Joan Huff

Joan H.

San Diego, CA
Available Locations:
Studio Studio

I started piano lessons when I was about 6 years old. I graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson with a BA in Music Education. After moving to San Diego, I spent the next 20 years or so being a wife and mom and raising 3 kids, one of them a special needs child due to a drowning accident. I've been a church pianist and choir director for almost 30 years and worked at a charter school in Lakeside as a choir teacher and Music History class teacher. I started teaching piano about 10 years ago on the recommendation of a friend and fell in love with it! I have taught kids from the ages of 6 to 16, but would welcome adult students.
I enjoy and can teach many different musical styles on the piano. If you like classical, we can do classical. If you like pop or Broadway, we can do pop or Broadway. If you like contemporary Christian, we can do that. I'm a good sight reader and can help students who are interested learn how. I can also teach improvisation using chords with or without a melody line for students who'd like to learn. I encourage older students to bring in music they are interested in learning. The sky's the limit!


*** Lesson Details ***
I think lessons should be made fun for the student and should be personal time just for them to participate in an activity that they enjoy doing. Parents are always welcome during lessons. With beginners I stress learning to read the notes and other musical notation-dynamics markings, tempo instructions, rests, etc.. I like to use the Dozen A Day exercises as well and, depending on the proficiency level of the student, the Hanon series of exercises for flexibility. I like to use the Alfred Method lesson books for those just getting started. They have good pictures and easy to understand instructions for younger students. They also offer simple Theory instruction books as well. They also have some good adult instruction books. I also like to use a reward system with my students; younger kids can choose from a simple prize box and older ones can receive gift cards from McDonald's, Dairy Queen, etc.. Everyone needs a little reward in life! I like all students to keep a practice log (younger ones can be helped in this by parents) to help with accountability and to see how progress is being made. I also like to have a student recital at the end of the school year, usually in the month of May. The purpose is so that students can meet each other and see what others are working on. I've found that the students themselves are often the best encouragers and inspiration for each other!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Living room w/ piano and seating for parents

*** Specialties ***
Can teach classical, romantic and pop music genres. Can show how to improvise and play from chord sheets with no written music. Fast and efficient in sight-reading.

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  • Background Checked
  • Teaching since 2001
  • BA in Music Education from University of Arizona Music School

Reviews (32)

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Kathy V. Jul 22, 2019
Piano · In studio

Very helpful teaching ideas and very kind and patient.

Eva Apr 11, 2019
Piano · In home

Great first lesson. Joan is very patient and encouraging. She went out of her way to make her home accessible to be as I have knee issues.

Catherine M. Sep 13, 2018
Piano · In studio

After my first lesson, I am sure I have found a great teacher! I’m looking forward to more lessons!

diana S. Mar 23, 2018
Piano · In studio

Joan is absolutely fantastic. Not only she teaches piano well, she also teaches about composition of music. I highly recommend Joan. And I couldn’t be happier to find an excellent teacher.

Xiangyi Nov 27, 2017
Piano · In studio

she is very nice and can help you to enjoy the piano playing.

noah Mar 30, 2017
Piano · In home

She is a fantastic teacher! Very patient and kind...my kids love going to piano!

Valerie G. Oct 22, 2016
Piano · In studio

Very patient and helpful. I came to her from out of town and needed a few lessons to keep up with my class and the lessons I was missing.

Valerie G. Oct 21, 2016
Piano · In studio

Very patient and helpful. I came to her from out of town and needed a few lessons to keep up with my class and the lessons I was missing.

Cynthia Aug 26, 2016
Piano · In home

Joan is very knowledgeable and very patient. She is good at encouraging you.

Kayla Jul 22, 2016
Piano · In studio

First time, awesome. My daughter is so very happy.

Bryan W. Jun 16, 2016
Piano · In studio

Joan was terrific. She is obviously experienced with children and knows how they learn and what they like. She used every minute of the 30 minute lesson to move forward with my son. My active 6 year old enjoyed his first lesson and is excited about learning to play the piano.

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Felix Singh Jun 5, 2016
Piano · In home

Very happy with the first class.

Aden P. Dec 22, 2015
Piano · In home

Joan,

Thank you so much. Aden had a great time, he really enjoyed his lesson.

Cat H. Dec 4, 2015
Piano · In studio

10 stars! Joan is amazing! She's very attentive to my daughter. My daughter really loves her. Very patient. Recommend!

Xavi &. Aug 15, 2015
Piano · In studio

love it! My son 5 yr old taking first piano lesson and he can't wait to be back.

Megan H. Aug 11, 2015
Piano · In studio

Joan is so patient. She has been wonderful with our son. I can't believe how much he learned in such a short amount of time.

Catherine P. Jul 14, 2015
Piano · In studio

I am very thankful I found Joan. I must confess initially I wasn't sure how the lessons would work out since it was through the web I found her. But as the weeks went on, I saw chemistry building between her and my kids (ages 10, 6), and now (3.5 months into the lesson), I see my daughters playing and improving in their musicality and performance. I was especially grateful because we had just moved and my older daughter looked like she was at another quitting point. (She had 3 not so great piano teachers in the past then 1 really good teacher, and so was sad to leave her last piano teacher and wasn't very motivated to go on. We had moved from the Bay Area to SD so we had to look for new teacher) Joan patiently worked with her and tried to figure out what would get her going, and about 2 months in, we saw things really happening! I am thankful, too, with how she is working with my younger daughter as well, in building basics of her music knowledge. I would say Joan's strength as a teacher would be her patience and flexibility. Highly recommend her.

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Allyson J. Jun 19, 2015
Piano · In home

In one simple word to describe Joan is "Wow!" She is an awesome teacher who has taught my 7 year old daughter for about a year and a half. My daughter has never complained about going to class but more always eager to attend class and learn more. She continues to progress and is doing extremely well. Joan definitely knows how to work with children, very patient, kind and is a very good motivator.

