Piano Studies

 

We study beginner and intermediate classical piano and improvisational jazz piano. Composition is an essential part of my teaching. Students learn music theory and piano technique through composing their own pieces in various styles. Students become intimately familiar with the architecture of the instrument and how they relate to it.

Lessons work through my method of piano study, which teaches Beethoven’s Ode to Joy theme in all twelve major keys. This allows the student to become familiar in playing one melody in all keys with various styles of harmonization and accompaniment.

Simultaneously, we progress through the Mikroksomos of Bela Bartok, The Czerny Practical Method for Beginners, Leopold Mozart’s Notebook for Nannerl, and J.S. Bach’s Notebook for Anna Magdalena. Technical aspects are studied with the Dozen a Day Studies and the Schmitt Preparatory Exercises.

We study the Classics to Moderns series of classical piano books as well as collections of music by composers from Pre-Baroque through today.

Jazz improvisation is learned through studies with the John Mehegan and the Mark Levine classic texts on jazz piano. We work through the real book learning jazz standards. Students memorize all scales, modes, chords, and arpeggios.