Lara's Piano Coaching

Long Beach, CA

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

Stop dreaming and start playing. I can help you achieve nearly every piano goal you have. Together, we get you on the fast track to crush your goals as long as you’ve truly decided and ready to take on this dream of yours. As a results-based coach bringing 20 years of experience in piano theory, technique and performance to each session, my goal is to teach you to become independent of me, learn to read music, and play like you've always wanted to play. My approach focuses on your specific goals and reading music in order to build a strong foundation for you to understand music as a whole as opposed to just learning song after song. Too many teachers buzz through the basics leaving the student with an inadequate foundation. You end up learning piece by piece over months instead of truly learning music. My method is inspired by European classical training similar to the way Mozart taught Beethoven. The idea is that once the fundamentals are mastered, you'll be able to play a new piece in a fraction of the time it would take otherwise. Results are disproportionate! Please see my reviews. If this resonates with you, contact me today. Can't wait to meet you!

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

I am living out my dream and pursuing my passion when I teach and perform, so I do not even consider it a "job." Music is what I do with my free time AND "work" time.
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Location

Long Beach, CA 90802

Background check

Complete

Years in business

5

Number of employees

2

Times hired on Thumbtack

34

Reviews

22 Reviews
  • Tony Z. Jun 23, 2017
    Lara's program emphasizes the importance of knowing the basics of reading music inside and out. She is very patient and makes the learning fun and meaningful.
  • Jason D. Apr 20, 2017
    Piano Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Fantastic Teacher - Very in tune with your needs
    Lara is a great teacher for all levels. She is able to break down the more difficult concepts in a way that both makes sense and is easy to learn. I recommend her to anyone that wants to learn how to play by ear or learn to sight-read - she's great at coaching for both!
  • Julian S. Jan 30, 2017
    Piano Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    Passionate instructor + Revolutionary method = Best lifetime value
    Lara's specialty sets her apart among piano instructors. Her teaching method focuses on getting students to learn rhythm and sight-reading. While it sounds basic, it is really the foundation of music. By focusing on these skills first, it enables the student to do so much more over time. Mastering the ability to sightread alone empowers me to learn any new sheet music, and not quit in the process because I got overwhelmed or frustrated... I am 30 years old and took 3.5 years of various music courses during my schooling, including violin, guitar, percussion, and piano. None of my previous instruction ever set me free in the sense that I could go pick up some random, unfamiliar sheet music, and learn how to play it in minutes on my own. That's where Lara's lessons have been different. Despite only going to Lara's lessons for 3 months, I feel like I could learn any popular music song on the piano in a single day--eat your heart out Maroon 5! It's been a great experience so far and I look forward to continue my progress. Another benefit of her method is I will be able to learn how to sing and play simultaneously--something I never believed would be possible for me!
  • Lina K. Jun 21, 2016
    Piano Lessons
    Verified Review
    Lara is an amazing teacher, My son is always waiting for his lesson with her😊
  • Ed Y. May 31, 2016
    Piano Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    I interviewed three different teachers. All would have been fine, but the method that The Piano Woman uses worked the best for me. I am learning music theory and am able to read music better than I believe I would if I had selected another teacher.
  • Dana R. Apr 30, 2016
    Piano Lessons (for children or teenagers)
    Verified Review
    Lara is fantastic! My daughter is 8 (2nd grade), and she had her first piano lesson ever this week with Lara. Lara has a unique teaching method- not the boring scale drills and letter memorization I had. In her first lesson, my daughter could recognize every key on the key board and was taught rhythm by counting & clapping out the different kinds of notes. I hope we stay with Lara for a long long time. She's great with kids too.
  • Nicholas S. Apr 26, 2016
    Ms. Lara is one of, if not the greatest piano teacher ever! She is nice, calm, understanding and very encouraging. Even if you feel that you are not doing that well, she helps you to stay calm and relaxed and never discourages you or makes you feel that you are doing a bad job. Upon meeting Ms. Lara in August of 2015, I have learned how to sight read and play beginner pieces of music. For my upcoming recital, I am playing something way more challenging than what I am used to playing. However, I feel that with Ms. Lara’s help, I will be able to play it quickly and steadily, as well as any other piano piece I choose to play. I am so happy to have met Ms. Lara not only as a piano teacher but also as a person in general.
  • Jason S. Apr 26, 2016
    Lara teaches both of my teens, 15 and 17. I really wanted them to learn how to play the piano and she came highly recommended (she is an amazing musician). I am really impressed with how she tailors each lesson to the abilities of both individually. She has taught them to sight read and they have continued to progress at a fast pace. They were able to participate in a recital and felt confident about their progress. She is very professional in her approach, but friendly. They also have fun while learning and enjoy how she helps them celebrate their successes. She is an amazing instructor and I would highly recommend her to anyone.
  • Brookelynn S. Apr 26, 2016
    Ms. Lara is the best teacher I’ve ever had, and I’m really not over exaggerating. I started learning piano with her at 16 and I’ll be 18 soon so she’s been teaching me for a long while. Lately I’ve been really busy trying to graduate and handle other responsibilities and Ms. Lara has been an encouragement the whole way through. There have been times where I’d be too busy to practice and she would understand and be patient with me and help me keep up my piano playing. When I told Ms. Lara that I wanted to play Beethoven really bad for my recital she didn’t tell me that it was impossible (due to the fact that I’m still kind of a beginner) but she was just as excited for me and told me to work really hard if I wanted to accomplish my goal. Now I’m able to sight read professional music and play some hard songs by heart. She has made me really comfortable to be around her and I would say that she isn’t just my teacher but she is now my friend. Thank you so much Ms. Lara!!
