Bethany Aiken
Bedford, MA
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Bethany Aiken

Bethany A.

Bedford, MA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
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This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Find the songs and composers that fit you, and learn to do your best in any audition or performance situation!

About Bethany A.

I started studying classical piano at the age of 6 and continued through high school before going on to study with Robert Shannon at Oberlin Conservatory, where I majored in music history and theory (as well as English and creative writing - I've always had a lot of interests!). I also sang in choirs from a early age, including my high school's Madrigal Singers, the MMEA Northeast District Chorus, and the Oberlin College Choir, a select group which performs regularly with the Cleveland Orchestra. After graduation, I tried out a variety of musical activities, including singing with a semi-professional a Capella group, None of the Above, and appearing in local community theatre productions. But I finally realized that I'm most comfortable behind a piano, whether playing and conducting for musical theatre, coaching singers, writing music for youth productions, or teaching the next generation of music lovers how to navigate the keys. And while I perform mostly Broadway-style music now, my classical training continues to serve me well; using good technique not only allows me to play more accurately and expressively, it also protects me from injuries that might otherwise arise from long rehearsals and a busy performance schedule.

I'm excited about where my musical journey has taken me, and I look forward to helping you start or continue yours.

*** Lesson Details ***
I'm serious about making sure my students learn basic skills, like reading notes and rhythms and learning to interpret music artistically, that will serve them not only as developing pianists but in any future musical endeavors. To that end, I choose method books (such as the Faber Piano Adventures series) and supporting materials that build a strong foundation of musical knowledge, and I help each student construct a practice schedule that's appropriate to his or her level.

However, although I do maintain a certain amount of structure, I am very patient and relaxed in my approach to each individual student. I recognize that not everyone learns at the same speed or in the same way, so as long as I can tell you're putting in the effort, I will also try my hardest to find what works for you! And I know it's easiest to stay motivated when working on music you love, so I like to supplement the regular lesson materials with music of the student's choice, whether that means offering a selection of level-appropriate classical pieces, helping locate an arrangement of a favorite song, or coming up with our own arrangement if a good one doesn't already exist. And while my own background is strongest in classical and Broadway styles, I'm happy to have students work on music from any genre. One of the best parts of teaching is when I get to learn something new as well.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Malden studio: Dedicated studio with 88-key weighted keyboard, recording equipment, and large collection of sheet music. Parents can sit in on lessons or wait downstairs. Parking in driveway or on street. We have cats.

Bedford studio: Front room setup for lessons with upright piano and stereo. Laptop available to record lessons. Parents can sit in on lessons. Parking available in driveway and street.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I would expect the student to provide a piano or suitable keyboard (88 keys, weighted keys or at least somewhat touch-sensitive, with a clear piano sound). For vocal students, it would be helpful for them to have a separate music stand as well.

*** Specialties ***
In terms of vocal music, I am definitely most comfortable with Broadway-style repertoire, but I have experience with some of the classical repertoire as well. As a pianist I have a solid classical background but am also very familiar with Broadway playing styles; I think I've done a little of everything at this point, so I could adapt to any interests my students might have. I am trained in the Taubman piano technique, which focuses on healthy, effective motions, so I try to incorporate some elements of that in my teaching, to the extent
that I think a particular student will benefit from it.

As for methods: for beginning and intermediate piano students I tend to use the Faber Piano Adventures series, supplemented by additional exercise books (Dozen a Day, for example), simple classical pieces (Bastien publishes a book that I like), or other materials depending on the student's interest and level of achievement (pop, Broadway, etc.). For advanced students I would use different exercise books (Hanon, Czerny, etc.) and focus more on repertoire than method, continuing to teach theory and technique as it comes up.

For vocal students I have mostly stuck to whatever materials/repertoire the student was most interested in, plus vocal exercises to support any problems or challenges they might be working on (e.g., range, vowel formation, learning a healthy mix/belt technique).

Reviews

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4.9
17 Reviews
5
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Ethan M.

Thank you!

