We wanted an instructor that could teach my sons (5 and 8 at the time) to become the best pianists and musicians they can be, without hurting their love of music. My older son had outgrown his last (wonderful) school, and we needed someone who was skilled enough to instruct him for years down the road. And of course, because my boys are still children, we needed someone patient and kind.
Teacher Marie is that piano teacher.
She has the technical chops: studied at the Tchaikovsky College of Music, MA at CSU Long Beach, followed by 15 years of teaching. Just as importantly though, she's kind, engaging and patient while still correcting and teaching my kids with gentle firmness – she really seems to know and appreciate them as individuals.
My wife is the musician in the family, and she also tells me that the curriculum they're working from is an excellent one, and far better than the one she started with.
Her studio is a bright airy space surrounded by a garden in a quiet neighborhood. She holds recitals for her students (which we like) and supports her students in achieving music exam certifications (which Marie allows parents to opt out).
It's been over a year now, and the boys have grown so much in that time with Marie.
Finding a piano teacher can be very stressful. Finding a great piano teacher often seems like an impossible task. Our daughter has had several other teachers in the past. The teacher needs to be firm, disciplined, knowledgeable, yet approachable and kind. Having the right chemistry between the student and the teacher plays a huge role as well. We were so fortunate to find Marie. We were introduced to her by a friend who spoke very highly of her. From the first lesson, Marie demonstrated her professionalism, knowledge, and deep passion for music. That moment, we knew that she was the fit for us. Previous teachers were less strict, with lessons being presented as "fun", and often lacking challenge and structure. We felt our daughter was not progressing. In contrast, Marie is very serious about providing proper piano instruction. She immediately focused on correcting the bad habits acquired previously. After barely six months, we could see the results. Our daughter's progress has far exceeded our initial expectations. We believe Marie's effectiveness of instruction was instrumental in our daughter's success.
Ms. Marie is an excellent teacher! I've studied with her for a few months now, and I've been seeing improvements with my playing. She is very patient; she always makes sure that I am playing in correct form, whether when I am practicing techniques or playing a repertoire.
Under her teaching, the student will be exposed to different periods of music, namely, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods. Giving the student an opportunity to understand and appreciate the difference between the genres. As for daily practice, it will usually consist of Hanon, etudes, scales, triads, and 2 or 3 repertoires. Ms. Marie will often spend first part of the lesson on the techniques then the other half going over the repertoires. She will also assign some written homework on music theory. When studying a repertoire, we often study the piece in a much deeper level, discussing the dynamics of each passages; I found this especially rewarding as I wasn't thinking too much about this when I play piano before. Now I can't help but to always be conscious about the dynamics when playing a piece, which often gives a drastic different on the performance.
Though I haven't attended one yet, Ms. Marie also hosts recitals regularly to showcase students' playing. Overall, I would recommend Ms. Marie to anyone who wants to learn piano.