Elizabeth of Russia, it all goes back to a book that seemingly popped off a shelf decades ago as wife- Sharon walked through Brant’s Used Book Store in Sarasota, Florida. She felt a special destiny in that moment. The book was about Elizabeth of Russia, the daughter of Peter the Great. However, although she wrote her book after some initial research, the idea sat dormant in her mind. Some twenty plus years later, Sharon then met with her husband David, a composer, began collaborating on the project, and Elizabeth of Russia was born.Continue reading
Taking piano lessons is an activity for all ages. Don’t let that phrase, “I always wanted to play the piano,” go unheeded. I have taught students from the age of four to well into their seventies. My oldest student was 83 and she decided to take piano to help ease the arthritis in her hands. And it did.
Music helps keep the mind relaxed and healthy, increases IQ, and teaches rhythm and timing. Scientific study has shown that playing an instrument engages more corners of the brain than almost any other activity. Playing music is a 3D experience. One must think up and down, horizontally, and within cubic space. It is good for anyone at any time in their lives. (For more see Page on the benefits of music.)
Basic Philosophy as a Piano Instructor:
As long as the student is learning what I think they need to know with the pieces I assign, they can bring in and learn pieces of music they enjoy. I, also, expand their knowledge of repertoire by introducing the student to and demonstrating differing styles of music on the piano.
Also they say the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Come to taste the pudding at the Gasparilla Inn inBoca Grande,Fl. There, I regularly entertain heads of state, VIP’s, and former US Presidents with their families. This is my 7th year at the Gasparilla Inn in Boca Grande playing their Steinways. Click on events for dates and times. My goal as a pianist is to honor the memory of my own teacher, Mischa Kottler. I feel proud to be part of a wonderful tradition. I hope my students will feel the same way when they study.
David to play the Steinways at the Gasparilla Inn
December 18, 2015 @ 6:00 pm – March 27, 2016 @ 9:30 pm
Piano Lessons in Sarasota for the Beginner
Beginning students get the benefit of my years teaching both boys and girls. I have observed and put into practice ways that deal with the differences between how boys and girls respond to learning music. My approach is to give my students a piece of music that they will enjoy learning and playing as soon as possible so I can teach them what they need to know in a positive framework. The basics to be taught are:
Learning the notes on the keyboard, where middle C is, and what the white notes and black notes are named.
Proper hand position and healthy playing habits to prevent possible future problems and even damage.. Because I was taught and learned the proper hand positioning, in over fifty years of playing, I have been spared trips to the doctor for such problems as carpel tunnel.
Introduction to reading music which includes:
quick recognition of notes/pitches written in both the treble and bass staves,
the different kinds of notes (such as whole, half, quarter, eighth…etc. dotted, tied….),
the time signature,
sharps, flats and key signature
beginning knowledge of dynamic marking such as loud and soft, crescendo, decrescendo
recognition of phrase markings, use of staccato and other musical notations
Beginning fingering and coordination of using both hands together to play music.
Introduction to scales
Piano Lessons in Sarsota for the Intermediate Student
The Intermediate student will have some competency in sight reading the accurate note and rhythms written and coordinating both hands on the keyboard. Also, the intermediate student will understand the expression marks, and have some understanding of phrasing.
We will cover:
Works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Joplin and other intermediate pieces by popular composers.
Major and minor scales, arpeggios, and practice rules of fingering such as the prepared thumb
Basics of music theory and chord progressions
If desired, beginning composition
How to employ varying stylistic approaches for works by different composers, and the rhythmic emphasis in works such as waltz, tango, ragtime, tarantella, etc…
Piano Lessons in Sarasota for the Advanced Student
If you have spent many years playing piano, I have much to offer. I advocate and continue to use proper touch, posture, and fingerings to keep the hands and arms healthy so the fingers are able to play for hours at a time without fatigue.
My philosophy of playing is to make the melody shine by developing a beautiful singing tone while keeping the accompaniment in service of the melody. Fingering is a tremendous aid in overcoming technical problems encountered in the virtuoso piano pieces.
I share my knowledge of:
Advanced techniques for fingering that enhance smooth and legato playing.
A practice program that includes preliminary warm ups, exercises that develop speed and the layered playing involved in counterpoint.
How to develop a beautiful singing tone on the piano.
Mastering legato and staccato octaves
Special stretching exercises for the fingers.
For performance, I guide and help with individual interpretations to make them appealing to an audience.
If you are interested in signing up for lessons, please feel free to call.