I am an experienced music teacher with a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy degree from Catholic Universityof America. I have been a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music for over 15 years. I have been Past President of the Philadelphia Music Teachers Association for two terms. I also am Program Director for the Northern Delaware Valley Chapter of Music Teachers. I have taught at Mount St. Joseph Academy and other local high schools. I have also taught at Chestnut Hill College and Cabrini College. I received the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association Distinguished Service Award in recognition of service and dedication to PMTA and to the music teaching profession.
My students take part in many festivals and recitals throughout the year. Last year all of my students received High Honors for their performance in the Spring Festival held at Temple University's Rock Hall. I incorporate Theory instruction into the lesson. I also have two Studio Recitals each year which are held at Springhouse Estates.
I am an accompanist both in piano and organ. I also participate in Collaborative Music Making with students.
I love playing the piano as well as teaching others how to play the piano regardless of what is their level. It is my joy to see the student grow from the very beginnig stage of music through Elementary, Intermediate and even Advanced levels of achievement. Many of my students have been with me from First Grade to Twelfth Grade. Some go on to Major in music in College. I look forward to seeing my students come each week for their lesson. And since I am fortunate to have a Steinway Grand Piano (as well as an upright Yamaha), I think my students are happy to have the opportunity to play such a fine piano.
I have been taking lessons with Marilyn for a few years now and everything has worked out great! She is kind, a very experienced piano player and teacher, and can always help you improve your performance.
Marilyn is an excellent teacher. She has great patience and listens carefully to feedback. She considers her students' strengths and weaknesses when choosing music for lessons. She is very knowledgeable about music and teaching and uses her knowledge and experience to enhance the skills an abilities of her students. She is flexible with lesson times, doing her best to accommodate complex family schedules. I would highly recommend her to those seeking a well qualified professional teacher.
Marilyn teaches piano with an incredible sense of passion and professional insight. Not only have I learned how to develop my technique through her lessons, but I have also learned how to develop my own musical expression and identity. Through her personalized lessons, one learns how to become a strong and confident performer. In addition to the performing aspects of her lessons, Marilyn also emphasizes the importance of music theory to her students. This approach to teaching develops well-rounded pianists who are able to speak of their craft intelligently and logically and therefore perform to the highest degree. Her service and dedication to teaching music could not be better, and she has instilled in me the greatest passion for music that could not be found anywhere else.
I have been a student of Marilyn's for 9 years now, I have thoroughly enjoyed all of it. I have learned so much due to her. Great teacher!
The process would be based on the age of the student and whether or not the student has had any prior study of music.
I usually ask the new student what is his/her goal in taking piano lessons - What they would like to achieve? And of course, whether the new student is young or older the student would have to become acquainted with the piano and understand the keyboard and eventually learn the names of the keys, through the recognition of 2 and 3 black keys. The basics, such as posture at the piano, good hand position and the beginning of note reading, whether through Intervals or names of notes on the staff. Rhythm would be a big part of that first lesson, whether it would be echo clapping or actual clapping of a phrase. If I am teaching a young child using the Suzuki method, note reading is delayed until later since in this method, songs are taught by rote. If the beginner is an older student then we would use a method book that would suit the age of the older student. Whatever the age of the student, we would discuss practice goals and mention the importance of having a schedule for practice. I would try to help the student to set up a practice schedule.
If the student has had prior study of piano I would listen to a piece that the student could play and then determine what level he/she is on and then give the student appropriate repertoire.
My Master's degree from Catholic University is in Piano Pedagogy, which means the teaching of Piano. I attend many conferences and workshops throught the year on a local, state and national level. I belong to two Teachers' organizations which host prominent clinicians who discuss topics which are of interest to music teachers. I am also a Judge for the Guild Auditions each year and I adjudicate for local festivals.
The price for the lesson depends on the length of the lesson.
Most students take a 45 minute or 1 hour lesson. For the very young beginner the lesson is 30 minutes until such time that the student can move into a 45 minute lesson.
I refer to my payment as tuition rather than a lesson. The tuition is based on a 4-lesson a month plan. Most months have 4 weeks, but some have 3 weeks and some have 5 weeks so it usually balances out to an average of 4 weeks a month. I expect the payment for lessons at the first lesson of each month.
When I was in High School I was very involved in the music program. I was the accompanist for all of the Musicals, played for the Glee Club and Choir and was taking piano lessons during those 4 years. After High School I studied at the Phila. Musical Academy on Spruce St. in Philadelphia. (now known as the University of the Arts) and then graduated from Chestnut Hill College with a Bachelor of Music. Subsequently, I began teaching piano. My Graduate studies were centered on courses related to all aspects of piano.
I have taught numerous students of all different types.
I have taught students as young as 4years old up to adults. I have taught one autistc student who went on to be one of my test students.
My students have been of various cultures, ethnicity and all races. Despite the age or difference in background there was one common desire and that was to make music through piano. Some students are more outgoing and others are more reserved, but when they play the piano they are all becoming their best selves.
An event that I always enjoy is one that takes place every 2 years at Jacobs Music in Willow Grove. This is hosted by the Phila. Music Teachers Association and the Northern Delaware Valley Chapter. It is called "Day of Collaborative Music", in which our chapters celebrate the importance of "music making". The only requirement is that it must be a performance of at least two people. It can include groups, ensemble, duets and trios; any instruments are welcome. Teachers, students and parents are all welcome to perform. It can be teacher with a teacher, student with student, teacher with a student, etc.. It is always a fun and enriching day. The nest Day of Collaboration will be on Saturday, January 21, 2017.
Another event that I am fond of is the Salon Musicale in which teachers have the opportunity to perform for each other alone or in ensemble in the home of a member. The Salon is open to all members. I am happy to perform in this event each year either performing a solo or playing a duet with another teacher.
I would want the potential student to look on this adventure as something that can be fun but more importantly can be one of the most rewarding and enriching activities of your life. Music is a skill that can be acquired. And like any skill that one is pursuing there are building blocks or steps that must be met in order to ultimately reach the final goal. If a student has a solid foundation he/she can eventually play anything. That is why I have all students playing scales and chords so that they can have a better understanding of the pieces that they are playing. If you give it your all (and sometimes that might seem hard) the results will be well worth the effort. For parents, it is important to be involved in your child's progress and their weekly assignments (especially for the younger child). Also, a good instrument encourages the child!
What is your mindset as you think about piano lessons? Are you approaching this with "I will just take for a year or two or am I going into this for life?"
Am I willing to commit to a practicing schedule, knowing that good practice, that is, working repeatedly on something that your teacher has assigned, will make me more proficient?
Am I really serious about the study of music? If the answer is "yes" will I take all the steps necessary to implement this?