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Putting the "play" back in playing the piano.

About Lessons

I believe that every student has the potential to achieve in music with carefully sequenced instruction. To be musical is fundamentally to understand the music that we engage with in listening, creating and performing. In my experience, the most effective way to build confidence and joy in piano playing is a “sound-before-sight” approach, particularly one that builds on the work of Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT). 

Because music moves, so do we. Lessons are filled with activities on and off the piano bench, where we represent the music in our bodies by singing in tune and coordinating our bodies rhythmically. These activities foster understanding in our “audiation instrument” (think: musical mind), which understanding we can more effectively apply to our “executive instrument” (around here, the piano). At the piano, we can then play with flow, ease and confidence, as well as create and play by ear. This approach yields literate musicians. After a series of pattern vocabularies have been sung/chanted, created with, and performed, we begin to read and write these vocabularies. Thus, notation has meaning, context, and is always attached to a sound. Students (and their teacher) find this process exciting and engaging! 


Playing the piano is a highly complex fine motor skill, and inherent with that are the risks of mal-coordination and injury. It is a whole-body experience, where we engage our brains, fingers, ears, feet, etc. to be expressive. I believe it is my responsibility in teaching the piano to educate my students in kinesthetic awareness and how our bodies are designed to move at the piano with the goal of being free and expressive as musicians. 

Musicality can be achieved and developed wherever a student is in their journey - it isn’t limited to any style or level of music that a pianist plays. I believe that developing musicality and pianism (thinking, moving, feeling like a pianist) is just as important in London Bridge as in The Moonlight Sonata. As 21st century pianists, we perform a diverse body of repertoire to engage with the rich tradition of piano music, as well as contemporary styles, and functional skills like playing Happy Birthday, Christmas carols, and chording. I take joy in discovering my students’ musical tastes (which often surprise me!) and finding repertoire they love to play and perform.


"Abby challenges [our children] in a fun way that inspires them to do their best. They are always excited to practice and make her happy at lessons. I have learned a ton about music just from listening to their lessons each week!"

- Audrey J.

"Abby... has expectations and requirements, but has a way of incorporating fun and inspiration into her lessons at the same time. She is willing to discuss concerns, goals, and accomplishments for the kids with me, the parent. Her communication and consistency are excellent. Not only that, she is herself an accomplished and talented pianist which is just plain fun to hear!"

- Erika S.

"I appreciate the way she makes learning fun, while challenging the kids to grow in their abilities. I often find my kids going to the piano on their own to play for fun or to practice. This is a great testament to the enjoyment of piano they have learned from Abby."

- Andrea V.

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