Anthony Cardella Piano Studio
••Steinway Teaching and Education Partner••
••Assistant Professor of Music - Occidental College••
••Study with a National Competition Winner and trained pedagogue!••
Hello! My name is Anthony Cardella, and I am a concert pianist and piano pedagogue! I have won many competitions on state, regional, and national levels! I’ve performed all over the country as well as in Italy, Spain, and Portugal! I have a Bachelors Degree in piano performance from one of the top undergraduate conservatories in the country (Lawrence Conservatory of Music), and a masters degree in performance at the Thornton School of Music at USC. I am currently working on my Doctorate in piano performance at USC while teaching there as a professor of piano.
The thing that is special about my training is that I was not only trained to play on an extremely high level and win competitions, but I was also taught how to teach in my pedagogy programs, which is something many teachers with performance degrees from top schools are missing! I have done pedagogy programs that have taught me pedagogy theory, shaped my teaching skills, developed my understanding of students, and have given me the opportunity to put that into practice through practicum, internships, and paid positions at universities! I have done MUCH research on piano technique including injury prevention and Taubman Technique, and I have been brought up studying the Russian and French schools of technique. I have also done cognitive psychology research and have presented on its implications in piano teaching and playing. Below is my teaching philosophy: “I believe that being a good teacher is similar to being a good psychologist. One must have the ability to read a student - to understand them in the moment and to effectively gauge many aspects of their personality, as well as their strengths, weaknesses, and disposition. One glove does not fit all when it comes to teaching. There are many methods and approaches, and the best one is the one that will be most effective for each specific student. This method can change and grow, but can only do so with a teacher who is aware and flexible enough to understand the student and allow the student to guide and influence their teaching accordingly. In understanding that each student is different, I can begin to understand the goals, personality, background, likes/dislikes, and ideas of each student, and use these to shape my pedagogy, and the student’s artistry. Through effective communication, I can use my expertise to make music relevant and enjoyable to each student, and open up a door for the student to express themselves artistically while learning and improving. I believe that music is a birthright - we are all musical beings and have the capability to enjoy music and express ourselves through it. To effectively provide a student with the tools to do so, my music instruction includes the following components: Aural skills Music theory and analysis Sight reading Improvisation Effective practice habits Wellness and physical awareness Personal musical interpretations influenced by historical approaches Performance opportunities Encouragement to participate in competitions and festivals” Whether you are just staring out as a beginner and want a strong foundation, or have been playing for years and want to take your playing to the next level, improve your technique, play with less pain/tension, win competitions, or prepare for college auditions, I am confident that I can help you make wonderful progress while inspiring a life-long love for music! Please visit my website for more in-depth details about my education, pedagogy research, performance awards, pricing, and videos of my playing!
**I offer zoom lessons as well as in-home lessons**
I love connecting with students and inspiring a life-long love for music! I have had the wonderful opportunity to study with some of the most amazing teachers in the country, and I feel like it is my duty to pass along what I have learned. I love helping a student reach their goals, play the music they love, and help them play better than they ever thought they could! I love ironing out technical issues and talking about piano technique in general, brainstorming ideas on how to help students get over obstacles, and mentoring students as they decide if music is a hobby or a career!
Able to read music
Student has instrument
Interested musical styles
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
My process starts with background information on the student and an assessment of their current knowledge, playing level, technical facilities, and their own goals and aspirations.
This is followed by a trial lesson where I get to know the student and family, and begin to learn about the student's personality so I can begin shaping my teaching style and curriculum.
After a few lessons, I will propose my curiculum to the parents and student, and will have them purchase the necessary materials for the student's studies. By shaping my curiculum and teaching method based on the student's personality and goals, I can ensure that the student will enjoy their lessons and make the most amount of progress possible!
Teaching is not a one glove-fits-all field! I see far too many teachers teaching each of their students in the same way while claiming that it is their own "teaching style." The correct teaching style is only what is correct for that specific student, and I pride myself in my ability to get to know a student and truly understand them and how to best teach them.
