Lessons for Children
Lessons are customized to suit your child’s pace and learning style. From the very first lesson, your child will learn to play songs and navigate their way all over the keyboard, even before learning how to read music on the staff. The “guide notes and intervals” approach is used to read notes on the staff, and is supplemented with technical exercises and musical activities for building sight-reading, rhythmic, technical and aural skills.
Why customized lessons? Because every child learns differently. Some children learn better visually, while others can play a tune by ear, after just having heard it played once. The ability to play the rhythm of a piece is easy for some, while others need extra activities (clapping, rhythm games, online apps) to learn how to “feel” the rhythm before playing it in a piece of music. Tailored lessons means your child gets the attention he or she needs to focus on challenging areas, and to capitalize on existing musical skills.
Every lesson is planned in advance, with technical exercises assigned in advance of future repertoire that requires additional skills, such as more complex rhythmic work or specific finger dexterity. At the lesson, the plan may very likely need to be adjusted in order to focus on what needs attention. Does the student need guidance on how to practice a particular piece? Does the theoretical knowledge of a concept need to be reviewed? Each lesson, while customized, will be adapted to fit the current needs of your child.
Lessons for Adults
Adults learn to play the piano at a much different pace than do children. Learning to sight read music can be done at a more advanced pace with adults, but most adults need more technical exercises to build finger dexterity and agility. Before starting lessons, we start with a statement of goals.
Some common goals are:
– be able to play the piano like I did as a child,
– learn how to “build” and analyze chords,
– use knowledge of chords and melodic patterns to improvise at the piano,
– be able to accompany another musical performer,
– learn how to play lead sheets, and
– improve my sight-reading skills to enhance my vocal or other instrumental training.
If you are starting from scratch, we will start with an Adult Method book as a foundation. Additional technical exercises are assigned, and more varied repertoire is added from other sources (books, online composers) so that the repertoire is well-rounded and never boring. Wherever possible, rhythmic, aural and theoretical work is integrated into the pieces being learned. New repertoire is analyzed in class so that you can learn the piece faster and accurately.
Learning how to practice effectively is the final piece of the puzzle:
– finding patterns in the music to ease learning of new sections,
– breaking the piece down into manageable sections,
– focused practice on problem areas to make the best use of practice time.