Colorado Power Piano

Colorado Power Piano

5.0 (10)
Best of 2019
2 hires on Lessons.com
2 employees
24 years in business

About this pro

Did you always want to play piano?  Did you play as a child and want to get back to it?  We are the teachers for you!  We specialize in ADULT PIANO LESSONS.  Although we are both still composers and performers, we are mostly piano teachers now.  We simply LOVE to teach piano, particularly to adults and teens. We have been teaching adults for over 20 years.  This is our full-time business, and we're very good at it.  

Our students learn to play music in any style they are interested in including: classical, jazz, pop, sacred, ragtime, Broadway showtunes, or New Age. They also learn to improvise and play from a lead sheet or fake book which allows them to add their own creativity to the music. All our students learn to read written music, as well as improvise, and play by ear.

We have written and published more than 20 books of music and music instruction that are used not only by our students but by many other piano teachers across the country.

Since each of our students comes from a different musical background, we tailor the lessons specifically to the needs of each individual student. Some of our students have come to us as senior citizens who have never touched the piano, while others had lessons as children and want to come back. Some have played off and on all their lives, and simply want to get better, or perhaps be able to play with their church or choir. Whatever the student's goals are, we work with them to achieve them. And along the way have a LOT of fun.

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Credentials

Denver, CO 80214
Email verified
Phone verified

10 Reviews

5.0

  • Bo Howard

    As a child and young teen, I took lessons to please my mom and consequently, learned enough to get by. I bought a new piano in 2008 and was referred to Karen for lessons. It has been a wonderful experience. She patiently escorted me through unlearning some of my bad habits from so many years ago and has taught me the proper way to practice. She has given me the confidence to play in front of others, even though it is not required. My daughter started "from scratch" with Karen and was performing in front of a group and writing her own music within a year. She even played keyboard for a band for a while. I enthusiastically recommend her as a piano teacher. She really is fabulous!

  • Lisa Voelz

    Karen has incredible patience and expertise and she also knows how to inspire me! She's perfect for adults who want to learn piano, including those who have no prior musical training, like me!

  • Janet Ford

    Karen focuses her teaching on adults and teens. She makes even rank beginners feel comfortable and have early success. Her different way of approaching learning music focuses on learning for your pleasure in playing, while also teaching the techniques and skills to improve ability. She has a patient and friendly manner during your lesson. You don't feel rushed or pressured the way you can with many teachers. I highly recommend Karen to any adult looking for a piano teacher.

  • Patricia Hott

    This is my third attempt at learning how to play the piano and this time I'm loving it! It's all because of Karen, she's an outstanding teacher. I've learned more about piano playing in the last the eight months than I ever have. I would highly recommend Karen as your next piano teacher.


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FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

At the first meeting, I ask the student what their experience has been with the piano in the past and what their goals are now?  I find that most adult piano students want to play music that THEY like and have it sound well as quickly as possible.  So I explore the various types of music, classical, popular, show tunes, blues, jazz, ragtime, hymns, etc. to find what they are most interested in playing.  The basic skills of piano playing can be developed in any genre of music. 

I find that method books that are commonly used for children are not appropriate for adults.  The pieces in them are frequently boring and the step-by-step process often doesn’t meet the needs of adults who have played before.  In my 20 years of teaching adults, I have learned which music books allow my students to feel satisfied and eager to learn more.  Those are the books I use instead of method books.  We believe in our students playing a LOT of music, not learning 1 or 2 pieces for months at a time.  All of our students learn to read written music at sight and learn to improvise using lead sheets or fake books.


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have been a professional, performing musician and piano teacher for more than 20 years.  I began composing when I was in my teens and have written 12 books of music that are used by music teachers and pianists all over the country.  I began taking formal piano lessons when I was 38, so I understand what it’s like to be an adult beginner.  Before beginning my teaching, I earned a Master’s Degree in Communication and ran a successful management consulting business for 20 years.

Students play on a 6-foot grand piano while I play side-by-side with them on a top of the line digital piano.  I can play with my students providing reference to the rhythms and passages in the music.  This also allows for ensemble or concerto playing.  Most of my students love to play popular music “with the band”.  


Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

Our prices are based on number of lessons per month.  We teach the first three weeks of each month Wednesday through Saturday.  Students can choose one hour lessons or half-hour lessons.   We recommend beginners have 3 lessons a month.  If the student is more experienced, they can choose once or twice a month.  Specific prices depend on the length and frequency of lessons.  


How did you get started teaching?

In the summer of my 14th year of lessons with a great jazz teacher in Boulder, Keith MacDonald, I gave in to his constant urgings for me to begin teaching.  I decided to try “a few” students to see if I liked it.  I planned to try to get 6 students by Christmas.  I had 8 and loved it.  I created a business plan that required 20 students by the next summer.  If so, I would limit my business consulting work to half-time.  By summer I had 26 students and never looked back.  It has been the best 20 years of my life.


What types of students have you worked with?

Our students range in age from teens to beginners in their 70’s.  Many of my students had lessons as children and finally had the time to get back to it.  Much of what they learned as children comes back very quickly and they excel.  My oldest square-one beginner was 68.  She had been trying to teach herself to play the piano for two years.  She wanted to learn to play jazz.  In the first six months with me she learned to do improvisation from a lead-sheet and is happily playing hundreds of her favorite songs.    


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

One of my students was from Sweden and her mother still lived in Sweden.  She brought a book of Swedish folk songs to her lesson and wanted to learn to play them.  After a few months of lessons, she would call her mother every weekend and play the songs to her mother long distance.  The following summer, she visited her mother in the senior home where she lived.  Every day of her visit she played the old folk songs for her mother’s friends to sing along.  One woman who hadn’t spoken for 5 years began singing.  Music has such power.


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

We recommend asking potential teachers how many adults and how many children they teach.  Many teachers say they teach adults, but their studio is composed of 36 children and 3 adults.  Those teachers tend to teach the adults in the same way they teach children.  Ask what methods or techniques they use to teach.  Do they teach improvisation?  Do they teach reading written music?  What styles of music do they work on?  Do the students choose their own music?  Is there any opportunity for musical gatherings so adults can play with other adults in a relaxed setting (not recitals).  What kind of instrument do they teach on?  Do they have two pianos side-by-side to help the students learn?  


What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

The most important question is what you want to learn.  Think about what kind of music you want to play.  Think about how much time you can devote to your music.  Our approach recognizes that adults have busy lives and they may not have a lot of time to practice.  That’s okay.  What happens at the lesson is the most important time of the week.  Think about any past experiences you have had with piano lessons.  What did you like?  What didn’t you like?  What did you wish had happened?