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I am a very enthusiastic and educated instructor who loves teaching students about music. In 2004, I graduated from Berklee College of Music with a dual-Bachelor's Degree and have been teaching privately since 1998. I have been performing since age 8 and have had the pleasure of playing and teaching internationally.
Music has been a part of my life since I was six years old--I have played piano for 23 years. I graduated from James Madison University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Industry. I studied piano with a member of the piano faculty at James Madison while I also studied music production and the music business. After graduating, I wrote music for George Mason University TV, student films, and a number of freelance clients. Music is how I really express myself and I love to share that with others.
I am a creative and passionate musician who recenty relocated to Washington, DC. I love teaching and have extensive experience as a private teacher with all ages and ability levels.
I am an active teacher, concert artist, church pianist, and accompanist in the metropolitan DC area. I am a member of the Piano Faculty at the Montgomery College and perform regularly through the Friday Morning Music Club. After earning a Doctorate degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, I founded my piano teaching studio in Gaithersburg, MD, where I have guided many pianists along their musical paths. A native of Taiwan, I started my music training at age 4 with the Yamaha method. At age 8 and continuously till 18, I participated in an intensive music training program sponsored by the national government that was offered exclusively to certified “exceptionally gifted” students. I won top prizes in various young artist competitions and appeared in solo concerts and with orchestras. I continued my music training in the United States, starting at the prestigious Indiana University School of Music, where I was a featured soloist in the Mozart Festival commemorating the bicentennial of Mozart’s death. At Indiana I received both Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Piano Performance in only five years, with the Highest Distinction. My experience during these years of music training ultimately shaped my teaching philosophy. To be sure, I received a well-rounded and rigorous music training throughout my formative years. However, a remarkable event at age 16 dramatically broadened my musical horizon and enlightened me with a vision. It was an attendance at a profoundly moving opera performance that ignited my passion for music and led me to discover my own authentic musical “voice”. I was truly fortunate to have already been equipped with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge when this epiphany ultimately propelled me to a life dedicated to music. Thanks to my parents’ and teachers’ foresight, tenacity, and years of patient guidance, I was ready to continue, finally in my own determination, my musical quest in the United States. Having realized my dream, I am passionate about helping my students fulfill their desires and make music a source of their joy and pleasure.
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"We have many adult students taking lessons with us. Whether you have studied music as a child, or are wanting to learn a new skill, music lessons are a great avenue to go with! Not only do they keep you young and energized, but our teachers are also able to relate to you and instruct you in a way you can understand."
Piano lessons are usually structured around a series of method books which are recommended by the teacher, and can be purchased at a local music store or online. Lessons for a beginner usually start with familiarizing the student with the piano as well as beginner level technique. This can include learning the notes on the piano, and learning basic scales, like major and minor scales. Beginners may start by learning how to play scales using the correct finger techniques with both hands until they develop their speed and co-ordination. Eventually students will start playing simple melodies, often nursery rhymes, that put the fingering techniques into practice. Students will also learn the various types of chord, from simple major and minor chords, through to 7th chords, slash chords, and diminished chords. Students will also develop their sight reading and music theory knowledge throughout their lessons.
The best instrument to get would be an upright or baby grand piano. However, if your finances are limited we suggest looking at a digital keyboard. Go with the best quality keyboard that you can afford. We suggest a keyboard with weighted keys so that there is additional resistance on the keys than a toy piano would provide. Most digital keyboards start at 61 keys, and go up to a full size 88 keys. You have to consider which keyboard would fit best in your home and your budget. A beginning student should get the keyboard before or immediately after beginning lessons, so that they may begin practicing as soon as the lessons commence.
Learning to play the piano as a child is fun, rewarding, and vastly beneficial to their overall development. Children can develop their motor-skills, dexterity, and coordination through technical piano playing such as learning scales, chords, and correct fingering. Young students can also develop their concentration, listening skills, and ability to master complex thought processes through theory, repertoire, and student-teacher feedback. Learning to play the piano can also be character building by instilling a hard-working attitude, developing self-discipline and confidence through practice, taking exams, entering competitions or performing recitals.
In home lessons are what 90% of our students request. Not only is it a convenient means to study music, but we also notice no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio since they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location. Additionally, the student may be able to focus better in their own home since they are familiar with it. Piano lessons in the home offer a practical choice for your family for learning the skill of playing a musical instrument.
Review by Jennifer
Dave is a fantastic teacher. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to students that I think is invaluable. At the same time, this does not limit him from working with beginning students. He is very communicative with the parents as far as schedule changes. We are so grateful to have found him!!
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
Review by Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.
Review by Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
Review by Marlo
Danette is a delightful instructor. She always brings a wealth of knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm to piano lessons with my daughter. She is not only skilled at piano, but she has a wonderful voice quality that she uses to help convey certain techniques and to highlight various points where she intends to draw the students attention.
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
Review by Michelle S.
"My daughter has been a student with Mark for over a year. She has come so far and has learned so much in such a short time. Mark is extremely talented and knowledgeable. He is very serious, patient and super nice. If your child or if you really WANT to learn the drums, then I highly recommend Mark. He is our third instructor and the best one yet! You will not be disappointed." Michelle S.
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