Marie-France MacDonald
Waldwick, NJ
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Marie-France MacDonald

Marie-France M.

Waldwick, NJ
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
There are as many methods of teaching piano as there are teachers.
I like to borrow ideas from others as well as offering my unique approach so there is a blend of traditional and non-traditional. I want each student to be able to read music, play by ear, be familiar with chord structure and improvisation and all the wonderful things musicianship can bring but most of all, I want my students to truly enjoy playing the piano and I do believe that process at least as important as product.

About Marie-France M.

I have taught piano and voice most of my adult life. After working with hundreds of students, I realized that I needed to adapt my teaching style to the uniqueness of each student, especially those whose perceptions differ widely from the general populace. I love what I do, helping each student discover and nurture their abilities, no matter what age the student may be.

I also realized that there was a lack of appropriate resources available that considered different learning styles, so I began to create my own. Now, I make those tools available for parents and other teachers in easily-accessible, downloadable formats. Student can use these to practice at home, and other teachers can use them to lead their students -- regardless of learning style -- to success.

The following is a quote from ex-student Karena Krull, author of "Drama Made Easy", and "Rummy Roots":

“Her greatest strength is her ability to find the right direction for each individual. This ability to adapt to the student's needs lends to individual success for student and avoids their frustration. If her current method or communication isn't creating success for a student she will quickly change to another till she finds the right words or method to enable the student to succeed with the least amount of frustration.”


*** Lesson Details ***
I draw on a wide range of tools and resources in my lessons. The curriculum may be color-based or number-based, we might focus on chord building or sight-reading, or even songwriting, depending on the student's need and desire.

*** Studio Equipment ***Private Music studio with glass door so waiting parents can see what's going on (though they can also be in the studio if they feel more comfortable.) I have a baby grand piano, 1 high-end digital hybrid keyboard, and a variety of other instrument including hand drums, chimes, boomwackers, a chimealong and autoharp to enhance learning experience.

*** Specialties ***
Because each student is an individual, I approach teaching like a coach, custom designing a course of study for each student to meet their individual needs.

Reviews

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4.8
65 Reviews
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Jason
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I enjoyed my 2 sessions with Marie, at the end of my second lesson she offered to email me a list of acting/improv classes in NYC because everyone she knows was in NYC.
This was contradictory because initially she told me she just moved here and doesn't know anyone up north. And besides that, I expressed how happy i was with her classes which was down the road 35 minutes and not commuting to NYC which is over a couple hours.
Anyway, I am glad that I actually learned something and got to do exercises and not leave with the feeling that i wasted my money and most importantly my time like other acting coaches on here.

Posted Dec 20, 2018
Hannah
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great teacher. Very encouraging and patient which is what an adult learner needs. She supports her students and gives them interesting contemporary pieces to learn (that is the genre we picked so we stay interested in practicing!). Thanks Marie France!

Posted May 17, 2018
Jason

I enjoyed my 2 sessions with Marie, and from work she was a 35 min commute vs 90 mins to NYC.
With her I felt engaged, she was prepared, professional, stayed on topic and gave relevant critiques and feedback.
At the end of my second lesson she offered to email me a list of acting/improv classes in NYC which she did.
Anyway, I am glad that I actually learned something and got to do exercises and not leave with the feeling that i wasted my money and most importantly my time.

Posted Mar 29, 2018
Nick D.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son is really having a great experience . He is learning a lot and plans on continuing his lessons

Posted Mar 17, 2018
Thomas
Profile-location-home Student's Home

All went well with first lesson

Posted Oct 16, 2017
Annabella
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

We had our first lesson today and it was wonderful. Marie really knew how to connect to my daughter on a level that made sense to her. She utilized developmentally appropriate techniques to enhance the experience while conveying the objectives of the lesson. Excellent!

Posted Sep 25, 2017
Julia
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very satisfied with my first lesson. I found Marie-France to be very knowledgeable and very personable. I feel very enthusiastic and am looking forward to my next lesson with her.

Posted Sep 5, 2017
Gavin
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ms. Marie is very good at teaching small kids. Our 4.5-yr old daughter loves to go to her piano class and never felt any pressure. She made steady progress following Ms. Marie's plan with consideration of what she can achieve. Highly recommended.

