Multi-level approach: I always make sure that I am working on several levels simultaneously with every student. The work I assign at each lesson includes material that maintains a balance between forming new skills and reinforcing freshly acquired skills. I never assume that once something has been taught, it has been learned. Therefore, in the same week, my students may be working on harder pieces or exercises to push them forward or teach them something new, pieces at their comfort level to reinforce their skills, and easier pieces to build confidence and for the sheer pleasure of finding something easy to play right away!
Lesson structure: I give one-hour lessons, which ensures that I have time to both listen fully and work with the previous week's assignment and also to prepare the work for the coming week. I never send a student home without being sure that he/she completely understands the new material and how to work on it. There's nothing worse than a week wasted because the student was clueless about how to practice. Teaching students how to practice effectively is essential.
Teaching repertory: Chosen repertory is varied in style: besides the core method and technique books, material is a mixture of classical, jazz, new-age and pop. Film music is particularly popular with adolescents.
Reinforcing musical skills and theory: Developing musicianship is an integral part of my approach to teaching. I work with a variety of tools --sometimes away from the piano -- to develop a student's sense of rhythm and teach music reading skills.
An international flavor: I've been exposed to many approaches during my years in France; my teaching style attempts to combine what I like best from both the French and the American point of view. I've also been influenced by colleagues from England, Russia, Germany, and many other countries.
Debra Sostrin, DMA Voice & Piano Studio Serving Northwest Portland & Beaverton, OR Phone: 503-380-8075 or 503-629-9909 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org