Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Do an interview with the teacher and take a sample lesson. You and your child must like the instructor, as well as find the teaching environment beautiful and relaxing. You should feel that the teacher is confident about what he or she teaches yet is interested in the student's whole life as well. The teacher should be well versed in piano as well as music in general but also be a people person.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. Piano is a complex and beautiful instrument. Learning to play is a dance between heart, mind and body, coordinating how the arms, hands and fingers move with the written musical information with the feeling, fun and expression. Patience and delight are both needed, and the result invariably feels like a great accomplishment. In other words, piano needs commitment and practice, but it yields lifelong rewards.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. Ask if they provide a "Getting to Know You" trial period before you commit to a full schedule.
Ask about the technique that they teach, and how long students generally stay with them.
Assume that a good piano teacher will expect you to have a piano for home practice, and expect at least a half hour a day of regular playing at home...more for advanced students.
Ask about recitals, workshops and performance opportunities outside of the studio should the student be interested.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Piano is a "harp with hammers." Students learn to make a wonderful variety of sounds. An electronic keyboard is no substitute. Think out where you can fit a piano, and also, since there will need to be regular, quiet practice time, plan to put it in a space that is separate from other family activities. Also, since practice is needed, simplify the student's schedule to make sure piano receives the attention it needs.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Sharing music and the wonderful piano with children and adults alike!
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How early can my child start? Four or five, depending on readiness. Average is age 6-7.
Do you teach adults? Absolutely. Piano is for a lifetime!
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. Yes, I continue to study piano and perform myself, attend Taubman teacher training, do masterclasses, and attend Schubert Club events to stay on top of what is going on.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. Taubman Technique for the piano helps children and adults play beautifully and not get injured. (60-80% of students are injured by the time they are 12 or 13.)