Southbay Piano Lessons
Christoforo LaBarbera provides an exceptional curriculum developed over many years of experience. He has taught in many music schools and developed their music curriculum. Every student gets books and supplies for free, and has the option to play in two recitals a year organized and hosted by Chris.
I enjoy it when my students start to try music on their own without me helping them. Usually after a year or two of lessons I start to see my students realize that they can figure this stuff out on their own and they begin to download and learn pieces without my help! It makes me sooooo happy when this happens. I also love the hard work of putting recitals together. When I get to see all the performers get up and play for each other and then talk about their pieces during the reception, it fills me with joy.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
First we will determine what level of study we should start with. I have detailed system for placing students in the correct books that consider age group, level of interest and amount of practice that is able to be scheduled. This system is very pliable and can change to accommodate changes in musical interest and level of commitment.
For the 5- to teen ages I have created many musical games that help with learning to read music and perform proficiently. If you hire me I can guarantee that your child will enjoy every lesson and learn a lot!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
“Teacher Chris” started taking lessons when he was all of 4 years old. By age 11 he started teaching piano to local friends for $5 a lesson and started his unique piano curriculum. All through college at the University of Louisville, where he pursued his piano and composition degree, he taught privately and group classes in Kentucky and and Indiana included starting a composition class for the prestigious Governors School for the arts.
He has performed all over the world in such places as London, NYC, Chicago, Miami, Costa Rico, Mexico, Hawaii, San Francisco and throughout the Los Angeles area.
For the past 14 years he has taught in the beach areas, worked as a teacher and music director for private music schools, and worked as a performer and composer in Los Angeles.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
1 student- $160 flat rate per month. (includes 5 week months)
2 students- $280 flat rate per month. (includes 5 week months)
3 students-$360 flat rate per month. (includes 5 week months)
4+ students call for pricing
All books and materials including recitals are included in thwaw rates.
How did you get started teaching?
I started teaching when I was 11 years old by teaching weekly lessons to younger kids in the neighborhood. I was known in my town for winning piano competitions at the state level starting at 8 years old. I continued my studies as a composer from my father, John LaBarbera, a world renown arranger and composer.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have started teaching generalized music classes with students as young as 2 years old, but usually they start at 5 to 7 years of age. Most of my students stick with it through high-school and I currently teach two via webcam that are in college.
Although I have not received special needs formal training, I have worked with many autistic children and others with special needs and had great success. I find that type of work to be very rewarding and positive.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I had two of my students, sisters ages 6 and 8 compose a Blues each and perform it with a play-a-long that I recorded for them with drums and bass in the background. It was part of a Black History month curriculum I developed for my students.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
In the perspective of a parent looking for their child, I would suggest finding a teacher that makes them exited for the next lesson and for practice. Ask for trial lessons from teachers until you find one that fits. Try to look for a teacher that it willing to go over the lesson plan for the week and take the extra time to explain the assignments.
If you are an adult looking for lessons for yourself, be honest about your knowledge or background with the instrument. Also setup trial lessons with eacgh prospective teacher until you find one that you instantly have a good rapport. Teachers are always adding new students and doing trial lessons, so it will not hurt their feelings if you decide to go with another teacher. It is part of the business.