Composer Troy W. graduated from the New England Conservatory, earning his Bachelors, Masters (cum laude) and Graduate Diploma while studying with mentor Malcolm Peyton. After spending a year studying with Lukas Foss in Boston, Mr. W. moved to Houston in 2001 where he continued graduate studies at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.
During his time as a teacher with the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, Troy taught classes in music fundamentals and music theory for pre-college students. He has also served on the faculty of the Summer Institute for Piano teaching courses in Form & Analysis for pre-college students.
Troy also has maintained a private studio, tutoring and teaching private lessons in composition, ear training, voice, piano, literature, and history for over ten years. Students who have studied with him come from a wide range of backgrounds with different goals. Those who have continued with musical studies in college have consistently placed out of at least the first two semesters of music theory and achieved advanced placement in their chosen fields of study. Those who chose a different path continue to benefit from the education and training they received from taking music lessons.
*** Lesson Details ***
There is no "standard formula" to lessons. Each student has their own unique background, needs, and goals. Lessons tend to be somewhat casual but are structured in such a way as to meet the unique requirements of the student.
To accomplish your goals, there are a few requirements and basic expectations that the student and parent must meet.
The first is practice. Students are expected to practice daily for at least the length of their lesson time. This, above all else, is essential to progress. It is also expected that a parent will attend lessons for students who are too young to drive themselves here. It's important for a parent to guide the student's practice time (particularly for younger students) to ensure that the most is gained from it. This is why I ask that a parent observe lessons.
Each student or parent should bring to each lesson a notebook, pencils (with erasers). The notebook will be used to record notes about each lesson, homework, practice advice, etc. Pencils (not pens...nobody's perfect!) are used by composers to record their creations and performers to mark their music. Both of these essential practices are subject to changing thought and must be open to change. So no ink, please!
Performers: It is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson for beginners. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons and will be a large focus for all non-readers. Lessons are not learned "by ear." A certain amount of theory will be a part of every lesson just as technique and repertoire. Concerning repertoire, it will be selected based on the student's learning needs but also with their input. The main emphasis on performance lessons, however, will be technique and reading. Students should come to the first lesson prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.
Note: Voice students must be at least 16 years of age.
Composers: Just as with performers, it is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons. Many young composers have great ideas but can only hear them in their heads or play them on an instrument. Lessons will allow you to obtain the skills to write them down with greater speed, accuracy, and clarity. More advance students will also include exploring a wider range of harmonic languages, advanced notation, instrumentation, orchestration, and aural skills. Students should come to the first lesson with examples of their work, either written, notated, or recorded in a digital format. They should be prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.
• To reschedule a lesson, more than one day notice is required.
• Make up lessons must be scheduled before the next regular lesson.
• A make up lesson cannot be scheduled in place of a regular lesson.
• If, for any reason, two 30-minute lessons are scheduled one right after the other, they will be charged as two 30-minute lessons, not one 60 minute lesson which is a different rate.
• If, for any reason, two 45-minute lessons are scheduled one right after the other, they will be charged as two 45-minute lessons, not one 90 minute lesson which is a different rate.
• the studio space is also inhabited by two lovely cats. Do consider this when signing up for lessons.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Pearl River 48" professional studio upright piano
Yamaha DGX-650 weighted 88 keys full sized keyboard
area for parents to sit and observe lessons.
*** Specialties ***
Main area is in classical music and media scoring with secondary focus on musical theatre vocal performance and composing/arranging.
Speaks English, Ancient Egyptian, French
Teaching since 2001
Very patient, and meticulous.
Very organized and focused.
Troy is affable and attentive.
Troy was knowledgeable and patient in the first lesson, and I can already see improvement.
My daughter loves her vocal training class ! Thank you Mr. Troy :)
Troy has great insight to help an actor get to next level of performance.
Troy is a really patient instructor. I started these lessons as an adult with no prior musical training. I am enjoying the lessons and despite the fact that I never quite have enough time to practice as I should, sometimes even only having the lesson time with him, I still feel I made some progress. I also enjoy the discussions we have on music theory. I am trained as a scientist and when I read theory I have parse it through my own way of thinking about things. I find that Troy is a really good teacher and able to communicate in a manner that is easy to understand. I highly recommend him!Show More
I have been with Troy almost two years and feel I have accomplished more than I ever thought was possible in that amount of tome. Troy has been patient and knows just the right amount of push to give to keep me advancing without stress.
He is tremendously knowledgeable about many aspects of music composition, theory and technique and is fun to be with during every lesson.
