Classical Piano Lessons
Levels taught:Beginner, Intermediate
If you have experience with piano, I will probably start by asking you to demonstrate your skill level by playing a song you know. If you are picking up piano for the first time, the first lessons will be devoted to learning correct posture and technique, and you will begin playing your first scales and chords. We will begin to work on simple exercises to get the left and right hands playing separately. After a few lessons, you will begin to learn your first melodies and repertoire.
After a few weeks, our lessons will likely take several different, but parallel trajectories. You will learn to play the lead melodies to songs as well as play the rhythmic accompaniment. This will involve learning the scales or collections of notes that make up each song, while also learning the various accompanying chord patterns. If your interests are in classical piano, we will focus on a large amount of time on building repertoire from the great composers such as Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Debussy and more.
As you progress further, I will begin to incorporate music theory into our lessons. For my own study, I have always found it helpful to know how things work--how certain chords and melodies move and resonate with us and why others don't. Therefore, in addition to learning repertoire, we will begin dissecting the pieces you are learning and analyzing the style of each genre. I also invite students to compose their own music!
My goal is to help my students reach their musical potential and to come away with a greater love and appreciation for the art. I teach in a structured but fun atmosphere, and I always strive to keep lessons positive and encouraging!
About William R.
Thank you for visiting my profile and for your interest in studying music! Some of my greatest privileges have been studying and performing with master musicians from around the world in various styles, and I hope to be able to pass on what I have learned over the years.
My history with music
My lifelong love of music began early. Coming of age in the early 90s grunge rock era, I began letting out my teenage angst and adrenalin as a rock, punk, and metal guitarist in high school. While I became interested in jazz and classical midway through high school, the real turning point for me was seeing Leo Kottke play live for the first time. I was greatly inspired by his ability to play melody, bass, and chords all at the same time on one instrument, and it broadened my horizons as to what the guitar was capable of. I promptly went home and spent half the night practicing finger-picking and getting my hands to move across the fretboard. Fast forward years later, I devoted my education to the study of music education and classical guitar at the University of Vermont. I have always believed in the value in improving myself holistically as a musician, so in addition to classical guitar, I also studied jazz guitar, classical and jazz piano, performed saxophone in concert band, sang in large and chamber choirs, played in percussion ensembles, and routinely performed bluegrass, Appalachian, shape-note singing, and Celtic music with an old-time music group. I am currently finishing a master’s degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, where I have been studying various Asian and Polynesian music traditions from Japan, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hawai'i. I have also done fieldwork in Japan, studying traditional Japanese koto, shakuhachi, and ichigenkin music. Drawing wisdom from so many places and people I feel has helped me develop strength and versatility as a musician and as an educator.
As part of my undergraduate degree, I worked at Burlington High School in Burlington, VT, teaching and conducting concert band, leading small jazz ensembles, and teaching music theory and composition. I have over ten years of experience teaching private lessons with students ranging from five-year-old beginners to advanced adults; from children with special needs, to non-native-English students.
My inspiration and philosophy
As a teacher, I like to keep lessons fun, relaxed, and flexible. I use different teaching materials depending on the style of music my students wish to pursue. I use Aaron Shearer's books for students who know they want to train in classical guitar, but I use a variety of other supplemental books and methods for students with other interests. For young and beginner players, I find it essential to work with familiar songs and melodies to keep lessons engaging.
Regardless of skill level or musical interest, I always develop each day's lesson and each student's curriculum to fit the needs of each student. I often create my own exercises to address individual concerns that students have. I make it my purpose as a music teacher to gently guide students to developing the technique and discipline to achieve their individual musical goals.
Ultimately, I believe that music--whether listening or creating--is an essential part of human experience. I am inspired by the power of music to bring people together, to foster passion and creativity in individuals, and to nourish the body and soul. It is my dream to pass on the many music traditions that have inspired me and brought so much meaning and wonder to my life.
If I seem like a good match to help further your musical goals, then I would love to hear from you!
Teaches Beginner, Intermediate
Masters of the Arts in Ethnomusicology from University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
Teaching since 2006
Bill taught me everything I know about playing the guitar. He made the learning process fun. His enthusiasm about music in general is contagious. I would highly recommend Bill Rice to anyone looking to learn the guitar.
Bill was a fantastic teacher for my 13 year old son. He was patient and tailored the lessons to my son's learning style.
Bill is an incredibly patient and insightful teacher! He presented an approach I had not seen before by past teachers, which proved to be useful and inspiring. Thank you Bill for an awesome lesson!
I just got back into playing guitar but this teacher got me up to speed right away and taught me some things I have never learned about music theory. As someone who already is an intermediate flute player, I found his lessons about scales and theory pertaining to guitar a wonderful refresher! I will definitely continue to take lessons with this teacher and would recommend him to anyone!Show More
A very good instructor. Gave accurate and clear instruction.
I've had two lessons with Bill now, and they've both been great! I came in already knowing some guitar stuff (like chords and whatnot) but never having studied classical guitar before. Bill was easily able to tailor lessons to my skill level and ability. Both lessons have been fun, and filled with lots of practical tips and techniques that have already improved my playing by lightyears! At first I wasn't quite sure how an online guitar lesson would play out (pun intended), but it actually went really well.
He also suggested several great resources for me to check out as to where to get music to learn and practice with (I'm focusing on Renaissance lute music). Bill is a very versatile player and teacher though, so I'm sure he could coach me in a variety of styles besides Renaissance music. I'm excited for many more lessons!
Performing concerts, weddings, and events solo and in small groups.
Teaching beginning, intermediate, and advanced guitar, bass guitar, and ukulele in various styles of music including classical, jazz, rock, blues, soul, folk, bluegrass, Celtic, Hawaiian, and more
Vergennes Elementary School, Vergennes, VT
Developed lesson plans and taught kindergarten through sixth grade
Burlington High School, Burlington, VT
Taught and conducted concert band Taught intermediate and advanced jazz ensembles Taught general music class, theory, composition, history, ear-training Private lessons for guitar, bass guitar, woodwinds, voice, percussion
University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Honolulu, HI
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
Fluent / Native Proficiency
University of Vermont