Having been a public school teacher, as well as a private and group piano instructor, I've observed how differently students "digest" information, and piano lessons are a great way to make use of different learning styles. I emphasize knowing HOW to practice before you leave so you'll be successful at home, and you are welcome to contact me with problems during the week so you don't lose a week in progressing with your lessons. I've had students send a video of a tricky section to ask for alternative fingering, and photos to clarify how they are reading something!! I also perform with an orchestra and want to feel proficient among my peers, so I really know how it feels to make a mistake in front of everyone. I am here to help you feel proud of your progress.
My primary teaching objective is to have fun as I assist you on this wonderful journey into music!
*** Lesson Details ***
I truly have fun making and teaching music. We celebrate all successes. Even the overcoming of the smallest "hiccups"!
There are games to make my students secure with the many concepts of music reading. I encourage improvisation and ensemble playing. We can add rhythm tracks to "jazz" up our scales and finger builders. Students can accompany with chords or melodic harmonies. I assign exercises to build finger flexibility, strength, fluidity and independence; Pencil work to master theory and reading skills; Pieces that contain the ideas we are focused upon; and pieces to add to your repertoire.
*** Studio Equipment ***
At my Home Studio,You will be playing on my 5'1" Knabe grand piano! I also have electronic keyboards. On occasion you may find yourself playing on my marimba - a definite pitch percussion instrument - like a giant xylophone. We often rehearse our rhythms on my variety of world drums! There are chairs available for guests.
Also, I share my home with my pet cats - so if you are allergic, I'd be happy to consider coming to your home for your lessons.
*** Travel Equipment ***
An electronic keyboard with full-sized keys or a tuned piano must be available along with a proper height stool, bench or chair. A music stand for the books and good lighting is also needed. The family must agree that the 'lesson space' deserves to be quiet with no distractions. I can also bring one of my keyboards to use for duets, accompanying and improvising. Should there be another student (or potential student) in the home, they can use the extra keyboard with headphones for guided practice and creativity. Percussion students - primarily- mallets, would be better served at my home using my marimba. However, those who have bell kits could be taught in their home, with the possibility of using my marimba as an incentive.
*** Specialties ***
I am fortunate to have an extensive collection of piano method books and solos that I make available as part of my lending library. From it I can reinforce a concept or reward an accomplishment with an "oldie, but goodie" from John Thompson or Schaum, without having to charge the parents for another piece. For my beginning piano students of elementary school age, I have used the Robert Pace, Bastien, Faber & Faber and Schaum series. With adults, I invite them into the decision depending on what their experience is and what they would like to be able to perform one year from now. With transfer students, I have asked them to play their favorites from the lesson books they own, (and I ask them to evaluate their proficiency)- then we discuss where to go from there. Often it is positive to stay at the same level but use different literature so they can become comfortable with my style of explanations and expectations. This encourages a relationship where the student feels like they do know what they were taught and 'cements' those skills as a foundation for our moving forward together. I have a CD player handy for the books that include recorded tracks to go along with a learned piece.
What a delightful learning experience this has been for me - mostly because of my conductor! He is patient with us, has a good sense of humor, and regularly shares information beyond just playing the music correctly. It makes me excited to drive 70 miles each week ! And even if I am spoken to directly by him in front of all my peers, I know he will not embarrass me. He gives specific pointers that I feel I can understand and produce in my performing. This is how I want my students to feel with me - safe, respected and encouraged.
My students have ranged in age from Kindergarten to 8th Grade.
I have taught choir, band, general music, & group keyboard. I have directed musicals, put on concerts for communities and school events. We have participated in District and UIL activities.
My twenty-plus years with this orchestra saw numerous conductors pass through our podium. That is a learning experience, also, as I adapted myself to their different conducting styles. It helped me to learn there is often more than one way to interpret music ... and was "instrumental" in my adapting a similar approach through my teaching.
While raising my own 'little musicians", I taught from my home and hosted recitals, ensemble performances and events with other group piano teachers.
Four year degree program, including student teaching. Performing member of college orchestra, wind ensemble, Concert Choir, New Music Symposium, Delta Omicron (Professional Musician's Fraternity)
'71-'72 Master's Degree -One year degree program during which I also performed with the Concert Band, New Music Ensemble, and toured with the Percussion Ensemble.
Begun in 1920 as the Texas Band Teachers Association, the Texas Music Educators Association is an organization of over 10,000 school music educators dedicated to promoting excellence in music education. TMEA is comprised of five divisions: Band, Orchestra, Vocal, Elementary and College. On behalf of its members and Texas schoolchildren, TMEA carefully monitors the actions of all state decision-making bodies on issues affecting fine arts instruction in Texas. In addition to many member benefits, TMEA offers professional development opportunities for its members with Region workshops and especially with its annual Clinic/Convention. TMEA supports the future of music education by offering scholarships to music education majors and by sponsoring the Texas Future Music Educators, an organization through which high school students interested in careers in music education learn more about what to expect in their college education and future careers.
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