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88 Keys to Success: Taking Piano Lessons in Brooklyn, NY

By Concetta A. - Brooklyn Piano Teacher

Most musicians agree that an important musical instrument to learn is the piano. It’s not only a beautiful solo instrument, it also can be played to accompany or support singers and instrumentalists. Additionally, playing piano can be an essential bridge to becoming a songwriter or composer. The instrument clearly, and beautifully, lays out all 88 notes used in Western music in a way that is visually easy to grasp and understand. It's like a road map to understanding music theory.

Even if you're not planning on being a professional musician, having basic piano skills are easy to acquire and a joy to have. So, if you’re thinking about taking piano lessons in Brooklyn, then you’re in the perfect place to start learning this fantastic instrument! Check out some tips below on things to see and do in NYC to supplement your piano lessons in Brooklyn, NY!

Every few years, the city of New York invites an organization called Sing for Hope to set up 88 public pianos around the five boroughs for two weeks. It’s wonderful to hear young children playing songs, occasional pedestrians breaking out in karaoke with friends, folks riffing on a few chords they learned in music class years ago, or songwriters sharing their original work on a whim. Because piano is so easy, accessible and fun to play, why not invest a small corner of your life to discovering it? For more information, check out Sing for Hope’s website here: http://www.singforhope.org/

There are also many bars and restaurants in New York that leave pianos out for customers to enjoy and play. An example that comes to mind is Milk and Roses in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, which is known for its gypsy jazz jam sessions. The sessions are filled with Django Reinhardt style guitarists and Stephane Grappelli-esque violinists. http://milkandrosesbk.com/

Another is Lucey’s Lounge in South Slope, Brooklyn, a cocktail bar that hosts an open jazz jam session the last Sunday of every month. Additionally, The Living Room in Williamsburg features indie rock bands and singer-songwriters. In their former Lower East Side location, they hosted prolific pianists and songwriters like Norah Jones and Minnie Driver. The venue keeps a charming piano at the front of their stage for bands to use (http://www.livingroomny.com/). Finally, Rue Be in the Lower East Side hosts a fun Tuesday night jazz jam session with a piano tucked in the corner behind the bar.

The piano in these venues attracts other instrumentalists and musicians and invites a whole musical scene into the space. I often see people from the neighborhood arriving after work with their trumpet or guitar to jam with the pianist. It’s as if the person playing piano is the center of that scene, and it only takes some basic knowledge of rhythm and chords to insert yourself into that world.

Of all the life skills one might want to acquire - such as swimming, learning a foreign language or playing a sport - I would say piano should be right at the top of that list! Plus, there are so many opportunities open to you as a pianist in NYC, which can make learning the instrument all the more fun and rewarding. So, best of luck in your lessons, and have fun participating NYC’s wonderful piano scene!

Profile_42732_pi_Oliver%20violin

Oliver E.

Brooklyn, NY

My love affair with the piano began when I was a boy, learning classical repertoire on my childhood upright. 25 years later, I still haven't stopped reaching for the sky in terms of technique, comprehension and connection to this, the most important instrument on our planet.

About Oliver

Hi, I'm Oliver Devine E, a professional musician currently residing in north Brooklyn. Check out my personal website here:
odearts.com

I graduated from NYU in 2005 with a degree in theory and composition (after completing 2 years as a jazz performance major). I played in the rock bands Arpline and The Kiss Off and recorded for Universal Records with the super group Pure Love. I currently record and perform under the monikers Aeolian, Negation, Afterworldsmen, Sandglass and Marlowe Dies as well as performing live with the post-punk band Cloak.

I've been teaching both piano and music the
ory lessons since 2006 and have had great success with students, several of which I have forged mentor-student relationships with. With my vast knowledge of esoteric and popular music genres (I'm comfortable with folk, death metal, modern jazz, indie rock, hip-hop... well, you get the point. I'm a music obsessive) I believe becoming a total musician should be a goal for any student but I enjoy the challenge that each individual brings to the table.

*** Lesson Details ***
In the past I've tailored lessons based on the specific needs of my students.
For example: someone who can read music based on childhood experience, but is struggling to regain confidence, could use technical exercises, piece-learning w/ structure and theory insights, as well as genre work outside their comfort zone.
For a total beginner, reading music might be a long haul; so strategies for learning simple tunes and more general theory insights are a must.

Curriculum I commonly use for piano/theory includes, Hannon, easier Bach repertoire, Beethoven/Mozart/Chopin/etc,, The Jazz Piano book, Tonal Harmony, This is Your Brain on Music. Because of my extensive relationship with a wealth of texts, I never just rest on my laurels and will find the right material for you (even if that means printing or e-mailing pages from my own collection)

I'm fairly laid back compared to many teachers, but as a forward thinking, well-rounded musician (music is my life) I will revel in pushing students to max out their potential, no matter what their experience level.

