There is music in every child. The teacher’s job is to find it and nurture it.
The study of music can begin at any age. Some four-year-old children are
ready for formal piano study, while others benefit from focusing on
singing, moving to music, and using the xylophone as their motor skills
develop. The study of organ generally begins as early as age ten, with
piano study happening concurrently while organ technique is being developed.
Many adult students return to the piano after having studied as children,
while others enter Helen’s studio with no prior experience. Lessons range
from 30 minutes in length during the early stages of study, to 45-60 minutes
as the student progresses.
Folk songs initially comprise the bulk of teaching materials. As students
are ready, reading exercises, classical music, technical exercises and
jazz become the core of the curriculum. Major emphasis is placed on the
study of chords and scale patterns in ways that lead naturally to their
fluent identification and use in a wide variety of musical styles. Students
are given ample opportunity to define their own musical style and
encouraged to select pieces that simultaneously bring them joy in their
daily practice and lead to strong music literacy and ear training skills.
Teaching takes place on two well-maintained 7' grand pianos – a
Sauter and a Kawai; and a Walker tracker organ.
Formal recitals are presented each spring, and informal performances take
place in the fall and winter.