  • Drew S. Dec 2, 2015
    Lara has taught my daughter how to sight-read music within two months. The way in which she teaches sight-reading is incredible and I can totally see the benefits of starting Zoe with this approach. My daughter really feels like Lara is her friend and makes her comfortable even while encouraging her to learn harder material. Watching Zoe get up, compose herself and perform at the recital in front of 50 - 75 made us proud parents. All I can say is that Lara is a professional musician who has graced us with her time and energy by teaching Zoe how to play the piano. She is always punctual, reliable and can’t leave out - a GREAT pianist. Thanks Lara!!
  • Daniel R. Nov 26, 2015
    I never thought that I'd be able to play a keyboard, let alone read music. Having a specialized time where you dedicate an hour of your week can make a huge difference between learning how to play in a year (by yourself) versus doing it in just a few weeks with an amazing instructor. I had a music class when I was 12 yrs old. At that time I was a newcomer and since my English was not great, I missed out on so much. Today, thanks to Lara's patience and unique approach to teaching music, I am able to look at a sheet of music and actually know how to play it. I play the guitar and have been self teaching for about two years. Having an instructor to guide through the basics in a formal and organized manner would have diminished the learning curve. I sometimes wish she was a guitar teacher as well; I'm sure she would have me playing classics in no time. I think that Lara's emphasis in sight reading and enforcing the 3 rules she teaches in class is crucial to learning to play music. I can definitely see myself tackling tougher sheet music in the future. Her passion for teaching music is her very own. She is amazing at teaching the basics and incredibly patient with students. I truly believe that anyone can learn with her method. My goal was to learn how to read music and I didn't expect anything else, but thanks to Lara, I learned a more critical part of playing music along the way. Sign up. You won't regret it!
  • Daniel M. Nov 25, 2015
    Piano Lessons (for adults)
    Verified Review
    I've been taking lessons from Lara for about six months, and I can say with full confidence that I made the right choice. I had never played an instrument before, and had rhythm like Helen Keller. Now I feel like nothing in the world of piano is unconquerable. Her attitude is nothing but positive and vibrant. She's very encouraging and has a knack for making every triumph feel important. Her passion for her craft is obvious, and is definitely a big part of what motivates me to practice on my own. I recently had my first recital (something which I never imagined I would be able to do). I was shocked that I was able to learn a piece and play it in front of strangers in such a short period of time. But the practices Lara teaches made it easy. I didn't worry about memorizing the piece because she doesn't just teach how to play songs, she teaches how to understand the music. She didn't have me play the same song over and over again, she teaches the fundamentals so you can painlessly learn and practice, even on your own. I would highly recommend Lara, for anyone who already plays and wants to get a better understanding, or for newcomers. I can't imagine how dull learning piano would have been without her.
  • Christopher B. Nov 10, 2015
    Piano Lessons
    Verified Review
    Lara is an incredible piano teacher with an effective and intuitive approach to her musical training. She focuses on the basics that unfortunately most music teachers neglect, but also caters to your own personal goals and ambitions in learning the piano. When I started lessons with her less than 4 months ago, I had no previous musical education and my comprehension was essentially nonexistent. After that short span of time I can already sight read basic melodies, and my overall comfort with music has significantly improved. If you're looking to learn how to play the piano but might be intimidated by inexperience, or if you want your child to begin a musical career on the right foot, I can attest Lara is the one to help with either endeavor. I will admit that I was initially skeptical about her higher prices, but after witnessing firsthand the advantages of her method, I know her lessons are without doubt worth the price.
  • Gail M. Aug 23, 2015
    Piano Lessons
    Verified Review
    Lara is always energetic and encouraging. She absolutely makes the most out of every minute of our time together. Lessons are well-balanced.
  • Daniel L. Aug 4, 2015
    Piano Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Ipek S. Jun 11, 2015
    Piano Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Jeannette A. Apr 28, 2015
    Lara came highly recommended to us from a good friend. Our experience with her has been great! She is very talented, patient and knows how to relate the material to our daughter in a way that's appropriate for her age. Most importantly, our daughter loves her and is eager to learn because of Lara's professional yet nurturing manner.
  • Mandy B. Apr 27, 2015
    I really like how Lara has helped me pace my timing. She is a very detailed instructor. She cares a great deal about making the training memorable and enjoyable. I have been learning new skills and concepts each lesson.
  • Ven R. Nov 4, 2014
    Not only is she unbelievably beautiful, but she has a talent like no other. I have watched her play many pieces magnificentally. She has magical fingers and has taught me all that I know about music. I highly recommend taking lessons with her as you will not be left disappointed!!!
  • Richard R. Nov 3, 2014
    Amazing, wonderful, delightful, and elegant pianist
  • Maria M. Nov 2, 2014
    Piano Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Jeff M. Oct 14, 2014
    Piano Lessons
    Verified Review
    Lara is my 14 year old son's piano teacher and she has done a fantastic job with him. As a fellow musician I truly appreciate the difficulty in teaching someone to play an instrument and she is certainly a great and patient teacher. she is always positive with him and encouraging!

