Steve Benson was the pipe organist at my childhood church; in fact he's served as head organist for many churches during his career. I began piano lessons with Steve and was soon playing some of J.S. Bach's simpler pieces. In a nutshell Steve is a master pianist, organist and classical virtuoso. He is, for instance, largely regarded as a Bach fugue master; anyone who has labored to play just one fugue will know what this means. Overall, Steve's teaching style is as fluid and methodical as his playing. I'll never forget his insistence on mastery of scales! Undoubtedly a steward of this mighty instrument.
Mr. Benson is very deliberate and knowledgeable in his method, which at first may seem too slow in producing results, i.e. the student playing recognizable songs. In fact, I myself was skeptical at the outset since my girls seemed to be learning at a slower rate than their peers studying at different studios. However, in under 2 years, the brilliance of Mr. Benson’s way was abundantly apparent. With proper fingering, proper posture, and the proper reading of music notes, time signature and dynamics, my girls can now out-perform all of their contemporaries; and further, they can sit down to a new piece of music with confidence and work it out in no time, even if they have never heard it!
I provide individually personalized professional instruction based on the background and goals of each student. My training as a teacher and as a performer is based on classic Western European pedagogical foundations. I was a student of two of the pre-eminent teachers (piano, organ, composition and classical improvisation) of the Washington, D.C. area from 1985 - 2002. My teaching studio is one of the most fully complete in the area, with two Steinway B pianos, a full MIDI recording suite, electronic classical organ and 2 manual harpsichord. I am a member of all of the major music teacher organizations in the area. Each lesson with me is individually recorded in an assignment book so that practice goals clearly guide my students through their week's practice sessions.
I most enjoy witnessing the solid progress that my students achieve -- especially when they improve in their sight-reading skills and musicality. When a student is proficient enough, it is a pleasure to provide accompaniment for their pieces (when appropriate) on my second Steinway. Several of my students appear each year in a local music festival. I am especially pleased when students become able to read and learn a score on their own. Rhythm and ear training are both important aspects of my work with students.