3. Piano, Singing, & Songwriting with Kim O'Kelley-Leigh
- 17 years in business
- 1 hire on Thumbtack
"When I was 7 years old I started piano lessons. After about 6 months of lessons my teacher told my parents that she couldn't teach me anymore. I wasn't learning to read the music. I could play it all, and create my own songs, but she had no ability to teach to my needs. She only knew a traditional way to teach and if I wouldn't learn her way, I was unteachable. Never mind my ability to play what I heard, or pick out a melody, or my sense of timing and rhythm. Years later I taught myself to play songs using chords and rhythm. I was able to teach myself how to listen to a song, play it, and change the key if I needed to as well. I also wrote my own songs. As an adult, I wanted to learn to read music and expand my understanding and abilities. I found a teacher to teach me.
When my daughter was 4 1/2 years old, I started teaching her duets and we'd tell fun stories using the piano. I realized what an amazing ear, timing and creativity she had. She wasn't as interested in learning to read the music as to play classical music that was way above her reading level. So I began showing her different classical pieces and eventually pop songs she liked. I also taught her chords and rhythm piano. We were at a party one day when she was 6, and she began playing Fur Elise on the piano that brought not only the children into the room, but all the adults as well. They were amazed at her playing. She told the crowd that I had taught her and one little girl pleaded with her mom to let me teach her. She took my number and that began my teaching career. I have been teaching ever since.
Many of my parents have become my students saying “I want to learn how to do that.” I have taught kids and adults ages 5-75, who have become great readers and unbelievable singer/songwriters. My daughter is 20 now, and is still playing and writing her own music. She plays piano for the joy and love of playing and creating.
I have met so many adults that took piano as a child, never to play as an adult. The love was never instilled in them. They only remember their parents forcing them to practice. I realize that teaching to the individual is giving that person a chance to build a loving relationship with the piano and singing, in their own time. My desire is to teach students to be responsible for their own progress, and to help them grow confidence in their own abilities to play piano and sing, and create their own amazing music. This is how my teaching stands out.
I love writing songs with my students, and guiding them to write their own. I love watching their confidence develop as musicians, and as singers. I love the laughter we share."