I began my musical journey around the age of 4 when I took group music lessons at a friend and neighbors house. I also liked to sing along side my dad, who played folk, blues and old railroad tunes on his guitar. Soon afterward, I was enrolled in piano lessons and playing in local youth music competitions. However, I had other goals in life so I quit piano cold turkey for several years to focus on sports and other leadership activities. Shortly following my father's death though, I realized that music was my true passion, so I started playing again in high school and then enrolled in lessons once in college.
I was fortunate enough to study piano with Dr. James Martin at Cornell College, and he encouraged me to go all the way. So I ended up majoring in music, practicing for hours each day, giving multiple recitals, accompanying singers, playing at convalescent homes, and giving a full length senior recital of my favorite classical pieces. While at Cornell College I also created and participated in a piano pedagogy course where students learned how to teach their talents to students of all ages and skill levels.
Since graduating I have been a piano teacher, written and produced an album with an old high school friend, worked at a pediatric daycare as a music therapist and started to study jazz and salsa piano. I enjoy playing everything from old jazz standards, Beatles tunes, Coldplay, Norah Jones to Rachmaninov, Brahms and Bach. I love helping my students discover the joys of playing piano and hope I can inspire you to make music a part of your life.
*** Lesson Details ***
I want your lessons to be an enjoyable experience, I am laid back in nature, but I do expect my students to come prepared each week so we can keep moving forward (it's way more fun that way, trust me!). Since everyone has different backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses and goals, I will try my best to tailor a lesson for your unique needs. I like to focus on theory, technique, ear training and rhythm. After 3 months of studying with me you should be able to read both treble and bass clefs with ease, tap/clap 2 rhythms that I write out for you- 1 in left hand 1 in right, and play a handful of fun songs - this all depends of course on where you are starting and where you want to go!
For my students ages 5-12 I like to use the Faber and Faber method books. A typical lesson using this method will be broken down into 3 parts: Learning songs/Performance pieces, working in a theory book, and learning new concepts in a lesson book. I will supplement other forms of teaching when appropriate such as rhythm games, flashcards and additional pieces of appropriate difficulty level. For all other ages, I will structure our lessons in a similar fashion, but lessons books and other teaching materials will vary with each student's skill level and goals.
*** Studio Equipment ***
I teach on a Yamaha Digital Clavinova. While nothing beats a real piano, I am pretty impressed with the sound and action quality of this keyboard.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I do not have any suitable portable equipment other than books and flashcards. Students will need to have their own piano or acceptable digital keyboard.
*** Specialties ***
I have always used Faber and Faber as a foundation for my beginning students. As I get to know them better I will supplement pieces I find appropriate. I also utilize flash cards, singing and as much hands on and interactive activities as possible!
Jaclyn loves Owen. He is so patient and makes learning to play the piano really fun for her. I know she respects him a lot--the parents do, too!