Beginner-Intermediate Piano Lessons (Intro To Taubman Approach)

Beginner-Intermediate Piano Lessons (Intro To Taubman Approach)

5.0 (4)
1 hire on
1 employee
26 years in business

About this pro

AHHHHH!!! Piano with no pain--great gain!

I teach beginning and intermediate classical piano, Christian worship music, improv and a smattering of popular music with a strong emphasis on piano technique--using hands and body correctly. I incorporate the Taubman Approach into piano lessons; budding beginners and intermediate students gain a solid foundation of correct technique--using hands efficiently and effectively to play with speed, agility and accuracy. Fatigue, pain and discomfort are NOT necessary to play great piano! I also love to pass on improvisation skills to students. We play with NO PAIN--great gains!

Here's my bio:

As a child, I often struggled with fatigue and discomfort in my piano playing, until a God-send came into my life--Dorothy Taubman! As a teen, I began study under a Taubman Instructor, Mary Moran (now in Niskayuna, NY, Mary is the Co-Founder of the Golandsky Inst. Please look her up!). Very soon under Mary's instruction, I found I could play without pain or fatigue--the way piano should be! I eventually studied under Dorothy Taubman herself, for a season, and am so grateful to be able to pass on to my students the ease and comfort in piano playing I wish I'd had as a kid!

My musical education started with a hundred year old upright piano in our living room. I loved to pick out tunes and learned chopsticks for both hands from my Dad. My piano lessons started at age 5, and I quit more than once before it stuck and I became addicted! It was soon discovered I had a terrific ear, and my teacher found if she played any piece for me, I rarely needed to read the music! I could pick out tunes and improvise by ear.

In middle school, I really began to have difficulties as practice times increased to hours. I experienced great fatigue while playing, no matter how many exercises I did. My arms and wrists would even ache at night. I began to beg God for answers.

On a walk one sultry summer day, I happened upon a "Taubman Piano" sign. We thought it might be a grand piano for sale and investigated. What a boon to discover it was a piano "camp" specializing in a technique that helped pianists--especially injured ones! The Institute's summer sessions were hosted at Amherst College for a number of years, and I was graciously given a working scholarship and attended every year into my college years. I also studied privately under Mary Moran who lived in Albany, NY at the time. What a commute from Maine that was!--but my parents were very supportive and drove loooong distances so their daughter could play without pain. Not only did my new technique help me to play comfortably--I found I could play with more speed, power and accuracy than I ever had before! I also gained practical knowledge to prevent repetitive motion injury in everyday use of my hands.

As I earned my music degree at Mt. Holyoke College, the Taubman Approach was reinforced in my playing. Coincidentally, my piano professor there was also studying under a Taubman Instructor. The Chair of the Music Deptartment at Mt. Holyoke also granted me credit for private lessons under Mary Moran.

As I've taught over the years, I've watched my own students grow and learn to play easily and naturally--the way God intended!

New students get a free trial lesson. I have a Yamaha C3 grand piano in my private home studio. For smaller students, I use an adjustable foot bench with damper and unicorda pedals to maintain correct posture. 

Featured on the LIST OF BEST TEACHERS IN OUR AREA FOR 2021. See link below:

I love teaching--and I love making learning as pleasant as possible for my students. "Pleasant words make a man persuasive..." I love seeing my students grow in knowledge & enthusiasm for life & music! I believe everything is interconnected and I love seeing how the beauty & disciplines learned in music impact students lives for the better! Music is one of life's beautiful mysteries--how it touches and softens peoples hearts. I love the privilege of blessing people with some understanding of these mysterious vibrations in Creation we call music❣️

Read more about this pro


Montgomery, OH 45140
Email verified
Phone verified

4 Reviews


  • Silvana Hebert

    The lessons we received from Mrs. Haynes were by far THE BEST we’ve ever received. My children were always engaged. Mrs. Haynes had an amazing manner with both of my children and she was fantastic at monitoring the pace for their individual needs. I would give 10 stars if I could. You won’t be sorry

  • Susan Behar

    Very tailored to the students

  • Vivian He

    I loved working with Mrs. Haynes. She was a great piano teacher and taught me for 7 years. She was welcoming and patient when I was her student, and made me feel like a part of her family. I recommend Mrs. Haynes to anyone who is interested in learning how to play piano. She made learning easy and enjoyable.

