I am pleased to offer private instruction in beginner-level piano at students’ homes in Manhattan and Queens. Please inquire on my contact page or email me directly at email@example.com.
My Teaching Background
My earliest teaching experience was in high school, when I offered private flute lessons to several younger students in my area. Flute was my primary instrument at the time, and being able to offer lessons was a formative experience – in my understanding of how to teach, and of my own practice as a flutist. Whether in music lessons or in general, I have long had a great love for working with children, and have over ten years’ experience as a nanny, working with children of all ages and incorporating learning whenever and however possible. After graduating college, I returned to my small hometown in Vermont and worked for a year as a substitute teacher. This was a fantastic opportunity to gain classroom experience in all areas, though before long I was receiving requests far in advance to fill in for the music teachers in the district, conducting band and choir rehearsals and giving one-on-one voice and instrument lessons to middle- and high-school students. As a graduate student, I worked as a Teaching Assistant for an introductory world music class, offering instruction and aid to 120 students a semester in in-person and online courses. I also taught the majority of a 200-level ethnomusicology course to eight students during my final semester, filling in for the professor during an unexpected medical leave-of-absence. This unanticipated opportunity was in many ways my most challenging teaching experience, but also one which helped me to grow immensely as an educator.
While my first-hand experience has been indispensable, I feel that I have learned just as much about teaching, if not more, from my 20-plus years of private music lessons. Despite having spent my childhood in an isolated region, I was lucky to have access to excellent music teachers from the start. At the age of four, I began taking piano lessons with Mary Anthony Cox, a Juilliard Professor who chaired the Ear Training department and taught at the conservatory during the week, but returned to her Vermont home on weekends to give piano and theory lessons to local children. Ms. Cox was a graduate of the Paris Conservatory, where she studied with Nadia Boulanger, and the great pedagogue’s influence on her was evident in her austere, methodical instruction. From the time I began studying violin (also at age four), I was lucky to attend the remarkable Craftsbury Chamber Players Summer Youth Camp, led by cellist Mary Lou Rylands. She and Ms. Cox were co-founders of the Craftsbury Chamber Players, and members of the group offered their expert coaching to ensembles made up of children ages five to 18 at the summer camp. These two remarkable teachers, along with the many excellent musicians I have been lucky to study with since, were foundational in my development not only as a musician but as an educator.
My Teaching Philosophy
My own method for piano lessons is inspired by that of my first teacher, Mary Anthony Cox, and focuses on building fundamental musicianship skills, including music reading, ear training, rhythmic studies, and theory. I also strive to establish good practice habits and technique among students. My goal is to give my students the tools they need to make and enjoy music for all their lives, whether they continue to play piano or choose to pursue another instrument. This was the training I received, and while I am not a performing pianist, I appreciate the instrument’s value as a starting point for any study of Western music. For students who progress quickly, I will eventually recommend they move on to study with a more advanced pianist – I take pride in knowing their rhythmic, aural, and theoretical skills, and their overall musicianship, will be strong enough for them to do so with ease.
My Teaching Policies
My policies and expectations may be found here. I recommend that parents of students print a copy of this document for reference.