*** Studio Equipment ***
High-end digital stage piano, midi keyboards, guitars, studio set-up

*** Travel Equipment ***
I own a car so I can travel quite far if need be.

*** Specialties ***
Very adept at explaining music theory and the dissemination of practical information into piano lessons. The solo piano repertoire from the 18th through late 20th century is another specialty. The students I've had most success with range from absolute beginners to advanced professionals, but all seem to have a broad range of music interests and curiosity for improvement.
...

Reviews

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Rachel M. June 2, 2015
Synthesizer · In home
Verified Student
Oliver has a wealth of knowledge in music. He is also very nice and comfortable to be around with.
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Daniel D. October 1, 2014
Piano · In home
Verified Student
I've been taking piano lessons with Oliver for about a year now, and in just one year, my love and ability to play piano has surpassed my expectations. Oliver creates his lesson plan based on the individual's needs, and adjusts his teaching to match the students capacity to learn, making for a fun, relaxed, and comprehensive lesson each time.

Oliver has helped me not only understand theory, which helps with composing music, but also how to read and play sheet music. Like anything, you only get better with practice, but having a great teacher to guide you along the way makes all the difference.

I would recommend Oliver to any individual seeking to enhance his/her ability to play, read and/or write music, whether you are a beginner or an advanced musician.
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Ronald Andrew S. September 5, 2014
Composition · In studio
I started piano lessons with Oliver many years ago. His deep knowledge of music spurred my intellectual curiosity in music, impulsing me to study composition with him. In three years, he has had the patients and knowledge to prepare me to the point of being top of my composition class at The Juilliard School's Evening Division. He is kind and adapts his classes to everyone's need.
If you are serious about playing the piano, then I would highly recommend him.
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Oliver E.

Oliver E.

Brooklyn, NY 11211
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
221925_402484_1336662671

Nadia B.

New York, NY

A classically-trained musician, Nadia has been teaching piano for many years. A summa cum laude graduate of New York University in Music Performance, she excels at helping students to progress to reading music easily, playing in an expressive way and improving piano technique and understanding of all the elements of music. Nadia also emphasizes whole musicianship in her lessons, incorporating theory and other elements of music into lessons to facilitate a deeper understanding of the music. She is a friendly, encouraging and dedicated teacher who aims to teach each student according to his or her needs and interests.

About Nadia

My approach as a piano and flute teacher is to endow each student with the skills and tools needed to improve his/her playing ability, increase musical expression and cultivate continued musical growth both in lessons and in practice time. With nine years of teaching experience, I understand that each student’s learning style, goals and interests vary, and I work to engage and delight every student.

My training in Music Performance at New York University, from which I graduated Summa Cum Laude, as well as my three-year, 1600-hour training to become a certified teacher of the Alexander T
echnique, which I completed in 2012, influence my teaching. The Alexander Technique is a method for integrating breathing, movement and postural support. It is invaluable for musicians as a tool to increase performance ability and a sense of ease in the body, as well as for injury prevention and pain management.

Prior to NYU, I studied at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), where I acted as principal flutist of the orchestra and wind ensemble in addition to receiving a scholarship as the flutist of the Liberace Woodwind Quintet.

My musical training started well before university, however. My first instrument was piano, which I studied throughout my childhood and adolescence, with further study at NYU with Jon Holden. I started learning the flute at the age of 10 and studied privately with Laurel Zucker throughout high school, continuing my study with her at CSUS. I then continued my flute study with Gary Schocker, both privately and at NYU.

I continue to improve my knowledge and understanding of music through frequent performances, master classes and study. My goal as a teacher is to teach with the aim of aiding the student’s musical development and provide the student with the skills to continue to learn on his/her own between lessons and beyond.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons are organized around a student’s current level, goals and difficulties. I meet students wherever they are in their musical development. During the lesson, I address essential musical elements like tone, technique and musicality and offer new ideas in an environment where rich musical learning can take place.

My training as a certified Alexander Technique teacher allows me to offer physical suggestions for playing the instrument, at any ability level.

I encourage students to choose repertoire and find their own unique musical style, preferences and tastes.

I look forward to joining you on your own musical journey, and seeing how I can help you along the way!

*** Specialties ***
Classical Music, Music Performance, Music Theory, Alexander Technique, Playing-Related Pain and Injury
...

Reviews

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Susan K. June 1, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
I had a wonderful experience with Nadia. She is very knowledgeable and is helping me advance in my piano learning
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Susan K. May 29, 2015
In studio
Verified Student
Loved working with Nadia
She helped me asvance
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Ernest T. February 7, 2013
Flute
Nadia is an Amazing, Talented, Effective and Kind Teacher........

