My teaching studio is open to students of all ages. I teach lessons in-person and via Zoom.
I am pleased to offer private lessons in my home studio in Ridgefield, WA. I have more than ten years teaching experience, and enjoy working with students of all ages and abilities. Lessons focus on repertoire, technique, expression, and music theory, and can also include contemporary styles, depending on the interest of the student.
Ready to start or continue learning piano? Please familiarize yourself with my studio policies (below) and if it sounds like we’re a fit, please get in touch!
TEACHING PHILOSOPHY AND GOALS
- My overall goal in teaching piano lessons is to create an environment where students are encouraged to discover the joy in music making and are constantly challenged to strive for excellence.
- I tailor lessons to meet the specific needs of each student. This extends to topics of study, method books, and repertoire selection.
- Through lessons, students are exposed to a variety of different musical styles and eras. While I guide the music selection in this well-rounded approach, I encourage students to have a “say” in the specific pieces we work on, whenever possible.
- I provide a strong music theory background to all my students, as I believe this makes them better musicians. Theory topics will be a weekly part of lessons and students may have exercises to complete during the week in addition to their practice.
- I believe music enriches life for the performer as well as the community. Students are encouraged to perform regularly for their families and friends. In addition I will host one to two studio recitals per year. Students are strongly encouraged to participate.
- You are welcome to park in the driveway in either spot in front of the double garage door (please keep the space in front of the single garage door open). I ask that students use the hand sanitizer station at the front door before knocking or ringing the doorbell at their lesson time.
- Parents are always welcome and are encouraged to periodically sit in on their student’s lessons. Younger students in particular will need parental support for encouragement and to help them maintain frequent, on-task practice sessions.
- Siblings are welcome to sit in on the lesson time when accompanied by a parent, as long they are not disruptive.
- In order to help me stay on schedule, please drop off and pick up students on time. While I understand that occasional lateness happens, I am usually unable to extend lessons to make up for missed time.
- Consistent attendance is crucial to a student’s success. Please ensure that they are at every lesson.
TUITION AND MAKEUPS
- Weekly lessons are offered in 30-, 45-, and 60-minute lengths. The length depends on the needs of the student – I am happy to offer recommendations based on your situation and experience.
- Current rates are:
- $25 for 30 minute lessons
- $37.50 for 45 minute lessons
- $50 for 60 minute lessons
- Tuition is due at the first lesson of the month for the entire month. There are usually four lessons per month, but occasionally holidays or a long month cause this number to change. Tuition paid will reflect the number of lessons in the month (for example, if a student is scheduled to have three 30-minute lessons in December, tuition would be 3 x $25 = $75, due at the first December lesson). Many families are comfortable calculating the tuition themselves, but I am happy to help if there is any confusion.
- Payment Methods:
- Cash or Check
- If you need to miss a lesson, please let me know with plenty of notice (a week or more is preferred) – we will reschedule if possible. If a makeup cannot be arranged, a credit for the lesson will be applied toward the following month’s tuition.
- Missed lessons or cancellations within 24 hours of the lesson will not be made up. Exceptions for illness or family emergencies may be made.
- Cancellations due to lack of practice will not be made up or credited. I recommend the student still attend the lesson – we can use the time to work on practice techniques and theory concepts.
- To minimize the spread of illness, I ask that students who are sick stay home. A makeup or credit will be offered.
- The summer and holiday seasons are typically times when families take time off – we will communicate with each other to make a plan.
- If tuition is repeatedly paid late, a $20 late fee may be charged.
- For beginning students, the most important thing is to have a positive experience at the piano. After taking lessons for several months, a recommended practice schedule is approximately 30 minutes per day, 5 days of the week. This may be broken into several sessions throughout the day. For intermediate and advanced students, more practice will be necessary.
- Practice time may include focused work on the assigned material as well as exploratory “playing around”, as long as the assigned material is not neglected.
- Daily practice is very important. It is much more effective to practice throughout the week than trying to “cram” right before a lesson.
- We will spend time in lessons learning practice techniques that will be useful for home practice. Playing through a piece once or twice does not typically produce results. Effective practice includes stopping to work notes and rhythms that are consistently missed.
- Practice Techniques and Suggestions for the Student:
- Schedule practice times and stick to them.
- Establish goals for what you would like to accomplish.
- Remove distractions (turn off phones, minimize family noise and traffic, etc.).
- Listen to recordings of your piece. Consider what you like and don’t like in the performances you hear. What would you like to imitate? What would you like to do differently?
- “Zoom in.” Focus on a small section at a time. This could be as small as a few beats or measures. As you get to know the piece better, the sections can get larger.
- Slow and steady (and occasionally up to speed to see what you can do!)
- Always be consistent with your fingerings.
- Don’t let mistakes go unaddressed. Try to track down and eliminate the source of the error.
- Record and listen to yourself. This will reveal mistakes that you don’t notice as you are playing.
- I highly recommend that parents assist younger students in their practice sessions to help them stay on track and complete their assignments.