Levels taught:Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
• Postures at the piano, finger numbers, high and low on the keyboard
• Music alphabet, Intervals
• Musical form, Dynamic marks
• Staff; line notes, space notes
• Time signature, accent mark, legato, staccato
• Basic chords (C, F, G)
Even with the beginners I incorporate basic theory and phrasing in the lessons because it makes them understand the underlying structure of the music and play better.
As they advance beyond the basics I emphasize the expression of music by the use of correct articulations, left and right and balance, tone quality, and phrasing. In advanced level, sometimes fingerings can be tricky. In some case, there are universal (standard) fingerings but not always. We all have different finger/hand sizes and best fingerings should consider specific size and shape of an individual hand. In addition they should consider the context of a particular figuration. In advanced level, I teach the effective use of pedals and arms as well. Effective pedaling requires good understanding of chords, melody, phrasing and good listening skill. So I spend part of a lesson on pedaling with advanced students. I often find some students play as if they do not have joints and we discuss how to release the tension from arms and wrists.
There is a saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." So I sometimes play for them to show how some passages have to be played. Some of my students pick it up right away. Although I am classically oriented, I sometimes mix music from movies, TV shows and musicals for the lessons with classical genre depending on students' preference. I would like to share with students of all ages what I have learned as a music student, a professional and even as a person to systematically help develop their knowledge and skill as a piano player.
About Amber A.
I was born and raised in S. Korea. I studied piano performance at Cleveland Institute of Music and University of Iowa and hold DMA in piano performance and pedagogy from University of Iowa. Other than music I hold BS in Computer Science from State University of New York, Albany. I began to play the piano when I was six and won prizes from the local competitions sponsored by Daegu Board of Education and Dague Division of Korean Musicians Association. I performed in major cities in Korea, the US and Europe such as Seoul, Paris, Vienna, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Boston area. I participated in The Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition during my last year at University of Iowa and was mentioned by the judges as a technically very good pianist. For additional studies I participated in Aspen Music School and Music Festival, Claude Elffere's Master Class (Paris, France), Mozarteum Summer School and Music Festival (Salzburg, Austria) and Vienna Music Seminar (Vienna, Austria). I was awarded scholarship when I attended Cleveland Institute of Music and Aspen Music School. My teachers include Jinsook Kim, Donald Walker, Paul Schenly, Gabriel Chodos, Viktor Teuflmayr, Claude Elffere, Anne Epperson, and Vivian Hornik Weilestein.
Previously I was a rehearsal pianist of operas, II pagliacci by Leoncavallo with Daegu Opera, Snatched by the Gods and Broken Strings by Param Vir with University of Iowa Theatre department, and contemporary operas based on the works by Francesca Cavalli with Temple University Opera. Other than operas I worked with Missoula Children’s Theater for the performance of Aladdin. As a collaborative pianist I performed in numerous concerts and performed in master classes of Joseph Silverstein, Steven Isserlis, Julliard Quartet, Isaac Stern and Richard Stoltzman. I have been teaching piano at the university settings (University of Iowa, Temple University and Catholic University of Daegu) or privately for 10+ years. When I was in Seattle I taught at Half Note Music School in Bellevue, WA and was a pianist at St. Columba's Episcopal Church and United Christian Church in Renton, WA. Now in Boston area I have been working as a pianist/organist at First Baptist Church of Wollaston. In between my careers in music I worked as a software engineer as well.
Teaches students 5 and up
Awarded Spellman Achievement Award from State University of New York at Albany
Teaches Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
This teacher knows exactly what she was doing. She sat with me patiently and helped me work through and explained everything to me. She is such a great person too. I will be sticking with her because she is challenging me.
Amber is a very tough teacher, but I think I will learn a lot from her.
Amber has done a wonderful job helping my daughter prepare for an upcoming competition.
Amber was on time and very patient with my son (10) with his first lesson. He has a disability and she kept him engaged for 30 minutes which is very hard to do.
My first lesson with Amber was awesome. I would recommend Amber.
Thank you Amber
Amber is a strict yet nice teacher. My two girls love learning from her and are excited about going to piano lessons with her. Although they have been learning piano for a few years already, they consider Amber well qualified to push them to professional level and say that Amber makes their music pieces much better and accurate.Show More
Amber helped me improve my technique and play with better dynamics. I like that she often plays along with the student to demonstrate her lesson.
She did her best to be patient with my 6 yrs old boy.
Amber is a great teacher! She's working with my 2 kids and they love her! She's always on time, she's great at communicating what's expected and/or planned for the lesson so we can plan accordingly and she keeps me in the loop about their progress.Show More
I am an adult who learns to play piano. Amber is my third teacher. I decided to settle with her as long as she won't move out of Seattle : ) She is very skilled, experienced, well-educated, humorous. I had a lot of fun in class. She definitely made me more passionate about piano learning. And of course, my skilled improved a lot. I decide to study as possible
Amber holds DMA degree in piano performance, which most teacher doesn't have. This makes her extremely qualified to teach students at any level. She really knows how to teach effectively. There was a song I had practiced for two months for my wedding but it still sounded wrong to me. I couldn't figured out what's wrong. Then I knew I need a teacher. That's when I started my class with Amber. She went through each line with me. Corrected my figuring to make it easier for me to play each key evenly. She taught me which part to use finger and which part to use hand, and how to relax fast between two notes. Those skills are so helpful for me. None of other teachers taught me before. Without her I will never do it.
State University of New York at Albany