Posted Aug 29, 2017
Ben
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I am a musician and for the past year my 11 year old daughter has and continues to study piano and voice with Marie-France. She is knowledgeable, perceptive and commands an approach which encourages, keeping students engaged. Marie-France really is the best instructor ever.

Posted Aug 29, 2017
Susan
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie is a great teacher

Posted Aug 23, 2017
Brooke R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie-France puts her heart and soul in her teaching. She is the most exceptional and caring teacher and has greatly helped my daughter with her singing in a very short period of time. I highly recommend her.

Posted May 29, 2017
krithi
Profile-location-online Online

you are the best piano teacher because you make everything easy and you are kind

Posted Mar 12, 2017
Gokce
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Both myself (a 42-year old adult who decided to learn piano) and my son (a 6-year old boy) are taking lessons from Marie-France. The way that she can work with both of us with such proficiency, care and attention and they way she can quickly figure out how "you" learn and adapt her teaching to that is remarkable. We love working with her. She is amazing.

Posted Jan 25, 2017
Krithi
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Very nice intro

Posted Jan 14, 2017
Anne G.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Anne enjoyed her first lesson with Ms. Marie. She is such a dynamic teacher and we can't wait for another lesson. Great job!

Posted Dec 22, 2016
Samantha
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Great teacher! Helped me so much in preparation for my audition!

Posted Dec 17, 2016
Anaira P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I found this teacher very helpful and she was nice and she understood everything and I a great teacher. I will continue taking classes with her because she is going to help me get somewhere I enjoy taking classes with her

Posted Nov 26, 2016
Morgan S.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Excellent piano instructor for my 6 year old.

Posted Oct 26, 2016
Qin
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Awesome teacher, patient and skillful, know my daughter's special needs, strength and weakness, also very well rounded in what she teaches. Love her!

Posted Oct 25, 2016
primy
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ms marie is very good with the kids. She understands her student and gives the right focus on them. She polishes the students strongest area at the same time also strengthen their improvement areas.

Posted Oct 25, 2016
Giavanna G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

She an excellent singing instructor and Giavanna loves her!! Miss Marie has a lot of patience with her and make the lesson a lot of fun. I actually enjoy watching myself. So glad she decided to try out singing lessons : )

Posted Sep 14, 2016
Lee
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Julia is enjoying her acting lessons with Marie-France. She has learned some valuable techniques in a short time. Julia looks forward to her next lesson and plans to continue her lessons with Marie-France.

Posted Aug 20, 2016
Julia G.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Julia enjoyed her first lesson with Marie-France. She gained many valuable skills in a short time. She cannot wait to go back for her second lesson.

Posted Jul 29, 2016
Rylan
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Rylan loved his first lesson!

Posted Jul 12, 2016
Avery E.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie-France is a wonderful singing teacher!

Posted Jun 20, 2016
Josie P.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Excellent

Posted May 23, 2016
Andres
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie is the best. My son has never been so excited before and now he is always looking forward to learn more

Posted Mar 22, 2016
Alina R.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Alina loved Marie-France.

Posted Mar 5, 2016
Grace E.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Fantastic! My 7 year old had a blast and is looking forward to her next leason!

Posted Mar 3, 2016
Kalley Robinson
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My first lesson with Marie was a great experience. Her home was cozy and inviting and the lesson was comfortable, at my pace. Even though the time frame in which we had to work with was short I did not feel rushed in any way. I look forward to more lessons and adding in the piano as well.

Posted Feb 28, 2016
Jake E.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Wonderful first music lesson for my son! Will recommend!

Posted Feb 22, 2016
Amanda
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

She is awesome!!!!!!!!!

Posted Feb 21, 2016
Bill M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My voice lessons with Marie Frances have been nothing short of pure joy. Marie literally took a frog and turned me into a prince. Because of Marie, I have gained more confidence in myself than I thought possible. She has been "The Wind Under My Wings" in my endeavor to be able to sing.

Posted Aug 4, 2015
Susan C.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Great instruction. Very knowledgeable. I'm going to learn a lot.Highly recommend.

Posted Jul 8, 2015
kegine M.

