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By Chuck M. - Portland Piano Teacher
Portland, Oregon is well known for its natural beauty, its bountiful supply of craft beers, and its thriving music community. As a piano teacher, I encourage my students to catch live music performances as often as possible. Portland has many venues throughout the city that feature piano music performed in all styles. Here are a few that happen to sell pianos too:
1) Located in Portland’s historic Brooklyn neighborhood, Classic Pianos is a piano player’s dream house. It has a beautiful piano showroom of new and used pianos by Yamaha, Boesendorfer, Schimmel, and Steinway. It also has a recital hall featuring an ongoing jazz concert series. Artists have included Alan Broadbent and Dave Frishberg. Gino Vannelli recently recorded a song in the recital hall as a fundraising effort for a local young soldier. Classic Pianos is located at 3003 SE Milwaukie Ave. http://portland.classicpianos.net/
2) Located in downtown Portland, Portland Piano Company features music education events, concerts, recitals, competitions, and master classes. Many of these events are free! The piano showroom features exquisite pianos by Fazioli, Grotrian, and Kawai. You can find Portland Piano Company at 711 SW 14th Avenue. http://portlandpianocompany.com/
3) Michelle’s Pianos is a family-owned company located in SE Portland. Current news at Michelle’s includes the recent arrival of European exotic pianos by Fazioli, Bluthner, and August Forster. Special events include piano master classes, recitals, and composer workshops. Michelle's Piano is located at 600 SE Stark St. http://www.michellespiano.com/
Jazz venues in Portland include:
1) Jimmy Mak’s is perhaps the best known jazz club in Portland and features live music six days a week with local and national acts. Jimmy Mak’s is located at 221 NW 10th Av. http://www.jimmymaks.com/
2) Wilfs has a romantic jazz supper club ambiance with comfy red velvet banquettes and great live music. It is located at 800 NW 6th Avenue at Union Station. http://www.wilfsrestaurant.com/
Lastly, as a busy piano teacher, I’m always looking for new teaching materials for my students for their piano lessons in Portland. Here are a couple places to pick up piano music and supplies in the city:
1) For piano sheet music, I recommend heading to Portland Music Company located at 531 SE Martin Luther King Blvd. http://www.portlandmusiccompany.com/index.php
2) Secondly, I often tell my students that everything you need to know about playing piano can be found in the recordings of great artists. There are many fine brick and mortar record shops in Portland, and one of the oldest is Music Millennium, located at 3158 E. Burnside St. You can find piano music in all styles on vinyl, CD, or digital download.
I’ve barely scratched the surface for the available piano resources that Portland, Oregon has to offer, but I think this is a good start. Best of luck in your piano lessons in Portland, and enjoy the many opportunities this great city has to offer!
I have been teaching individual piano lessons for 15 years. The foundation of my curriculum is based on materials by Alfred , Faber and Hanon . A wide variety of supplemental materials supporting student interests are also used. My instructional approach focuses on helping students develop an understanding of music theory, technique and performance. I have experience working with students of all ages and all levels . I look forward to meeting you !
My primary goal as a teacher is to present musical material in a way that keeps students excited about what they are learning. Even with absolute beginners, I will have a student playing actual songs that they are interested in as quickly as possible. Along with way I include fundamentals such as scales, strength-building exercises, rudiments of theory, and ear training. Some of the method books I use include the Alfred and Faber and Faber series, and Hanon's The Virtuoso Pianist, among many others. These materials are always supplemented with arrangements and transcriptions of popular songs and classical pieces, along with original exercises designed to teach specific styles and techniques. I also use interactive music websites to introduce students to concepts of music theory. The styles that I cover include classical, rock, jazz, and blues. As students progress in their creativity, I also introduce them to composition and improvisation.
I believe that students can only learn properly in the right atmosphere, with an enthusiastic, motivated instructor. If the experience is not fun the student will not excel in what they do. I believe the students should periodically have a chance to show what they are learning by performing in recitals with others.
Different people learn differently, so I like to vary my teaching methods based on individual students. One way of thinking about something may be very helpful for one student and not so helpful for another. Having had some not-so-great personal experiences with teachers who would only explain a concept in one way, I try hard to avoid this in my teaching. I try to keep the lessons fun and stress-free while still pushing students to meet their full potential. Music is fun because it contains both abstract (i.e. how the music feels) and concrete (eg notes and rhythms) elements, so I try to include both sides of the spectrum in my teaching.
Scales, body movement, theory, repertoire, versatility in repertoire, aural skills and self confidence. Alfred or Faber books will be worked through in lessons.
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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!
Intro to the Piano: Learn about the parts of the piano and how to find the all-important Middle C.
Learn about proper posture, hand placement, and other beginner essentials.
Learn about the treble and bass clefs, and tips for remembering the notes on the piano.
Learn what all those sharps and flats really mean, and how to decode your music.
Follow along to master quarter notes, quarter rests, and half rests.
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