Piano Lessons With A Professional Musician

Piano Lessons With A Professional Musician

5.0 (7)
16 hires on Lessons.com
25 years in business

About this pro

I offer in-studio lessons and virtual lessons.  In-studio lessons are currently suspended due to COVID-19, but will  begin again shortly.  Virtual lessons are being offered to students 6 and older. 

I began playing piano by ear at the age of 3 1/2, listening to The Beatles, Broadway musicals, and other popular songs of the 60's, playing what I heard. By the time I was 15 and started taking piano lessons, my ear was so well trained that my teacher started me with "Fur Elise" by Beethoven, which I had begun teaching myself from hearing it on a movie soundtrack. I had been playing flute for 7 years at that time, and knew the basics of reading music, but had never played written piano music before. My piano instructor graciously allowed me to tackle a piece by one of the Masters right out of the starting gate! After 2 years of Classical lessons, I enrolled as a Music Education major at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where I took jazz piano, voice, ear training, arranging, theory classes, and pop songwriting classes, along with playing piano and singing in many varied ensembles. Through the years following my education at Berklee, I have played in a number of bands, cut a CD which got quite a bit of Northeast regional airplay, taught general music in an elementary school, and have been teaching piano privately, which is what I love most to do. I invite you to allow me to share my over 50 years of learning and playing experience with you or your child.

Teaching has always been my passion, whether my student is 4, 40, or 74. Seeing the joy in a student's face after they have worked on a technique, a small or major piece, or a theoretical concept and mastered it is extremely rewarding. I most enjoy imparting my love of playing, learning, and performing.

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Troy, NY 12182
Phone verified

7 Reviews


  • Arlene Whittingham

    Can't wait to get started for lessons. Will polish previous pieces, learn some contemporary "classical" ones, learn chords so I can play and sing all kinds of works, composition/theory work. So thankful to have all of this in one teacher.

  • Greg Mihalko

    Great customer service!

  • Alanah Keddell-Tuckey

    Mary Ann is true musician and, most importantly, a teacher. She is always honest and firm when she needs to be. She is flexible with competing activities and is infinitely patient. If it weren’t for her, my kids would have given up years ago.

  • Jing Mowry

    My boys have been learning piano with Mrs Barker for 6 months. Mrs. Barker is very patient with them and they have made great progress. I have not heard them complaining about piano lesson and practises which I think it says a lot

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

The most important thing to know before starting is: What does the student want to learn most? Is it pop music? Classical? Jazz? Learning to read staff music or chord symbols?  Interested in learning theory in depth? Ear Training? Maybe a little of everything?  Having a "Meet and Greet" with the student (and parent, if 17 years old or younger) before the first lesson gives the student time to express their desires, needs, and expectations, and gives me time to listen and prepare, and to establish an open, communicative relationship that makes its way into each and every lesson.

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

I was educated in Classical piano by Marie Antos who was a graduate of the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary.

I was educated in jazz piano by Craig Najar at Berklee College of Music.

I am self-taught in the areas of popular and rock music.

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

I charge a flat fee of $120 per month for students taking one 30 minute lesson per week; $180 per month for students taking one 45 minute lesson per month, and $240 per month for students taking one 60 minute lesson per week.

How did you get started teaching?

A friend asked me to teach his daughter how to play. I had two small children and was not working, so I began teaching her.  After a while, people started asking me to teach them and word of mouth grew my studio.

What types of students have you worked with?

Ages 4 through 71; beginners and intermediates; Classical, jazz, pop, rock; those who want to learn to read staff music only and those who want to learn to read chord symbols only or a mixture of both. Some want ear training, indepth theory, but whatever they want is what they get.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

A 70 year old student's first lesson.  Her mother was a concert pianist, and had given my student lessons as a child, but it was a difficult situation and the student didn't continue. At the end of our first lesson, she was able to play a very simple song.  Upon completing the song, she looked up to Heaven, called out, "Momma", and began to cry. It was the most touching moment of my career.

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

Ask questions, lots of them.  I appreciate having a conversation before someone hires me. I want them to be sure that I will provide all that they are looking for, that they will not be disappointed, and that they can be assured of having a relationship with me that goes beyond the keyboard.

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

- What is the reason you are taking piano lessons?

- What are you hoping to learn by taking piano lessons?

- What genre(s) of music do you most want to be able to play?

- What kind of time commitment am I looking at to meet my goals?

Lessons offered