I work with families for whom piano education is a priority. I am likely to be a good match for your family if you (the parents) and your child (the student) are as enthusiastic about learning as I am about teaching. Our collective goal will be to help your child to build a solid musical foundation to give wings to a lifetime of musical expression. This will happen if the parents, the student, and the teacher work harmoniously together as outlined below.

1. THE PARENTS
It is vital that parents participate in all phases of their child’s piano education. Not only does learning require adult supervision to be effective, but also, by involving themselves in the lessons and in practice, parents demonstrate to their child that this is an important activity worthy of their own participation.

a) Attend lessons.
Parents should actively participate in the lessons, taking notes as necessary. It is important to observe what is being taught to your child in order to assist in the practice at home.

b) Insure regular practice at home.
Music homework is important just like academic homework. Regular, daily practice is essential for developing the fine motor control required for playing the piano. It is the parent’s responsibility to establish a daily routine that includes ample time for focused practice at the piano.

c) Practice with your child.
Parents should sit with their child at home to guide them as they practice. For very young children, who are not yet proficient at reading, this is obviously essential in order to guide them through the written practicing instructions provided by the teacher. However, even after they can read, practicing with your child remains important in order to provide structure and motivation during the practice sessions, and to effectively apply the concepts and practice techniques introduced at each lesson.

2. THE STUDENT
a) Practice regularly.
Just as academic students are expected to do all homework regularly and well, so also music performance students are expected to do all homework (practice) regularly and well. Students should practice a minimum of five days a week.

b) Practice well.
All practice should be focused problem-solving sessions at the piano. Some passages on the piano are tricky, others are very fast, still others require a special touch. All of this is difficult and requires hard work and concentration. My advice to the student is: Never be satisfied with merely playing passages through repetitively without careful attention to quality. Always identify the difficult spots and pay careful, extra, focused attention to them.

c) Work with your parent.
This is one of the most important, yet one of the most misunderstood, issues in the study of piano for young children. To these young students I would say the following: Even if your parent is not an accomplished pianist s/he can hear and see what you are doing at the piano, and is experienced at solving problems of all kinds. Your parent is working with your teacher to help you improve at the piano. Listen to your parent and follow his/her instructions during practicing at home, just as you would follow the instructions of your piano teacher during a lesson.

d) Perform in studio workshops, musicales, and concerts.
Piano is a performing art. Students are expected to perform regularly at studio work-shops, musicales and concerts that are held several times each month. Studio performances serve three key functions. First, and most obviously, studio performances help students develop the ability to perform in front of others, which not only builds public presentation skills for the piano, but also enhances poise and self-confidence generally. Second, studio performances serve to motivate students, providing concrete goals they can strive for. Finally, studio performances are important social events that allow students to develop friendships with their peers in a musical setting.

3. THE TEACHER
a) Apply highly individualized instruction.
I individualize my instruction, completely, to address the unique personal qualities, learning style, strengths, and weaknesses of each student.

b) Teach good practice habits.
At each lesson I teach students how to solve problems, think systematically, and to pay attention to detail. For home practice I create weekly, individualized practice charts.

c) Motivate and inspire the student.
I strive to motivate each student to embrace, rather than fear challenges. I stress perseverance in working towards goals for all of my students, and I celebrate each of their accomplishments, large and small. Not least, I emphasize the wonder of music, the elegance of lyric expression, and the crisp excitement of a polished technique.

d) Communicate with parents.
I always keep an open line of communication with parents regarding the progress of their child. Consultation by phone, email and in person on any matter is always encouraged. I am especially pleased to stay in touch during the week on the progress of the child’s practice at home.