Stephen Fandrich, Piano Lessons

Stephen Fandrich, Piano Lessons

1 employee
22 years in business

About this pro

I am a piano teacher serving Seattle's Capitol Hill area and have been lucky enough to be a performing musician and composer in Seattle and abroad for over 20 years. I graduated with a degree in composition from Cornish College of the Arts in 2000. I currently am focussed on improvisation and I produce a weekly house concert at my Capitol Hill studio featuring local creative visionaries of all improvisation generes, every Tuesday evening. I have also performed and studied, the sacred vocal and instrumental music of Central Java, in-depth, which has earned for me an unique training that is entirely outside of a Pop, Jazz, or Western Classical music experience. This training offers me the opportunity to listen to music and my environment with more global/universal ears, a quality that is not common among music teachers in the area.

My desire is to be kind and helpful to those seeking to improve their understanding of music and the piano, no matter their age or skill level. I also have a strong desire to offer my community an off-line experience and to come face to face with the greater community through music. You will find little but the most unique performances and recordings of mine on the internet, and a teaching style slanted towards music making with the body and acoustic instruments.

I am also intimate with the inner mechanisms of the piano having grown up as a member of a family of renowned piano technician's. I have learned to care for the piano as a technician and tuner for myself and for several other performers and venues in the area including Cornish College of the Arts and the dance dept. at the University of Washington.

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Seattle, WA 98122
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

The process begins with the desire to discover what a student can already do and to select a composition or portion of one that brings the spark of enthusiasm which also has within it a challenge and an opportunity to progress. It is the Student who chooses to learn or not. A beautiful or astonishing piece of music is what makes learning and progressing a result without goals or aspirations. 

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

I Studied Classical and Jazz piano and composition at Cornish College of the Arts. I completed my studies with a degree in composition. As a member of Gamelan Pacifica since 1998, I have studied in-depth the sacred traditional vocal and instrumental music of Central Java, Indonesia, bringing a more global/universal slant to my training as a musician and teacher. 

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

1/2 hour $50

1Hr $75

Students engaging in a weekly process must purchase 10 lessons in advance and are given a time slot of 1/2 hour to 1 hour. Each are given 3 months to follow through on those 10 lessons. 

1/2 hour is $500

1hour is $750

Individual one time lessons are more expensive. 

$60 1/2 hr $85 for 1 hr

The first lesson is free for anyone who commits to 10 lessons. So 11 lessons is what you'll get the first time around.

I don't schedule students back to back so that I have extra time for enthusiastic lessons that want to carry on beyond the alotted amount of time at no extra cost.

How did you get started teaching?

All kinds of people have been asking for lessons ever since I started performing.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have worked with people of all ages and skill levels. I help professional/advanced players to play with more power accuracy and less fatigue. I help beginning players to realize that to play the piano is not so hard. I help intermediate piano players to find great music that gives just the right amout of challenge and joy.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I produce a weekly house concert at my studio on Capitol Hill. It is called Spite House. Not for spite, or to spite, but in spite of, in Spite of the runaway development that has come to my neighborhood, in spite of the rising cost of living and more competitive attitudes that come with it. We as a community gather here, often, to hear and make music in a supportive listening environment. The experience of producing, performing and curating this event, now into a fourth year, has taught me to hone in on the feelings brought up at a gathering, on the feelings aroused by the artistic creation itself, and esspecially, those feelings brought into the room by the artist and others in attendence, as they are, just being. This small concert series exists largely outside of a competitive, commercial/entertainment inspired musical experience. Here, along side some very astonishing musical experiences, I have discovered many colorful, rich, and varied positive feelings that accompany creativity, openness and equality, and has been a perfect opportunity to connect with the community with music, simple humility and freindship.

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

A teacher is a person, just like you, who has been a little or sometimes quite a lot further down the path along which you, a student, are attempting to proceed. They are reaching back, offering their gifts to you. They offer an opportunity to learn and are not a theme park ride, a baby sitter, or social athority. Respect them, be kind, listen and finally do what they ask, and you will improve quickly, more quickly than you can imagine, even though neither you or the teacher are perfect.

A teacher knows far more about what you are capable of than you. So believe them if they tell you that you can, and put aside your own self assesments. I would never have even thought to apply to music school until a recruiter said "let us decide." I trained myself, but I ended up receiving a two year Scholarship to study music at a world renowned music school.

Every inch of improvement is accomplished by you, the student, not the teacher, so whenever possible, commit to playing a piece of music or workbook or process that sparks your enthusiasm so that you will do it. Every student and every teacher is completely different, so don't expect a teacher to know completely what is best until they know you. Even then things change. What is best is discovered and is not spelled out perfectly in a book or workbook for anyone.

Be open in your mind, leave your expectations behind. There is no rush, no pressure, no goal to be attained except the feeling of exploration, good will and discovery and progress is the result, your own desire will determine how far you will take the information.

Learning to play music is a wonderfully unique opportunity with many benefits to your mind, body, dexterity and finally quickens your ability to learn. 

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

Do I have the time to spend at least 2hrs each week playing or practicing for each 1hr of lesson time?