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BS, The Ohio State University, Pyschology
2010 - Accepted into the Ohio State University's School of Music as a Piano Performance Major. Spent freshman year in the piano studio before switching majors to pursue other career paths.
Hello! My name is Alec. I fell in love with the piano when I began taking lessons at 7 years old, and I’ve been enjoying the instrument ever since! I gained early experience by performing in studio recitals, competing in district contests, and accompanying our school choir. I was eventually hired to play regularly for a local church when I was 14, and by the time I was a senior in high school, I was playing for 3 churches in town regularly – juggling multiple services some weekends. As I went off to Ohio State for college I considered pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance, but after being accepted into the program and spending my freshman year in the school of music, I decided that I wanted other things from college and that my musical career would not require such a degree. Nevertheless, that year added much to my life as a musician, and I continued to play over my college years. Music continues to be one of my greatest passions in life, and I love sharing that passion with others.
At the start of my junior year of high school, I began teaching piano to a handful of students in my small town. It was such an exciting experience! I taught a few very young students whose moms wanted them to try out the instrument and learn some fundamentals, and I taught a few older students who just wanted to know how to play some of their favorite songs. With all of my students, I paid attention to their unique needs and goals, and I worked together with them to fashion out a path that would best achieve their personal goals. I continued teaching up until I went away for college, and I helped a few of my students who were eager to continue learning to find another teacher. One of them continues to play today and is a joy to hear!
Students want to learn the piano for a variety of reasons. Some aren’t really sure they want to learn at all, but mom wants them to give it a shot! Others just want to learn that song on the radio! All are fine reasons to learn, and each deserves a personal approach. For very young students just learning the basics, structure provides direction and comfort, so I’d recommend jumping into a beginner’s curriculum such as by Alfred or Hal Leonard and going from there. For older students who may have a better idea of what or how they want to learn, I’d work with them to refine their goals and develop a path appropriate towards achieving them. In all cases, I strive to keep students excited and engaged with repertoire that’s challenging and enjoyable as they work towards their goals.
Learning an instrument brings to attention one of the strange paradoxes of life: something that brings us great joy can also sometimes bring us great frustration! (My “Well-Tempered Clavier” book with a tear down its front cover captures this point nicely.) Playing the piano is incredibly rewarding and fun, but learning it can sometimes be discouraging. So, I seek to operate as encourager, visionary, and coach on top of teacher. I strive to keep my students challenged and engaged as they pursue their learning goals, but I also want to keep them excited and hopeful about their music. This is a unique balancing act with each student, but done properly, it results in an enjoyable and rewarding experience where students look back and see key victories throughout their journey.
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