An additional step that I take in my new student process is that, during the first lesson, I like to play a piece for the student/family because I think it is very important that students see their teacher performing and that the teacher be an active performer in order to be an active teacher.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
—Bachelor of Music Degree at the Lawrence Conservatory of Music
I graduated from Lawrence Cum Laude, majoring in piano performance and minoring in pedagogy. I was also the winner of the Margarat Gary Daniel's Keyboard Performance Award every year that I was applicable for outstanding performances.
This was a special program in that, not only was it a very high level and competitive performance program where I performed a lot, competed in and won state, regional and national competitions, and really crafted my sound, technique, and artistry at the piano, but I also added on a minor in pedagogy. This intensive minor gave me the tools to be a successful teacher - something that many great performers don’t have! Through pedagogy courses, supervised teaching, practicum, research, and hands-on experience, I learned how to be an effective teacher who can understand the needs of any student and shape my teaching to cater to them.
—Master of Music Degree with emphasis on pedagogy at Thornton School of Music At USC I have continued my studies in piano literature and performance at the masters level with some of the most amazing and respected pianists in the world. In addition to this, I continued my pedagogy research and have proven to be qualified in both avenues.
--Doctorate of Musical Arts at Thornton School of Music at USC. I will be beginning this degree in the fall at USC, where I will be working as a collaborative pianist, as well as a teaching assistant.
In addition to my education, my other teaching experience and training is as follows: -TA/Tutor at Lawrence University -President of the MTNA chapter at Lawrence -Private Piano Teaching position at the Lawrence Academy of Music -Private Instructor for many years -Pedagogy presenter at MTNA State Conference in Wisconsin -Pedagogy Research Presentation at Thornton School of Music - "Godden and Baddeley's Study of Context Dependent Memory: Implications for Effective Memorization at the Piano" -Research in injury prevention and correction including Taubman Technique
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
My pricing is as follows:
30 minute - $55
45 minute - $82
1 hour - $110
How did you get started teaching?
My mother took me to see a concert pianist when I was three years old. At the end of the performance she asked me if I enjoyed it to which I responded: “that is what I will do when I grow up.” I was a stubborn kid and never changed my mind! She bought me a keyboard and some books/CDs and I began learning melodies to Mozart Symphonies and Sonatas by ear. Two years later (at age 5) I began my formal lessons with a wonderful Russian-trained teacher and two months in I won my first competition. I’ll never forget that very first performance on stage! I was very young, (I was even too small to move the bench on my own and needed assistance on stage), but I loved every second that I was sharing my music. After 18 years of training, and two college degrees, nothing has changed. I still have the same passion and love for sharing music and I think there is nothing more thrilling than inspiring that same passion in the lives of my own students.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with students of all ages, varying from five years old all the way up to adult students! I have taught begginners who are just starting their musical journey, very advanced college students playing the top piano repertoire, and everything in between! I have taught students seeking a career in music, and amateurs who are only interested in making music as a hobby, and I enjoy teaching and inspiring both!
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I have recently been recording daily piano performance videos that are part of a series that I designed to bring music, art, hope, and connection to people around the country during this time of social distancing. The pieces I perform are either pieces that I want to share, or pieces that have been requested from those who have viewed my performances. In doing requested videos, I hope to forge personal connections through music with people around the world who may be feeling very alone right now, and provide comfort and hope through music.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
When hiring a piano teacher, ask them specifically about their pedagogy training. They may have graduated from Juilliard with a Bachelor’s of Music and have never taken a single pedagogy course (the study of teaching). These teachers might be wonderful pianists, but without training on how to teach, they likely won’t be effective and may not have the correct language, skills, and temperament to build your child’s musical foundation or really inspire the love for music inside of them. Simply having students and knowing how to play the piano does not make a great piano teacher.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
What is the student’s goal in learning how to play the piano? What is my goal for my son/daughter in learning how to play the piano?