Piano Instructions By Betty Jane Ruckman

Piano Instructions By Betty Jane Ruckman


About this pro

I am an effective teacher, having taught students ages 4 - 84

beginners to advanced.  I also teach diverse types of special

needs students.  All types and styles of music, including

improvisation, classical style, reading lead sheets and church


I find most rewarding seeing my students accomplish making music an integral part of their life, and have had several students become piano teachers and school music teachers.

The thrill a student experiences in realizing they ARE playing the piano is as thrilling to me!

I have my studio here in Florissant for 29 years, and taught when I was in high school as well.

I have been very active in National Federation of Music Clubs, MTNA and other music organizations, and my students have reaped the benefits of the scholarships and awards offered by these organizations ans college scholarships.

I do have a LinkedIn profile and Facebook personal/business as well.

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Florissant, MO 63033
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

My typical process for working with a student is one lesson weekly, and I request 5 days practice during the week.

They student is assigned a music theory lesson correlating with their lesson book.  This assignment should be done prior to the practice, enabling a much clearer understanding of the music reading, rythm,terminology and interpretation.

The lesson book and performance book come with orchestrations done on CDs, so the student can play along, and this provides excellent ear training.

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

I studied piano from age 5, and began to teach at age 15, continuing studies through age 17.  Later began to pursue a career in social work but returned to my first love.

Being shy in my youth, expressing myself through music became my favorite past time.  Also accompanied my high school Glee Club musicals.

Teaching my students the love of music as well as achieving musical goals and their potential is my joy!

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

I do have standard pricing - $120 monthly for half hour lessons weekly, and adults at the same price.  The adult or teenager may want 45 minute or hour lessons, which can be arranged.

I weekly lesson is essential especially in building a strong foundation!

How did you get started teaching?

My teacher in high school, Dr. Ronald Combs, insisted I begin teaching at age 15.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with all types of students - gifted, 'normal', adults of all ages, from 3 1/2 year olds up through 80 years of age, and group lessons as well as all types of 'special needs' children.

I also teach Improvisation, Ensemble, accompanying and piano duets, duos, Church Musician, and how to read and play from lead sheets, i.e. 'Fake' books.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I cover for the pianist in my church who is part of the monthly contemporary service, when she is out of town.

So, I'd have to call that my most recent event!

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

Look for an experienced teacher who offers a complete curriculum, all styles of music, is able to teach all types of students and has regular performance opportunities, such as recitals and music festival participation. 

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

The student, and parents should have some goals - mainly, does the student have an interest in learning piano? What attracts them to playing piano? 

I personally do not believe a student 'forced' to take lessons will enjoy it and succeed.