Private Piano Lessons in Silver Spring, Maryland
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My Student Portal keeps us updated with lesson-related questions. Students and their parents will receive a login code to: reserve lesson slots; view attendance, weekly assignments & teacher's notes; track practice time; make payments & check accounts.
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I believe that the most effective way to guide students is by using what works best for each individual. Some students are naturally more active and need variation and change-of-pace during lessons. Some thrive on step-by-step guidance and need that type of stability before feeling comfortable enough to explore other options.
Since we are all different, I use various methods and books in my studio to reinforce note-reading, technic and music theory.
Adult students often need a bit more time in gaining confidence at the piano since their expectations of themselves are higher. As we proceed with lessons, we work together in finding pieces of music that are most suitable during this stage of learning. Adults also have a busier schedule, so we set realistic goals so that lessons do not become another "pressured" activity, rather, a time that is gratifying in discovering potential and gifts in an environment that is relaxing and encouraging.
Anxiety is commonly experienced during lessons and practice sessions. It is helpful for us to set attainable goals and view mistakes as learning opportunities. During the beginning stages of learning, students may be particularly sensitive to critiques; thus, gentle guidance and praises for efforts are crucial in developing confidence. Parents of younger students play a key role in this rewarding process.
One of my main focuses is to communicate instructions clearly during lessons and on assignments. It is frustrating for most of us to ask questions and receive confusing answers. Since each of us interpret words and tones differently, I like to build a trusting relationship with students where they feel comfortable enough to ask questions when there is uncertainty. Then, we work together to clarify things. Without this step, students are often left very frustrated and blamed for their "lack of enthusiasm" when they are simply lost and doing the best they can.
My Student Recitals are normally held at piano stores or recital halls once per year. We also participate in community-outreach concerts whenever possible.
Performing can be a "dream come true" for some and terrifying for others. After working with a student for a while, I get a good sense if s/he is ready for recitals or not. Students are prepared to have realistic performance expectations. We understand that "perfectly performed music" is often rerecorded and edited numerous times - and that's not why we do recitals. We do our best to prepare and enjoy the fruit of our hard work.