At Levin Piano Lab, located in Eagan and St. Paul, Minnesota, I am dedicated to keeping piano lessons fun and engaging. Both supportive and encouraging, I offer private lessons to students of all ages and levels, from beginners to very advanced. I believe in offering the highest quality, comprehensive approach to musical studies, including exposing students to the theoretical and historical aspects of music, as well as the joys of performing.
What is the best age to start piano classes? Basically, whenever your child is showing interest. Children as young as 4 can benefit from and have fun in lessons. When teaching kids, I incorporate singing, movement and rhythm games to keep the classes enjoyable and to take advantage of their natural tendency to learn through play. I encourage parental involvement in the lessons and especially during the practice times of young children to help them follow through on the goals we have established for that week.
Beginning students start playing music in their first lesson. They learn the basics while working on music that is interesting and appealing.
All of these are reviewed and reinforced with each piece of music the kids undertake.
As students master the basics, they are encouraged to learn ever more challenging and intriguing music from a wide range of repertoire, including Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary music as well as popular and jazz-inspired styles. In addition, they will explore musical structure, composition and music history as they learn these new and more complex pieces. Time is devoted during each lesson to teaching the specific skills they will need to advance to higher levels of playing.
An important part of learning to play the piano is practicing. We spend time in the lessons talking about how to practice effectively and efficiently. The students leave each week with specific goals to accomplish and strategies for how to accomplish them so that practice time is focused and productive. This leads to less frustration, more rapid advancement and a greater sense of pride in themselves.
Another important aspect of playing the piano is performing for others. Students are given the opportunity to participate in informal recitals and are also encouraged to share their music with family and friends on a regular basis. For those students who wish to pursue a more rigorous program, I will be happy to help them prepare for competitions and exhibitions.
I believe that my role as a music teacher is to treat each student as an individual and tailor lessons to his or her specific needs and interests as well as learning style. I want my students to develop their own personal ideas of musical works and to be able to perform them convincingly and passionately. To do this, I try to create a positive learning environment where students feel supported and secure and, at the same time, urged to move forward in greater mastery of technique, understanding of music, and personal and professional growth.
Learning to play the piano benefits children’s development in a variety of ways. The following is a short list of the many benefits that researchers have noted over the years.
Equally important, playing the piano provides a source of enjoyment and recreation that children can retain through their adulthood, and for the rest of their lives.