Classical Piano Teacher

Miss Esther's Piano Study

Irvine, CA

34 years in service

1 employee

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“SCHOLARSHIPS* FAMILY DISCOUNTS* -INQUIRE-”

About Miss Esther's Piano Study

hired 24 times on Thumbtack

I am a highly seasoned professional, Classical teacher and performer. My emphasis is upon technique, precision, and performance. My students range from 6 to 66. I train, mentor, and guide Pianists to become excellent and articulate in piano performance with love and passion for Music. I do not cross-over to other genres, please. Jazz is a definite specialty and Classical is, as well and I have not been trained as a Jazz Musician.

I bring great compassion and love to the bench. Further, moral and ethical standards for me are very high. As a trained family therapist, I bring knowledge and insight to the inner workings of each and every student I teach, helping them to reach their fullest potential.

My studio is intentionally small, so I may work very closely with families, honing the skill of each student. We become family and share great laughter and Joy!

I have taught for 38 years to hundreds of students. Some have entered music conservatories or university music schools. As their teacher, I leave no stone unturned. My students would term me as very loving, a lot of fun, and firm. I am neither a lazy nor undisciplined teacher, and I ask that of each and every student who comes to me for the study of this great, passionate instrument.

Once a year the Students desiring perform their Spring Festival Recital and it is all success-oriented. There is lots of smiles, applause, support, and goodie bags. It is their Showcase and they shine!

Adult beginners and those adults who have played in their youth are a particular interest for me, as a teacher. Adults, almost more than the children, need extra care and extra encouragement to overcome the obstacles of being taught something of their past or something very new and difficult. The Adult learn exceptionally fast for all cognition and language skills are in place. Communication and understanding is there, already.

Myself, as a baby-boomer, realize that we boomers have now time to learn a new, mind-expanding activity, as the Piano. As an instrument which uses both hemispheres, the Brain receives a real workout. That workout serves to help stave perhaps dementia and memory loss, as science has revealed.

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Scholarships are available, as well as family discounts. Also, sliding scale is available.
No one is ever turned away for lack of funds.

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Location

10 Market Place
Irvine, CA 92602

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Reviews

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  • 5/5 stars November 5, 2014

    For more than two years I have taken piano lessons from Esther Sanborn and I can say that I am quite pleased with my growth and progress. Let me preface this by saying that I am an older adult and have over the years developed bad habits in my technique. Ms Sanborn helped me correct these with her unending patience and insight.

    I love her insistence on good technique, ensuring that her students become better players. She is very respectful of my personal taste in the classical music that I choose to play, and has always been very encouraging whenever I express doubt about my abilities.
    Esther Sanborn is a true professional who knows music, and her love of the piano is palpable. It makes each lesson a joy.

  • 5/5 stars November 4, 2014

    My daughter has been going to miss Esther practice for a little bit more than a year. Miss Esther is very good with kids, patient, and can keep my daughter focused for 45mn, which is pretty hard ! She has improved dramatically faster than what she did previously in a more "normal" setting.

    My daughter always enjoys her lessons.

    And, my husband also appreciates her flexible schedule !

  • 5/5 stars November 3, 2014

  • 5/5 stars October 29, 2014

    I have been taken class with Miss Esther for 3 years, loved the class every time, especially the flexible schedule.

  • 5/5 stars October 26, 2014

    My daughter has been taking piano lessons from Miss Esther for three years. She simply loves going to the lesson each week. Miss Esther is doing a great job in keeping my daughter motivated. Each kid is different and a special teacher your child deserve is one that would emphasis more on your child's well-being and love for music than the pursuit of Certificate of Merit, a yardstick that more often than not makes kids hate music in the end.

    Thank you, Miss Esther.

  • 4/5 stars October 25, 2014

    Miss Esther is very passionate and knowledgable about her work. She encourages her students to do well. My son loves taken lessens with her.

