What is your teaching technique?
I teach students to read music right away using the Faber Piano Adventures method books. I also supplement those books with other music, depending on the student’s needs and interests. Written work is a regular part of lessons. I do not teach the Suzuki method, although I do use some of the Suzuki ideas and materials. Every student is different and I believe deserves an approach to learning that fits them.
Where do you teach?
I teach out of my home in South Minneapolis in the Diamond Lake neighborhood of Minneapolis. Since March 2020, I have been doing lessons online, and will continue to do so until parents feel it is safe to return to in-person lessons.
At what age should children begin piano lessons?
I start teaching girls at age 6 and boys at age 8. Some children are ready for piano lessons earlier, some a bit later. Other teachers start with children as young as age 4, but I do not. A child must be ready for the physical aspects of learning the piano: sitting quietly, looking at and interpreting symbols on paper, and moving just their fingers and arms. These skills build up over time, of course.
What are the costs?
Lessons beginning in the 2020-21 school year cost $33 for 40-minute lessons and $50 for 60-minutes lessons). Tuition for the year is based on 36 lessons (approx. 30 lessons during the school year [September through May] and 6 in the summer months of June, July and August). Tuition payments will be billed monthly.
What are the responsibilities of the parents?
After having made the admirable decision to include music education as an important part of their child’s development, parents are the teachers at home. Regular practicing is crucial for learning to play music, so parents must take on the responsibility of ensuring that practicing and written work are part of the child’s weekly schedule. I strongly recommend that parents are present at lessons so they can better understand what and how the child is learning. This makes practicing at home much more effective.
What is your background?
I have a bachelors degree and masters degree in music composition. Piano is my main instrument. I have been teaching private piano lessons since 2006.
What kind of piano should we have at home?
Students must have an acoustic piano to practice on; an electronic piano with weighted keys is acceptable, but not as good as an acoustic piano. Keyboards without weighted keys are insufficient for training and strengthening a young person’s fingers.