I'm a professional composer, teacher, and pianist - and I like to keep active doing all three throughout my community. My piano and composition lessons are very in-depth, but also very flexible. Because of my thorough knowledge and experience with music, I can teach all ages, skill levels, and an array of important subjects - including piano, ear-training, music theory, improvisation, composition, creativity, music history, ethnomusicology, and percussion. I cater to each student's interests as well as incorporate many of these subjects into my piano lessons so that every student gains a thorough understanding of music and becomes a well-rounded musician.
I started taking Suzuki piano lessons when I was 5 and quickly fell in love with the piano. Since the Suzuki method incorporates such thorough ear-training and the ability to play without sheet music, I quickly began to explore my creative side and was improvising on the piano by age 7. Naturally, this led to composition! Music was flowing through me, and I was able to both improvise and compose my inspirations on the piano. I entered and placed in the Reflections state composition contest each year. Throughout my youth, I was also very involved with the band (played trumpet), dance, drama and attended many symphonies, ballets, plays and operas - giving me a well-rounded artistic upbringing.
I pursued my passion and earned a Bachelor's degree in music composition from Mills College, followed by a Master's degree in music composition from the renowned California Institute of the Arts. My thorough education has taught me to compose for any instrument or ensemble as well as compose for film, dance, and theater. It has also taught me to understand the piano in-depth, along with theory and ear-training. Since graduating in 2006, I have scored several films, received commissions to compose for ensembles and musicians, and taught both composition and piano lessons. I also created an ensemble named SIRÃoNa that I composed for, managed, and performed piano, percussion, and indigenous flutes in, and I was interviewed and featured on NPR along with local radio stations and newspapers. I have produced two CD's. Most recently, I composed a score for a silent film, premiering live with the Seattle Jazz Ensemble as part of the moisture festival in Seattle.
Do you want to learn to sit at any piano and simply play what you feel? Or turn that tune running through your head into a song that you or others can perform? Or to master every detail of a piece of music so that you can express it exactly as the composer intended? I can teach you! I encourage all ages and backgrounds to explore their creative musical passions and discover the endless possibilities of piano performance and music composition!
*** Lesson Details ***
When teaching piano, I take a similar approach to the Suzuki method. But instead of teaching from the Suzuki books, I teach my own composed exercises and pieces that I believe are more fun and accessible to today's student of any age! I create MP3 recordings of each exercise and have students listen to and memorize the exercises in their own time.This is a very important aspect of my lessons that thoroughly develops the ear - giving the student the ability to play the exercise from memory and to deeply understand the connection between their actions and the resulting sound.
I develop my exercises to progress each student through an increasing degree of technique difficulty and musical parameters - such as rhythm, melody, chords, harmony, key and range. Beginning exercises will isolate a specific musical parameter to bring thorough understanding of its possibilities, while advanced exercises and pieces will work on coordinating multiple parameters and techniques at the same time. Within 6 months, a beginner piano student will have tackled and perfected simple yet fun exercises that incorporate each major musical parameter, as well as develop correct posture and finger technique, and have developed some ear training and basic music theory skills. I also have my students do creative exercises, which develop more thorough ear training and the ability to eventually improvise and compose on the piano. More advanced piano students will perfect their ability to interpret and express each piece of music that they play and will receive thorough ear training, music theory lessons, and develop their creative abilities through piano improvisation and composition. Once they have tackled the fundamentals, intermediate and advanced piano students will learn the classics as well.
Along with piano lessons, I'm also highly qualified to teach music composition - including beginning to advanced composition, music theory, composing for any instrument or ensemble, Sibelius computer notation program, film scoring, and orchestration.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Private room, desk, professional digital piano - 88 keys fully weighted, piano bench. 2 professional cameras and iMac computer for online lessons. Percussion instruments for young students. Sibelius for composition students... Parents can sit in.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect students to have their own piano or keyboard when having a lesson in their home.
*** Specialties ***
Piano, Composition, Suzuki method, Classical, Contemporary, Ear Training, Memory Training, Piano Improvisation, Music Theory, Piano Ergonomics, In-depth Holistic Approach, Music History, Rhythm and Percussion. Success in teaching ages 3 and up, all backgrounds and ages.
I have my own music business as a profession. I'm a private teacher-for-hire as well as a composer-for-hire for various film projects, collaborations, and commissions.