All music is welcome
From Beethoven to Beyoncé, the musical interests close to your heart are the best place to start. And, different musical styles help us expand different skills. We learn new rhythms from playing ragtime, independent hands from studying Bach, ways to invent our own ideas from jazz improvisation.
In the PianoGarden studio, a diverse array of resources support the assignments. Over time, many seasoned teachers develop their own approach to scales, theory, and note-reading, and PianoGarden is no exception. World folk music offers numerous advantages for beginning players. Simple, set jazz-styled pieces awaken the ears to novel harmonies. Ragtime, boogie woogie, and tango open a whole new vista when it comes to rhythm. PianoGarden’s summer program, Pick a Composer!, immerses students into the life stories that fueled composers’ creative output.
“‘Learn music you love.’ That pretty much sums up the PianoGarden philosophy, approach and practice.” —Liz Lupien
Students are encouraged to bring in their own music as well. Those who arrive with previous piano experience are supported to nurture what they enjoy while at the same time expanding into new possibilities. Often, a new direction is forged, like a composition assignment inspired by the music of a particular composer or piece of music. Liz also collaborates with her students (and their parents) to locate sheet music that fits both their desire and technical skill level.