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I am certified in Music Education by the State Board for Educator Certification and have 35 years experience working in individualized education. I am currently accepting a small number of students for piano, ear-training, sight-reading, and/or music theory lessons. We will discuss what you need and develop an individual plan for you based on your goals. I accept students from age 15 through adult.
Classical piano training for beginning, intermediate, or advanced students.
Ear training, including relative pitch, interval recognition, and sight-reading.
Music theory training from beginning music reading through four-part harmonic dictation.
Preparation for music theory exams, including AP courses and the AP exam.
Upon request I can provide references from students who have found my approach to be greatly beneficial to them. I look forward to working with you.
*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are held either in my home studio in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston or via Skype. Each lesson lasts approximately 45 minutes, depending upon when we reach a good stopping point.
My only requirement is that you have access to a piano or electronic keyboard on a daily basis in order that you may practice. I require three hours' advance notice of cancellation in order for you to avoid having to pay for a missed lesson.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Kawai upright studio piano
*** Specialties ***
Adult beginner/intermediate students
Technique exercises and development
Musicianship, including period-appropriate interpretation and expression
Composer Troy W. graduated from the New England Conservatory, earning his Bachelors, Masters (cum laude) and Graduate Diploma while studying with mentor Malcolm Peyton. After spending a year studying with Lukas Foss in Boston, Mr. W. moved to Houston in 2001 where he continued graduate studies at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.
During his time as a teacher with the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, Troy taught classes in music fundamentals and music theory for pre-college students. He has also served on the faculty of the Summer Institute for Piano teaching courses in Form & Analysis for pre-college students.
Troy also has maintained a private studio, tutoring and teaching private lessons in composition, ear training, voice, piano, literature, and history for over ten years. Students who have studied with him come from a wide range of backgrounds with different goals. Those who have continued with musical studies in college have consistently placed out of at least the first two semesters of music theory and achieved advanced placement in their chosen fields of study. Those who chose a different path continue to benefit from the education and training they received from taking music lessons.
*** Lesson Details ***
There is no "standard formula" to lessons. Each student has their own unique background, needs, and goals. Lessons tend to be somewhat casual but are structured in such a way as to meet the unique requirements of the student.
To accomplish your goals, there are a few requirements and basic expectations that the student and parent must meet.
The first is practice. Students are expected to practice daily for at least the length of their lesson time. This, above all else, is essential to progress. It is also expected that a parent will attend lessons for students who are too young to drive themselves here. It's important for a parent to guide the student's practice time (particularly for younger students) to ensure that the most is gained from it. This is why I ask that a parent observe lessons.
Each student or parent should bring to each lesson a notebook, pencils (with erasers). The notebook will be used to record notes about each lesson, homework, practice advice, etc. Pencils (not pens...nobody's perfect!) are used by composers to record their creations and performers to mark their music. Both of these essential practices are subject to changing thought and must be open to change. So no ink, please!
Performers: It is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson for beginners. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons and will be a large focus for all non-readers. Lessons are not learned "by ear." A certain amount of theory will be a part of every lesson just as technique and repertoire. Concerning repertoire, it will be selected based on the student's learning needs but also with their input. The main emphasis on performance lessons, however, will be technique and reading. Students should come to the first lesson prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.
Note: Voice students must be at least 16 years of age.
Composers: Just as with performers, it is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons. Many young composers have great ideas but can only hear them in their heads or play them on an instrument. Lessons will allow you to obtain the skills to write them down with greater speed, accuracy, and clarity. More advance students will also include exploring a wider range of harmonic languages, advanced notation, instrumentation, orchestration, and aural skills. Students should come to the first lesson with examples of their work, either written, notated, or recorded in a digital format. They should be prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.
IMPORTANT NOTE: the studio space is also inhabited by two lovely cats. Do consider this when signing up for lessons.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Living Room: Yamaha weighted 88 keys full sized keyboard, area for parents to sit and observe lessons.
*** Specialties ***
Main area is in classical music and media scoring with secondary focus on musical theatre vocal performance and composing/arranging.
Ms. B has been teaching for 8 years in various settings across the country. She has taught for summer programs, after school programs, and privately in Boston, Indianapolis, and Houston.
Ms. B holds a masters degree in Opera from the Longy School of Music as well as Bachelors in Vocal Performance from Gordon College. Ms. B has also studied at IU's Jacobs School of Music and participated in the Summer Opera Workshop at BU under the direction of Sandra Kelly and Michelle Alexander.
Ms. B is a versatile performer whose experience includes opera, musical theatre, recital performances, and choral music. She has performed with various companies across the Northeast and Midwest in a wide range of operatic and musical theatre roles.
Ms. B. has toured North America, Canada, and Italy singing in choirs under the direction of Derrick Johnson (Walt Disney Music Orchestrator, Voices of Liberty) and C. Thomas Brooks. She has appeared with the Essex Harmony, singing music of the late 18th century at Old South Meeting House (Boston, MA) and also with the Boston New Music Intiaitive, premiering a coloratura song cycle in their series featuring new composers.
She is the 2011 Encore winner for the category of "Best Singer in a Musical" for her role as Laurey in Oklahoma! She has also won first place in a singing competition at the Neverland Theatre singing excerpts from Die Fledermaus and My Fair Lady.
Past teachers and mentors have included Patricia Wise, Robert Honeysucker, Tom Enman, Donna Roll, and Mary Bulger. She has participated in masterclasses with Broadway singer Darius de Haas and Opera directors Ron Luchsinger and Louis Burkot.
Currently, Ms. B is an active performer in and around Houston, Texas.
*** Lesson Details ***
I use the first 1/3 of the lesson to warm up and teach technique using specific vocal excercises. The last 2/3 of the lesson are focused on the songs that you are working on - both learning the music as well as applying the techniques that we are learning. It's very important to me that you, as the student, understand WHY you do what you do and HOW the mechanics of singing work. It's also very important to me that you enjoy the music you are singing! I will always give my students a say in what they sing! I think communication during a lesson is paramount - I want to make sure that you understand what you are learning so that you can progress! However, I am a laidback person, who loves to laugh and get to know her students - the rapport between a teacher and student can be a great direct factor in progress, so having fun is always a goal!
In piano lessons, I use the Faber Method, which teaches technique, artistry, and performance in a fun way! They have books tailored to children and adults as well different genres of music. In piano, we focus on all the elements you need to play a piece - reading music (notes and rhythm), hand position and fingerings, articulations, and understanding the structure of music. It's always important to me that you enjoy what you are playing, so choosing music that both exciting for you and appropriate to your level is the utmost importance!
In theory lessons, we use a work book to guide us through the elements of written music - reading notes and rhythm, understanding chord structure, key signatures, and intervals. This helpful for anyone wanting to compose music or music students wanting theory tutoring, or anyone who just wants to understand how music works!
*** Specialties ***
classical, musical theatre, piano, performance
"Steven is very professional and extremely helpful. He always has a smile on and is serious about helping you phrase the music. I would highly recommend him to anyone."
"It's been really exciting so far! Jordan has been so helpful, so knowledgeable. I could not have found a better instructor and I'm getting better and better every day."
"My daughter's wedding was weeks away and I had never been able to dance a step. With Jenny's help, I came further than ever before in such short time in any subject."