  • 5/5 stars November 2, 2013

    Miss Esther is a wonderful teacher to work with. Her work is thorough and complete. She really gets down to the details about playing techniques. Strongly recommended.

  • 5/5 stars March 23, 2013

    I am eight years old and I have been going to Miss Esthers studio for piano lessons ever since I moved over to California with my family. She is a very good teacher and has a very clean studio and house. She also has a cat named Pumpkin! Miss Esther is very nice and encouraging. She lets you have your choice of pieces too. I really enjoy playing duets with her. I love it when I go to her classes and I am looking forward to it every week.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on March 24, 2013:

    Thank you so much, darling, for your very kind and well written review! I, as well, look very much forward to your Lessons and Pumpkin listens, too. :) You are growing into a wonderful Pianist and I see how very proud your Parents are of you!! The Recital piece you selected will wow the Audience in June. Thank you again and Blessings!

  • 5/5 stars March 17, 2013

    Ms. Esther is a very enthusiastic and passionate piano teacher. My 2 girls (7 and 12) are having a lot of fun learning piano with Ms. Esther. They enjoy her kindness, patience, and more importantly, her appreciation for classic music.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on March 21, 2013:

    Thank you so very much for blessing me and my Practice with your two outstanding Students! Both girls are disciplined and eager to work to perfect pieces. How I look forward to their lessons each and every week!

    Miss Esther

  • 5/5 stars March 8, 2013

    Miss Esther is a great piano teacher. Both of my kids (age 10 and 7) like her. She is strict and descipline and at the same time very focusing on developing the kids' appreciation and passion for classical music.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on March 9, 2013:

    What a delightful and energetic Family!! Both Children are growing musically and how I enjoy to work closely with them. We are working toward their Recital and how exciting it is!! Scales are going well and theory, too. Thank you so much for the pleasure of teaching your wonderful and well-mannered Children!

    Miss Esther

  • 1/5 stars March 7, 2013

    She is very not familiar with the teaching skills. She is very calculating about her time. She looked at the clock all the time when she was teaching. When I asked her to teach me a new piece of music, she said she only teaches classic. She never knows anything other than classic music. She even did not want to tell me a lillte bit about what anything else than the the beginner book. She made me lost interest with piano.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on March 9, 2013:

    Lili came requesting an uplift to her older Music skills. I began just brushing up with basic Piano Technique and reading. Soon, she became bored with all that and brought in a book which contained 'Modern Jazzy' piano music. Immediately, I explained that I do not teach anything but what my Thumbtack Website states: CLASSICAL PIANO TEACHER. I cannot offer cross-over into other genre such as soft Jazz or the like. I suggested that Lili find another Teacher at which point she became upset and asked if I were firing her. No, I just stated that I cannot and will not instruct in a particular genre of Piano I have not mastered. Eventually, Lili, disappointed, exited my Practice. One note: I watch the clock as all Professional Teachers do because we must time ourselves to gauge the material being presented and needing work. Also, I must be mindful of my other Students coming in for their lesson, too. Lili took it personally, sadly. I hope she finds another Teacher with whom she can discover her brand of Piano music. I wish her luck and good will!

    Miss Esther

  • 5/5 stars April 6, 2012

    Great environment, a terrific teacher.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    Thank you so much and many Blessings!!

  • 5/5 stars May 23, 2011

    I have been bringing my son Neal to Miss Esther's piano classes for the last three years. His technique has improved dramatically over this time period and he really responds well to Miss Esther's teaching methods (patience, encouragement and attention to detail). I would highly recommend Miss Esther to any parent wishing to give their child and excellent grounding in music. On a personal note, I would also like to add that Miss Esther is a really nice person with a great sense of humor and clearly dedicated to her students.

    Thanks Esther for all your hard work!!

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    Neal is a wonderful young person and it is my honor to teach him these years. How many more years do I look forward to working with Neal and his great, supportive Family! Thanks

  • 5/5 stars May 23, 2011

    I have now been a student of Miss Esther's Piano Study for the last 2 1/2 years. I started knowing not a single thing regarding playing the piano, coming only with the desire to learn.

