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"I firmly believe everyone deserves an education in music. There are so many benefits to learning an instrument for both children and adults. Scientists have documented the extraordinary effects that learning an instrument has on a child's brain development, including boosting memory, reading skills, focus, and ability to multitask. In addition, learning an instrument teaches discipline and the benefits of hard work, which in turn can boost self-confidence and self-esteem. It also increases emotional intelligence and appreciation of art, culture, and beauty. Lastly, being able to play an instrument is fun! Whether or not a student becomes a professional musician, appreciating music and playing an instrument can become lifelong pursuits that are life-giving and life-enriching."

PC: Ceylon Mitchell / M3 Mitchell Media & Marketing

T E A C H I N G  P H I L O S O P H Y

Learning to play an instrument takes dedication and hard work. I believe as long as a student is dedicated to practicing, anyone can learn to play the piano! For this reason, I strongly encourage parents and caregivers of students to sit in on lessons and learn with the student. This enables the parent/caregiver to monitor the student's practicing at home--for younger students, this may require sitting with the student at the piano and going through each assignment with them. Parent/caregiver involvement is essential for students to progress and improve, as 90% of the work of learning an instrument is done at home through daily practice.

I believe that a good pianist should also be a good musician, and that is why I take a comprehensive approach to teaching music. Apart from music reading and piano skills, I also incorporate music theory, improvisation, technique, and composition into all of my lessons. I start beginning students on the Faber & Faber Piano Adventures series. As students progress, I supplement their learning with pieces of various styles according to their interest, whether classical, pop, Disney, or a mix of all.  It is very important to me that my students have a strong technical foundation, which is why I use Hanon exercises with my late elementary students and Czerny etudes with my more advanced students.

Students in my studio are also given opportunities to compete and perform in front of audiences. As a member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Maryland State Music Teachers Association (MSMTA), Music Teachers Association of Bowie (MTAB), and the National Guild of Piano Teachers, students can participate in competitions from the local to the national level, as well as have the opportunity to present pieces and musicianship skills in front of a judge chosen by the Piano Guild and receive constructive feedback. I also host studio recitals in both the winter and spring so that students can have the chance to play for each other. 

Lastly, I believe in fostering a fun and safe learning environment. I tailor my curriculum to the needs and interests of each student. Some students may be more interested in learning classical music, while others may wish to focus more on contemporary styles. I want to instill in my students an enjoyment of any and all music and equip them with exactly the skills they will need to play the piano in the capacity in which they are interested. The wonderful thing is that many of these skills--such as discipline, self-motivation, and the value of hard work--transfer to all areas of life. 

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