Lessons are divided in several parts
Scales, Arpeggios, and Chords
Music is made up of notes, chord progressions, and rhythms.
By practicing scales, arpeggios, and chords in addition to chosen repertoire, the student will build a strong technical foundation. That way, the students will be ready to face the challenges of their pieces, which will considerably shorten the amount of time it takes to prepare a piece.
Practicing scales, arpeggios, and chords provide an opportunity to learn applied theory. This helps students to understand how music is constructed. When students know how a piece is put together, they can use this knowledge to support their memory and sight reading. Understanding a piece also lets them deliver a more convincing performance overall.
Take a look at your hand. All of your fingers are different sizes, have different muscles and don’t work the same way. The biggest challenge of piano playing is achieving an even and precise technique, coordinating all of these different muscles involved. To overcome this challenge, we need to train even the smallest muscles properly and form proper synapses so the fingers and arms can respond accordingly to what you want. In other words, you are the boss of your fingers!
Articulation and Touches
Due to its construction, the piano holds the potential to create a great variety of sounds. It can be percussive or lyric, notes can be long or dry staccatos, sounds can imitate feelings and nature and so on. There are almost endless possibilities! I believe it is our duty as pianists to understand the best way to achieve the sounds required for each piece and choose a specific motion to achieve that particular sound.
Each historical period and each individual piece within that period require different approaches. During our lessons, these nuances will be developed and explored.
We choose repertoire through mutual agreement. It is very important for you, as the student, to really like the pieces you are playing, since you are going to live with them for a while. However, it is important to have diversity in our chosen pieces.
At any given time, we aim to have performance-ready pieces, some that are being polished and some that are just at the beginning stage. By following this formula, a student will always be improving sight-reading, performance ability, and memory.
When it comes to tackling repertoire, I can’t stress enough the importance of practice strategy! A good, efficient strategy must have a combination of different exercises, which are all designed for the piece you are practicing.
Schedule of Lessons
Weekly lessons are required for consistent progress.
Lessons range from 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. The rate for each lesson is $70.
At the beginning of each month, full payment is expected.
If you need to cancel a lesson, you must let me know at least 24 hours in advance. I will do my best to find a make up time.
Competitions and Examinations
I believe practical goals are extremely beneficial to piano playing.
In order to stimulate students to practice and develop, participation in competitions, festivals and other musical events will be encouraged.
At the beginning of the year we will choose the best competitions suited for each student. Of course, there is no obligation to participate in these events, but I strongly urge you to consider them.
We are very lucky to have several organizations in the area that promote piano events.
Organizations and Events
Friday Musicale – Piano Competition in early January
JMTA – Jacksonville Music Teachers Association*
Student Recitals (various locations across Jacksonville) One to three per year.
Annual Student Day Evaluation event and Honors Recital (late January or early February) includes voice, organ, strings, woodwind, classical guitar, harp, percussion, piano and accordion
District Concerto Competition (March) includes voice, string, brass, woodwind, organ, piano, percussion
Community Service Award (December)
Annual Scholarship Audition (Spring)
FSMTA – Florida State Music Teachers Association*
State Competitive Events (May – at various state locations including winners of District
Concerto competition, Pre-college Chamber ensemble competition, Pre-college and College
Classical Guitar competition, Byrd Piano ensemble and Gray Perry Young Collegiate Piano)
Community Service Award
MTNA – Music Teachers National Association*
Performance competitions (fall – state level; January – division level; March – national level)
Junior level – string and woodwind; Senior level – brass, string, voice and woodwind;
Young Artist level – brass, string, voice and woodwind; Collegiate Chamber Music
Composition competition (fall – state level; January – division level; March – national level)
Levels – elementary, junior, senior and young artist
The Harmony Senior Music Club and the St. Johns District of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs*
Music Festival – February
State Junior Convention – May
Open to all students that received superior at the Festival event in February.
Greater Jax – open to all students, April
Brass Ring Competition – April
sponsored by the Beaches Residents supporters of Jacksonville Symphony and open to all beaches residents.
* Requires teacher’s membership