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Teaching philosophy

I have experience with all ages from the youngest beginners to college students. Regardless of age or level of advancement, I believe music study should build self-confidence and self-expression.  I do this by teaching fundamentals that lead to success.  Body and posture awareness are developed from the earliest lessons.  The technical exercises and ideas of Josef Gat, Alfred Cortot and Franz Liszt are utilized in an age-appropriate manner with all students from beginners to the most advanced.  The music that is studied is carefully chosen for its quality and musical value.  For younger students, folk songs form the core of earliest studies.  In addition, music theory is incorporated into the weekly lessons and sight-singing skills using the fixed Do method are taught to even the youngest students.  



I have a large private studio at my home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.  Contact me to set up a free trial lesson. In addition, I teach at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea, Ohio and Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio.


"One must never be afraid to start all over again as many times as is necessary."

                                                                            ~Wanda Landowska


Frequently Asked Questions...

What is the best age to begin piano lessons?

For most children, between the ages of six and seven is an ideal time to begin piano. However, some children can begin earlier if they are developmentally ready for the concentration and fine motor control needed for study.  

What materials are used in study?

I use the Diller-Quaile series of piano books for most students.  First published in the early twentieth- century, they are still popular for study because of the wonderful folk literature introduced in the books.  Folk tunes are best for early study because of their simple melodies and structure.  The "Tony Book" from Diller-Quaile is a perfect start.  Great for youngsters, it introduces music fundamentals with the fun and engaging story of Tony the Pony, but also has many challengers for older beginners as well. In the "Tony Book," note-reading skills are introduced in the very first pages of study.  The Bastien Series Primer books also provide a good early start and, in these books, note reading is taught after students begin to play simple songs. Simple duets are frequent throughout the book.

With either series, once the fundamentals of note-reading and basic understanding of music text are learned, students progress to the Diller-Quaile Solo books, each with its companion Duet book.  Pre-Czerny, scales, and other technical exercise are added as progress continues.

Why is playing duets such an important part of music study?

Any piano study must be centered around the training of solid musical skills.  Playing duets with a teacher is the fastest way to understand the art of attentive listening, subtle phrasing and good taste that build great musicianship.  And, it's fun to collaborate! 

My student wants to play a different style of music from strictly they have this option?

I am open to an enthusiastic student expressing a desire to play music other than what is in the lesson book and I will often be able to find a level-appropriate version of a piece. However, I do always insist that fundamentals like good posture, correct technique, and singing tone are still observed, no matter what is played. 

Are performance opportunities available for your students?

Yes, we play music to share with others!  I offer formal and informal venues for students to play for their family, friends, and peers.
















Homeschoolers always welcome!

I offer scheduling flexibility for homeschooling families who may prefer a lesson time during the school day.  As a mom of a now college-age home schooled daughter, I understand and look forward to meeting the needs of homeschoolers!

Designed by Sarah Schoeffler

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