Q&A

What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
For our first lesson, I guide them through my basic method I use to teach sight-reading. By the end of the lesson, a beginner will have read at least seven brand new pieces.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have been classically trained with a private teacher for the better part of my life. I went on to study Communication Studies and Music at California State University, Long Beach and the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music. I later received training from an exceptional composer who taught me an incredible method of sight-reading that has shown concrete, beautiful results in my students over the years. My focus on the fundamentals has given my students the tools they need to truly understand the music. I am gifted with great patience to teach the basics to a point of mastery so my students can take what they learn and apply it to any music they venture to play on their own. I understand that without mastering the basics, no greatness can come about. "What people don't realize is that professionals are sensational because of the fundamentals. The sensationalism has taken over the professionalism." Barry Larkin "Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals." Jim Rohn
How did you get started doing this type of work?
They say do what you love and see what happens. This is where I am today as a result of pursuing my dreams of spreading music. I didn't sit there and decide that I would teach one day, it just came naturally to me.
What types of customers have you worked with?
Beginning through advanced students aged 4-70.
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
We recently had a recital two weeks ago and I was so proud to see all of my students performing so beautifully and having fun! Also, I am delighted to see the improvement of sight-reading in each student because I can just see what their ability would look like in the future! They will be able to realize a dream that many a student never gets to realize--being able to read through almost any music they want!
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
To all customers seeking piano lessons: Please, please, please do your research. Shop around. Talk to and try different teachers. Understand the differences in their approach. Teacher/student compatibility is so incredibly important that, in the long run, it will influence a student's musical attachment or detachment. I know countless people who have begun and ended lessons (even at a high level!) with a teacher they disliked and ended up never touching the instrument again. It is important to have your goals discussed with the teacher, or you will likely end up bored, stressed, and get all the fun sucked out of music.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
It all boils down to one question: How can the teacher help you reach your goals? Different teachers have difference specialities and finding the right one for YOU given your dreams and goals makes all the difference.