    My starting point and first instruction was finding the middle C note.
    I have progressed to playing original pieces by Chopin, Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn currently.

    While learning to play the piano is difficult, one thing is for certain, Esther will not allow a student to stagnant for long. She has mysterious methods and knowledge, able to work around difficult spots to motivate and energize. Miss Esther teaches with the most enthusiastic caring spirit, that it brings forth the joy and beauty of music.

    I have come to realize that joy and beauty by being one of her students.
    Esther is a fantastic and wonderful teacher and will always bring out the very best in all her students.

    My progress has been absolutely amazing and being her student is a truly wonderful experience and a blessing as well. It has been and continues to be a phenomenal experience!!!

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    Thank you for the five star review! It is my honor to serve you! Many blessings.

  • 5/5 stars May 22, 2011

    As parents, we hope Iris, our 6-years-old daughter, build up her interest and comprehension in the music through the piano learning. We made a good decision to send her to Ms. Esther's piano studio, and she has enjoyed it since the first visit.

    Ms. Esther is not only an excellent piano performer, but also a wonderful teacher for the young learners. She is full of enthusiasm and very experienced in guiding Iris in the world of piano; she is very patient to correct any mistake Iris makes; she uses positive encouragement while enforcing her authority upon our naughty child during each lesson.

    It is a great pleasure to watch Iris's little fingers jumping over the keyboard and generating colorful music in less than a year.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    Iris is a wonderful and delightful young Student and continues to surprise me with her brilliant technique and interpretations. She is a true joy to work with!! Many Blessings.

  • 5/5 stars May 17, 2011

    Kaitlyn( my daughter) is really enjoy Miss Esther's piano lesson.She remember every sentence her teacher said to her. To me , that is very important. Esther is very open to her student, she will discuss the lesson with the student and parents,design the lesson plan base on individual's personality. Esther also encourage the student to explore their potential and guide them base on their own pace and thus make the lesson more fun to the kids.

    Kaitlyn's Mom

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    Kaitlyn is a highly responsive and intuitive learner of this difficult Instrument. I look forward to working with her in the years to come. Many blessings!!

  • 5/5 stars May 3, 2011

    Miss Esther is a wonderful teacher; she makes playing piano enjoyable and not forced.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    Thank you, dear Harper, for a heartfelt review! Much appreciation and blessings!

  • 5/5 stars May 2, 2011

    When you meet Esther for the first time, you can chat with her for 5 minutes, and feel like you've known her forever. Actually, I've known her since 2008, and I can honestly say she is a true professional in every sense of the word. When I first started my music education company, she interviewed with us to apply as a piano instructor. Boy, was she impressive! She knows her music theory, is experienced with students of all ages, and can teach like it's second nature (if you attend one of her recitals, you'll understand). Esther is an exceptional performer as well, and plays the piano with such feeling. Although, she ultimately decided to focus on her own business, separate from mine, we have made it a prority to keep in touch. Her and I seek advice from one another, and together we are a support group. Not only is she a great business colleague, she is an excellent mentor, and a wonderful friend. Indeed, I'm happy to have met her, and I'm certain we will always be friends. Esther, thank you for being my friend.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    What a generous review from a generous Teacher and friend. Thank you, Rodney of Virtuoso Music in Orange. Rodney is a friend and support as well. Thank you for your presence in my life! Blessings, Rodney!

  • 5/5 stars May 1, 2011

    My daughter has been taking piano lessons with Ms. Esther for more than two years. During this time, I have witnessed her fine qualities as a teacher. Ms. Esther is enthusiastic and passionate about music. She has imparted her love of music onto my daughter. Ms. Esther has always treated my daughter as an individual and customized her lessons according to her need. When my daughter performs well, Ms. Esther acknowledges her accomplishment. When my daughter struggles with a lesson, Ms. Esther encourages with positive and caring words. I highly respect Ms. Esther's natural gift for teaching.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    I thank you for such a wonderful review and it is my pleasure and honor to serve you, Kim. Thank you and many Blessings!!

