Instead of using just one piano method book with all students, at KeyNotes Piano Studio, I match the individual student with one of several method books, as well as additional materials. This is because I firmly believe that each student is unique and will benefit most from an approach that suits her learning style. For this age group, I use one of two method books.

Piano Adventures has set a new standard for a new century of piano teaching. It is fast becoming the method of choice at leading university pedagogy programs and major teaching studios around the world. The music of Piano Adventures is eminently musical. A method can only be as good as its music, and the music of Piano Adventures shines. The course dovetails technique and artistry so that the teacher may bring out maximum expression in the student’s playing. Parents notice the musicality; students thrive on the musicality.

The PreTime to BigTime Piano Supplementary Library correlates with Piano Adventures to provide a broad selection of music to meet each student’s interest at the precise level of difficulty. With styles that include Popular, Rock ‘n Roll, Classics, Jazz & Blues, Ragtime & Marches, Children’s Songs, Favorites, Hymns, and More Popular, teacher and student can choose the style that best suits the student’s interests and abilities, and be assured that it is arranged to meet the pedagogical demands of the level. PreTime to BigTime offers the right fit between student interest and student repertoire.

Alfred’s Premier Piano Course is an intervallic method that uses landmark notes to teach reading but does not go so overboard on the landmarks that it creates drudgery for the student. Rhythm is taught through groups of rhythm patterns to help students feel the flow of the meter. To play musically, students must learn using these patterns, rather than thinking of individual note values. Lesson, Performance, Theory, Assignment, and Christmas books, as well as flashcards, MIDI disks, Technique, and a unique At-Home Book, are available at the early levels.


I place a great deal of emphasis on music theory as a part of learning piano. At KeyNotes Piano Studio, theory is taught one-on-one, not by sitting in front of a computer. Existing theory books from the two courses mentioned above are complemented with additional worksheets available on the studio’s website, and elsewhere.


I have been lucky to have as mentors some of the most prominent concert pianists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and I understand the importance and double meaning of technique. Piano technique is our control over our instrument, but it is but a means to an end: music. A robot can achieve technique without musicality, but the music it produces will not speak to us.

I work diligently to convey the building elements of technique to my students, regardless of their level of ability at the instrument.

Technique consists of two critical aspects working hand in glove. The ability to identify a work’s essential expressive qualities and the musical problems they pose, and to realize the first and solve the second by those mechanical/physical means specific to both the player and the instrument played (in our case, the piano), with the least possible effort expended for the most significant potential yield of expressive effect appropriate for both the work and instrument in question.

These two are mutually dependent and cannot be separated. Any definitions of technique—and there are very many—that only address the mechanical and physical, miss the point and are misleading, resulting in a performance practice that sounds as mechanical in execution and devoid of musical intelligence as the single element it addresses to the exclusion of everything else.


Lessons for this age group range from 45-minutes to 1 hour long. Also, students perform in group classes, masterclasses, recitals, festivals, and competitions