Dear Students, My name is Mrs. Neena Hartshorn. My first piano student was my little sister. Can you imagine that? Taking from your older sister. She is still playing and has a daughter that also plays and is presently a leading performer as a student in the Kansas City Music Teachers Association. My playing and teaching experiences include church, community, and schools. My educational level includes a bachelors degree in music education with emphasis on piano. In total, I have taught privately for over 20 years. Most recently I taught in a music studio in a store in Mexico, Missouri. Additionally, I have taught in my home in Kansas City, Raytown, and some in Odessa, Missouri. After attending the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire in 1970-1972 I attended Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana. Some of the children in my church took lessons from me while I attended college. When I graduated from Grace in 1976, I moved to Kansas City to live with my parents for a while and study at UMKC Conservatory. I taught piano in Overland Park in several homes and also at Pauline Wright Music Studio. My most exciting teaching experiences have been in a private setting. Several of my students have gone on to be very good pianists. Although I have not been able to track all of their careers I do know that when I teach someone they definitely learn the fundamentals of playing the piano. They learn to be expressive and to explore all styles of playing. One of my students from Mexico, Missouri has been in recitals that include performing at the Missouri Military Academy. He has become a fine pianist. While I taught in Mexico, Missouri I also had a young student who was the star in a variety show that was held at his middle school in Fulton. With me as their teacher, their technique, sight reading, and theory skills improved dramatically. At the present time I practice piano regularly and sing and do some directing in my church choir. I am also the substitute organist. At the piano, I am working on Debussy's Claire de Lune and Chopin's Ballade in G Minor. I love jazz and some classical rock. Playing jazz and pop tunes are part of my recreational musical experience. My favorite thing to do is play with my grandchildren in their back yard. I love baseball, volley ball and roller skating. How about you? Let me help you explore and discover what playing the piano can add to your life. Especially with a teacher who has such a diverse and exciting background. Cordially, Neena B. Hartshorn Musician and Teacher
1. Making my own schedule for starters.
2. Meeting talented people.
3. Having a choice of whom I will work with.
4. Unlimited possibilities of style and repertoire at my disposal.
She knows so much about music! All of her lessons were complete, and after each session, I felt like I walked away with more skill than I had when I walked in. I think her lessons even helped with my slight case of dyslexia.
She was inspiring and very knowledgeable. Neena is proficient in every area of piano. A very gifted pianist that desires to pass on her love of piano to her students. She expects her students to practice and keeps you motivated. I’ve also had the privilege of hearing her play in church and in recitals. She’s a brilliant musician!
The first time I meet a student, I try to find out why the student is interested in taking lessons and what previous experience they have had. Then, if it is possible, I ask the student to perform for me. I also encourage students to talk about their interests and educational goals.
As I learn the students aptitude I set goals that match their level and their age. Several things that will be emphasized in a lesson would include the importance of practicing regularly, a regular time and place for practice, and reading the lesson assignment each time they practice and following it carefully.
My goal for each student is that they become proficient sight readers, performers and well rounded musicians. They should be able to identify the elements of music including melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, and expression. We will also discuss styles and personal preferences that may include interest in popular, classical/traditional, country, or jazz and rock and roll.
If the student is discouraged or starts loosing interest I will talk to them and try to find out why. This may also include talking with their parents to seek their support and finding out what may be the best path to follow for their child.
I started studying piano at the age of 9. I took lessons up through college and gained a bachelors degree with piano emphasis. During my college study I took private voice also. Later I took graduate level piano, voice, and conducting. I also studied piano literature and music history.
I have 40 hours of graduate level study through two area schools, the University of Missouri Kansas City and University of Central Missouri. At the University of Missouri Kansas City I studied with Martha Longmier and Dr. Paul Summers. I also studied with Dr. Ruth Ann Rich.
I charge $30.00 for half hour lessons and $55.00 per hour. The lessons are paid for one month in advance.
I started teaching in my home during high school. I taught my sisters and some of the neighbor kids.
I have worked with all ages of students from 5 to 45.
My students have also been from varied backgrounds and abilitly levels.
I taught a blind girl to play the violin. She went on to be successful and is still playing.
One of my adult piano students later helped her husband in his ministry by playing the piano for him when he conducted services.
Recently, I also heard that one of my students from the past was invited to perform at the local Military Academy and had been working on peices that show great talent and facility.
I started teaching my granddaughter to play the piano. She was so much fun to work with. She was interested and had many questions. I was so surprised and pleased.
Make an appointment for you and your parents to visit the teacher in person. Find out what kind of materials the teacher uses to teach. Talk to other students and try to get referrals if you can.
Check local schools and music stores for names of teachers in the area. They keep a log and will be able to help you get started. Take time to go on line and google information about area teachers of music as well.
Stay positive and keep an open mind. Set realistic goals for yourself and remember that practice makes perfect.
How much time do you have to dedicate to learning the instrument you are interested in?
Do you have enough money to pay a teacher?
Are you ready and willing to learn?
Do you have the instrument you want to learn in your posession or do you have a way to purchase it?