Age Requirements and Materials
I believe that learning to play an instrument is an extraordinarily personal endeavor. Music is a whole-brain task, and every student, no matter how "talented," will connect with some aspects of music intuitively, and find themselves challenged by others. Accordingly, music lessons need to be very personal, and adjusted to help the student lean into their natural strengths and grow to overcome their difficulties. In my experience, the number one factor that determines whether a student succeeds is the quality of the teacher-student relationship, and so I strive to know my students well enough to guide them through their educational journey in a way that feels intuitive and brings them joy and excitement rather than frustration and boredom.
Although having goals is important, students who don't enjoy the journey burn out quickly, so it's important to me that students value the process of learning, not just what it gets them. In a sense, learning music can be much like a meditation practice, a way to center oneself and grow as a person, and I encourage students to see their studies as a journey of self- discovery as much as much as the acquisition of external knowledge. I have had the joy of seeing students not only learn music theory or piano technique, but also gain an exquisite awareness of themselves and the workings of their own minds and bodies.Piano
I teach piano as a "native language" by fostering good musicianship, music-reading, and listening skills in a naturalistic, low-pressure way, and I do everything I can to avoid lessons from being overly rigid and accademic. Accordingly, I've had the pleasure of watching many students blossom as musicians, not only in their skills but in their love for music. My teaching style focuses primarily on the European Classical tradition, but I aim to provide a strong foundation for playing any genre of music on the piano, and I encourage students to branch out and play anything that interests them.
I encourage students to see piano practice as a sort of meditation practice. I always begin my own practice by taking a moment to notice the sensations in my body and release any excess tension, as well as identifying and setting aside any thoughts that might distract me. I try to teach students not only how to play the piano, but how to center themselves, improve their focus, and how to learn in general.
I teach from my home in Southeast Portland, offering both 50-minute lessons and 30-minute lessons, which are often more suitable for young children who struggle to sit for a long time period. Depending on the student, I usually include some combination of freeform improvisational excercises, music reading, learning by watching and memorizing, and ear training, all while ensuring that students are working towards a safe and comfortable technique that will serve them for years to come.
In addition to piano lessons, I also offer composition lessons, and I'm happy to transition from piano to composition, vice-versa, or any combination of the two according to what a student wants to focus on.COVID Safety
In order to protect my students and their families, I ask that everyone entering my home be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, or wear a mask for the duration of their time inside. I also ask that students and their families please contact me to reschedule their lesson if they are not feeling well.
I have no strict age cutoff for students, but I expect that all students are able to be present and (relatively) focused for the duration of the lesson, which
they can usually do beginning around the age of six.
There is also no upper age limit, but older students should be sure to enter with reasonable expectations.
More information about young students More information for adult beginners
A student learning the piano should have regular access to a piano in good working condition. It is crucial that students acclimate to the feel of a piano's action, and there is simply no electronic keyboard that is a sufficient substitute. Students practicing with an e-piano, even one with weighted keys, will be honing their physical instincts incorrectly and adapting to the wrong instrument, so it is important to begin looking for a real, acoustic piano as early as possible. For beginners who aren't sure if they are going to continue to play long-term, renting a piano is often a good middle-ground between having an electronic keyboard and committing to owning an instrument.
In addition to having access to an appropriate instruments, students will need a small notebook for keeping track of assignments, and will be responsible for purchasing their own sheet music (though I also provide lots of printed material).
If you want to get in touch with me, you're welcome to call, text, or email me. You can also find me on Instagram (sort of, I'm extremely inactive), YouTube, Discord, and Itch. If you can't get ahold of me right away, I should be able to get back to you within 24 hours on weekdays.