I am an artist-teacher of piano performance. I believe that a piano student must have a complete “toolkit” of musical knowledge, experience, and ability in order to thrive in today’s world. As a result, I have developed a teaching approach that merges the areas of technical, musical, historical, improvisational, aural, theoretical, and artistic training. Each student possesses their own strengths, weaknesses, learning gradient, goals, and personality. My responsibility is to reach each student in an individual way, to meet them at their current point in development, and provide the necessary skills to further their development. I work to guide students in forming their own opinion, sound, pulse and approach to music.
My teaching is centered around concepts of music and practicing that are applicable to a multitude of musical styles. Fundamental in the process is that the student must first question what the meaning, character, or mood should be. From there one must develop, as specifically as possible, a sense of what sound they want to produce at any particular moment. For example, is an accent in the music for an expressive or rhythmic purpose? The quest for a sound that perfectly exemplifies a vision for the music is a lifelong challenge.
Students must also develop a keen sense of the cause and effect relationship between how they move at the piano, and what kind of sound they receive back from the instrument. I define technique as exactly what happens when one does not play (the motion between sounds), which will influence precisely the quality of the upcoming sound. Examining aspects such as the joint you move from, the amount of arm weight or suspension, and key depression speed will develop a more sophisticated sense of cause and effect between the motion one makes and the sound one creates.
Intelligent practicing is at the core for successful piano education. Just like our exercise and eating habits are reflected in our body, our quality of practicing is reflected in our performing. Offering specific logical progressions for tackling new passages, and providing a complete toolbox of practice techniques is essential for quality learning.
I have been privileged to have extraordinary teachers in my life who have nurtured and challenged me in different ways. Each was simultaneously my most scrupulous critic and most loyal supporter. They instilled within me a deeper love for music and a passion for unravelling its many mysteries. My goal is to pass this on to my students in a similar atmosphere. I look forward to continuing my own pursuit for the mastery of this art through my interactions and experiences with my students.