I've had a very positive experience with Troy for vocal training. I'm an adult learner with some classical guitar experience, but I've always been terrified of singing. Since starting lessons many months ago, I've noticed steady improvement in my vocal skills and confidence. Our repertoire so far has included popular songs, broadway, and classical. Troy has a deep and broad understanding of music in general, and our lessons have expanded based on my interests to include ear training, music theory, and writing arrangements. Troy is both knowledgeable and approachable - a rare combination - and I would highly recommend him to students of all backgrounds.Show More
It has been over a year with Troy and he is still the best instructor I’ve ever had. He is very patient and kind and making sure I’m performing to the best of my abilities. Although my work schedule has started to change, he has proved quite flexible. If we cannot find a time that I would like as a makeup or for change, he always makes sure I will get my class time in in a way that fits both of our schedules. Thankyou for everything you do, Troy. You’re the best!Show More
An absolute disaster! Inflexible, rigid and a theft! He would refuse to reschedule an previously scheduled lessons even if the request was done 24 hours in advance. Be careful his policy when booking online. He also communicates through his personal email and tells you he'll mark the class "missed" and will reschedule but doesn't. Customer service is completely useless !Show More
Troy is a great instructor. He is the kind of person that will go above and beyond to help you achieving your goals. I'm glad I found him through Takelessons.
Troy has helped me work through some longstanding technical issues that other teachers overlooked and has introduced me to repertoire that I was unaware of. He is patient and helpful.
Very tutor easy to follow and knowledgable
However, location was said to be 2.7 miles from me, it is actually 21 miles...... beware and double check!!
So far, I look forward to each lesson! Troy is very kind, yet very helpful and has helped me target on my personal goals with opera while also learning more each time! I highly recommend him. It doesn't matter if you have no experience in voice or only experience in voice ( as my experience is theatre and musical theatre), he is patient in helping you achieve the goals set. I cannot wait to continue lessons with him!Show More
Troy is a rare talent in the Houston area. He's well qualified, very detailed, and has a great sense of humor. Troy has been teaching me for 6 months and I have come so far. I'll go sing karaoke anytime! Thank you Troy!
I sang my first karaoke song flawlessly thanks to Troy. I still have a long ways to go, but I see improvement every week. Troy is professional, optimistic, and talented. Thank you Troy!
Troy is a terrific teacher. He's helped me address breath and diction issues that have plagued me for years. I can't recommend him highly enough!
Excellent teacher. Very patient even with Senior Citizens. Great credentials as well.
Great for adult students leading hectic lives.
I work very long, irregular hours at an extremely stressful job so I picked up piano lessons as a stress-management mechanism. To be clear, I had played for over 8 years before I stopped in college. So, my primary goal was to regain enough skill to be able to learn pieces quickly and play them for leisure.
Troy has been very patient, flexible, and supportive. Importantly, he is able to tailor each week's lesson to his students' needs. Some weeks I come in and I've had time to practice. But on other weeks, where I come in during a break at work having not even SEEN a piano all week, we work on sight reading and technique. Even if you haven't practiced, he makes each lesson worthwhile.
And my sight reading has improved dramatically!
Wonderful first lesson. Troy is very knowledgeable. I'm feeling more encouraged about my singing than I have in a long time.
Troy was attentive to details and made very good suggestions on how to improve my sons' technique. He is very organized, and precise, while keeps the lessons fun. His assistant teacher, the unforgiving gray cat keeps an eye on the students when they do not perform. :-)
The boys were a bit discouraged when he told them that they have to practice some of the basics as there seem to be holes in their knowledge. I hope with the proper technique an structure they will quickly progress in piano and in enjoyment and appreciation of music.
Awesome teacher, very experienced & males learning fun!!
My daughter really enjoys working with him
Amazing first lesson. I'm so excited about learning to use my singing "instrument"
Great instructor, highly recommended. He was really patient and made sure that everything was clear to me since the beginning, most importantly he took the time to ask me about my needs to get the best results. I'm very happy to have joined takelessons with Troy.Show More
3 lessons in and I have already noticed a great improvement in my voice and technique. Highly recommended.
The importance of having a good music teacher cannot be stressed enough, and Troy definitely made the cut for me. As someone who has been involved in music his whole life, I can confidently say that Troy knows what he's talking about and is a whole lot of fun to work with. Being able to speak freely and joke around with Troy was one of the highlights of having him as my teacher. He also gives in-depth explanations beyond the music itself which is both interesting and helpful. Will definitely sign up to work with him again when I get the opportunity!Show More
As an adult with no former knowledge or lessons on piano, I was a bit hesitant to find a teacher. But after the first lesson with Troy I knew that concern was completely unfounded. Troy is great at helping the student progress at their own preferred pace, while still ensuring that each lesson provides significant progress. In my experience he is very flexible with an unpredictable schedule, and is reliable and consistent about communication. I would recommend troy for any piano student, especially those starting later in life like myselfShow More
He was overall a good teacher. Learned a lot more than I knew before. I felt he provided me the materials necessary to become better at singing. He was highly knowledgeable about music composition. Recommend!
