The 4 elements of learning piano.
Sight reading is the ability to play a piece of written music that the performer has not seen before. If a piece is sight read enough times, it becomes memorized and a player no longer relies on his/her sight reading ability but rather on muscle & mind memory. My sight reading method focuses on continually introducing new pieces that the student is unfamiliar with. Constantly learning new songs prevents him/her from memorizing the piece, which in turn strengthens sight reading. Sight reading helps players learn songs very quickly and it is very rewarding to to pick up a song and play it having never seen it before.
Music theory is the study of how music works. Music is man-made, and we use the ‘language of music’ to communicate the relationships between notes and rhythm. Having a solid background in theory makes sight reading, writing, & memorizing songs much easier. I incorporate music theory into every lesson and tie it into the pieces we are sight reading.
Technique teaches the muscles of the hands, arms, and body to work together to play difficult passages with ease. My technique method focuses on keeping the hands relaxed at all times to allow maximum speed and dexterity while reducing any chance of physical strain or injury. I break down hand motions into small segments so that students learn proper technique from the very beginning to prevent their muscles from developing bad playing habits that will hinder them later on.
Each year in May, all of my students participate in a recital where they perform songs/pieces in front of friends, family, and my other students. This help foster confidence and showcases the improvement my students have made. Aside from the yearly recital I host, I also prepare students for nationally accredited piano performance exams held by the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM). Each year a student prepares designated pieces, technique, and sight reading required to pass an exam level (ranging from Preparatory to Level 10); it takes approximately 6 months to prepare for an exam and students are graded by outside adjudicators. The RCM exams are recognized by all music programs at all major universities and will help students improve very quickly at the piano and prepare them for a career in music should they wish to pursue one. For more info on the RCM exams click here.