Latest Review: I strongly recommend Mary Alyce Minor. I hope that you will consider her. If you can take a few moments to read this I'll try to explain why. Note that I've been taking piano lessons from Mary Alyce for about four years. I didn't know her prior to that.
So I'm going to summarize my review by saying this. From what I can see, Mary Alyce doesn't force fit the student to the piano. I think that her style of teaching is to understand the student, to understand where the student is heading long term and to select interesting music that moves the student towards success while she provides excellent guidance and training to get there.
During the first year or so of my lessons Mary Alyce learned what types of music I liked, how I practiced, my personality and idiosyncrasies as a student. She came to understand my musical strengths and weakness and the challenges I faced to be successful. She adapted to me, to my issues, preferences, wants and needs. So today, when I sit on the piano bench at a lesson I know she's specifically helping - me - with my problems, not force fitting me to a mold that's re-used for everyone.
So I completed some basic beginner books while she built a foundation for me, simple melodies, reading, scales, chords, fingering, pedalling, etc., - what was suitable for me. Then she began to offer music choices, knowing what I would enjoy. I made decisions. I was given the freedom to push myself in the directions in which I wanted to go. I played music I liked a lot but it was music she had chosen to address my weaknesses.
The music she proposes pushes me, stretches me in the directions in which I need to go. Here's a few examples. My hands tended to close when not in use and she offered pieces that forced them to stay open. I had trouble finding notes to the far left and right. She offered me pieces that I really wanted to play and let music push me further left and right. My left hand was too loud. She offered music that required a gentle touch. She doesn't force things upon me.
Mary Alyce is very observant. I think she sees and hears everything. So, if I'm struggling with a passage she knows exactly why and never fails to have a remedy at her fingertips. Small differences in technique can make a huge difference in results and Mary Alyce always knows exactly what adjustments are needed to get better results.
Mary Alyce is a dedicated and caring teacher. I know that she is always thinking about what she can do to help her students succeed.
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