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AWARDS – Solo Piano Performance, Washington State Music Teachers Association; one 7th Place award, and two 1st Place awards.
SUMMARY - I have had so much fun in my life with music I want to share this with students who also want this confidence filling and invigorating experience! The speed and advancement of the student will be primarily upon the student’s willingness to practice, and I will not slow them down. Piano lesson advantage! Learning the piano is an excellent instrument to branch out to other instruments if desired. This polyphonic tool also helps teach basic chord structures (major/root, minor, augmented, diminished, etc.) much sooner than a single toned instrument. Piano lessons helped me learn other instruments very fast and would like to teach to this end if desired!
PERSONAL EQUIPMENT - Kawai acoustic piano, Korg 2200 digital piano, Yamaha MM6 synthesizer and a Yamaha E213 keyboard.
Teaching - Piano/keys 4 students. Drum for 2 students (one student was blind).
Performance - accompanying choirs and church (acoustic piano), marching band (trumpet and percussion), worship bands (acoustic drum set and synth), and orchestra (timpani and bells). I taught myself the trumpet and achieved first chair within the first 6 months of playing (our marching band performed in Canada to California besides many places in Washington). Piano solos at Eastern Washington University, Central Washington University and Seattle Pacific University.
Industry standard books will be assigned to the appropriate skill level. The scope for the beginner and intermediate level is to establish proper body, hand and fingering positions to facilitate and prepare for future and more complex music. The student will be encouraged as to select and play skill-based appropriate songs that are familiar and popular with them to keep piano lessons fun.
Flash or memory cards will be used to quickly bring the student up to speed for hand eye coordination with seeing the music note and playing the note on the piano. Key signatures, time signatures, note values, rest duration will be among several fundamental features that will be also introduced and taught for the beginning student.
Coordinated left hand and right hand finger exercises separately and in unison will be a starting point and continue with added complexity to keep the student’s fingers limber and strong. Some people actually made music from their exercises—just ask Bach. :^) Once basic scales and chords are completed, a formal exercise book of Hanon will be introduced to the lessons. This will enhance dexterity and continued strength as well as develop new fingering capabilities to enable the student towards more advanced songs they like or even want to compose!
Formal teaching material will consist of Faber or Thompson; though if the student prefers Alfred, Bastien or Snell, I can work with these. All of these options are good. For beginning students I prefer to start with "on staff" instead of "off staff." I do not start off with metronomes, but will consider later on with the student where this may be needed (i.e. technical attention to the composer’s original intent, prep for adjudications, desired effect with own creative music, waltz or marching songs, etc.).
Just to reiterate, I believe it is important that the student to choose some of the music (books or sheet music) as it complements their advancement and even playing from chord sheets if that is a goal. This gives the student music that is appealing for others and exciting to play and share at informal venues and formal events.
As a teacher, I will also be a coach to encourage the student to learn rudimentary and theory basics. These will be foundational for development as the student matures. Tactically, lessons will consist of playing for understanding. I look forward to a student questions as it is key for the overall learning process. In some cases, I will have to do some homework for the student!
I believe this combination of style and method provides a strong format to give the student a satisfying and confident background a music career as a soloist or to jump in on jam sessions and perform with others.
I can teach for precision to support the student’s goal of strictly solo performance, and I can teach for more of an open model in which the student eventually creates original music or wants to play in a band.
Is playing the synthesizer a goal for the student? If so, I would like to consider having split lessons after some basic piano theory and application are acquired. I have played a couple of different acoustic instruments over my music career, and this has assisted my synth skills to transfer seamlessly to band situations in which brass and strings were needed but the talent or skill was not readily available—a synth musician can step right in and deliver the right mix that is needed! As a matter of fact, it is a hoot to play a drum patch (a full drum set) on the synth and having the audience wide-eyed and puzzled trying and look for a drummer and drums that are not on the stage!
This is going to be fun and I look forward to the lessons! Are you ready? :^)
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