Richard Stuart Piano, Guitar, Bass And Music Education
I teach to the person and not by a single method. I also teach improvisation and playing by ear... something that many music teachers leave out of their curriculum. Also being a performer and composer I have an interesting view of music and how the industry effects it.
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I begin with a discussion to evaluate the students experience, knowledge, and goals. I test the student for hearing pitch and pitch changes. We do some simple exercises and tests to determine a plan to move forward. I have found that all students are unique, have different ways of learning, and different goals. I customize my lessons to the student. I never teach in a "cookie cutter", "one size fits all", way.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I started studying music, with formal lessons, more than 50 years ago, and I am still learning. My entire life has been devoted to music and music education. I have performed all over the world, with all different types of acts, playing many different genres. I am still a performing musician and a composer. One of the greatest things about music is that as you grow older, you improve. I am a better musician than I was 30 years ago.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
My Rates are $60 per hour; $45 for 45 minute lesson; and $30 for a 30 minute lesson. All of these rates are for lessons at your address. I do have a 24 hour cancellation policy, but I am flexible if the student is ill.
How did you get started teaching?
I started teaching my sons when they were quite young and really enjoyed it. I have always felt that I had an obligation to pass on my knowledge and technics. I enjoy teaching and working with my students. There is always a lot of laughter during my lessons. It is quite fulfilling when you can help someone master a piece and achieve their goals.
What types of students have you worked with?
My students have ranged in age from 3 1/2 to their 80's. I currently teach college professors; a recntly retired school superintendent; a young lady who is an aspiring singer who is learning to accompany herself and record her material; some very talented teenagers who are learning to compose and produce their own music; high school students who want to prepare to study music in college; talented 6 year old who practices and improves every lesson. I do not continue with students who don't practice. They do not improve and there's no point in taking lesons if the student doesn't ever practice.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
One of my students, who has been with me for about a year, has almost mastered Beethoven's Fur Elise. She has been working so hard and there are passages that are so fast and so difficult. During her lesson last week I just closed my eyes while she was playing the piece and it was truly beautiful and delicate, and she had put her heart and soul into this. So exciting, pleasing and fulfilling to me as a teacher. I also had a young man, a junior in college who is in theater, learn to accompany himself on piano this summer. We worked on several pop tunes and show tunes and in a relatively short time he had mastered songs such as Billy Joel's Piano Man. Kudos to the young mans work ethic.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Make sure that your teacher is equipped to teach you as an individual. Many music teachers start all students with book one, on to book two, etc. Playing by ear and improvising are very important aspects of music education that too many teachers ignore. Today's musician has many resources on the internet. Teachers must be caught up to the 21st century in their teaching.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
How will you teach? What styles can you play or teach? What is your experience? Do you have qualified reviews from students? Are you a performer? What is your lesson plan for me after evaluating me?