Hampton Piano Lessons
I enjoy teaching piano and incorporate age appropriate fun activities, theory education and performance techniques - ages 7-17. I engage students in contests, if interested, and prepare them in time to do well. All of my students have performed and are awarded AAA rating and placement level trophies (1st, 2nd, 3rd). I conduct 2 recitals a year - spring and fall. Sometimes, the fall recital becomes a Christmas recital - very popular. I initiate memorization early on, so the memory cells on music can develop with ease. Along with method teaching and accommodating songs (notes, scales, dynamics, techniques in performing), I also stay relevant and include various music genres - contemporary, classical (old & new), jazz, popular tunes, etc. I usually ask each student at the end of the lesson to identify 1-2 new things they learned. That gives me immediate feedback of their understanding. I also allow for creativity and provide guidelines in creating songs.
I truly enjoy watching the pleasure and contentment on students' faces, when they enjoy and play their songs with confidence, whether in a lesson, recital or contest. When students asks great questions about their assignment, gives me great joy. It says they are either confused and truly want to understand or just want to know when they see unique symbols or new notes. The greatest joy is watching students grow as musicians and incorporating my teaching & techniques in their performances.
Able to read music
Student has instrument
Interested musical styles
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
For younger students, I first get to know them for 2-3 min. In the conversation, I ask them to name 3 things they know about the piano. To help them along, I will ask them to guess how many total keys are on the piano. We also play a finger game, so I can see the flexibility in their fingers. Then they learn to identify Middle C and all the C's. This is done also with a few more notes as they learn the musical alphabet. Then I progress to teaching a few songs. Because the songs are so short, my goal is to teach 2-3 songs per lesson. I always start with a smile and end with a smile to ensure comfort and ease with each student. Of course, my method varies to allow for age appropriateness - ages 7 - Adult. (Note:. I do teach adults)
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have taught piano lessons since high school. I was trained by a professional piano teacher, from 7 yrs thru my high school senior year. While in college, my summer job was teaching piano lessons at my parents home. Even though I chose a technical pathway for my career (B.S. - Industrial/Organizational Psychology, minor in Math / M.S. graduate work - Industrial / Organizational Psychology & Computer Development), I continued to teach piano on the side and performed at events, weddings and churches throughout my professional career (System Engineer - Electronic Data Systems/Hewlett-Packard and Automotive Project Engineer - General Motors). So I maintained my musician skills and began teaching full-time, much later in life, 2010-present, after leaving my previous career after 25+ years. I guess it doesn't hurt that I also come from a musical family - 2 other siblings (1 now deceased) were pianists. The deceased sibling and I also trained on the organ, so I currently play the pipe organ at my church.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
◾Price Choices (Weekly):. $27 for 30 min lesson/ $40 for 45 min / $50 for 60 min. ◾Cost of music books are included. ◾No charge for recital participation. ◾Contests will have a price - depending on the event
Lessons for the month are prepaid electronically (via Zelle or Cash app), due by the 1st lesson of each month. Billing is sent out in a timely manner for payment. Example: A 4-week 30 min month = $108. A 5-week 30 min month = $135. If a prepaid lesson is cancelled, then arrangements are made for a makeup lesson within that month - the same week, or another week, or attached to another lesson giving a student 1 hour.
How did you get started teaching?
I am the youngest of 4 siblings (1 now deceased). Each sibling was engaged in piano lessons once they turned 7 yrs of age. So when I started, I had already been exposed to a lot of music. Only 3 siblings continued lessons thru high school, whereas 1 sibling discontinued along the way. Our ages are only 1 year apart, so you can imagine, songs were repeated at each level. I was the only sibling that took an interest in teaching and began in the home at age 16, teaching young students. Moving forward, my teaching continued on the side thru college and even my professional career, which took a different pathway. (Note:. See my personal background under the question re: my education & training.)
What types of students have you worked with?
I've taught ages 7-Adult. They range from beginner to intermediate to advance level. So my teaching method varies based on age. Uniquely, some adults begin lessons after listening to their child and have ascertained a similar level, even to advance, as their child. I've taught a variety of genres, especially at the intermediate and moreso advance level, such as:. classical (old and new), contemporary, jazz and popular. A 10th grade student came to me, had prior piano lessons, but continued self-taught from YouTube, playing by ear. He however desired to play the music he was learning from notes - by sight reading. A 5th grader came to me as a beginner, but progressed quickly because of their unique talent to recreate music from popular video games - i.e. Mario. Those songs are quite complex, but this student was able to play a simplified version.
So in essence, my teaching is customizable to a student's age and where they are musically.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
It amazes me when students, especially very young, express an interest in a certain genre, like classical. Two students, one wanted to learn Fur Elise, because it is a pre-recorded song on their digital piano. The other student wanted to learn Moonlight Sonata. I have access to music websites that sell easy versions of various genres of music. So I found easy versions of their music requests and they learned it. Recently, an advance student wanted to learn the theme song of "Pirates of the Caribbean.". It is very complex and fingering is across the piano. I started the student on an intermediate version on the song so they could accommodate the rhythm better. Two weeks ago, I taught the 1st page of the original. When the student returned for their lesson, I was blown away with their performance. Learning the easy version was a great 1st step before going to the original.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Sometimes it is a trial and error process. But ensure that teacher shows a deep interest in you, and works with your personality, interests, etc.
One method does not fit all students. I am customizable in my teaching. You want a teacher that cares about your questions, wants to get to know you, and strives to make your lesson fun, interesting and easy to follow even when techniques are taught. It is my goal to inspire a student to want to practice, grow and continue to be inquisitive about the music they are playing.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Think about your purpose for taking piano. Younger students are usually following their parents guidance in taking lessons. But intermediate ages and up, they have developed their own interests and taste in music. If you are interested in learning jazz and you've made an initial start in that area, ask your teacher about meeting that need. If you are an ear player and desire to read notes, make that need known. I had a advance student who expressed he was beginning to play piano with the jazz band and he needed help in interpreting the rhythmn via the music. We focused on that for a few weeks, versus method teaching. He also loved to play Elton John type music, so we incorporated that as well.
Many students do not exactly know what their music preference is, so I introduce a variety to help develop their tastes.
If you read my history in this Q&A section, you will note the variety in my teaching. When the Covid pandemic started in 2020, we were all forced to do things online and at home, in every industry. So I taught on Zoom, for a year. Now transitioned back to in-person lessons in a public physical rented location. However, online is an option, when a lesson is cancelled and can not be attended in a specific week. But my standard mode continues to be teaching in-person at a rented location in Troy, MI.