NADIA is an Amazing teacher! I am a professional Musician (Opera Singer), and always dreamed of playing the Flute. With Nadia's skill as a wonderful flutist and her knowledge of Alexander Technique mixed in with her teaching of the Flute, I have very quickly developed a comfortable and proper position while playing. As a beginner in Flute, I must say that she has truly helped me begin to make some great sounds, sight-read easily, develop Good playing-Habits, and enjoy playing and caring for my Flute. It is RARE to find a Great Teacher who is both "effective" and "kind". I Highly recommend Nadia to ALL those who Love Music and the FLUTE!!
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Nadia B.

Nadia B.

New York, NY 10003
(3)
starting at
$50 / 30-min
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Emily H.

Middletown, CT

Piano is a great first instrument for anyone interested in making music, no matter what your age or experience is. In the past 5 years of teaching, I have taught students from all sorts of musical backgrounds, ages 5-50! I have played piano almost my whole life and love sharing it with my students. I instill in them not only an understanding of technique and music theory, but also musicality and a love for many styles of music. For those new to reading music, I will help you with sight reading, scales, and the musical differences between styles. I use the Faber & Faber Piano Adventures curriculum for beginners, and have found it to be very effective in teaching students to read music for the first time. For those less new to reading music or at a more advanced level of piano, I am also able to use teach my students from a music theory perspective, by introducing concepts of tonality and the construction of harmony. I always encourage you to choose pieces that interest you, as well as ...

About Emily

Singing and playing piano have always been a huge part of my life. I love to perform everything from opera and sacred music to music theater and jazz, and have been performing since I was very young. I earned my Bachelor’s of Music in vocal performance from DePaul University School of Music in Chicago. It was there that I fell in love with teaching, when I taught my first student as part of a course in vocal pedagogy. Since then I have built my studio to over 20 voice and piano students here in NY and CT. It has been thrilling to see all the progress they've made! I am currently pursuing a Mas
ters of Music at Brooklyn College, where the schedule still allows me to teach my students.

I have had several excellent and truly inspiring teachers myself with different teaching styles, and so I have a variety of approaches to drawn upon in helping my own students. Vocal technique was not something that came easy for me, and was something I had to really work on. This work on technique has made me a stronger teacher. I know how many different approaches it can take to make something click, so I use the diverse experiences of my own studies to find what works best for that student now. While I am classically trained, I am comfortable teaching all types of singers, because I believe that at its core, what makes a singer great is the same between all genres. My number one goal in teaching is to help my students use their voice in a way that is healthy and allows them the greatest ability for expression, because ultimately, I believe that is what music is about.

I am an active performer and am able to draw upon this experience in my teaching. Most recently, I sang Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni with Connecticut Lyric Opera. Other roles include April in Company with Westport Community Theatre, Despina (cover) in Mozart's Così fan tutte for Connecticut Lyric Opera, the messenger in Monteverdi's L'Orfeo at DePaul University, and Maria in West Side Story with the McLeod Summer Playhouse. I have a special love for early music and have performed oratorio by Bach with the DePaul Baroque Ensemble and as part of the Bethesda Music Series in New Haven. I also participated in the prestigious Amherst Early Music Festival. I have performed abroad in Austria and Italy, and speak French, Italian, and some German. Because of my experience on stage in opera , music theatre, and recitals, I understand the skills it takes to engage an audience and create a well-rounded performance. I am thus an asset to any student preparing for a contest, audition, or stage appearance. Although singing has been my focus in the past few years, I have also been playing classical piano since I was four and still love to play and share this love with my students.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room: Keyboard (close to full) weighted, music stand, mirror, seating for parents.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can provide some music. For piano, they would have to have a piano in their home. For voice, I have a keyboard I could bring that would be sufficient.

*** Specialties ***
Opera, early music, new/contemporary music, French melodie, German lieder, art song, Classical Music Theatre, Oratorio. Diction coaching in French, Italian, German, English.
...

Reviews

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Matteo V. July 3, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
She was very soft spoken and patient. She was also very complementary towards my son which built his confidence tremendously.
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Marsha G. October 28, 2013
Singing
Verified Student
Emily knows her stuff!

I was impressed with how thorough Emily's singing lessons were. She explains how to breathe properly and why it's so important for vocal production. Her training space is comfortable and homey. I hope to take more lessons from her in the future.
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Nubia L. August 26, 2012
Singing
Verified Student
Excellent teacher.

Emily is an excellent teacher. She cares for her students. She's very concerned with her students successful progression. She's constantly working on all elements of the students voice range.
I would highly recommend her as a teacher.
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Emily H.

Emily H.

Brooklyn, NY 11226
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
381651_649vtrj89m36kf5tcqcx

Ian S.

Jersey City, NJ

I have been playing piano for 30 years, and teaching it for nearly 10 years. I have experience teaching all ages, as young as 3 years old. You will learn all of the skills, techniques, and theory required to become a great piano player in any genre!