Marie France is an outstanding teacher. She has been teaching my son piano for nearly 4 years. When we first started I just wanted to give it a try cause I wasn't sure this is something my son could do giving the fact that he has special needs. With her patience and individualized approach, Marie France has helped build my son's confidence and self-esteem. Today he is able to read and play music independently. My son's passion for music has developed so much since he started getting piano lesson with Marie France, in addition to playing piano he is also interested in learning how to play guitar. We are so fortunate to have found her. I would recommend her on a heart beat to anyone interested in learning music

Posted Jun 24, 2015
Susan L.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I am an adult who, as a young student, found joy singing in school plays and performances. I have always wanted to regain that joy, but never found time to follow that dream. When I started taking lessons with Marie-France, she listened to my voice, laid out a lesson plan, coached my progress and I found that joy again! Thank you Marie-France.

Posted Jun 23, 2015
Jessica M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie-France is an absolutely amazing teacher. She adapts to my schedule and learning style & I never leave a class feeling unsatisfied. She has helped me transform my knowledge of singing and reading music into a knowledge of playing piano. It has been such a joy having her as my piano teacher, I would 100% recommend her to anyone who is looking for a teacher.

Posted Jun 20, 2015
Siobhan W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie-France is doing a wonderful job teaching our 7 year old sons piano. Marie-France has created an environment where our active boys are engaged and happy to go to class. She has individualized her approach and given each child the level of work that he is ready for. The boys started in the fall and had their first recital this spring; they did terrific and were so happy to perform. We have been happy with the progress both children have made this year. I would strongly recommend Marie-France as a teacher. She knows and loves music and is able to relate to children - they love her.

Posted Jun 20, 2015
Junko O.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie-France is a fantastic teacher. I am a singer - songwriter performing out, and I want to strengthen my vocal ability and have more control of my vocal performance.
She is, first of all, a great singer, pianist, songwriter, performer and producer with so much experiences, and she understands very well what I have to accomplish as a performer. I am very lucky to have her as my teacher because she really understands what I need to improve, and she knows how to guide me to get to the goals. With her advise and teaching, I was very comfortable recording my CD in a studio. With her guidance, I am more confident with my vocal performances.
Thank you so very much Marie - France for being my voice teacher.

Posted Jun 19, 2015
Peter B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I started with Marie just a few months ago and have enjoyed the lessons immensely. As a adult who had never sung before, I was a bit nervous, but she made me comfortable immediately. And the lessons have been terrific. Under her guidance, I went from never singing in public before to winning a part in an amateur theater production of a Broadway musical in just a few weeks. I continue to make progress and gain confidence. I highly recommend her.

Posted Jun 19, 2015
Hazel L.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Wonderfully warm and inviting. My daughter is already excited and practicing.

Posted Jun 15, 2015
Kate K.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I am an adult learner and chose Marie as a teacher because she teaches singing, piano, and songwriting, and these were all things I wanted to learn. I had some background in piano but was a complete (and very nervous) novice when it came to singing.

Marie has been an OUTSTANDING teacher!!! She has been easy-going and flexible with my busy work schedule and totally understanding when life got in the way of practicing between some lessons- we always found a way to make our lesson time productive and fun. She has a warm and upbeat demeanor and is present, fully engaged, and inspiring in our lessons. I have always left lessons with a smile on my face!

Marie has been tremendously encouraging as I've developed my singing voice from virtually nothing to the point where I'm now thinking of joining a community chorus. She's helped me develop confidence, taught me a slew of warm-ups, and gave me some great songs and practice materials to work with.

On the piano, we've worked on classical sheet music, gone over scales and chords, and looked at chord progressions in pop songs to try to create arrangements for me to play and sing.

Marie has my highest recommendation!!!

Posted Jun 13, 2015
Ryan C.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

If it were possible to give more than 5 stars to Marie France, I would because I could not have been happier with my experience learning piano from her. I started my lessons with her when I was 27 years old and completely musically naive. She helped me learn and gain confidence in my skills which lead to me first recital within a year later. All around A+!!

