Retha Palmer Piano Studio

Retha Palmer Piano Studio

5.0 (6)
1 employee
31 years in business

About this pro

I have a Master's degree in Piano Teaching, and I have taught piano in the Portland, Oregon area since 1992.  My students ages are 5 to 80.  School age children play in 2 recitals per year: winter recital and June end-of-school year recital.

I enjoy seeing and working with a diverse clientelle, and I provide a happy learning environment.  Each student is an individual with particular learning styles.  I want each student to have confidence, poise, and ease of playing piano.  I also get to know the family and try to be flexible while sticking to a good teaching schedule.  They also teach me to be a better teacher.

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Portland, OR 97213
Email verified

6 Reviews


  • Amanda Shwetzer

    My son has taken lessons from Retha for a year. He started off lessons learning the theme song to Star Wars. He is now learning piano technique and theory. Retha is encouraging and supportive during each lesson.

  • Cynthia

    Retha is thoughtful, kind and rigorous. Both our children have been her students for years and love piano!

  • Penny Ross

    Retha has been providing piano lessons for our daughter for 9 years. She has challenged our daughter to explore and be excited about a variety of genres of music. She has paced the complexity of arrangements as our daughter progresses her technique. She provides a traditional structure and discipline to learning while being warm and nurturing. We are so grateful we found her when our daughter was just 4 years old.

  • Julia O'Donovan

    Retha is able to connect with each student, makes each student feel special and welcome. She has a great knowledge of piano pedagogy and is able to bring out the best in each student. Also, her flexibility is greatly appreciated. My sons have been taking piano lessons for many years and we are very happy with their progress.

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

I like to interview the student to get to know them a little and see how we can work together.  I want them to feel at ease.  Often we can get started right away with the first introductory lesson.

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

Masters in Music Education in Piano Pedagogy

Bachelor of Music in Music Education with Piano Emphasis

Additional studies in Journalism and English Literature

Music and English teacher in Oklahoma Public Schools

Substitute Teacher in Portland, Oregon Public Schools

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

$44/hour, arranged according to 45-min., 60-min., and 30-min. lessons per week.

How did you get started teaching?

I began teaching piano in the Oklahoma City area, while working on my piano degrees, and while holding down secretarial positions at University of Oklahoma.

What types of students have you worked with?

I've taught students who basically love the piano and all kinds of music, wanting to progress in technique, theory, performance, piano skills. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

We had our June 2017 recital at Michelle's Pianos here in Portland.  I had 100% participation of school-aged students and their families.  Students played very well--solos and duets--music ranging from popular to classical.

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

My advice would be:  Is piano playing something you will be happy spending time devoting to and enjoying your progress, practicing at least 5 days per week with focused intention.  The amount of time spent practicing depends on your personal level.  Also, do you feel comfortable working with the teacher?  Does the teacher help you feel confident.

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

Are you ready to take lessons?  Do you have a piano or digital piano in good working order and able to commit to daily practice and weekly lessons?  What are your goals with music and piano playing?  What types of music do you like?  How can the teacher help?