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Mirela A. May 23, 2015
Piano · In home

My 6 year old daughter took her first piano lesson at our neighborhood music store. The store owner told me that the piano teacher makes all the difference in the child's tendency to like the instrument and stick with the lessons. As it turned out, after only 3 lessons with the teacher at this music studio, my daughter told me that she did not like piano and was not learning anything. I told her that if we try another teacher and she still does not like piano, we can be done with it.

We found Joan, and after the first lesson with Joan, my daughter wanted more. She wanted to play piano at home, she wanted to do well, she enjoyed the music she made. Joan is a magician with music and children!

Going through this experience, I can say that Joan is an incredible music teacher, understands children and is able to draw that natural talent and desire out of them. We feel incredibly blessed to have found Joan and look forward to the next steps in our piano learning journey with her.

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Cat H. May 23, 2015
Piano · In studio

Briana really enjoyed her first 30 minute session with Joan. She was excited to get home and practice. She showed her dad and aunt her folder she brought home. We're looking forward to our next lesson.

Susan B. May 22, 2015
Piano · In home

Joan is patient, knowledgeable and fun. I am looking forward to your next lessons.

Chloe K. Apr 30, 2015
Piano · In studio

Teacher Joan is so kind and gentle, she has been the perfect instructor for Chloe's first lessons!

Curtis T. Nov 3, 2014
Piano · In studio

I can not express how pleased I am with Joan. I have learned so much since I started. It is a pleasure going to my lesson. Joan is fun to be around, we get along very well, I come home and can't wait for my next lesson. The good Lord was looking over me when I choose Joan. Thanks Joan, you're the best, can't wait til next Monday.

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Monica S. Oct 14, 2014
Piano · In studio

Joan is a wonderful teacher! She is patient, kind and very knowledgeable. Her home is welcoming and my 9 year old son enjoyed his first lesson so much he asked to go every week instead of every other week. We couldn't be happier with his progress under Joan's expert guidance.

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Curtis T. Oct 6, 2014
Piano · In studio

I had my first lesson today with Joan. Wow, I think she is the best. I mean in just an hour she taught soooo much. I came straight home and started practicing. We had a great time together!!!!!

Kevin O. Sep 4, 2014
Piano · In studio

Joan is great. I have some past musical experience, but nothing structured. She is helping me with reading, theory and improve. She works around my skill set and gives me all the tools I need to learn what I am interested in. I would highly recommend Joan.

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Andrea T. Aug 4, 2014
Piano · In home

I was searching for a piano teacher for my daughter for and a friend recommended Take Lessons and this is how we found Joan. My daughter has been taking lessons with Joan for one year and it's been a wonderful year. Joan is an amazing instructor, she is skilled and has so much passion for music. She provides a comfortable atmosphere and challenges my daughter in a fun positive way.

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Stacie C. Jun 26, 2014
Piano · In studio

Miss Joan has been great for my seven year old son. He is very shy and hesitant with new ventures and had never taken any musical lessons before, but she made him feel super comfortable and I am impressed with how quickly he is learning and progressing. We are very happy with her as a teacher!

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Darryl C. Jun 23, 2014
Piano · In studio

If you could wish upon a star or pray to God for the perfect piano teacher, Ms. Joan Huff would be exactly what you would get! I love her compassion for the piano and encouragement during each lesson! Our lessons are filled with excitement and knowledge! I have learned so much and never in my wildest dream would I ever thought I would have progressed so much in only 5 months. I'm learning songs and fundamentals of piano. As an adult, I was worried that our lessons would be filled with too much structure and boredom. But, that is certainly not the case! Select her as your teacher and it will be one of the best decisions you'll ever make!

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Sommer C. May 21, 2014
Piano · In studio

I started taking my 2 children to Miss Joan after our previous teacher stopped giving lessons. Joan is great! She adapts her teaching style to their learning styles and keeps things fun while making sure they learn a lot. It was very important to me that we find someone skilled in teaching by ear as well as classically, and she fits that bill. She goes the extra mile with bringing in a variety of worksheets and activities to cement new concepts. We're thrilled!

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melyssa G. Jul 1, 2013
Piano ·

Excellent service

My daughter is an ongoing student of Joan. She is thriving under her instruction. Joan is caring and attentive. My daughter understands her direction and is receptive. Her encouragement has assisted in her advancement. I highly recommend Joan. We really lucked out in finding a great fit for my daughter's musical instruction.

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Angela E. May 11, 2013
Piano ·

Excellent Piano Instructor

I have greatly enjoyed my lessons with Joan H.! She is extremely knowledgeable in music and a gifted pianist herself. Her instruction has been incredibly helpful and I've seen immediate improvement in my piano skills and abilities. Joan is kind, patient, and encouraging and her studio is the perfect place to receive personal instruction. I highly recommend Joan H.!

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Experience

Piano Teacher
Jan 2013 - Present

San Diego Performance Academy, Santee CA

I teach piano at this studio in Santee CA several afternoons per week and have 9 students there.

Accompanist/Choir Director
May 1982 - Dec 2008

Lake Murray Evangelical Free Church

I was church choir director and pianist at this church for many years. This included several services per week, a choir practice each week plus several special programs per year. Also, accompanied many singers and instrumentalists over the years for weekly church services and special events.

Accompanist, Choir Director
Sep 2002 - Jun 2006

River Valley Charter School, Lakeside, CA

Began at this small charter school as choir accompanist, then took over as director for several years. Also taught Music Education/History class for one semester.


Education

BA in Music Education
Aug 1973 - Jun 1977

University of Arizona Music School


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