Troy is an excellent teacher – clear, knowledgeable, attentive and kind. I look forward to lessons every week because I know that I will come out of them with a sense of direction, something concrete I can work on during the week to improve. If you want to actually learn to play piano (and many other things besides!) I highly, highly recommend him.Show More
great first lesson, went over what to expect. :)
Only my first lesson but I enjoyed it and am excited for the rest. Troy is very knowledgeable and very patient and down-to-earth.
The voice is very technical but yet very vaguely understood in terms of what one should do to obtain what needs to occur, in order to produce what is expected, and Troy understands how to interpret what is needed in order to produce what should occur.
Troy is a very good piano instructor. He is patient and helps keep my 7 year old daughter in task. he is always reliable and accommodating with regards to his schedule.
Troy is a great piano teacher! Troy has a great grasp on the material that he teaches. Troy's helpful and diligent teaching style helps further my progress.
The schedule that Troy has also works great for us which is always a plus! Thank you Troy!
Troy is the best vocal instructor ever! I feel like I hit the jackpot in finding him as my coach. He is extremely knowledgeable and great at communicating concepts that might otherwise be difficult to understand. My vocal technique and confidence has improved so much since I started taking lessons from Troy in September 2014. I was so impressed with my progress with Troy that I have now expanded my lessons to twice a week. Troy is great at making a plan to help me achieve my goals, and he is right with me every step of the way. I am so grateful to have an instructor that not only helps me get better, but also has an inspiring attitude to share a love for music.Show More
I am 3 lessons in, and I am very satisfied with the pace we are taking the lessons and the advice I am receiving for my music career. I like to cover a lot of material in lessons and in homework and we are keeping busy as I like. If you're serious about music, you will probably like Troy as your instructor.Show More
We first started lessons with Troy almost three years ago, and we continue to be impressed with the progress made over just a few years of practicing! Our oldest son, who is now eight, has worked very hard to prepare his weekly lessons. He works on short pieces, sight-reading, and now ear training.
Troy’s impressive training has given him a very well-rounded appreciation of music that is rare in a teacher –most focus on one thing, with the result leaning heavily towards technique or theory. He is able to incorporate multiple aspects of a piece so that they are all equally weighted, and neither the minor points nor the big picture are neglected.
Perhaps more impressive than Troy’s educational background is his ability to make learning piano fun! He is an outstanding teacher!
I have been taking piano lessons with Troy for about a year and a half. He is very knowledgeable and has been an excellent instructor. I took piano lessons many years ago so I was not a complete beginner, but Troy has helped me learn more of the music theory, and a number of other things that were either missed or forgotten in my early training. It has been great getting back into piano and I think Troy has been very flexible in letting me explain what I want to get out of the lessons. I have enjoyed the time with him and would recommend his teaching to others!Show More
I have lessons with Troy for almost 2 years now. He is a great teacher, sound in music knowledge and excellent in teaching skills. He recognizes my strength, encouraging me to push its further, and at the same time, fills up holes on my music backgrounds and piano techniques via selective music pieces. I especially like the depth and the passion he brings into each music piece.
I have lessons with several teachers before and I would say Troy is one of the best teacher I have ever had. With him, I have gained much more knowledge on music, and made great progress on music reading, analysis, and piano practise techniques. I always like music, and he makes me like it even more :).
I studied composition and music theory with Troy during my Junior and Senior years of high school. These lessons were formative for me, and Troy gave me the education and motivation I needed to pursue composition as a career. 10 years later, I'm about to receive my doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Colorado, I've written commercial music that has been aired in all 50 states, and my classical compositions have been toured by professional musicians across the country and overseas.
I can say without a doubt that Troy was the most influential teacher I've ever had, and it's likely that I would have never continued down the path of music had I not had these lessons. Troy was patient, insightful, and always knew how to focus me and push me to develop as an artist. Teachers with Troy's ability and knowledge are extremely rare.
It was a pleasure working with Troy. He is very passionate and cares about the student's progress. He really knows his stuff!
We feel so lucky to have found Troy as my children's piano teacher. He teaches them all the necessary basic knowledge about piano & music which none of their teachers ever taught them before. He is very kind & patient, committed, hard working & professional.
Thank you very much Troy!
Troy is an outstanding teacher with a passion for music that translates through his teaching.