Posted Jun 10, 2015
Nicole M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

My 6-year-old son who is on the ASD spectrum has been receiving piano lessons from Miss Marie for over a year. Miss Marie is absolutely wonderful with him -- she is patient with his sometimes quirky nature and takes the time and energy to truly understand him so she can reach him. She is creative with her lessons and tries many different approaches to give a holistic experience as well as find the approach that my son enjoys the best. The lessons and instruction are free from any pressure and she makes it fun so my son wants to play instead of feeling like he has to play. It's clear that music is her passion and she is enthusiastic and very talented. Even I've learned a great deal from her this past year! I would highly recommend Miss Marie as a piano teacher for all children, and especially for children with special needs.

Posted Jun 10, 2015
Rosey P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Phenomenal teacher. After a 20 year hiatus from playing piano, Marie-France brought me from a beginner student playing chop stix, to a 3 year level, playing Fur Elise - in less than one year! It still surprises me to think about how far I've come, and I can say without hesitation, it is because she is an amazing teacher. She encourages me, is patient and easy going. She teaches with the particular student in mind, gears lessons towards your goals and challenges you to ensure you keep progressing and working on developing skills. She's also fun and personable - you'll just love her!

Posted Jun 9, 2015
Sean H.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie France has an innate ability to quickly assess and apply the most effective teaching method for each of her students. Full of patience and a sweet nurturing demeanor, Marie France's approach immediately resonated with our daughters. In addition, Marie France teaches from her own curriculum that is relatable with her students. She teaches discipline and inspires her students to improve. We are very fortunate to have Marie France as the girls teacher; she is a gem.

Posted Jun 9, 2015
Tina M.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Wonderful, knowledgeable, and patient. Excellent teacher and experience.

Posted Jun 8, 2015
Erik O.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie is an exceptional teacher. She brings a combination of rigor, cooperation and passion that have brought out the best in my daughter. She works carefully with Emilia to understand what she enjoys and then adjusts the content to keep Emilia excited and focused! She has also gone out of her way to help Emilia grow beyond simple practice to public performance which Emilia (and my wife and I) have all tremendously enjoyed! Marie has my highest recommendation!

Posted Jun 8, 2015
Manusca J.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

she was very profession and made Laila feel very comfortable

Posted May 27, 2015
Paula B.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

We are thrilled with Marie-france, an insightful, experienced professional and teacher. She had an immediate grasp of what my daughter needed and how to work with her, and as a result she is making progress quickly.

Posted May 18, 2015
Chris H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

We've only been going a few weeks, but not only am I having a lot of fun, but I'm learning a lot!

Posted Mar 7, 2015
Subbu P.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Marie-France excellent teacher and my kids love to go her classes.

Posted Nov 20, 2014
Brian W.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

She's really good. I am just a beginner and I am making progress thanks to Marie-France. She gives out homework so you can improve and she tailors each lesson to the needs of that student. I would definitely recommend her to anyone interested in pursuing music.

Posted Nov 3, 2014
Bill M.

Miracle Worker

Marie has taken a frog and turned him into a prince.
I didn't think I could sing,well I was wrong.
I could not have chosen a better teacher for me,than Marie.b

Posted Mar 6, 2014
Cyndy F.

Marie-France is a wonderful instructor!

I am pleased to have the opportunity to write a review for Marie-France. Marie-France has been a positive influence in our daughter's passion to pursue singing. Through Marie-France, our daughter has gained much confidence and has found her "voice". Marie-France is a fantastic teacher! We find her to be reliable, an inspiration to our daughter and encouraging as a teacher.

Posted Nov 26, 2013
Arpi M.

Really Wonderful Teacher

I have always been shy and apprehensive about singing in front of other people, but Marie really makes me feel comfortable and relaxed at every lesson. She has a way of bringing out the positive in every situation and gives attainable goals which makes learning singing really fun and interesting. She also really puts the effort into getting to know you, your musical background, style and tastes so every lesson feels tailored specifically to you. One of the best teachers I've ever had.
:)
Highly recommended A++

Posted Nov 19, 2013
Mayah W.

Very special and amazing teacher!! So glad I chose her!

Marie-france is such a professional teacher and she understands how to listen to my voice and know exactly what I need to practice to become better. She also makes the lessons fun, and if she gives you criticism it is only to make you better. You should never take it as discouragement. I enjoy every minute with Marie! I highly recommend her.

Posted Nov 14, 2013
Katie L.

Marie-France believes in her students.

