Merritt Music

Merritt Music

5.0
1 employee
20 years in business

About this pro

As a second generation piano instructor I am a seasoned professional.  I teach all levels to both children and adults. Began teaching in NC where I studied music at East Carolina University. Have been teaching in Florida for 17 years and taught 10 years in NC. prior to moving to Florida.  My comprehensive method is adapted to each student to accommodate their ability. In doing so I help them develop all the important skills needed to become a competent musician: sightreading, technic, theory, ear training and repertoire. I have success with young students preparing to audition for BAK and DSOA art schools. I believe learning process should be fun and creative but I do not teach short cuts. I am also a professional bass player and am a working musician in my jazz trio.

The piano is the mother of all instruments. It embraces rhythm, melody and harmony all at once. When you understand music through the piano you can apply that knowledge to other instruments and all genres of music. I love teaching and sharing my knowledge with others.  Whether a student pursues a career in music or just learns for their own pleasure it is a privilege to be part of their musical journey. Helping others acqiure an appreciation for music and watching them grow in their ability is so gratifying. Music is joyful!

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Credentials

West Palm Beach, FL 33401
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FAQs


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

When I start a new student I use a method book tailored to the student, a note speller, theory and ear training book.  They learn to read the notes and early on they learn rhythms and are encouraged to count out loud, especially in the beginning. As they progress I introduce scales, etc. I believe in developing good technic, sightreading skills and ear training. I include music history and repertoire from the various periods of music. I emphasize the importance of proper posture and hand position on the keyboard.


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

My mother was a piano instructor. I grew up with music and I started playing at 6 yrs. I studied at East Carolina University in North Carolina. While teaching in NC I was a member of the Music Teachers Guild, American College of Musicians and IAJE. I did summer studies at Eastman School of Music and teacher workshops at the University of Delaware as well as Schaum Piano Teacher Training Workshops in NC.

In addition I am a professional bass player and perform with my jazz trio.  I spent 2 years at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va in their Live Entertainment Dept. as a performer.  I was the co founder of The Jazz Arts Music Society of Palm Beach, Inc., a non-profit organization in West Palm Beach for twelve years.  I received The American Heritage Award from the Palm Beach East Chapter of Brandeis University National Women's Committee for Outstanding Community Service in relation to my work with the non profit organizatioin.


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

Beginners                    30 min. $40

Intermediate                45 min. $45

Advanced                     60 min. $50


How did you get started teaching?

When I attended East Carolina University I began teaching to earn extra money for school. My mother was a teacher and it was just a natural progression!


What types of students have you worked with?

 I have worked with all ages and levels. My youngest student was 3 years old and my oldest was in his seventies.  I enjoy anyone who wants to learn.  I especially enjoy preparing students who want to audition for BAK middle school and Dreyfoos School of the Arts. When they are accepted it is rewarding to continue guiding them through graduation. 


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Recently I had the pleasure of hearing Valentina Lisitsa present an  outstanding performance in the intimate setting of the recital hall at The Steinway Gallery in Boca Raton.

 I also enjoy attending the chamber music series in Palm Beach at The Society of The Four Arts.


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

 I would be wary of a teacher who claims they can "teach you how to play in six lessons", for example. The basics are so important and you need a good foundation.  You will achieve your goals much quicker if you don't look for instant gratification.  Be patient with yourself.  Get a teacher who explains and communicates well.  Expect to learn scales, how to count properly, and use a metronome from a good teacher. Learning a musical instrument takes time and commitment but gives you a great sense of accomplishment and so worth the effort.  


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

Am I willing to make a commitment for weekly lessons?

Am I able to devote the amount of time necessry at hom to practice?

Do I have access to a proper instrument?