Piano Lessons

I teach classical, jazz, and popular music in my home studio in Berkshire County in western Massachusetts. I am located 10 minutes from Great Barrington, adjacent to the Catamount Ski Area. I am 5 minutes from Hillsdale, New York, and 20 minutes from Salisbury, Connecticut.

I’ve been teaching here in Berkshire County for 14 years. I was formerly on the faculty of the Berkshire Music School. I hold a music degree from Northwestern University.

I’m also the author of three books on music: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Piano Exercises, the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Teaching Music on Your Own, and the Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Piano Chords.

My goal as a teacher is to give students the skills to enjoy making music for a lifetime. My hope is that none of my students, 20 years hence, will regretfully say that they “wish their mom hadn’t let them quit,.”  So I try to be as positive and encouraging as possible — realizing that learning this skill takes time, patience, and commitment on the part of the parents, the teacher, and — above all — the student. Some of my students have gone on to be music majors, but I am as proud of those who express themselves musically by playing in a rock band, accompanying their school choir, sitting in in a jazz band, composing, or simply playing piano to pour out their emotions for themselves.

To that end, I teach each student individually, allowing a fair amount of flexibility in following the student’s interests, while remaining on course to teach essential skills.

I’m acutely aware of the many demands placed on today’s children. I also know that supposedly “average” piano students are capable of astounding artistry and real achievement. I don’t want to cheat my students out of what they could experience and achieve by making excuses for them or “dumbing things down.” I’ve seen too many students play so beautifully that listeners are so captivated that they seemed to stop breathing. I KNOW children can make REAL art. My teaching philosophy is based on respect for the student. I take them at that their word that they are here to learn. I take you, the parents, at your word that you are here to support them.

But flexibility (and a sense of humor) are crucial, and I also try to strike a balance between maintaining high standards and remaining gently encouraging through the down-times. If you surf through this website, I think you’ll get as sense of my approach.  Please read The Truth About Piano Lessons.  It will give you some idea of whether or not we’ll be a good match.

Contact me through the widget to the left (or, if you are using a mobile device, at the bottom).

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