Students make the quickest progress by taking weekly private lessons, practicing every day and participating in either group or ensemble lessons. It's that simple. Everyone is familiar with what a one-on-one piano lesson looks like. One-on-one lessons are best for introducing new skills and concepts. This is the time to delve deeply into the music and for the student to demonstrate progress and receive directed instruction. Generally, teachers demonstrate a movement, a sound or a rhythm and the student matches it. A good teacher demonstrates the correct motion and sound then carefully observes the student's attempt to match it. At David's studio two pianos facilitate easy demonstration and imitation of skills. The student practices at home what they learn at each lesson. Given a private lesson, a group lessson and practice, a student can expect to be playing simple music within a matter of weeks.
There is a proper technique with which to play the piano just like there is for violin or any other musical instrument. In piano, the technique is subtle and because a decent sound can be achieved merely by pushing down the keys, many pianists do not learn the correct technique. David Cutter teaches the correct technique by demonstration from the very first lesson.
This kind of piano education includes training the wrist to move up and down and side to side in particular "gestures" at particular times according to the musical score. Doing this creates a variety of tone from the piano depending on the position of the wrist in relation to the striking of the key. Phrasing, shaping and the "singing tone" are just a few examples of the different sounds that come from these wrist gestures.
Using wrist gestures gives a pianist multiple benefits in three broad categories. First, the variety in tone that was already described above. Second, there are many different ways these gestures create an economy of motion. Using the wrist properly, a pianist can get their hands from one place to another faster and with less effort. This allows for faster yet more relaxed playing. Third, keeping the hands relaxed avoids a build up of tension. Over many years, tension in the hands can lead to injury. Using your wrists properly allows a pianist to interpret any musical score while producing a consistently beautiful tone. The concert pianist Alfred Cortot once said "Find the right gesture and the phrase will play itself."
Performance opportunities A range of performance opportunities are available for David's students. Traditional formal recitals, informal adult salons, group lessons and piano ensembles are all available. End of semester recitals and piano ensemble performances feature the semester-long work of these pianists.
Private or group instruction? It is optimal to take both private and either group or ensemble lessons. Doing both is the quickest way for a student to develop playing skills and artistry. With a variety of instructional approaches, a student benefits from a richness of experience. A student may take only private lessons. Or only group or ensemble lessons if desired. All else being equal, progress will be slower but progress will still occur. Regardless of which type of lessons you choose, you will experience the unique teaching style that David offers.,
More About Group Lessons
Pianists, because they play alone for the most part, are notorious for having weaker rhythm skills than orchestra musicicans who must have precise rhythm skills in order to play together. Group lessons solve this problem. and have several advantages that enhance private lessons. A group lesson is two to five students playing music and drills together. The teacher leads drills, pairs students to drill each other and works individually with students as needed. Group lessons promote precision as students have to play together. In piano ensembles students work with a musical score to learn the phrasing and shaping of a piece of music. Piano ensembles are two to five pianists learning and playing from one musical score with multiple parts. Ensembles combine the fun and artistry of music with the precision of group work. With both group and ensemble lessons students get to enjoy the piano as a social experience.
Another advantage of group lessons is how they support a child who might feel nervous or self conscious when working with an adult. A group lesson allows a student to work with peers which reduces nervousness. A good example of this is solfegge training. Solfegge training is the name for the familiar Do Re Mi system. Singing or humming is the way to learn these skills. A child is less self conscious singing with peers than alone with a teacher.
Still another advantage is the positive peer pressure that enhances the practicing experience. Playing music with others, even if just clapping, makes for a sharper and more precise effort. An important benefit of group lessons is that students are motivated to drill faster and harder when working with peers.
Becoming a Musician Piano study is uniquely able to enhance brain development by coordinating four different kinds of memory: visual, aural, tactile and verbal/analytical. A student becomes able to read and play the piano as these four memories start working together. David Cutter's lessons are designed around having fun while developing these essential memories. "Musicianship" is the widely accepted term for aquiring these memories. A solid musicianship is the result of integrating these memories into a seamless ability to perform at the piano. The process of aquiring musicianship trains the brain, fingers, ears and eyes to work together in a unique way. David teaches your ears to "see" music and your eyes to "hear" music. Whether you are a child or an adult, David's unique approach will inspire you to artistry in playing the piano.
What's the Secret to Becoming a Good Pianist? The piano is the only keyboard instrument that is capable of producing a wide range of tone from a single key just by how the finger strikes that key. Concert pianist Artur Rubenstein said that he could make a piano key sound eighty three different ways.
There are many secrets to playing the piano. The most important one is how to develop an internal motivation for practicing. Having a good teacher and a decent instrument are important elements of finding that internal motivation. A student discovering and connecting to the composer's musical intention using their own instrument, helps create that internal motivation. David guides students to finding that experience.
Many people think that it is the amount of time spent practicing that determines progress. But it is actually the focus on achieving specific goals during each practice session that moves a student forward. Yes, it is essential to practice every day (regardless of how little time you have), but it is far more important to focus on those goals.
How much time you spend practicing is less important than the goals you are practicing to achieve. Be goal oriented not time oriented. Focus on practicing every day or as close to it as possible no matter how little time you have. And you have to love the piano to achieve a daily practice. A good teacher will inspire a student to discover that love.
Many people are concerned about the cost of piano lessons being prohibitively high. Although everyone is rightfully working to save money, there's value and good reasons for not seeking out the least expensive teacher you can find. With piano lessons, paying more for better quality means avoiding bad habits and learning in an efficient manner. The professional studio with two pianos adds to lesson efficiency. This means it takes less time to achieve a particular level and thus saves you money, time and frustration.
At David Cutter's studio, weekly tuition includes both a private lesson and a group or ensemble lesson each week. For those students taking only a private lesson, the tuition amount will be the same. A "pay what you like" trial lesson allows both the teacher and the client/student to get to know one another. That way there is a basis for setting an acceptable rate.
David Cutter can help you learn faster. Don't let concerns about cost stop you from calling.