These are questions that prospective students and parents often ask.

Tips for Trombonists

Tips for Pianists

Tips for Parents

Tips for Adult Beginners


What is your music lessons and COVID policy?

I am fully vaccinated and wear a mask during lessons. I expect all students to wear a mask and adult students to be vaccinated.


What age students will you teach?

I teach students of all ages. I specialize in teaching the adult beginner. My youngest student has been nearly three years old. I frequently teach students who are pursuing music in their retirement. I can also offer expecting parents information on prenatal learning as well as enriched musical environment for newborns and infants.


What do you teach?

I teach musicianship (reading, theory, rhythm, harmony, and solfeggio) to all instrumentalists. I teach all levels of trombone, and beginner through intermediate piano. I also teach composition, songwriting, conducting, and voice. I also offer professional  and amateur artists psychological consultation  in performing and creative arts issues, such as performance anxiety and creative process.


What makes your teaching unique?

I teach music as a composer. Students learn the instrument from the point of view of a creator of music. My years of being psychology professor and psychotherapist also adds a dimension to lessons that is based in psychological theory and practice. I have taught courses in lifespan development psychology, psychotherapy, abnormal psychology, and clinical practice for children, adolescents, and adults. 


How long have you been teaching?

I started teaching from my home in Wind Gap in 1998.


What is your training?

I studied piano, composition, and trombone privately with Paul Schocker and Timmothy Soberick in my youth. I studied trombone performance at Moravian College, The Mannes School of Music, and at The Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Belgium. My private studies were with Per Brevig and Ivan Meylemans. I also have an MA in psychodynamic psychology from The New School for Social Research, and a Ph.D. in existential-phenomenological psychology from The European Graduate School.


What is you lesson fee?

I charge $65 for one-hour lesson & half-hour lessons are $40. This requires a weekly commitment. For psychological consultation for performing and creative artists I offer one-hour sessions at $100 without weekly commitment. 


Do you offer online lessons?

I can offer remote lessons through multiple platforms under unique circumstance. I prefer meeting with students in-person.


What is my role as a parent in lessons?

Although I am not a Suzuki Method teacher, I find great value in the teachings of Schinchi Suzuki. I recommend all parents read Beyond The Music Lesson: Habits of Successful Suzuki Families by Christine Goodner.


Can I leave my child for a lesson and return?

I require that an adult accompany and remain at the lesson with the child student. I provide coffee, internet, and a relaxing area to work, read, or use your computer. The parent is also welcome to take lessons with the child.


I am an adult beginner. Can you suggest books that will be helpful for me to read about learning music & being a musician?

This is an excellent question. I can recommend many books, but I will mention two to get you started. Just Being at the Piano by Mildred Portney Chase and The Musician’s Way by Gerald Klickstein are two essential readings for adult students or parents.


How is your studio set up?

The student and I each sit at separate pianos.


Do you perform?

As a trombonist I performed with orchestras through my twenties. I also performed as a singer-songwriter on piano at that time. In my youth I was principal trombonist with Carnegie Hall’s New York Youth Symphony. In addition to the conservatory orchestras, I was also trombonist with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Lima in Peru. It took me many years to understand that I preferred practicing and playing with my friends over performing. Today I play weekly with a jazz combo and perform in public about three times a year. I have found that teaching and making music with my friends is what I like to do best.


What is the best predictor of students who will “stick with lessons” through adulthood?

The best predictor of students sticking with lessons, based on my experience as well as published research, is the student’s sense of identity as a musician, and the parents’ commitment to long-term lessons. Students who are permitted to quit when they lose interest or when things become difficult will quit. Students who are “just trying it out, to see if they like it” typically do not stick with lessons when the novelty has passed and the hard work begins, (Evans & McPherson, 2014).


What styles of music do you teach?

I teach classical, non-classical, and jazz for pianist and trombonists. I trained as a classical musician and have focused on jazz for the past seven years.


How many students do you teach?

I limit my studio to five students each week.


Are students expected to perform in a recital?

I do not hold student recitals. I will assist a student in organizing a performance for the community, a care facility, or at a local café if they desire to do so. Many musicians want to make music for themselves and with their friends and have no interest in performing.


What will my child learn at music lessons?

Mostly, children learn how to be good adults. Cooperation, persistence, dedication, appreciation for music, and respect for others. They also learn how to read, write, and play music.


How much practicing must I do?

The more time you spend on the instrument, the more familiar and comfortable you will become with it. Daily practice for many years is necessary. Students should be willing to make a commitment to daily practice. Ideally this would be between a half hour and an hour daily. I assist students in understanding how to practice wisely and how to structure their practice routines. For example, a child can play for fifteen minutes in the mornings and fifteen minutes in the evenings. My daily practice routine is typically three hours in the mornings, and three hours in the evenings.


Can you help me with performance anxiety?

I have graduate degrees in psychology and have worked as a professor of psychology and as a psychotherapist since 2006. I offer professional and amateur artists consultation and techniques for dealing with many issues of performance and practice, including performance anxiety.


Do you have sample lessons that I can view online?

I have sample adult lessons videos. Lessons with children are much different and typically include play activities such as art and origami.


What are you favorite books & films about music?

I have compiled a list of interesting books and films about music here.


Who are you pedagogical influence?

I have been influenced by the teachings of Maria Montessori, John Dewey, William James, Steven Nachmanovitch, Seymour Bernstein, Melanie Klein, C.G. Jung, Shinichi Suzuki, Fritz Perls, Erich Fromm, Alan Watts, Chögyam Trungpa, Erik Erikson, John Mehegan, as well as my skillful mentors, Paul Schocker and Per Brevig.