Teaching Style & Curriculum

photo during a piano lesson

Darden during a piano lesson.

musical-noteMy goal as a piano teacher is to provide comprehensive and thorough instruction in the art of playing the piano that will contribute to life long enjoyment of music. My curriculum is unique because it encompasses mastering music reading skills and developing the ability to play by ear, and it includes teaching classical music as well as popular music, jazz, composition, and improvisation. I believe that a strong foundation in sight reading, music theory, ear training, good technique, and performing is essential to playing the piano and I integrate these into lessons from the beginning. I do not use a particular teaching method, rather draw from a variety of sources and have compiled my own collections of music and teaching materials. Beyond a basic reading primer and collection of folk tunes that I use with beginners, my students each choose the pieces that they want to work on. I have learned that when students like the music they are playing they are more engaged and make the best progress.during a piano lesson I enjoy teaching students of many levels and ages particularly young people. First grade is typically the earliest time a child is ready to begin lessons and practice effectively on his or her own. I also take older beginners and many “transfer” students. My students perform on a piano recital for family and friends twice a year and also participate in annual adjudications organized by the Washington State Music Teachers Association. My personal style is relaxed and friendly coupled with an attention to detail and mastery of skills. Success at learning the piano requires regular weekly lessons and a commitment to home practice with parental support. Playing a musical instrument is one of life’s greatest joys and it my goal to make this process both educational and enjoyable for each of my students.