Posted Nov 21, 2019
Mackenzie M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My daughter had taken private singing lessons through her school for two years before working with Bethany. Her previous teacher had a set "curriculum", and she wanted my daughter to conform to her method, even though it did not seem to address either my daughter's strengths or deficits. Suffice it to say, it was not a great experience.
When we first contacted Bethany, I explained that my daughter just really loves to sing. It is an outlet for her. She's not trying to "get" anywhere in particular with her singing. She wants to learn good technique through songs that she enjoys, and through songs that fit her current range and gradually stretch her. Bethany has been amazing. She is thoughtful about song choices. She is encouraging, and has a very positive approach. She has really gotten my daughter to think critically about her singing. Often, my daughter will talk about what she is working on with Bethany, and it is always from the perspective that she can improve. It is a far cry from having her come out of her previous lessons feeling completely defeated. I really appreciate how Bethany takes kids where they are, and asks their input around what they want to learn. Also, she has been so flexible when we have had to change our schedule with her. She is really great.

Posted Oct 26, 2019
Christine
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My ten year old daughter LOVES her singing lessons with Bethany! My daughter struggles matching pitch, but Bethany is patiently working with her to improve. Bethany was good at assessing where she was at and making reasonable goals for improvement. Highly recommend!!

Posted Jul 3, 2019
Jasper H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bethany was very professional. She arrived on time, introduced herself and was wonderful with my child during his lesson.

Posted Sep 17, 2018
Alden
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great instructor!

Posted Aug 1, 2018
Judy T.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I am a "mature" student with no experience playing an instrument or learning music. I really enjoy taking lessons with Bethany-- she's calm and patient, and just as skilled a teacher of someone my age as she appears to be with younger students.

Posted May 22, 2018
Amy
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bethany is a wonderful piano teacher! My 12-year-old son has been taking lessons with her for about 3 months now. This is his first time taking music lessons and he absolutely loves it! Bethany is patient and kind and works at his level, while challenging him every week. He feels accomplished and is really having fun. He looks forward to his lessons every week!

Posted Feb 27, 2018
Karey
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

She is Wonderful teacher, very patient and professional, my two daughters enjoying the piano classes with her!

Posted Sep 10, 2017
Karey
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Bethany is a very nice, professional teacher, she teaches my two kids very patiently, she also works great with my schedules, she's the best teacher I had!

Posted Aug 29, 2017
CORRINA M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Such a great experience. My 11 year old daughter loves taking lessons with her.

Posted Jan 4, 2016
EYVA D.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Eyva had a fantastic time!! Very excited to continue with the lessons.

Posted Oct 26, 2015
Christine C.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

She worked patiently with Mia as she tried out her first vocal warm ups and songs

Posted Oct 24, 2015
Nathan P.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Nathan had fun

Posted Sep 21, 2015
Nathan P.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Nathan was happy at the first class already liked the teacher

Posted Sep 21, 2015
Cole
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Bethany is wonderful with both of my children. They were not sure they would like to learn piano but her outstanding teaching has made them very comfortable. I'm thrilled!

Posted Aug 17, 2015
Ron E.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Voice lessons with Bethany were very good for me. She tailored our warm up exercises for my particular needs. She has good advice for breathing and vowel sounds for each piece and general advice for technique to make a piece sound better and be easier to sing. She also plays piano well for accompaniment. I hope to take lessons again with her soon.

Posted Oct 29, 2014
Renee M.

Vocal and Piano

Bethany Aiken is doing a wonderful job teaching my 9 year old daughter Amelia Miller piano and vocal lessons. Amelia really enjoys her sessions and is learning so much. Bethany is a very calm and patient instructor which puts my daughter at ease and she feels so comfortable.

Posted Mar 6, 2014

Photos & Videos

3 Photos & Videos

Education

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Poetry)
Sep 2005 - Apr 2008

Emerson College

Bachelor of Arts in Music History/Theory and English
Sep 2000 - May 2004

Oberlin College

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

French

Professional Proficiency

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