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Studied piano, voice and music composition at Lebanon Valley College while pursuing a degree in another field.
Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember – even before I started taking lessons. Some of the best memories with my sister, parents and grandparents are of us gathered around a player piano singing to piano rolls. Music is a powerful tool for evoking memories. I received classical training from a piano teacher who instructed me in music theory so well that I was able to pass a college level final exam in a course teaching the same with an A- without setting foot in the classroom! The skills and knowledge I obtained have served me well over 35 years – allowing me to play in various churches and adapt to different styles. Although playing piano is not my vocation, it has been a tremendous source of enjoyment. And I’d like to share that with others.
Through the years, I’ve helped a number of people learn vocal music including a special needs student while I was in high school with success. He was on the verge of being asked to leave that chorus. Because of my work, not only did he remain, he went on to perform in the New Jersey All State chorus –probably one of the greatest thrills of my life! Success has most often been achieved by breaking down a piece of music into manageable parts, helping the individual to master each part, incorporating that part into a section, and tying the sections together. The key has been patience both on my part but encouraging. Patience has also been key on my part but also encouraging the student to be patient as well. These concepts will be instrumental as I teach piano.
Teaching materials will be selected based on the age and experience level of the student, as well as the style of music the student is interested in learning. I strive to make the learning experience relaxed and enjoyable. I prefer in-person lessons to facilitate interaction and to be sure that the student is employing the proper techniques. In addition to practice, I will assign written homework in music theory to ensure that the student understands the mechanics of the music being learned. This will provide the student with a solid foundation that will serve the student not only in playing piano but in learning other instruments as well.
Although, I did well while learning piano, I went to some piano lessons with a small amount of trepidation - fearing I'd make a mistake while playing and hear about it. A voice instructor in college, however, always put me at ease. Instead of criticism or disapproval, his approach was to offer positive tips to help me improve my performance. The sheer joy he had for music seemed to fill his studio. It's my goal to conduct lessons the same way. Realistic goals will be set. Practice and written assignments will be provided in writing. But ultimately, I want my students to look forward to lessons. My goal is to help my students not only achieve proficiency but hopefully to instill in them a passion for music.
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