I have been teaching piano lessons in Massachusetts since 1999 in Worcester and Middlesex Counties, at students’ homes, and more recently, via Zoom. With a minor in music from the University of New Hampshire, and Master degrees in Human Services from New Hampshire College and Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary, I honor each student’s way of learning.
I adjust my teaching approach according to the skill set of the individual piano student. How does a piano student prepare for a lesson? The student follows the teacher’s written instructions recorded in the student’s notebook. Each student is encouraged to re-read the notebook and the teacher’s notations on the music, and practice accordingly. I encourage each student to use their current piano skills to their advantage and improve skills less easily acquired.
How does one play the piano expressively and communicatively? Physical strength, emotional dedication, and mental endurance are the necessary ingredients for an exciting piano performance. Bigger picture.
I typically provide piano lessons at home to families with two, three, and even four children. Parents appreciate this convenience rather than traveling with their children to studio-based lessons. Moreover, children may become fidgety if they have to wait in a lobby until it’s their turn for a piano lesson, especially when more than one child in the family is taking lessons.
I frequently speak with parents about actively listening to their children’s piano practice. Why is parental involvement so crucial toward their child’s commitment to practice routinely? Parents instill the value of music education and the importance of progress, not perfection.
I gently persuade adult piano students who are beginners to be receptive toward learning fundamentals. What is so important about such basics of how to play the piano? The adult learner can measure progress by playing properly and enjoying the instrument.
For piano students who have previously taken piano lessons, I encourage them to re-engage with miniature pieces. Why not start with masterpieces the adult student may have learned twenty to thirty years ago? It is better to put aside great expectations rather than become overwhelmed by music beyond the adult piano student current proficiency.
Above all else, I teach my piano students that there are no wrong notes on the piano, only re-writes. How are notes to be handled that are not in the musical score? Well, if these re-writes fit the harmonization, the piano student may regard these re-writes as passing notes.
Organist/Pianist/Music Director (2020-present), First Congregational, UCC, Millbury, MA
Organist/Choir Director (2000-2014), St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Hudson, MA
Artistic Director Serenity Coffeehouse ( 1999 to present), Salem Covenant Church, Worcester, MA
Studied piano with Allen Fernald, Symphony House, Bangor, ME; Helen Sibley, New England College, Henniker, NH; Thomas Hill, Shrewsbury, MA; Dennis Deyo, Westboro, MA
Perform on Steinway piano and E.M. Skinner pipe organ weekly at First Congregational, UCC in Millbury, MA
Member of AGO (American Guild of Organists) Worcester, MA; NEPTA (New England Piano Teachers Association) Watertown, MA;
Master of Divinity Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, PA
Master in Human Services New Hampshire College, Manchester, NH
Bachelor of Arts Minor Music; University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH