Lessons

“What I appreciate the most of Michael’s lessons is his method. He invites you to approach practice not as a dreary task but as problem solving. I discovered the excitement that comes with overcoming musical difficulties. He supports you in bringing up your musical vitality to full potential. He teaches how to trust yourself.” — Angela from Glastonbury

Lessons are geared toward students of all ages and abilities. My only requirement is that the student wants to learn piano. That does not mean, however, that every student is a good fit for every teacher, so I invite you to read the information I have posted here to see if my approach appeals to you. If so, please contact me or fill out a new student questionnaire and we can go from there.

My approach is based on problem-solving and goal-setting, and my training in computer science and mathematics gives me a uniquely analytical outlook. That does not mean I require you to be analytical, or that my approach is especially rigorous. It means that I like to be efficient, so that I can help you reach your goals. Lessons are based entirely on the direction in which you would like to head.

I can travel to your home, if you live in Simsbury, Avon, West Hartford, Farmington, Glastonbury, and nearby towns.

“Michael has a very patient approach with young students. My daughter was only 5 years old when we started taking lessons with him. His methods kept her interested and feeling accomplished while working through a simpler curriculum than my older daughter. He gave her plenty of time to learn and ask questions while having fun playing the piano.” — Karen from Portland

Teaching Philosophy

My approach to teaching is based on discovering the values and goals of the student. I believe each student is unique, and everyone comes to piano lessons with their own abilities, experiences, and wants. I regularly survey my students as to their goals, and customize lessons based on this information. I do not have a specific curriculum that I follow. I teach both adults and children according to this principle.

My role as a teacher is to provide experiences for the student that enable them to discover what they want to learn. It is my belief that learning takes place when students are allowed to experience information and sensations in different ways, and on the brain’s own schedule. It does not come from following a method, and can be unpredictable. Piano teaching is an art, not a science, but whenever possible I try to base my methods on widely accepted scientific results in the fields of psychology and related disciplines.

Musicality is based on self-expression. I do not take the viewpoint that my musical opinions are more valid than those of my students. I believe that musicality is developed through exposure to live performances and recordings, as well as personal experimentation. As a teacher, I help guide students through this process.

I view technique as a means to accomplishing musical expression. Technical matters are best addressed when the student has trouble achieving a certain result. At all times, technique is based on the concept of physical comfort and efficiency leading to the greatest amount of control. Especially in the early stages, I do not focus much on ensuring proper hand positions or other traditional elements of proper technique, but rather seek to encourage the student to develop an awareness of their own bodily sensations, and what is most comfortable for them.

Interested?

If this sounds like something that interests you, there is more information:

Please get in touch with me in one of the following ways:

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