I am an artist who teaches. I consider this to be of paramount importance as the arenas of performance and education prove to be evermore so inseparable. Indeed, the most vital thing a teacher can do is render their continued physical presence in a student’s life unnecessary. As an artist, during my preparatory work for a performance, I am in fact my own teacher. Thus, as my playing informs my teaching, my teaching increasingly informs my playing. In this way, I hope to be an example to my students throughout our time together.
Playing the piano can prove to be nothing short of life-altering. Some may find themselves being led down a career path. Others will come away from their studies possessing a skill that not only enhances their quality of life, but enables them to do the same for others. One’s appreciation of music only deepens through studying the piano. As a clearer understanding of musical aesthetics develops, so does a heightened sense of awareness with regard to listening, which increases the value of any musical experience.
Concerning young students, the significance of piano study increases exponentially. Piano lessons provide students with a new perspective on invaluable life-skills such as commitment, responsibility, dedication, patience, determination, confidence, discipline, focus, and delayed gratification. Supplemental benefits from piano lessons surface in the improvement of related arenas; namely, cognitive awareness, memory, critical thinking, visual tracking, auditory reception, and motor skills.
More than anything, I want students to enjoy making music at the piano. However, excitement and happiness are outgrowths of accomplishment, and accomplishment is directly related to work. Consistent and conscious practice only nurtures pleasure through constant discovery. Achievement and satisfaction feed the desire to excel. Increased self-esteem yields continued success. It is not my concern that every student become a concert pianist. However, throughout our pianistic journey together, students will begin to realize that if something is worth doing, then it should be worth doing correctly, whole-heartedly, and to the best of their individual ability.
As a teacher I hope to cultivate independent and critically thinking musicians. A successful student will possess not only technical proficiency, but also the required understanding of a piece's origin, structure, and content to artistically communicate its inherent aesthetics, in the best possible way. The particular needs and learning style of each student are considered when designing a curriculum. This yields an approach centered around his or her individual learning modality that simultaneously strengthens areas of need. I hope to provide students with and help them develop: a solid technical foundation, good practice habits, a system for learning a new piece that promotes confidence and independence, good listening and problem solving skills, exposure to different styles of piano literature, and a secure foundation in music theory and history.