Choosing a Private Piano Teacher: Part I

Finding the right music teacher for your child is important, both for their success and your sanity. Some students will do well whomever they work with but most will require the right match in order to learn with a positive attitude. The teacher who suits one will not necessarily suit another so, while word of mouth is a great way to narrow the field, you will need to consider three…

Acoustic Piano vs Electric Piano: What to do?

Let’s begin with the basics. Music is sound organized around the elements of melodic, harmony, rhythm and tone. These concepts are constant, it doesn’t matter which acoustic instrument is being played, piano, trumpet, flute, erhu, sitar, etc. Learning to play any instrument is about understanding the physical action needed to produce the best quality tone possible while adding melody, harmony and rhythm in whatever combination is appropriate or possible. More…

The Importance of Posture at the Piano

How often do piano teachers remind students to sit properly? If you’re like me, its a pretty frequent occurrence. Over the years, I’ve become increasingly aware of how important posture and balance are to efficient and effective piano playing. I’ve had to deal with my own back issues stemming from a bike accident decades ago. The event itself was not overly traumatic but the consequences to my spine were far…

The Piano Teacher as Mentor

  This July, a dear friend and colleague, Mary Tickner, passed away at the pianistic age of 88. In the past few months, I’ve thought about the role she had in the lives of her students and I’ve contemplated the true meaning of  the words “mentor” and “teacher”. When I consider all the educators I have had in my own life, from private lessons and elementary school to post-graduate studies,…