  • Adarsh Suresh

    My experience was extremely positive. I learned how to play a lot of songs, both classical and interest pieces. While learning, I had a lot of fun because the sessions were interactive and in-depth, allowing me to gain more knowledge and improve my skills. Mrs. Charlotte made learning the piano a fun experience for me!

Photos & Videos


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

New students are given a free introductory lesson to get acquainted and assess their readiness. I teach in my private studio on a Yamaha C3 grand with an adjustable bench. An adjustable footstool with damper and uni corda pedals is used for students whose feet don't reach the floor.

New students are taught correct body and hand position, introduced to the keyboard, learn high and low, note names and finger numbers, and usually start with a lesson & theory book and an assignment notebook. Older beginners are given age appropriate books and materials. Ear training and music notation is introduced, and students with a creative penchant will be given opportunities to improvise and compose, and eventually to perform their own pieces. When sufficient skills are learned, students will begin traditional classical repertoire that suits their technical abilities (& often their whims!). I try to give students a choice in what pieces they play as they acquire proficiency.

Parents and siblings are welcome to stay and watch lessons in a comfortable waiting room directly outside my studio French doors. A restroom is nearby and students are required to wash hands before starting the lesson. 

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

I graduated cum laude from Mt. Holyoke College with a Bachelors Degree in Music with a focus on Piano Pedogogy. I did an independent study on Schenkerian Analysis (involved classical music theory) and also studied music composition and conducting. 

I started student teaching before I graduated in 1996. I studied privately under Mary Moran, Co-Founder of the Golandsky Institute, for a number of years, from my teens through college. I was granted credit by the Chair Of the Music Department at Mt. Holyoke for private lessons taken during college under Mary Moran, who was a Taubman Instructor at the Taubman Institute  (and had studied under Dorothy Taubman). I was also privileged to study under Dorothy Taubman for the summer season in 1996.

I attended the Taubman Institute two-week sessions held at Amherst College throughout my high school and college years and focused on learning the Taubman Approach both for myself and my students. I believe firmly that everyone who wants to can learn to play piano, and can learn to do it comfortably, without fatigue or pain. 

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

I currently charge $50/hr. pre-paid monthly or quarterly. Beginners often start with a weekly 30 min. lesson, and lesson length increases with proficiency. (Very young students can start at 15-20 min.) Cancellations must be made 24 hrs. prior to scheduled lesson. Canceled lessons can be rescheduled. Missed lessons will be charged full price unless adequate reason (emergency) is given. 

Sibling discounts are available, and special circumstances are also considered in lesson pricing. Music is a gift and should be affordable to everyone! 

How did you get started teaching?

My Dad played piano, guitar, double bass, electric guitar, and was the youngest violinist  of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra as a child. He often composed his own pieces, and I grew up listening to him play evenings as I fell asleep. Dad taught me chopsticks as soon as I could play on our 100+ year old Henry F. Miller upright. I started piano lessons at age 5, quit multiple times, and finally took off somewhere in middle school. I started teaching as soon as any kid wanted to listen, and was being paid to teach piano well before college. 

In my final year at Mt. Holyoke College, my piano professor (also a student of the Taubman Approach under Golandsky) had me do an independent study on piano pedagogy, and I obtained my first "official" student before I graduated.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with kiddos aged 4-60+ and especially enjoy giving students a firm foundation in correct technique and enthusiasm for music. I've worked with special needs students, including students with Down syndrome and deafness (yes! The deaf love playing piano too!). My youngest student was 4 when she started, and quickly learned to tell her right hand from her left--very helpful! 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

The year before I relocated to Loveland, Ohio, I had a student with Indian heritage whose family eventually moved back to India with a job relocation. This high school fellow started as a beginner and, before he moved away at the end of his first year of lessons, he was easily playing classical pieces. At the recital he performed, beautifully, a large section of a popular Yani piece from memory--no easy feat! He received my Most Improved Student Award and made his parents very proud. 

