Corby Stutzman

Corby S.

San Diego, CA

Lesson Details

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Corby teaches



Corby delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
October 1998

I grew up in Southern CA and played piano all my life beginning with classical studies at age 6. I moved to the east coast and obtained my music degree from NYU in 1995 and began teaching in Greenwich Village NYC in 1999. All the while I taught I continued to take lessons from some of the world's greatest musicians living in NYC.

I was classically trained, but ventured into jazz and pop studies after college. I played many jazz solo gigs in New York City as well as accompanied singers, performed and sang my own material at songwriter venues, accompanied rock bands on keyboards and performed classical music in the recital galas I hosted for my students.

I've played and taught all styles and have a passion for teaching and learning! I encourage students to play what they love, whether that be Boogie, Classical, Jazz, their own composition, or the latest Adele song.

I returned to Southern California at the end of 2011 and am currently building my student clientele in San Diego.

To get an idea of what I do please click on the VIDEO tab above to see my students and me performing in NYC!

*** Lesson Details ***
#1. Provide a strong musical foundation
#2. Keep students interested in playing

I use specific techniques to achieve these goals. I structure a plan that outlines the fundamentals of music theory while teaching pieces that the student loves. I have an ENORMOUS supply of music books (which cost a fortune to ship to San Diego!) and let the student choose from a wide variety of music pieces to supplement their method book studies (I use Bastien.)
For children, parents are encouraged to stay for lessons, but if they can't I write down the "practice prescription" for the week so both student and parent know what should be worked on!

There are SO MANY THINGS you might be interested in working on such as ….

1. Learning pieces as quickly/efficiently as possible
2. Creating proper practice habits so you’re not spending wasteful time at the piano.
3. Learning effective techniques for memorization.
4. Improving your “Feel”
5. Improving your technique so you can play effortlessly fast!!
6. Interpretation of pieces from the different classical periods
7. Improving understanding of Music Theory
8. Song writing!! Yes, you can do it yourself!!
9. Performance (Yes, this is a skill, separate from learning the song is learning to perform it!)

I’ve got specific techniques for all of the above, and more. I don’t say “Just do it this way.” I have bona fide tried and true techniques you can use. They even have names such as “Pulse Play,” “Shadow Play” “Visualization” “Mental Play” “Spot Work” “Wrist Rotate” etc.

I shouldn’t give away all my goodies here! Come take a lesson to see what I’m talking about!

And as much as I know, I am very easy to get along with and have a great sense of humor. I will keep you on your toes, inspire you, and probably make you laugh while I’m at it

*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio lessons are taught in my living room with a 5' Yamaha grand piano. The atmosphere is clean, comfortable and professional, and I have no pets. Parents are encouraged to stay for lessons!

*** Specialties ***
My number one goal is to keep students interested in piano, and I have an enormous repertory of music for them to choose from which helps succeed in that goal. I would prefer they all at least begin playing classically, but it just sometimes doesn't turn out that way. If they start lessons very young I use the Bastien Books but almost immediately I am supplementing their repertory with auxiliary pieces. No matter what age, I start them in an appropriate method book (love Bastien) but pull from a large surplus of auxiliary books and sheet music to supplement the method book. I play songs at their level and let them choose which ones they like best as we go along. I NEVER force a student to play a certain piece. NEVER. They can build a rock solid music foundation choosing pieces they love. Ideally they are playing some classical standards accompanied by some popular pieces. I incorporate theory, from a key based perspective. Songs, scales, primary chords, ear training all in the same key. Then we move to a new key. I have charts that I have created to accompany their repertory.

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Photos & Videos

See my students and I performing at one of my recitals in NYC!  It's about 4 minutes long, and if you can make it to the end you will see me performing with Camille.  She was 17 in the video, and had started piano with me when she was only 5 years old!
Corby tells you about her great experience as a performer and teacher in New York and San Diego.
Photo by Corby S.

Photo by Corby S.

Photo by Corby S.

Photo by Corby S.


12 Reviews

Write a Review
Yvonne O. Oct 15, 2016
Piano · In studio

Corby is professional, personable and very encouraging. She immediately assessed where I am and what the best next steps are for me in my learning. I look forward to a rich experience with her.

Roshan May 26, 2016
Piano · In studio

Corby is an excellent teacher and very helpful in providing me with the necessary guidance. I definitely reccomend signing up with her.

Danielle B. Nov 7, 2015
Piano · In studio

Mrs. Stutzman is a very patient and skilled teacher. We are glad that she is challenging our daughter enough to progress, yet still keeping her excited to practice.

