Serini Piano Studio
I tailor each lesson to the individual student, meeting them at their level of ability and confidence and pushing them to go the next step. I don't rely on the same lesson series for everyone; especially with 2 children from the same family, I like to vary the music options. To that end, I also supplement with music to fit the occasion, be it Halloween (always a great recital!) or Christmas or a student's favorite song or classical selection.
I am a piano teacher, meaning my only teaching tool is the piano. Many teachers use computer games and apps to support their lessons. That's something I won't do; no electronic distractions here. Music theory is part of every lesson, but performance is my goal.
In the past I have offered up to 6 performance opportunities a year. I am fortunate now to be active with the Frederick Music Teachers Association, which sponsors recitals throughout the year. I also arrange a formal Spring Recital each year. Participation in recitals is always encouraged, but never required. I talk about the benefits of performing on a separate blogpost.
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I love the enthusiasm of a young child playing a melody and getting it right. He'll play it over and over, so proud of his accomplishment. And the thrill experienced by the parents when their children perform in talent shows and recitals. I love the aha moment when an adult student makes the link between fingering, phrasing, and a satisfactory passage.
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 for working with a new student varies depending on the age of the student and the level the student has already achieved. With young students, we start playing by ear. It's how I learned until I had my first piano teacher, who would not allow me to play by ear! I truly believe the ability it play by ear is a gift that should be nurtured. With more advanced students, I meet them at their level. We use various lesson books and always supplement with music of interest to the student, be it classical or contemporary. Finally, with my beginning adults, I use the Alfred Adult Beginners lesson series, and as with my kids, I encourage supplementary music as soon as note reading gets comfortable. More often than not, my adults have music preferences that I encourage.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a BA in Music from Bucknell University, with a concentration in performance and pedagogy.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Piano lessons are tuition based, payable monthly. I do my best to schedule makeup lessons, but it's not always possible.
How did you get started teaching?
I studied piano pedagogy while in college. I had my first students while still a student myself.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have taught ages 3 to 83, beginner to advanced. I remember 2 students in particular who were legally blind, an adult who found relief from arthritis through her piano practice, a young boy with rather severe behavioral issues for whom music was a balm. One student whom I had taught as a child found me and returned to piano lessons some 30 years later.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I've just returned from a weekend in NYC. An 8-year-old student of mine participated in a piano competition in November, and placed second in her age group! Her prize? Performing in recital at Carnegie Hall! 46 young musicians in all, aging from 3 to 18, participated in this concert of high quality, demanding music. I was so proud of my own student, of course, and simply blown away by the caliber of musicianship on display that afternoon.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
For all students, I remind them that mastering an instrument takes time. It is an on-going process that requires patience and commitment. Practice makes progress.