From the first time I met Marie-France for singing lessons, she has listened and cared about the student and the voice. She is patient and flexible. She makes sure the homework is not over-loaded, but the rigor is still in contact. Marie checks in with her students to see the progress. She has the best encouragement and the best advice. She sets goals for her students and makes sure her students enjoy the work they are doing. Without Marie, I don't think I could have the courage or potential to perform as well as I do. I thank her so much, and look forward to making music every lesson!

Posted Nov 13, 2013
James M.

"Awesome teacher"... and I am not just saying that because I''m her husband!....

Marie-France is a dedicated and caring teacher who focuses on every student as an individual who learns in his or her own particular way. I know how much time she spends outside of the actual lesson time thinking about and preparing the next challenge for each of her students … because I am married to her.
We first met in a theater project on the west coast and I was so impressed with the way she worked as both an actress and director. Her communication skills are extraordinary and her singing and acting skills likewise. She is gifted in being able to find a student’s strengths and then build on them, and I have witnessed the amazing growth in people. Marie-France finds great joy in seeing others grow and develop both their talents and self-confidence which so often go hand in hand.

Posted Nov 11, 2013
Neal B.

Ms. Marie is a great teacher. I highly recommend her.

Ms. Marie is really good at teaching me how to play the piano. I was a little nervous at my first few lessons, but she made me feel very comfortable. She is always very patient and makes the lessons fun. I really like the pace she goes at. She knows when I am ready for new and more complicated chords, scales or pieces. She is a great teacher. If you want to play the piano, take lessons with her.

Posted Nov 2, 2013
Diane B.

Finally found a real musical-performance teacher for my daughter!

After spending four years trying different music teachers who had more interest in their own style of singing, finding Marie-France is is a gift. Marie-France is an amazing teacher. She connects with my daughter and is truly interested in teaching to her strengths. My daughter had an instant connection with her.
As a mother and an elementary school teacher, I knew she understood my child immediately. Marie-France is a holistic teacher who is willing to change styles without hesitation to find what works best for my daughter.
Coming from a performing and creative arts family, I love that Marie-France's show business background and her no-nonsense teaching style, is just what we needed in a teacher.
More importantly, my daughter listens to her advice and her singing has improved immeasurably. The trip is a bit of a distance for us, but totally worth every mile.

Posted Nov 2, 2013
Britto D.

Excellent Dedicated Teacher.

Marie-France is an excellent teacher. Very patient in explaining the lesson and very professional. She is excellent in teaching special need kids.
I recommend her for her talent and dedication for music.

Posted Feb 16, 2013
Patricia N.

An intuitive teacher who tailors lessons to your individual capacity.

Marie-France's gift of communication translates into a learning experience that transcends the typical learning by rote or standard fare lesson plan. She combines her vast technical skill and knowedge with an uncanny ablity to "read" her students learning mode which results in a lot of "ah-ha" moments. I am not a child, I am a 56 year old woman who thought she could never learn music..well in a matter of two lessons I learned chords, octaves, and a couple of songs. I am not trying to land a gig at Carnegie Hall..just trying to enhance my singing experience....but after three lessons I decided to invest in a more sophisticated digital piano and go for it. Music lessons with Marie-France go beyond simply learning how to play piano or sing as wonderful as that can be; because Marie's approach nurtures the whole person her lessons will enhance life in many other spheres. I guess it is obvious that I heartily recommend her as a teacher, especially if you have had teachers who intimidated you in the past, there will be none of that with Marie because she loves to bring out the best in her students.

Posted Feb 13, 2013
Janet S.

Marie is a gift!

Marie is a gifted professional with an incredible understanding of the learning process. She tailors each persons' lessons based on their learning style. Marie takes great care in observing and evaluating her student so that she can give them the optimal environment. She makes the lessons fun and always takes inpiration from her student. Her musical knowledge is superior. She shares this knowledge with a generosity of heart and spirit that is rare. It shows that she truly loves what she is doing.

Posted Sep 25, 2012
TimT

Marie has been great! We really enjoy her teaching style which is always positive and laid back. No stress here. My daughter and I love the fact that we can work together with Marie, at our lessons, rather than seperately. She feels much more comfortable now.I'm excited to continue with Marie and so is Cailey!

Posted Sep 23, 2011

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