Lesson Info

Who

I love to teach lessons to any age - whether you are an adult who wishes you hadn't quit as a kid or a parent looking for a teacher for their child(ren). I began as a classically trained pianist and finished up school learning modern styles, and can teach basics in any style.


Where

I teach either at your home or mine in the St. Paul, MN area, including eastern and south-eastern suburbs. Currently I teach in:

  • Maplewood area on Monday
  • Hudson area on Tuesday
  • Lakeville/Apple Valley/Eagan area on Wednesdays and Thursdays

What

My goal is to answer the question "Why will the student be playing in 5, 10, 20 years?" with each of my students. I do believe that having a basic understanding of standard music reading, a little theory and also reading chord charts/lead sheets is important. But I will tailor how I teach these skills to the goals and interests of my student.


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School-age lessons

My goal is to create independent musicians. In a perfect world, all students would walk away with the ability to read basic staff notation, play along to chord charts, and be able to figure out their favorite songs. I also consider the goals of the parents and the student when planning our lessons. While some of our learning takes place in a book, it’s important that parents understand that this is not our only tool! Practicing happens off the bench, beside the bench, sometimes under the bench! Parents are encouraged to inquire about what students are doing each week, read what I write out for them to practice and encourage children each practice.

 
 

Studio Lessons

What we all think of when we think “piano lesson” - one on one lessons for 30, 45 or 60 minutes learning games and songs. Studio lessons pay an annual fee and have access to studio resources (Piano Maestro, Tonic Tutor) and performance opportunities (my studio plans and opportunities from SPPTA and MMTA) plus a reserved regular time slot.

I think of the year in trimesters: Fall (September-December, Spring (January-May) and Summer (June-August). I plan at least one piano workshop or piano party and one recital for the Fall and Spring trimesters.


A La Carte Lessons

30, 45, or 60 minute lessons with the Bunkamade flair without the performance opportunities, piano workshops and studio resources. Lesson time and day is based on the availability when scheduled - the spot will not be reserved for the student in forthcoming months. This is a great option for students who have had lessons in the past and just want help with a song they like or need help figuring out some concept like slash chords or a good comping style for a ballad.


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Adult Lessons

Just like lessons for my school-age students, I try to bring creative and interesting ways to learn to our lessons. I tailor individual lessons to what you want to learn. In group lessons, I have a set curriculum that can be tweaked but is less flexible than individual lessons.

Individual Lessons

Learn piano the “traditional way” in weekly or bi-weekly lessons. I suggest 45 minute lessons to be able to cover enough material to practice. Standard Pricing.

A La Carte Lessons

Non-recurring lessons scheduled as wanted and available. Perfect for those with some piano skills looking for help on a specific problem or piece. When scheduling the lesson, just let me know what you want to work on so I will be able to spend our time effectively. Due to flexibility and prep time entailed, I have a different rate for these lessons.

Group Lessons

Adult Group Lessons:
 My favorite new addition! I have designed a 6 lesson/8 week course to teach basic playing and reading skills. Six 90-minute lessons for 2-6 participants over the course of 2 months at my home or at yours. By the end you will know six chords inside and out, have basic reading skills and be able to know how to fake what you don’t know! (in-home lessons will require 15 minutes for set-up and 15 min take-down time) Group Pricing

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Tools For Learning

Over the years I have found a few things are common in students who keep interest in learning piano. They have an actual bench, a satisfactory piano, have more music than what I suggest or provide, parents take an interest in what they're working on, and have regular lessons.

Metronome

I do think it's important for every student to have a metronome. It is essential to developing a student's sense of rhythm. There are many different types and styles, including apps that you can download. It doesn't need to be fancy, just keeps a solid pace.

Books

This varies on what we are studying and the student's age/learning aptitude. For younger method books, I'm most familiar with Bastien, Music Tree, and Piano Adventures, but I don't limit it to these either. Each method book seems to move at a different pace, and I feel it's important to match the pace of the child to the book. For adults, I think it works best to discuss the overall learning goal, then give options based on that, and let the student decide what works best for them.

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Piano/Keyboard

In order to agree to teach lessons, the student must have something to practice on in their home. Yes, not all of our work will happen at the piano but it is important to have the access to an instrument. As for whether to get a keyboard or piano, click through to find more.

Regular Lessons

At a glance, students who have less than 37 lessons in a year have little noticeable progress. My students who I have to remind to take a week off, however, tend to progress steadily and retain more of what we learn.

More About The Teacher

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I love music. I’ve always been some sort of musical nerd. So instead of studying science in college (like I had planned), I went into piano performance. After college, I worked at a bookstore and a daycare.  There I realized it was pretty fun answering curious children’s questions about the piano.

I started teaching after hours at my sister’s daycare and at Schuster’s Music in Hudson, WI and now teach in-home lessons around the Eastern Twin Cities Metro. I am a member of the Minnesota Music Teacher’s Association and the St. Paul Piano Teacher’s Association. I continue to work on better and innovative ways to teach age old concepts to students using a variety of methods and games.

As with anything in my life, I am always learning, always curious, and always playing.

 
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