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I am a music lover first and foremost, and have a passion for sharing music with other people. I have been playing piano for many years, have taught privately in both California and Florida, and currently teach at a local music store. I have recently moved back to Sacramento, after graduating from UC Berkeley, and am excited to build my studio here (I recently added a grand piano). I have a firm foundation in classical studies, having studied for many years privately with diverse teachers. I also have a passion for composing, and I have written, recorded, and produced an album of my own material. I have written songs for others, and have performed in public as a solo performer and as a back-up musician. I also play the French Horn. I believe music education should be fun, and it should not just be about learning notes; music is interactive, enlightening, and each of us has a personal identity and contribution to bring to it. I speak Italian, so can easily help with all those pesky Italian musical terms that one must learn. :) I also co-organize an Italian language group in Sacramento and can assist with Italian instruction.
I have taught using various methods before, and as such I like to identify the needs of the student and goals at the onset before committing to specific material. I have had success with the Bastien Method, Faber series, and I like many lines by Alfred. If a student has a preference, I will work with them in finding the best plan of action. The goal is a strong fundamental musical education that keeps them interested and engaged. Adults have different needs than beginners. Alfred and others have great books geared towards them. In addition to specific series or teaching books, I like to find solo pieces that interest the student to help them build a repertoire that goes beyond basic technical and exercise-type pieces to encompass a variety of pieces that they actually enjoy playing.
"To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable", at least according to Beethoven. I believe this wholeheartedly. This is a great summary of my approach to music. By passion I do not mean simply overplaying pieces and forcing fake emotion into them, rather I mean passion in the way of finding the heart and soul of a piece of music, understanding it, and being able to translate that into your performance of it. Nothing is more gratifying than a student falling in love with a piece of music, overcoming the difficulties in learning it, and conquering the performance of it. This is what the joy of music is all about. I believe in setting attainable goals, rewarding accomplishments, and that attentive listening and practice are keystones to success. Pedagogy is important, but it should never stifle creativity or discourage new ways of approaching things.