Preschool Piano (Age 4)
The preschool piano program focuses on exploratory games, playful listening exercises, fun songs, keyboard familiarity, and a basic understanding of musical notation. Weekly one-on-one sessions aim to get your little one to enjoy the piano at an early age.
In each session, the teacher highlights the relationship between music and math using fun activities focused on pattern recognition, sorting, counting, and comparison. Each 30-minute session integrates games and exercises to encourage active engagement.
Parents are asked to participate in 5-10 minutes of “practice” several times per week to help reinforce what was learned in the lesson and to help the student’s little fingers build strength and coordination. Lessons are designed so parents can help with at-home practice regardless of the parent’s musical knowledge. This bonding time between parent and child is meant to be fun and helps build a strong foundation for a lifetime of musical enjoyment.
Piano Programs (Ages 5 and older)
Piano programs for young students, teenagers, and adults focus on playing, technique, ear-training, sight-reading, music theory, history, and basic composition skills. Students receive one 30-, 45- or 60-minute private lesson each week with motivational practice challenges to take home.
Each lesson is tailored to the individual. Students are exposed to a range of skills, methods, and playing techniques. Importantly, students are encouraged to learn songs that resonate with them, whether it is a piece by Mozart, Dave Brubeck, or the latest Billboard pop song. Essential to each lesson is a discussion about how practical exercises (i.e. scales or theory principles) relate to the music we love to listen to and play. When students have a basic understanding of music's theoretical workings and the historical contexts in which a song was written, student engagement—and enjoyment—significantly increases.
Students are expected to practice anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour each day. With the exception of younger students who may need more parental involvement, it is the responsibility of the student to understand (and come to learn!) that practicing and taking on new challenges will improve his/her skills and enjoyment of playing music. Students proficient in basic sight-reading, theory, ear-training, and performance skills are eligible to participate in the Music Teachers’ Association of California Certificate of Merit Program.
Music Theory and Composition Programs (Ages 12 and older)
Specific music theory and composition programs are customized for intermediate to advanced students who are interested in pursuing a deeper understanding of how music works. These 45- or 60-minute one-on-one sessions focus on the analysis and art of music-making.
Students should be proficient in reading music and playing either the piano or another instrument. Lessons focus on the study of individual musical works and the identification of musical relationships and structures composers use to make music. Music theory students are exposed to thinking about music through different modes of inquiry, such as mathematics, psychology, and non-western traditions. Composition students will build a portfolio of pieces, with one or two to be performed at the year-end recital.
Outside of lessons, students should plan to spend several hours each week studying lesson material and completing assignments or composing music. Should the student go on to study music at the college level, he or she will have a significant head start in theory and composition skills.