Technique & Theory

Black and white close up image of sheet music

I take a comprehensive, holistic approach to my teaching with all students. 

For beginners, I weave in the fundamentals of technique, music theory, and expression from the start. We work on proper hand position, relaxation exercises for the hands and arms, and how to build strength and velocity in your fingers. 

You learn the notes and full range of the keyboard, note rhythms, and gradually learn how to read music in a step-by-step process.

Equally important, you learn how chords are built, how they relate to each other, and how to play them in both hands. Playing chords in both the left and right hand lets you play with a fuller sound. It makes learning new songs even more enjoyable. 

You will learn a range of pieces: classical, folk tunes, and familiar popular songs. For adults and teenagers, I primarily use Alfred’s Adult All-In-One Course and supplemental materials of my own. And then for children, I use Faber’s Piano Adventures series and other exercises.

For more advanced students, I work on engaging the full body when playing. We work on relaxing hands, wrists, and arms and adding more arm movement. Also important is to breathe properly when you play, much like a singer would. 

We also work on dynamics (including controlled pianos and pianissimos), velocity, and conveying the mood of a piece. We’ll explore shaping the music through phrasing, overall flow, and breaking music down into large units.