themselves what needs to be worked on. I use visual, auditory, and kinesthetic methods that work best for the individual. I have found doing these goals and showing different practice methods has helped improve self-confidence in students. I use multiple method books. I use Bastien, Piano Adventures, Alfred, Piano Pronto, and John Thompson. Some of the methods are geared to those with stronger reading abilities with starting on the staff right away, such as John Thompson, Alfred, and Piano Pronto. Once lessons start and I happen to realize that the book I originally chose for them does not work as well as I had thought, I will transfer students to a different book. Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.

I would encourage those looking to major in music to participate in competitions and examinations.  I would love to teach students who wish to compete in higher levels of music performance opportunities. For all students, I encourage participation in winter and spring recitals. I also encourage teenagers and adults to find accompanying experiences through schools and churches.

I am interested in making sure my students learn classical technique first for foundation purposes before learning other genres. I add other styles with classical style as each student reaches a certain knowledge and interest of how the piano works.

I prefer ages 9-18, but I also love teaching younger kids and adults. I have taught students as young as 4. I have the most experience in classical style but also know jazz well. I have an interest in theory that I enjoy sharing.  I am a strong sight reader despite visual perception issues. I use tips to help my students become better sight readers. I have experience with playing by ear, composing, and improvising which I pass on in lessons.

I also have worked with students who have ADHD, so I use different learning goals for them. I also have special expertise in working with students with visual learning disabilities.

Music can help one express themselves throughout life. Music is not unessential. It really is the most essential subject in school because it teaches you how to be a better human being. It is something you can learn for the rest of your life.  It teaches you how to express yourself.  I want my students to be able to express themselves and become better human beings throughout their studies of piano lessons.