Mission of the Studio

It is my goal that, regardless of what brings a student to piano lessons, each has fun with the experience and leaves with a new appreciation for music. From the beginning, I work with students and their families to establish attainable goals to help focus the instruction. I tailor the lessons to each student’s goals and abilities to ensure they have the most positive, enjoyable experience while gaining essential skills that will support them throughout life. When talent is discovered, I seek new opportunities for the student to advance in skill and grow into his or her potential. Students are consistently challenged to aim high but never forced to excel beyond their own interests or desires.

A Journey of Self-Discovery

Like so much of childhood, learning to play the piano is about self-discovery.

Children don’t know what they’re capable of when they walk into my studio for the first time, even if they think they do.

Young students learn over time that, by embracing challenges, finding the right strategies, and cultivating a positive mindset, they can master things they thought were beyond them.

Success is the Greatest Motivator

One of my teaching mentors, Mary Gae George, used to tell me, “Success is the greatest motivator.”

If a child leaves a piano lesson feeling successful and thinking, “I can do this,” that child will practice.

In teaching the fundamentals of piano playing, I give students a lot of short, easy exercises so they can experience plenty of victories on their path to mastery.

Because I keep success within reach, my students often sit at the piano and practice longer than they originally intended. Parents know that when “I can” becomes “I did,” the results can be astounding.

Growth Happens Naturally

Any student’s musical growth has seasons.

Periods of progress often alternate with seasons of solidification.

Ideally, progress comes when the student shows signs of being ready for something more, and the teacher responds with just the right material for advancement.

This approach allows me to value each student for who they are and what they can do right now rather than pushing prematurely for anything they are not ready to do. This means struggling students are given space to grow, and gifted students can soar.

Raising students is like raising bonsai trees. Both require planning ahead and knowing how the moves you make today affect the results several years from now. You cultivate today and watch the beauty blossom. In which direction will your precious bonsai grow?

The Sound of Inspiration

My goal is for my students to become inspired by the idea that playing the piano is about making beautiful, musically rich sounds.  Over time, they acquire fluidity, accuracy, and speed of movement as well as a firm grasp of musical style and artistry.  

“Philip is a kind, encouraging and very positive person. He genuinely cares about his students, and inspires them to do their best”. -Kerry O’Connor

When we came to Philip, Madeline was 11 and playing simple pieces in Faber books. He immediately recognized her musical potential, and guided her through a dramatic transformation to beautiful playing of the classical piano literature! ” –Kathy Pape

My son, Graham, has been taking piano lessons with Philip for the past 5 years and
has shown tremendous growth under his instruction. Philip’s strong grasp on
teaching piano technique has helped Graham soar to new heights with his piano
performances. Under Philip’s guidance, Graham has competed in MMTA, earning a
place in the Senior B honors concert as a 5th grader, winning 1 st place at the Dennis
Alexander Competition as well as his latest achievement as the first place winner of
the 2022 Junior Young Artist Competition. We are grateful that Philip can teach
Graham the technique and interpretation needed to succeed at a high level without
the high intensity common among some piano teachers that could result in an over-
stressed child. Philip is a thoughtful, kind teacher who is able to demand excellence
without being harsh. We are very appreciative for the positive impact he has had on
Graham as a musician!
” – Valerie Hennig

Josef Hofmann, one of the greatest pianist of the 20th century, said:

“All teachers are aware of the need for the best possible instruction early in life. The idea one so often hears expressed in America: ‘Since my daughter is only beginning her studies—any teacher will do,’ has been the source of great laxity in American musical education. If the father who has such an idea would only transpose the same thought to the building of a house, he would be surprised to find himself saying: ‘Since I am only laying a foundation, any kind of trashy material will do. I will use inferior cement, plaster, stone, bricks, decayed wood and cheap hardware, and employ the cheapest labor I can procure. But when I get to the roof, I shall engage the finest roofmakers in the world!’ The beginning is of such tremendous importance that only the best is good enough.”