I have been working with Troy for about 4 months now and I have been making progress at an incredible speed. He is very meticulous in his teachings in the best way and he doesn't let you get away with technical errors without correcting them. He is truly passionate about music and teaching it and will go to any length for his student as long as they are willing to do the same. He always has great insight to the pieces you learn, even at the beginner level, so you don't just learn how to play a song, but you learn where it came from and what it may have been intended for. He doesn't just teach you what keys to play and when, but he constantly encourages you to bring emotion and character to your playing as well, which can be difficult to do with beginner pieces but somehow he had me playing the simplest of songs with feelings and style behind them. He is very patient with his students and constantly encouraging and uplifting. He will not let a lesson go by without giving you positive feedback, even if you come to a lesson completely unprepared because you haven't practiced since you last saw him.
I would highly recommend Troy to anyone that is interested in learning music the right way. He is a quality music professional and will do everything in his power to give you the best education you can receive.
(Note: The only reason I rated teaching environment "Good" instead of "Excellent" is because he has cats so if you have allergies, it might not be the best fit for you.)
Very knowledgible teacher
Good teacher with a lot of musical knowledge and patience.
We would highly recommend Mr. Troy.
We were unsure of what kind of instructor Mr. Troy was when we initially signed up with him. While he appeared to be a very well educated musician and accomplished composer, we did not know if he would have a good chemistry to teach piano to my daughter. As it turns out, Mr. Troy is not only a talented pianist but also a good communicator. He responds to our questions and concerns very promptly. In our first lesson, Mr. Troy immediately discovered my daughter's recurring piano issues after giving her a diagnostic test. During each lesson, he explains the piano theories and points out what technical skills that my daughter will learn and need to practice during the following week. He does not just teach her how to play piano, but he challenges her mind and teaches her the correct mental approach to playing piano. We are very happy to have a great instructor like Mr. Troy.
I'm pleased with the progress I've made so far under Troy's instruction. His approach is structured with sound methodology from experience and education. I had no music knowledge before taking lessons. Gradually Troy helped me build a solid knowledge of music theory so that I not only sing but also read music. Making progress requires practice; it's not an overnight rising to fame kind of thing. So I make sure I do my home work before coming for lessons.Show More
I think he has the qualifications for teaching, and I wish he had another venue to teach. The teacher has cats and we were notified, but I did not think the smell was going to be that strong, my son and I have breathing problems and the pets will be a problem for us. 5 stars for your teaching 1 star for the pets.Show More
Troy is a wonderful teacher.
Comment by Xue-Lin's father: It was our great good fortune to meet Troy and begin weekly piano lessons for our 10-year-old daughter. Troy instantly recognized her talent for composition and has inspired marvelous progress in that direction, as well as improving her knowledge and technique as a performer. Sessions never feel rushed. Troy is wonderfully patient, creative, perceptive, and engaging. Highly recommended.
Everything is going great. except dealing with a little boy who thinks he already knows everything.
He really likes to help to student. I've learned a lot with him and he wants you to be better. Troy really knows what he is talking about and I can't wait to learn more
During the several weeks of attending singing lessons with Troy, my son had made such a big improvement. I am so pleased of the outcome the lessons.
Thoughtful, Patient, Funny, & Understanding
Troy is a wonderful instructor, who is very patient and funny and makes learning how to sing enjoyable. He is also extremely knowledgeable and knows all aspects of technique and music theory. Highly recommended!
- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I have been teaching this subject for over 13 years. There is no specific curriculum as each student will come to lessons with their own unique skills, needs, and goals. Lessons are tailored to those specifics. It is not necessary to know how to read music at the first lesson for beginners. However, learning to read is required for subsequent lessons and will be a large focus for all non-readers. Music is not learned "by ear." A certain amount of theory will be a part of every lesson just as technique and repertoire. Concerning repertoire, it will be selected primarily from the Broadway and West End rep based on the student's learning needs and with their input. The main emphasis on performance lessons, however, will be technique (enunciation, breathing, pitch/intonation, etc.) and reading. Students should come to the first lesson prepared to discuss their background & goals and the plan of their course of study.
Private Studio in composition, theory, piano, voice, aural skills, and public speaking. Students age 5 - 70.
Elderhostel / Exploritas Program - University of Texas, Austin / Houston
Present lecture series on various topics. Past lecture series topics include "A Brief History of Opera," "The American 20th Century," and "The Life and Music of Mozart."
Shepherd School of Music Preparatory Division - Rice University, Houston
Summer Institute for Piano. Course Instructor "Form and Analysis."
Shepherd School of Music - Rice University, Houston
MUSI 117 "Music Fundamentals for Non-Majors"
Shepherd School of Music Preparatory Program - Rice University, Houston
Instructor of Composition, theory, and aural skills in class room and private lesson settings.
New England Conservatory School of Continuing Education, Boston
Course taught - "Music and Technology"
New England Conservatory of Music, Boston
Topics in 20th Century Music
The New England Conservatory of Music
The New England Conservatory of Music
The New England Conservatory of Music
Fluent / Native Proficiency
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