Another cherished student stands out in my mind--our little Chinese neighbor! I smiled at her antics one day as I watched her chase a butterfly on her front lawn, and got a vague feeling that she'd be my next student--and so she was! She was so tiny, we needed to buy an adjustable footstool and piano bench high enough to get her to the right position. In her first year, she sped through the lesson books right into Bach, Clementi and Mozart...In the next years she excelled at recitals, aced her level at the NYSSMA Festival, took on bigger and longer classical pieces and even taught herself how to draw beautifully. We marveled at how everything she put her hand to prospered! This sweet gal became an honorary member of our family, staying for meals and helping with our kids...she was there for us, even packing for us as we moved away to Cincinnati (my hubby had a job transfer). Her mom, a dearly missed friend, used to give us Chinese delicacies from her kitchen. This is what I love most about teaching--the eternal friendships we're gifted with as we enjoy music & life together! My students become my other children whom I love dearly! 

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

Look for a teacher who encourages you to sit at the correct height, doesn't make you curl your fingers, and who has an infectious enthusiasm for music (and is also a good role model). These things I aspire to!

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

These are some handy questions that can clarify things before you start piano lessons: 

1) Do I need to own a piano or is a keyboard adequate?

I would answer yes--you should own a PIANO, if you want to study traditional classical repertoire, and if you'd like to be able to play at length and for your lifetime. A piano is most helpful to get a student used to both the weight AND RELEASE of the weight of the keys that only an acoustic piano offers. Electric keyboards can offer "weighted" keys, even with an imitation bump at the point of sound, but NO electric keyboard has the slight release of weight after each key is depressed (after the point of sound, where the hammer inside an acoustic piano falls away from the string, making the key physically LIGHTER). This very slight release of weight makes a depressed piano key easier to hold down if you want, and makes it entirely much EASIER to play a piano than a weighted keyboard. Weighted keyboards are actually much harder to play than a piano because that weight never releases and you are constantly fighting it. I know this from personal experience, having owned both a very nice weighted keyboard and a grand piano. I also know what regular (non weighted) keys on keyboards are like--so entirely different to play than a piano. They're more like an organ. So if you'd like to learn to play piano, definitely get a piano to practice on! Electric keyboards can potentially send you to the doctor with tendonitis! 

2) May I use my current lesson books or should I change to my new teacher's? 

Not all lesson books are created equal, but I can tolerate many. If I find a lesson book is inadequate, I usually fall back upon Faber books or use traditional classical repertoire. I do allow students to pick pieces they want to learn if the piece suits their level of ability.

3) How much practice should I expect? How long and how often? And what kind of practice is most practical?

That depends a lot on your own goals. Your teacher hopes you can eventually learn, even memorize, the music you've been assigned. So being able to play a piece through a few times each practice session, and sitting down at your piano even a couple of times each day, can really accelerate your progress! Trying to get to it daily would be great, but even 4-5 days a week can work for some students. Beginning pieces are faster to learn, so practice sessions will be shorter, especially with youngsters! I'm happy if a kiddo can sit for 10 minutes, & slowly play through each of their pieces 2-5 times. Taking a break & coming back to play later is also much better than pushing through tricky spots with frustration, which creates tension that can cause fatigue or pain. Playing bite sized sections is good to get used to challenging spots, and playing everything slowly & steadily until your hands are comfortable with it speeding up naturally is also important. When it comes to speed, playing piano and cutting vegetables are rather alike-- if you go too fast too soon, you might get hurt! And do those things that your teacher recommended during the lesson--the notes & suggestions you have from lessons are usually most tailored to your needs...

By the way, remember to ask me why I don't require any exercises at the piano! You'll love the answer...

4) Should I make my child continue if they're not enjoying lessons?

Well... it's debatable. I recommend pianists should HAVE FUN! Music is enjoyment based--it should give both the player and those listening pleasure. (Yes, some pieces are easier to enjoy than others!) Yes, it does require discipline, but ultimately it gives pleasure! Like anything in life, you reap what you sow, and if you stick to it, with a friendly knowledgeable teacher, you're going to eventually get payback! So many folks regret quitting childhood lessons, because they really wanted to be able to play for a lifetime! So if you like something about your teacher & can find something to keep going, continue those lessons and keep practicing--you won't regret it! And I would recommend changing to a different teacher first before allowing a child to opt out of lessons. Maybe your child could thrive with another teacher!