Leah K. Jun 23, 2015
Piano · In studio

Corby has been an excellent piano teacher for my 6 year old daughter! She has a great combination of sweetness and firmness that appeals to both parents and kids. My daughter loves going to lessons and has learned a lot from Corby. I highly recommend her.

Jason R. Apr 4, 2015
Piano · In studio

Corby does an excellent job breaking challenging sections down for you at any skill level. Her variety of techniques to tackle each new challenge make her an amazing resource and a great instructor. I particularly appreciate her emphasis on trying to perform your work for other people so that you get practice in front of an audience. After only a handful of lessons, I had already improved far more than I had in years of independent study without someone skilled to guide me. She is definitely an excellent instructor and I am very grateful to have her as a teacher.

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Zenka S. Nov 8, 2014
Piano · In studio

Learning with Corby has been a great experience. She does a great job of making sure I'm learning scales, piano theory, as well as songs I enjoy playing. Practicing on a grand piano has been a wonderful experience as well.

Ann I. Oct 2, 2013
Piano ·

Comfortable, friendly and highly skilled in instructing/playing

Corby is a phenomenal piano instructor. Her passion for playing and teaching the piano shines through in every aspect of her lessons with me. She does so much more than simply teach you how to play an instrument. She has a knack for making you understand the theory, the timing, reading notes, playing, understanding the pieces you're playing... and she seems to be able to tailor her teaching to each individual. She challenges me and its so refreshing. Her expertise in the piano as a whole is so apparent in everything she does during a lesson.
Her level of accountability and responsibility to her students has raised the bar with my own level of responsibility for practicing and learning. I want to practice not just for my own growth, but also because she seems to hold a standard of her own that I want to reciprocate. And the environment is fun, comfortable and non-intimidating.
Learning to play piano with Corby has been so beyond what I thought learning an instrument could be. I highly recommend her to anyone, any level. I've been playing for three months and I'm so much further along in my practice than I ever thought imaginable.

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Hilal H. May 8, 2013
Piano ·

The Best

When I signed up for lessons, I honestly did not know the fundamentals of playing the piano. Corby carefully helped me learn from the ground up. Her kind compliance helped me ignite more and more ambition each week, and now I am understanding and playing with much more confidence. Not only does she teach you how to play the piano, but she teaches you the theory behind the music as well, so that you're a STUDENT of the instrument, rather than just a musician that plays the notes. She's articulate and remarkably organized. If you're interested in the piano, I would be baffled if you didn't sign up with Corby.

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Laura T. Feb 21, 2013
Piano ·

My 7 year old daughter learns quickly with Corby

Corby's teaching is precise, structured & friendly

Kelly C. Feb 1, 2013

Skilled piano teacher

Corby is a fabulous teacher who has helped me progress quickly in my lessons. After a 15-year hiatus from playing, she has helped me find the joy in piano again. I look forward to my weekly lessons in her warm, comfortable home, and I love getting to play her gorgeous Baby Grand. She is a gem, and I highly recommend her for beginner or advanced students.

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Sarah C. Sep 25, 2012
Piano ·

Excellent with Children

My 8 year old daughter takes piano lessons with Corby. She has a warm, patient teaching style with her, but still has expectations and can be firm when she needs to be so my daughter progresses. Corby taught in Manhattan prior to moving to San Diego, and it is obvious that she has a passion for music, enjoys teaching and is experienced. She is confident in her abilities and I highly recommend her.

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Sean R. Sep 8, 2012
Piano ·

Awesome Teacher!

I was really worried that I would have to trial a few teachers before I found the one I was looking for, but I lucked out and found Corby on the first try! One of the things that I caught my eye while reading her description was that she never makes a student learn to play something they don't like. This was a big deal for me. Nobody likes to struggle to learn something they don't enjoy playing or hearing, and I noticed right from the beginning Corby offered up several different pieces of music that reinforce the concepts she is teaching for that lesson and lets me pick which one I like best. It really helps out when practicing during the week because I actually WANT to learn that piece and it motivates me to practice each day. I also like that she goes beyond teaching how to play something with technical accuracy. She has some good learning techniques on how to make the music come alive with feeling instead of sounding robotic or forced.

I'm an adult, but I arrived early for my lesson one day and she was finishing a lesson up with a young girl maybe about 7 years old and I was really impressed with how she interacted with her. It was very cool to see them both having fun and that's what it's all about. I only wish I'd had a teacher with the same enthusiasm when I was a kid - If I had, I wouldn't need lessons today!

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