  • 5/5 stars April 28, 2011

    Thank you for your patience and kindness with Thianne and Thylan for so many years. You are a wonderful and inspiring teacher. My daughters just love you and always look forward to their lessons.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    Thank you for your heartfelt and encouraging review! You and your husband have beautiful Children who shall always shine! Many Blessings!

  • 5/5 stars April 28, 2011

    June—April 28, 2011

    First, let me preface the following by stating that I am an adult student 55 plus.

    I have been taking lessons at Esther’s Piano Study for nearly a year. My start point was that of a novice….a newbie. I did not know a dot from a musical note, but wanting to play the piano was and still is a lifelong desire.

    She has brought me from a newbie to being able to sit comfortably at the bench and play some late intermediate literature in less than a year. I truly have progressed a very long way in a short time with her guidance.

    Esther is filled with enthusiasm, constancy in patience, persistence and can intuitively gauge the tempo of the lessons. She teaches with determination to draw upon all the beauty and color from my fingers that is possible.

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    Thank you, June, for your wonderful review and continued patience with this sometimes Impossible Instrument! Your tenacity and stick-to-it-ness is paying off quite well as you head nicely into Mozart, Schumann, and the Masters. Many Blessings!

  • 5/5 stars April 28, 2011

    We LOVE Miss Esther's Piano Study! Both my daughters have attended her classes and both showed immediate and astounding improvement. We knew the girls wanted to learn to play but other teachers and even professional companies could not bring out the deep appreciation for learning to play that Miss Esther has managed to instill in them. My 7-year-old is currently practicing for her first ever recital and she is so unbelievably excited. She consistently practices more than she is tasked to and practically devours her lessons. The level of excitement Miss Esther generates in her students is beyond compare. I wish we had found her years earlier!

    Esther Bullard S. from Miss Esther's Piano Study replied to this review on June 16, 2012:

    Thank you. You are a wonderful Family! Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

Question and answer

Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.

A. I am pleased to offer a superb Classical Program for all ages with Technique, Repertoire, Scale and Theory work. I offer Students opportunities to learn the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern Piano Masters.

Please, I am cannot teach Jazz, Pop, Rag. I specialize in Classical and am not able at all to 'cross-over' as a few Musicians and/or Teachers can.

In my Specialty, my Students are taught very succinct methodology and Technique to play their very finest for their lives!!

Music Is Joy!

Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.

A. The last two Students were wonderful Classically trained young people who wanted more knowledge on scales, and technique. They were from out of the Country and found me on Thumbtack. Each Student worked very hard with all the 24 Scales, harmonic, melodic, naturals, arpeggios, cadences which encompassed much work and many hundreds of hours.

Another Student, a older woman, Lilly, came and wanted to brush up her Piano Skills. She wanted to begin once again. She was open, at first, to the early books; but, grew bored soon with that. She desire 'modern jazzy' Music but I said I do not teach anything but Classical. Sadly, she left angry and not understanding we, Classical Musicians, sometimes do not 'cross-over' to other genres, such as 'jazzy'. I am a specialist. But, Lilly did not comprehend the difference between crossing over and specialists. We had a nice ending; but, she left very upset.

I am just a specialist and cannot do all types of Music. The western European composers are generally my area of expertise, with Tim Brown, Helen Marlais, Valerie Roth, and others, too, for the Post-post Modern era.

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. It is so important to have a 'meet and greet'. An 'over the phone' interview is nothing. One must meet me and see my serene and beautiful Studio with two Professional Yamaha Instruments.

Also, try to trust me. That is difficult for Families, I do realize. Sometimes, Families have had not so good experiences with Piano Teachers; however, not each Teacher is the same. So, trust.

