Are you interested in learning piano, or do you have a child who is? I can't wait to help you turn this desire into reality! My name is Amy, and I am a piano teacher who specializes in teaching children, though don't let that sway you: I do enjoy teaching any age. I descend from a long line of musicians (both my mother and grandmother were piano teachers) and have played piano for 21 years, studying with a private instructor for 13 of those. I received my BFA at Goddard College (’14) and my MFA at Boston University (’16).
Over the past six years I have taught piano to students of all ages and levels in both Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Boston, Massachusetts. All of my students have the opportunity to share their talents in recitals and small group lessons, as well as take part in Royal Conservatory assessments if they choose. Teaching piano is my passion–I take it very seriously, and I guarantee you a quality music education if you should choose to take lessons with me. I have recently relocated to Columbus, thus I am looking forward to building a teaching practice here. I look forward to meeting you!
MY TEACHING PHILOSOPHY:
One of the wonderful (and obvious) benefits of private instruction is that each student’s unique abilities and shortcomings can be brought into clear focus and addressed. I am highly skilled at encouraging students through a careful balance of praise and constructive criticism. I make sure they are aware of (and take pride in) their strengths so that when challenging moments do arise, they are motivated to do the work. These challenging moments are the ones in which growth occurs, and I embrace such learning opportunities wholeheartedly. Under my tutelage, students will learn that when they work hard, they get amazing results.
I maintain high expectations for my students, constantly reminding them that it’s the quality (not the quantity) of their playing that counts. It is much more important to me that a student learns to play one piece well rather than ten pieces poorly! This is because, when it comes to piano, there is no race to the finish line. I believe in taking however much time is necessary to help a child understand a concept—we might spend the majority of a lesson on it if we have to. Learning must be done at the child’s own speed. I think children benefit enormously from having 100% of my attention during lessons; they will never need to try and “catch up” with other students.
A SAMPLING OF METHOD BOOKS I USE:
Beginner: Tales of a Musical Journey Book 1, Piano Safari Books 1 + 2, Christopher Norton’s MicroJazz, Bastien Piano Literature Book 1, Royal Conservatory Series Preparatory Books A & B and Book 1
Intermediate: Piano Safari Book 3, Royal Conservatory Series Books 2-6, Bastien Piano Literature Books 2-4
Advanced: Royal Conservatory Series Books 7-10, Bastien Piano Literature Books 5-6, Early Advanced Classics to Moderns
Lessons occur weekly. For young beginners, I recommend 30 to 45 minute lessons. Upper-elementary and middle school students should enroll in 45 minute lessons. High school students and adults should enroll in 45 to 60 minute lessons. (A note on lesson time: while 30 minute lessons seem to have become standard for most young students, I have recently come to the conclusion that this is simply not enough time, even for children at the beginning level. After the first six months of lessons, I encourage most young students to “graduate” to 45 minute lessons. They will receive an official award from me for this accomplishment, therefore it is viewed as a positive thing!)
Lessons are fun experiences in which children are engaged in a variety of activities (not just sitting at the piano). The majority of the lesson will consist of working on new and in-progress pieces and technical exercises, but other activities include: improvisation, learning about music history through videos and teacher demonstration, ear-training, playing music-related games, practicing rhythm by marching and/or using the hand drum in my studio, using music flashcards, discussing the child’s music goals, and more.
STRENGTHS MY STUDENTS WILL DEVELOP:
Posture & Hand Position: students are coached to demonstrate exemplary posture and hand position when at the piano. Development of this skill is absolutely vital to having the ability to play more complex pieces later on.
Rhythm & Counting: this is the foundation of music, so I make sure all students have a solid understanding of counting before moving forward using rhythm cards, the metronome, the hand drum, marching, and other fun games!
Music Theory: having a working knowledge of music theory is useful to every musician. The more advanced a student becomes, the more important it be able to distinguish musical patterns and to communicate musical ideas with the teacher and with other musicians. Students will learn music theory right along with learning to play the piano.
Good Practice Habits: practicing at home is the ONLY way to make lessons worthwhile. It MUST be taken seriously. I will work with parents and students to come up with a doable practice plan, and I will talk to students about the correct way to practice. In addition, I motivate my young students with a reward chart that allows them to pick a prize when they reach important milestones.