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Master of Music in Piano Performance, James Madison University
Bachelor of Arts in Music, Virginia Commonwealth University
I am a piano teacher with a diverse range of musical interests and experiences. I received my bachelor's degree in music from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007 and my master's degree in piano performance from James Madison University in 2009. I have experience teaching in home lessons to beginners. While my educational background emphasized classical music, I have also enjoyed accompanying music theatre and pop singers, and have accompanied (and sang with) choirs performing classical, jazz, gospel, and contemporary Christian music. I enjoy these opportunities to play contemporary genres every bit as much as I enjoy studying and teaching the classical repertoire.
I used to teach in-home piano lessons in the Richmond area, and am seeking to do the same now that I live in Fredericksburg. My goal in teaching is first and foremost, to help my students "discover" music for themselves. By this I mean, I like to guide the student to learn new things, more so than me telling them what all the answers are. I like to ask questions of my students to see how they experience and understand concepts and make sure they are engaged. I emphasize a foundation of learning piano that includes correct posture and technique and good music reading skills. Beyond that, I like to let the student's interests inform my plans for each lesson. I have experience teaching children from 6 years and older, but am also passionate about adults and seniors having the opportunity to play music as well. You are never too old to begin!
I particularly like the Faber Piano Adventures series and the Alfred Premier Piano Course, but am not wedded to any particular method. I like to be flexible to different methods as sometimes students come with experience in another method. I use the lesson books as a basis, but will supplement with other music or worksheets to further introduce some concepts, or to give students a wider selection of music to play. For adults, I use a method called Fundamental Keys (available on Amazon), but will supplement and tailor materials to the student's goals and interests.
To me, nothing is more important than being positive and encouraging to my students. This does not mean that I am an "easy" teacher, but I approach making corrections or constructive criticism in an encouraging way. I think that pointing out a student's strengths and accomplishments encourages them to keep practicing and improving. That being said, I do keep an eye out for bad habits or consistent mistakes in a particular area so that these bad habits are not ingrained. I also like to ask for my students' own feedback on how they are playing. By asking the student to identify what they played well and what needs improvement, the student learns how to self-coach later on in music lessons, which leads to faster progress and more independence. I will also ask what they think about different pieces to get an idea for what interests and motivates them.
Lucy has been great.
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