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. I am extremely exacting in my work with Students. Students learn everything about technique and Repertoire which is possible. Each scale is learned and phrase work is done; all to prepare the Student for fluid and beautiful Artistry at the Piano. Fingering is highly valued and I am sure to make certain that fingering is always correct. Without exact fingering the Instrument is almost impossible to play.

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. I love working with Students and Music and the challenges that all of that brings! Music is passion and that comes across through my enthusiastic teaching and presentation of materials.

Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?

A. Fees: Money is never the first question. Personal chemistry is always addressed first. Money is last for I adapt to Families and their personal situation. No one is turned away from lack of financial resources, ever.

Scholarships are readily available!

Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?

A. As I move more and more into working with Adults, I do have an interesting story. A woman came to me and disclosed that she had a neurological illness which affected her short-term memory, most particularly. She had received some training in the past; but, as most adults, had lost all of it. Her motivation for the study of Piano was to strengthen her memory skills.

By and by, a few months past. I noticed that she did struggle to remember and recall issues around Piano and things in general. Because of a family issue, she needed to postpone lessons for a short time. I commented to her to think back when she arrived and tell me if anything has grown for her. Yes, she said, my memory skills have increased ten-fold. She felt it was the Brain work of all her practicing which, for her, produced such a change.

This woman is exceptional in that not many, if any, come with neurological problems; this story was just too good to not mention. I shows that the Brain, despite it all, will learn and re-learn amazingly well. This wonderful and talented lady certainly displayed that reality quite clearly.

Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?

A. In the very thick of Music; when Recital time is arriving; nerves are thin; fingers are sore: That is the time that I sense I shine the most for my beloved Students. Though I push them hard, I know precisely when to pull back, ease through, and lighten up.

I believe I have pocketed over 35 Recitals and I could count on one hand Students' breakdowns at the bench in Recital. It does not happen because they are so prepped and ready to go. Further, they know I stand a foot off to point a way, correct position, and make them shine!!

Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?

A. I come from a long lineage of Musicians, Artists, and Pianists. My Maternal Grandmother was a Concert Pianist and my Paternal Grandmother was a Jazz Pianist who played with some of the early great Jazz Musicians of her time.

I began lessons around 5 and as my mother stated to all: " Esther took to the Piano like a Duck to water"

I love what I do and will continue and on and on and on!

Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?

A. Each quarter I prep up a two or more Advanced or Virtuosic pieces for my Professor of Piano at University of California, Irvine. My Students are surprised when they learn that I have a Teacher, too. I explain that no one is ever that good to not need coaching in this Symphony of Instruments.

Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?

A. Certainly, a few things would apply here:

Become highly accomplished on this Instrument and the theory behind it. That takes a good 15 to 20 years right there. However, there are younger Teachers who are very good, on the other hand.

Second, a Teacher needs to be People and Service oriented. The teacher needs to remember that they are serving and not anything else.

Thirdly, try to not become too immeshed in Family problems, issues. Remember also a Teacher is hired to be a Teacher, not a friend, psychologist, or adviser on anything outside Music.

Lastly, keep strong boundaries with parents and Students alike. When and if the Student leaves, the Teacher will not sense any feeling of loss. If, in fact, the Teacher feels loss, then, there may be an issue for that Teacher around boundaries.

Q. What is your greatest strength?

A. While I have my Students for a short time or a long time, they sense an authentic love and caring attitude toward them. They are not a means to an end; i.e. procuring money. No, they are individuals needing tender attention and love just for the attempt of mastering this Instrument.

I have profound respect for all of them, either young or older, and my care for them they know is true.

Though I do care so deeply, there is no attachment to them. I cherish the time, did my work as well as possible, and when they exit my Practice I wish them happiness.

Q. Write your own question and answer it.

A. SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE UP TO 50% OFF REGULAR TUITION:

Our economy is very difficult now and I offer lessons to those who want them; yet, the ordinary prices 'out there' are way beyond the means of families.


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