To say that I give piano lessons doesn't do justice to the wide range of subjects my students and I explore.
For more than 20 years now, in my Westside Los Angeles studio, students have been learning to read music, to play by ear, to improvise, to sing and accompany themselves, to arrange, and to compose. Depending on their needs and interests, they study classical piano repertoire, pop styles and grooves, piano technique, theory, ear training, and keyboard harmony.
Children, all ages and levels.
Update: to learn more, read The Top Three Myths About Learning to Play the Piano.
Reading music and playing by ear.
For adults, playing by ear begins with an introduction to chords and how to use them. This ability, even in its initial stages, enables the beginner to play richly rewarding music from the very first lessons, and leads to enhanced creativity at all levels.
The process of learning to read is made easier through a variety of strategies, including the use of software that sharpens note-recognition. And it's made more enjoyable through selected repertoire that's fun to play.
Playing in all styles; creativity.
I consider all musical styles to be equally valid and appropriate for study. Besides teaching the standard classical repertoire, I create a wide assortment of piano arrangements for individual students. Rock oldies, movie themes, pop, show tunes, ragtime, blues, jazzyou name it.
Improvisation takes a variety of shapes and forms in my studio: piano solos, piano duets, and, for the younger students, "conversations" between student and teacher, each playing a percussion instrument or singing. Improvisation strengthens the ear, improves rhythmic flow, and leads naturally into songwriting and composition.
The ability to sing is deeply satisfying and nourishes all other forms of musical expression. I help many of my students sing and accompany themselves at the piano, often from the very first lessons.
See also my popular online video course called Play & Sing. It's a piano method that teaches you to acccompany yourself in pop, rock, blues, and folk styles.
Between parent and child.
In my work with children, I often teach parents to play the earliest piano pieces so they can be of help between lessons. Parents dont need to be musical experts. They just need to be present for their child in a loving and supportive way. When the rapport between student, parent, and teacher is good, extraordinary things can happen.
I enjoy coaching teachers who are either just getting started, or who wish to strengthen and rejuvenate their professional practice.
Location: Mar Vista, California.
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Serving: Mar Vista CA 90066, Marina del Rey, Culver City, Venice, Santa Monica, and surrounding communities.