Piano Lessons With Karen Bentley
I began performing professionally at age 9 and teaching at age 13. Pianist to Oklahoma City Ballet, former pianist to numerous international arts organizations (including Tulsa Ballet and the Vienna International Singers), I have taught the winners of several international competitions as well, including winners of the Naftzger and Fischoff prizes. I have performed at the United Nations, Hofburg Palace, Schoenbrunn Palace, Palais Palffy, and Konzerthaus Wien, among many other European halls. My students have played in such honored venues as Carnegie Hall and Albert Hall. After living for nearly a decade in Vienna, Austria and performing in Europe, I have returned to accompany Oklahoma City Ballet and offer lessons in the Edmond-OKC area.
I am excited to see what my students have done from week to week!
Able to read music
Student has instrument
Interested musical styles
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
At enrollment we discuss musical tastes and experience, then schedule lessons and make plans for practice. Any new materials are prepared within that week for pick-up. Fees are discussed and the student chooses to pay either monthly or by semester (the latter including a discount) and pays fees. With absolute beginners, some keyboard geography will be explored and enjoyed. More experienced students may present works they already know and discuss goals. It is a relaxed, happy time to look ahead and get to know one another.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I attended the Juilliard School in New York. I have taught since I was quite young and have performed since age 9, both in the United States and Europe. My piano teachers included Sascha Gorodnitzski, Rudolph Firkusny, and Andrzej Wasowski, among others. My composition, orchestration, and conducting education included classes and lessons with some of the most eminent performers and teachers of our time, including Aaron Copland, Elliot Carter, Vincent Persichetti, David Diamond, Franco Autori, Stanley Wolfe, and Michael Cjaikowski. I have also been a ballet and modern dance accompanist since 1976, starting as pianist to Miguel Terekhov, Yvonne Chouteau, and Ko Yukihiro at the University of Oklahoma and continuing with dancers as extraordinary as Edward Villella, Marcello Angelini, Jimmy Gamonet, and Sir Frederic Franklin, to name only a few. I am currently pianist to Oklahoma City Ballet.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
Yes. There are more details in my personal responses, but the general rule is that half-hour lessons are $98 monthly and one-hour lessons are $196 monthly. Fees are due at enrollment; all fees are due in advance. Students may pay for the summer session, summer and fall, or school year in advance, with discounts for extended payment. I hope to encourage commitment. Music, you see, requires long-term study, discipline, and patience. It produces great joy and illustrates for the young a pattern for achievement.
How did you get started teaching?
I began teaching at age 13 after receiving numerous requests for lessons. I had appeared in many local and regional concerts and competitions by then and there seemed to be great interest in lessons. I found that I enjoyed teaching very much.
What types of students have you worked with?
People of all ages, following many different paths in music...
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Search for experience and love of the work!