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Piano performance and private time

I am an experienced classical piano instructor (20+ years) and welcome beginners of all ages, both adults and children. Weekly music lessons occur in my Metro West home studio (near Boston, MA) or at your Wellesley or Weston home.

A former faculty member at the Dana Hall School of Music in Wellesley and teacher in the Weston schools’ after-school program, I instruct private lessons in assorted musical styles. My goal is to promote progress, build confidence, and help each student to achieve success. Click Contact.

“Here’s to a fabulous piano teacher with endless creativity and patience for all age levels! Thanks for doing such a great job with us on the piano!” –K.K., Weston, MA

Testimonial

Susan Cohen has been the piano teacher for our two daughters, now ages 11 and 18 (off to college), for the last ten years. Taking lessons with Susan has been a wonderful experience for our girls, who both play very well.

She has a great way with kids, and is able to engage them in a firm, but warm way. But the fact that she is able to keep our

two kids, who are very different in age and personality, each engaged and interested in playing piano, is a testament to her strong teaching skills and flexible musical approach. So, I wholeheartedly recommend Susan Cohen for piano lessons.

–S.R., Wellesley

 

Fall piano study

Post recital celebrationPiano instruction begins on Tuesday, September 15th and ends on December 21st. I welcome beginners of all ages to join in our musical  community composed of dedicated, enthusiastic child and adult performers.
We have two to three recitals per year and I encourage everyone to participate. Take a look at Piano lessons, as I’ll be adding a more recent recital gallery shortly.

How to improve my child’s practice?

piano recital

Ask your student to explain and demonstrate what is on the assignment sheet. Not to supervise or confirm that he is or is not doing it correctly, but just to understand what is going on at our lessons.  Such a conversation is good for both of you. Avoid becoming a second teacher.

If he can’t explain a practice procedure, or if you believe that he has misunderstood the practice instructions, you might contact me rather than attempting to correct the situation. And I think it is best to focus on specific issues each week, rather than try to change everything all at once: anyone can find this discouraging.

For more tips about practicing with ease, go to Practice tips.

Adults are welcome

adult beginners welcomeMy adult musicians share their experiences with me about taking lessons later in life, the meaning it has to them, and the enjoyment they find in a satisfying creative outlet. They feel a strong sense of accomplishment that powerfully impacts their lives.

Some people studied piano as a child and regret dropping lessons; some have never taken a musical instrument at all. My oldest adult beginner to date was 82 years old (studied through age 89), and gave Christmas concerts to her family within a couple of years after buying a beautiful grand piano for her living room.

My adults bring a great deal of enthusiasm and dedication to their lessons, and perhaps a few fears. I  do my best to create a positive environment and encourage a diverse selection of your favorite music. I suggest scheduling 15 minutes of practice, five days a week for my beginners and they sometimes seem surprised.

“Little and often makes a lot in time.”

Music and learning

Recent scientific research shows a distinct connection between music and learning. Learning a song, a musical instrument, or a dance step offers an integration of body and mind that only music provides, a multi-sensory process that enhances learning readiness for school subjects such as reading, writing, and math.

Music study also improves spatial-temporal reasoning (see the M.I.N.D. Institute research), a neurological process needed to understand mathematics. The best way to enhance your child studies with music is to encourage listening to and learning music throughout his developmental years. Do it in ways that are fun and entertaining and find how to share the experience that are positive and nurturing.

“The pause is as important as the note.” Truman Fisher

Piano music uplifts the spirit

Kids practice piano

“Music study is a child’s most important extra-curricular activity because it will help him in many areas of life. Piano training builds physical skills, develops mental focus, and uplifts the spirit at the same time; and no other activity integrates all three aspects of humanness.”

“There is nothing better than playing music to build wholesome, healthy human beings.”

Marvin Blickenstaff, pianist and pedagogue

Free! Steinway Metronome app

Steinway Metronome app

With many iPad, iPhone, and iPod metronome apps on the market, my favorite remains the Steinway Metronome. While other apps have elaborate bells and whistles, the Steinway Metronome keeps things simple with an accurate count and a clear, easy-to-read display. A flashing light lets you mute the sound if you prefer.

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SBC Piano Studio rated a top Web site

YourWebSite.com designated SBC Piano Studio as a top music Web site in varied categories.

a simple noteFor more than 15 years I have written articles in response to questions by my students and their families. My SBC Piano Studio Web site seemed the perfect forum to share that information.

The site has gone through multiple iterations until reaching its current form. It’s very rewarding to feel appreciated and listed amongst these other sites.

Music as a full-body experience

In Dalcroze Eurhythmics, music is a full-body experience, and helps the student to physically experience all rhythms and movements of music, so they are not just intellectually understood. Eurhythmics uses the body as the interpreter of musical rhythm.

He contends that “a child’s body possesses instinctively the essential element of rhythm, which is a sense of time.” The beats of the heart convey a clear sense of time, breathing offers a division of time, and thus measure, and walking a model of measure and division of time into equal parts. Thus, walking is a natural beginning to the child’s initiation into rhythm.

Music and motion

“Muscles were made for movement, and rhythm is movement. It is impossible to conceive a rhythm without thinking of a body in motion.” –Emile Jacques-Dalcroze

Music, by R.W. Emerson

Music, poetry by EmersonLet me go where’er I will, I hear a sky-born music still.
It sounds from all things old, It sounds from all things young;
From all that’s fair, from all that’s foul, Peals out a cheerful song.

It is not only in the rose, It is not only in the bird,
Not only where the rainbow glows, Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the darkest, meanest things, There always, always something sings.

Tis not in the high stars alone, Nor in the cups of budding flowers,
Nor in the  redbreast’s mellow tone, Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,
But in the mud and scum of things, There always, always something sings.

Pianist: Béla Böszörményi–Nagy

keyboards and pianosI had the privilege to study as with Hungarian-born pianist who combined distinguished careers in both teaching and performing since his arrival in America. Born in 1912 in Sátoraljaújhely, Hungary, one of his first teachers was István Thoman. At the Liszt Academy in Hungary, he studied piano with Imre Keeri­–Szanto and Ernö Dohnanyi, composition with Zoltan Kodaly, and chamber music with Leo Weiner.  (more…)

Piano resources