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 a Professional Kawai.
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.