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Private Teaching

I teach a limited number of private students from my residence in central Vermont. I was a student of Angel Ramon Rivera, who was himself a student of a student of the great pianist Artur Schnabel. Many years after my student days, I learned that Schnabel was an advocate of the general philosophy that a teacher should try to help the student become a better musician first and a better pianist second, and I agree with that emphasis.

My basic approach to performing is to create an interpretation for each piece of music that is to be played, and once that is done, to decide on the best fingerings, pedalling, and articulations to most clearly support the interpretation. I believe it is important for the student to come up with their own interpretative approaches rather than to unthinkingly parrot whatever their teacher says. The best role for me as a teacher is to provide the student all sorts of different tools of piano playing techniques to help make an interpretive idea into interesting and beautiful sounds.

I typically charge $50 for an hour’s lesson (or $60 for an hour and a half) and the frequency of sessions I leave up to the student, although I do not prefer to schedule from lesson to lesson but to make a decision as to how frequently we will be meeting and then to schedule at least one or two months of lesson dates at a time. There will be certain weeks or parts of weeks that I will be unavailable for lessons due to my performance commitments.

I would also consider long-distance teaching by correspondence: if you have the ability to record yourself I would be willing to listen to tapes and send you written comments on your playing on a periodic basis. For this sort of service I would charge a lower rate of $30/hour for my time.

My education took place at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, the Fontainebleau School in France (where Nadia Boulanger taught), the Aspen Music School, Yale University, and Indiana University. All told, I had many remarkable teachers and over 10,000 hours of training. I feel the passing on of musical knowledge from generation to generation is an important part of the process of music and I feel since I have been so fortunate to have had the benefit of receiving so much knowledge about music, it is the right thing for me to do to keep the ball rolling and pass along as much as possible to others.

You can read more about my credentials by visiting my biography page and by generally browsing my web-site through the category headings at the top of this page. Your exact level of piano ability does not matter, but I do not accept students who cannot read music well.

In addition to teaching classical piano, I have also taught jazz improvisation, both to pianists and to singers and other instrumentalists. I can also be hired to coach classical and jazz ensembles if you would like my opinions on the sounds and presentation of a group rather than just an individual player.

To discuss becoming a student of mine, please call me at (802) 229-0984.