Sharing the joy of music
About the Family Tree of Piano Teachers: Years ago, I studied with a great piano teacher, Mr. William Abbott; his wife, was an artist who created this Family Tree of Piano Teachers, which is factually correct. It is all in good fun, enjoy.
Sharing the joy of music with students began in the 1980’s when I first worked as a choral director and elementary music specialist in the public schools in Snohomish County Washington, out in the volcanic and “Rainy” Pacific Northwest. Many of my students and adult church choir members sought me out as a piano instructor, so much so that in 2002 I opened “The Piano At Home Studio” in Mukilteo, WA.
A mobile business
“Piano At Home” (2002-2012) a mobile business that began as a door to door traveling music studio with approximately 40 students that I saw each week via a fuel efficient first generation Toyota Prius on a several hundred mile route. Our student recitals were held at Sherman Clay (The Steinway Store) in downtown Seattle. In time I built a studio in my home and purchased up to seven instruments, among them two Steinway pianos and a lab of Roland keyboards.
Nurturing environment provides years of study
Many of my piano students began piano lessons with me at age five and have continued their musical journey with me for many years. I find teaching an exciting activity that I like to conduct in a nurturing environment. My students’ success can be measured in years of study they have invested with me, and by their recitals and awards they have received in local music programs. I am proud of all my students whether beginner or advanced and celebrate their daily success of learning to play the piano.
Music composition is self-expression
Although students come to me for piano lessons, it is not long before they are learning to sing and composing their own music. Composition is a beautiful form of self-expression and validates one’s own musical ideas. Many of my students have entered their compositions in local contests and received fine comments and prizes for their work.
Beethoven insisted that his students learn to play duets
One of the hallmarks of The Piano At Home studio was that students learned to play in small ensembles and often in duets with other students. Making music with others is a special experience that is often missed in traditional piano lessons. The great Beethoven insisted that his students learn to play duets, and once complained to Czerny that his nephew Karl needed to study more duets. I think my students would tell you that Beethoven was right. Duets improve musicianship and are indeed the greatest fun we have at the piano.
Philadelphia, The capital city of American musical culture
After 30 years of successful music teaching in the Pacific Northwest I have decided to return to Philadelphia, which I like to think of as the capital city of American musical culture.
Philadelphia is my original home and musical inspiration. It is here where I first watched and heard Eugene Ormandy conduct the fabulous Philadelphia Orchestra, where I listened to great pianists at The Academy of Music, such as Arthur Rubinstein, the fiery Rudolf Serkin and the young Van Cliburn; lastly it is home to the mighty Wanamaker Pipe Organ (largest playing musical instrument in the world).