I have 35 years of teaching experience, working with a range of students from school age beginners through university pupils and adult learners. I also am a professional pianist, accompanist and composer, comfortable and accomnplished in a wide variety of styles. My primary goal is to make lessons fun where students learn to play and understand the music I love to teach!
Sharing the love of music, interacting with people, and seeing their excitement about learning.
It was my good luck to be referred to Barbara Alex when I decided to become an “adult beginner” piano student. Barbara is patient, she always finds interesting repertoire that I wanted to learn (and that was appropriate for my level). She made me look forward to my lessons every week. If this were Yelp, I’d give her five stars!
I always look forward to my lessons with Barbara--talented, friendly, and patient.
I started taking lessons with Barbara after not having played much for 30 years. Barbara helped me correct bad habits and taught me techniques I hadn't learned before. And she found pieces she knew I would enjoy practicing. A plus is that she makes it all fun even while pushing you to do better. No rulers on knuckles here!
I have been studying with Barbara for over three years. As a late in life learner, I have appreciated her style and her tailoring of my learning process by her skillful assessment of where I am in the curve and what matches my learning needs at that point. She is an expert in providing the most important particles to attend to in improving my abilities to become proficient over time. I highly recommend her as a guide in the learning process of playing this wonderful instrument.
I don't have a "typical process" as each student is different. I ask a lot of questions to get to know them and to find out what piques their interest in learning how to play the piano. I give them a quick overview of the keyboard to teach them the names of the keys, incorporating a few brief comments about body and hand positions. We do some fun exercises so I can evaluate their ear.
I have a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from California State University, Northridge which included pedagogy classes. I have played in Gyorgy Sebok's master classes at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. His approach is similar to the Alexander Technique in that he teaches to best utilize the body in the most natural and efficient way as to avoid injury and stress. In addition, I have concertized as a solo pianist and accompanist in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain.
Yes. If the student comes to my studio, lessons are once a week. The fees are as follows:
45 minutes - $50
60 minutes - $60
I started teaching when I was 18 and stil living at home. My mother was a piano teacher and her studio was full so I helped out teaching several beginners along with a few adults who had various musical backgrounds.
I have worked with young children as beginners, teenage students, university students (including piano majors) as an adjunct at a university, along with class piano courses. I also have taught numerous adults as beginners as well as accomplished pianists.
I organized and performed at a fundraiser for a nonprofit at a popular restaurant in downtown Portland. I also enjoy playing house concerts, either as fundraisers for charities or just for enjoyment.
Also, when my husband was undergoing knee replacement surgery I spontaneously played a short performance on the piano in the hospital lobby. It helped soothe my nerves--and was appreciated by those around me!
Ask the teacher lots of questions, including teaching and performing backgrounds, experiences, and expectations. Most importantly, a student must feel comfortable with that teacher so both parties can benefit from a fruitful working relationship.
All students should ask themselves WHY they are seeking to take piano lessons. If the student is more advanced and essentially self- motivated, they should ask themselves what specific things they hope to gain, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and how and if that particular teacher will help them achieve their goals.