• A Rewarding and Profound Musical Experience
• An Avenue for Self-Expression
• Creativity, Individuality, and Achievement
••• The Right Piano Teacher
Finding the right piano teacher is essential. A piano teacher should be a good listener, design every lesson to accommodate the progress of each student , and make sure the pace of learning is comfortable. The piano instructor should create a supportive, relaxed learning environment. Students should feel free to ask questions, be inquisitive, and express themselves. Creativity and individuality are encouraged. Many piano students arrive without any piano background, and this is perfect. When we start piano or keyboard lessons from the beginning, we can cover everything needed in a customized time frame. Each aspect of playing piano will be covered. I begin students as young as 4, and have taught students in their 80’s begin lessons as well. Any age is a great age to begin piano lessons or keyboard lessons.
There is a considerable difference between piano studios in Portland Oregon. Some piano studios do group piano lessons. While this might be useful for children under 4, kids really need the personal attention of private piano lessons. I never do group lessons. All piano classes are one on one. Private, individual lessons result in learning rates so much faster than group lessons. Learn how to play piano with private lessons. It is simply a much more effective way to learn to play.
Some teachers present lessons as if we are still in the 17th century. Not here!Students will find a modern, effective, and fun teaching environment. Some studios in Portland are owned by corporations, and farm the pianos student out to different piano teachers. Look for a teacher who runs his own business and his own studio.
The easiest way to get started is to jump right in. Call and set up the first month of lessons. You’ll quickly get a sense of the process of learning to play piano. Or you can call to schedule a time to come down to the piano studio to meet me. We can then discuss your, or your child’s specific interests in music. I’ll show you how I teach piano and keyboard and answer questions you have. A lesson can be 1/2 or 1 hour each week. Call me at 503-253-7222 to make an appointment.
••• Piano Lessons or Keyboard Lessons
Some people own keyboards instead of pianos. A keyboard can be a fine substitute for a piano. Learning is the same on a piano or keyboard. Probably half my students own pianos, the other half keyboards. If you don’t yet own an instrument, I can make some useful recommendations.
By blending traditional materials with modern teaching methods, my lessons explore a global music perspective: European Classical, American Blues, Jazz & Gospel, Modern Pop, New Age, Rock, World Music, and Folk Songs from around the world. When you learn to play piano or keyboard, in addition to your playing skills, you will gain a knowledge of all music traditions.
••• Inspiration & Creativity
A private piano lesson provides a unique and personal experience. I primarily teach beginning and intermediate students and encourage creativity and individual expression. Students will learn when they are inspired by playing music they enjoy, resulting in motivation, and seeking new challenges.
A piano studio should be a place where inspiration and imagination create an adventure. Lessons should be fun and should yield a sense of accomplishment. I do not hold piano recitals. Students are free to decide how best they can express their skill: playing music with some friends or family, performing at school or a talent show, or composing an original piece of music and making a recording and CD. The lessons are designed for each individual.
••• Fun & Enjoyable Learning
Learning to play piano should be a captivating experience. Over the years, teaching piano has rewarded me with a chance to get to know many wonderful people. I am always intrigued by the way each student takes on the challenge of learning to play piano. Everyyone brings a unique personality to the lessons. Individual interests make the lessons fresh as new skills develop. Curiosity about all things musical makes piano a continual learning experience. I have one rule; have fun. This makes all the difference in learning to play piano.
••• Reading Music
Music reading skills are fundamental to playing piano. There is so much wonderful music from all over the globe. Choose from a wide variety of musical styles: Classical, Popular, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, New Age, Contemporary, Rock, World, Ethnic and Folk music. You can play pieces from various composers; Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Scott Joplin, Ellington, Brubeck, T.Monk, Enya, Billy Joel, Beatles, and dozens of other composers. Each piano student can progress at his or her own comfortable rate, and will quickly acquire proficiency playing.
••• Playing By Ear
Many students wish to be able to play by ear, either to figure out songs without the need for sheet music, to learn how to improvise, or simply because it’s fun. Some students are interested in learning to accompany themselves when singing or learning how to play Blues and jamming with friends. You will learn the way musicians do. Ear training and music theory are used to develop the ability to distinguish notes and be able to play them. Melodies and chord voicings are studied to see how songs are composed and assembled.
We can create our own arrangements, alter sheet music to accommodate our playing style, or transpose a piece into a different key. We also learn about rhythms and how they contribute to various styles and genres of music. Understanding how music is put together creates a strong sense of musicianship.
••• Song Writing
Songwriting develops creativity and original thinking. Students at any skill level are encouraged to work on original music. Starting with the basics, we explore the fundamentals of songwriting by writing simple melodies and putting them together with chords. We can play the song on the studio keyboard, and with notation software & computer, print out a score. This helps to easily understand how notation works. As a songwriter myself, I especially enjoy working with students who wish to try it. If we want to record the music, we can make it a simple piano piece, or expand it one instrument at a time until we have an entire orchestral score. It’s a great feeling to compose a piece of music and have a printed score or CD at the completion.
Children have natural musical ability and delight in playing the piano. The key is to make music a part of their world. Learning to play piano develops physical coordination, and visual, aural, timing and language skills. A typical lesson begins at the piano where we work on reading music. We may then move on to arrange or record a song, learn a special piece, or write an original tune. Younger piano students might make a recording from “The Lion King” building an arrangement with sounds of piano, bass, drums, and marimba. Students feel a grand sense of accomplishment when they take home a CD and printed score of a song they’ve recorded themselves. A variety of learning material will engage each person, make the lessons fun, and inspire to continual learning.
Adults often find, that by the time they have decided to play the piano, they have been thinking about it for years, perhaps decades. Lots of my adult students start beginner piano lessons with no prior instruction. Beginning piano lessons is the first step. A patient teacher, and private piano lessons, will give each adult the attention they need to accomplish what they want.
Adults find that a comfortable and casual environment is ideal when learning to play piano. Students are introduced to songs that are stimulating and inspiring, and as the mysteries of music are unraveled, they rapidly master the basics. Most piano students enjoy exploring several different musical directions.
The lessons are yours, and you may decide how you want to use your time. Here are a few things that adults typically work on: beautiful classical music, contemporary popular music, Blues improvisation, jazz tunes, theory and harmony. If you like to sings, you can learn how to use chords to accompany your voice.
Or listen to a track from a film score, and see how the different instruments fit together to create a special mood. Perhaps you would like to try composing some music, be it a simple piano piece, or something more complex.
The learning process can be fun and a rewarding personal experience. Students are encouraged to help choose the direction of their own piano lessons and create musical goals.
••• The Studio
My piano studio is a great environment in which to learn music. Private lessons give each piano student maximum attention. Classes are held at a relaxed pace. There are two acoustic pianos, a keyboard and computer. Through the use of modern teaching methods, everyone can easily visualize musical ideas that evade traditional methods. In addition, students make the connection between music we play at the studio, and how it can evolve into professionals recordings for CD, film, and television.
Parking is conveniently provided and there is a large waiting room, and a coffee shop next door.