About Ian

A lifelong musician and songwriter, Ian S. has extensive experience teaching guitar and piano to students age 3 and up both as a private music instructor and as a teacher in New Jersey. With 26 years experience in guitar and 30 years in piano, Ian has studied and performed with several award-winning music artists, and has written and recorded over one hundred songs. He plays and teaches a variety of styles on both the guitar and the piano, from classical to jazz to rock. Ian is patient, friendly, and loves sharing the gift of music.

Ian was the guitarist in the Princeton University Jazz E
nsemble for 3 seasons, was selected from a nationwide pool of musicians to perform at a special music event at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, and was the recipient of the New Jersey Governor's Award in Arts Education for the category of Instrumental Music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am very laid back and friendly, and I want you or your child to be as comfortable as possible during our lessons. You or your child will develop confidence and musical intelligence. I will make your lessons fun, enjoyable, and effective. Boredom is not an option! Music is fun... let's keep it that way.

The teaching methods I use will be custom-tailored to your individual needs, personality and specific musical goals. If it's guitar or piano you want to learn, I want to get you playing exactly what you want to be playing as soon as possible. That's what you're here for, and that's what I'm here for. I will make it happen. If it's songwriting that you want to learn, I will help you access that place inside of you that is dying to express itself creatively, and will teach you techniques to harness that energy and translate it successfully into musical expression.

You can expect to learn all the basics of music theory, proper playing techniques, improvisation and spontaneous musical expression, and I will help you develop your "ear" so you can figure out songs you like just by listening to them. This is all about you and your goals, and I want you to achieve them in a fun and engaging way.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room: Upright piano, guitars, amps, keyboard, percussion

*** Travel Equipment ***
Note: Although I do not have a car, I live just outside of Manhattan, and therefore have reliable transportation methods to travel to students who are in NYC. I would expect the student to provide whatever instrument he/she is learning.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in pop, rock, jazz, blues, folk, and classical music. I also teach improvisation and songwriting, and try to develop the student's ear for figuring out songs they like on their own.
...

Reviews

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Katherine B. October 29, 2014
Piano · In home
Verified Student
I can sum up my opinion of Ian in one word, WONDERFUL !! I started piano lesson as a way to help me get thru the grieving process because I had just lost my husband. Ian is a very caring and understanding human being. His patience is amazing! In just 2 months, with his instruction, I was not only able to play basic tunes on the piano, BUT, I wrote a song. Pretty cool !! :)
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Karim S. October 29, 2014
Guitar · Online
Verified Student
Ian is extremely talented and explains concepts in a way that is easy to understand. This is particularly important for online lessons!!!
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Kuy Hun K. September 28, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · Online
Verified Student
Awesome. I've only taken a few classes so far, but the exercises that Ian give me have really helped me get better and I constantly feel progress.
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Ian S.

Ian S.

Jersey City, NJ 07302
(15)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
199678_183644_15462

Michael S.

New York, NY

About Michael

Michael has a long and versatile career in music. As a songwriter/composer, he's written for ABC, CNN, Showtime, PBS, and for several films. As a musician, he's played live or recorded with Diddy, MA$E, Richard Gere, Shawn Colvin, and many others. Because of his broad knowledge of American Music, he was asked to co-create the shows, "120 years of Popular Song" and "New York City - A Century of Songs." He was a conductor for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS during its original run, and has appeared or played in several other Broadway and off-Broadway shows.
If you want to learn music that goes beyond la
bels, Michael is your guy!

*** Lesson Details ***
"Lessons begin where the student is." That's my axiomatic principle. What do you know, and what are you able to do? Now, what do you want to know, and what do you want to be able to do? Lessons are a journey from that first point to the second. And I am your guide.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Fully equipped music production studio, w/latest software & hardware, 88 key sample grand piano, guitars (acoustic & electric), bass, upright bass, amp, mandolin, harmonicas, ukelele, 5-string banjo

*** Specialties ***
I have extensive experience in a wide variety of styles. These include classical, jazz, several styles of blues, country, various ethnic, rock, and pop styles.
...

Reviews

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AdaC April 29, 2010
Patient and Knowledgeable

Michael is great at listening to what I want to learn, and then teaching it to me in a way that I can understand easily. Also, he's very patient when there's a skill / technique that I'm trying to figure out how to master.
Silhouette-80
TeresaP2 April 1, 2010
Excellent teacher with very effective teaching style.
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Michael S.

Michael S.

New York, NY 10009
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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Free Piano Lessons with an Expert Teacher

Learn how to play the piano in these video tutorials from a professional piano teacher!

Have you always wanted to play the piano? We’re here to help! Get started with these 20 video tutorials hosted by San Diego, CA piano teacher Jordan M, one of our expert instructors with TakeLessons.com. In this free video series, you’ll get an introduction to the instrument and learn a few easy exercises to get you reading music and understanding rhythm!

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