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Image by Geert Pieters

 Individual lessons tailored  to your child's abilities & interests

Children and young people today are expected to work hard and excel in many different activities – academics, sports, dance, martial arts, etc ... . These are all places where both children and parents may feel real pressures of competition.  Piano lessons can be very different. 


Apart from fostering an understanding and appreciation of music, lessons can give an incredible boost of self-confidence, provide personal identity as a music student or musician, and offer an opportunity to experience fun and personal achievement outside of a competitive environment.


I.  Music is a Science.

II. Music is Mathematical

III. Music is a Foreign Language

IV. Music is History

V. Music is Physical Education.

VI. Music Develops Insight and Demands Research

VII. Music is all these things, but most of all,

Music is Art

That is why we teach music::

Not because we expect you to major in music

Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life -

But so you will be human

So you will recognize beauty

So you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world.

So you will have something to cling to

So you will have more love, more compassion,

more gentleness, more good - 

in short, more Life.

music instruction for young students near Saratoga High School
  Getting Acquainted   

All prospective students and parents meet with me for a special "get acquainted" introductory lesson and interview that allows me to learn a little more about your child and set expectations for music lessons.  This gives all of us a chance to see if there is a good match for moving forward to enrollment.

Private Piano lessons near Argonaut School
 The Studio   

In studio lessons are given on my Yamaha Concert Upright in a large living area with a parent sitting area connected to a large padded floor play area where younger students can do rhythmic games and kinetic movement exercises to reinforcement concepts and integrate concepts with multiple senses.  A comfortably  large tabletop near the piano is used for any music learning games or written exercises. 


For parents of students with siblings who accompany the student to the lesson, I have a separate playroom and sitting room which you are welcome to use to allow easier waiting times or a place for homework.  All parents and siblings are welcome to use the home Wi-Fi system. 

Online lessons are given from my virtual studio on my Yamaha Clavinova CLP-685 Digital Piano.  Multiple camera views are provided to allow for the most effective presentation and immersive experience for the student.  For more about the online lesson experience, click here.

music instruction for young students near Saratoga High School
  Yearly Program  & Curriculum  

Private lessons are given once a week throughout the calendar year, 30 minutes for young children and beginners and 45 minutes for older and intermediate students. 


Lessons focus primarily on technique and repertoire as well as musicianship and creative skills which are all integrated naturally into the curriculum.

For beginning students, a piano curriculum method, will be selected appropriate to the student's age, interests, learning style, and skill sets.  There are many wonderful beginning piano pedagogy programs and curriculums available now for the early learner, elementary age beginner, teen student, or adult beginner.  After assessment of a beginning student's skills and background, a curriculum will be chosen to best meet the student's needs.

Another key principle of Deborah's Piano Lessons is the very fun use of "game-ification" for reinforcement and practice of music theory concepts.  All students will play a variety of colorful and interesting level and age-appropriate "games" which naturally and in a fun manner help strengthen skills and solidify understanding.  


Vacation weeks corresponding to the most common school holiday breaks in this area plus another summer break in early August. Students are expected to be responsible for their own practice schedules at home and be prepared for each lesson.  Younger children may require assistance at first.

Summer Piano Lessons
Age-appropriate Games for Learning
piano teacher for homeschoolers in South Bay
  Practice & Practicing

Regular home practice is essential for student success. Your child’s progress is related to the amount of  practice time done at home. Ideally, students should aim for at least 5-6 days of practice each week. Short, daily practice sessions are more effective than one or two long sessions per week.  It is not effective and also is very stressful to wait until the end of the teaching week, then try to catch up right before a student’s next lesson! The most important time for students to practice is right after their weekly lesson, to solidify what they have just learned.

Practice time should be a special "magic" time.   


An approximate daily guideline is:    


  5  - 15 minutes - Young Beginner     

15 -  30 minutes - Beginner

20 -  40 minutes - Intermediate               

45+       minutes  - Advanced

These times are guidelines only, and for intermediate and above students, the goal should be to practice sufficiently to see incremental improvement.  


I encourage all students  to play for their own enjoyment.  Students should play their older easier pieces and review their favorite music.  They should try to sight-read something new!  They can sing along or have friends or family sing along to their favorite music.  Students may even play parts of new pieces for friends and family, and tell them that they are in the process of learning this new piece of music. Share your music with friends and family. The music does not always have to be perfect. 


Most of all, have fun playing your piano!


Parental involvement in home practice is crucial for student success especially during the early stages, but can be a bit of a tricky proposition, especially if the parent is a musician themselves.  Please help your student to establish and stick to a practice routine, and see that practice time is free of distractions. If you are the parent of a very early elementary age student, you may wish to sit with your child for at least a portion of their daily practice time.  Children who are not accustomed to a set routine in their schedule benefit from having a parent help structure their practice time and to set expectations to establish a habit of practice.


In order to build ownership and independence in a student, it is important to build the skill of having a young child manage his or her own materials, "read" the assignment book, do the practice or worksheets necessary, make their own mistakes and corrections, and to collect materials to have them ready for  the lesson.  Independence builds a real sense of personal achievement and aids in establishing the child's identity as a student of music. 

Image by Clark Young
Recitals & Performance    

Recitals are wonderful way to share progress and music with family and other students. Students are encouraged to participate in both informal and formal end-of-year recitals as a way to build confidence in performing and to have the the satisfaction of working on a set of memorized pieces to bring them up to a high standard.  Informal studio recitals may take place during the fall and spring with a larger formal recital in early June before the end of the school year. 


Additionally, for the younger children, there are opportunities for seasonal "piano parties" with games and other musical fun and opportunity to play before peers in a less stressful setting.

At present, recitals and parties will be moving to an online format.  Stay tuned for details!

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