I grew up in Southern CA and played piano all my life beginning with classical studies at age 6. I moved to the east coast and obtained my music degree from NYU in 1995 and began teaching in Greenwich Village NYC in 1999. All the while I taught I continued to take lessons from some of the world's greatest musicians living in NYC.
I was classically trained, but ventured into jazz and pop studies after college. I played many jazz solo gigs in New York City as well as accompanied singers, performed and sang my own material at songwriter venues, accompanied rock bands on keyboards and performed classical music in the recital galas I hosted for my students.
I've played and taught all styles and have a passion for teaching and learning! I encourage students to play what they love, whether that be Boogie, Classical, Jazz, their own composition, or the latest Adele song.
I returned to Southern California at the end of 2011 and am currently building my student clientele in San Diego.
To get an idea of what I do please click on the VIDEO tab above to see my students and me performing in NYC!
*** Lesson Details ***
I HAVE 2 PRIMARY GOALS FOR BEGINNER LESSONS:
#1. Provide a strong musical foundation
#2. Keep students interested in playing
I use specific techniques to achieve these goals. I structure a plan that outlines the fundamentals of music theory while teaching pieces that the student loves. I have an ENORMOUS supply of music books (which cost a fortune to ship to San Diego!) and let the student choose from a wide variety of music pieces to supplement their method book studies (I use Bastien.)
For children, parents are encouraged to stay for lessons, but if they can't I write down the "practice prescription" for the week so both student and parent know what should be worked on!
FOR INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED PLAYERS:
There are SO MANY THINGS you might be interested in working on such as ….
1. Learning pieces as quickly/efficiently as possible
2. Creating proper practice habits so you’re not spending wasteful time at the piano.
3. Learning effective techniques for memorization.
4. Improving your “Feel”
5. Improving your technique so you can play effortlessly fast!!
6. Interpretation of pieces from the different classical periods
7. Improving understanding of Music Theory
8. Song writing!! Yes, you can do it yourself!!
9. Performance (Yes, this is a skill, separate from learning the song is learning to perform it!)
I’ve got specific techniques for all of the above, and more. I don’t say “Just do it this way.” I have bona fide tried and true techniques you can use. They even have names such as “Pulse Play,” “Shadow Play” “Visualization” “Mental Play” “Spot Work” “Wrist Rotate” etc.
I shouldn’t give away all my goodies here! Come take a lesson to see what I’m talking about!
And as much as I know, I am very easy to get along with and have a great sense of humor. I will keep you on your toes, inspire you, and probably make you laugh while I’m at it
*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio lessons are taught in my living room with a 5' Yamaha grand piano. The atmosphere is clean, comfortable and professional, and I have no pets. Parents are encouraged to stay for lessons!
*** Specialties ***
My number one goal is to keep students interested in piano, and I have an enormous repertory of music for them to choose from which helps succeed in that goal. I would prefer they all at least begin playing classically, but it just sometimes doesn't turn out that way. If they start lessons very young I use the Bastien Books but almost immediately I am supplementing their repertory with auxiliary pieces. No matter what age, I start them in an appropriate method book (love Bastien) but pull from a large surplus of auxiliary books and sheet music to supplement the method book. I play songs at their level and let them choose which ones they like best as we go along. I NEVER force a student to play a certain piece. NEVER. They can build a rock solid music foundation choosing pieces they love. Ideally they are playing some classical standards accompanied by some popular pieces. I incorporate theory, from a key based perspective. Songs, scales, primary chords, ear training all in the same key. Then we move to a new key. I have charts that I have created to accompany their repertory.