Bonnie Kellert Piano Studio
Lessons for Students Aged 7-18
Studio Atmosphere: I offer my students a comprehensive music education that goes beyond nominal piano instruction, as described below. Students who are accepted into the Studio, by audition, possess strong study habits and exceptional musical aptitude. All of my students are met with high expectations along with a loving and nurturing manner.
Interview: Students interested in lessons should contact me and arrange for an interview. Compatible two-way chemistry is essential for success in my studio. There is a charge for the interview.
Musicianship, Technique and Sound: Special attention is given to developing technical facility and security while learning to produce a beautiful tone on the piano. Musical expression and a sense of style are then addressed without barriers. Sight reading is encouraged as soon as students can read notes on the staff. Singing and breathing, essential to any pianist’s expression, are concepts that enhance a musical performance. My students learn to incorporate these ideas to prepare them for public performance with a deeper understanding of the composer’s intent.
Listening: An important aspect of being an accomplished pianist is to be a musician first – learning how to listen, create sounds and colors, tell a story and personalize a performance. Listening is a major factor in achieving these goals. I emphasize the importance of listening as one plays and to listen to great pianists and other exceptional instrumentalists, especially singers.
Individualized Instruction: All lessons are modified to fit the needs and abilities of each individual student. Every lesson is recorded on an SD card which is sent home with the student. This offers additional support and reaffirmation that practicing as described at the lesson is producing progress at home. Students are part of the process to select new repertoire and list goals for the year.
Practicing: Daily practicing is expected for students to reach full potential. During lessons, students are introduced to varied and diverse ways of practicing to achieve maximum results quickly and without frustration. Repetitive practice without any thought or musicality is discouraged and is a waste of time. Technical exercises, tailored to the student’s needs, are an important aspect of daily practice. Sight Reading is required of all students and my lending library offers varied books and examples for students to use at home.
Written Assignments: Written assignments introduce students to the lives of composers and their compositions, including non-piano works. Students write reports based on listening assignments and questions regarding form, style and instrumentation. A flash drive is lent to each student with over 300 examples of carefully selected music.
Workshops: Monthly workshops offer opportunities to socialize with other peers in the studio. Classes consist of listening to music, playing for each other and being critiqued by each other. In addition, we compare professional performances, distinguish composers and styles by examples provided in my extensive CD library.
Theory: Theory and Analysis are important for understanding how music is composed and organized, and is fundamental to memorizing. Books and individually prepared papers are offered at lessons as supplements. Additional theory instruction is directed toward mandatory participation in annual theory exams sponsored by MSMTA.
Improvisation and Composing:
These are offered as part of the studio curriculum. Improvisation grows theoretical knowledge and promotes creativity. Many of my students have excelled at composing and have won prizes for their efforts.
Competitions and Events: An important objective is for students to perform in public. Students practice at a higher level of diligence when there is a serious performance goal to meet. Events are sponsored by the music organizations to which I belong.
See: Student Events.
Home Piano and Environment: A well maintained and regularly tuned acoustic instrument at home is essential. Parents must assure that practice time is not interrupted with distractions. Parental assistance is helpful, especially for young students.
Practice Schedule: Students should create their own practice schedule to assure consistent work at the piano. Students are expected to make progress and lack of such progress is cause for termination of lessons.
Contract: Please understand that while I love teaching, this is still a business. To avoid misunderstandings, I use a written contract which is signed by students and their parents. The contract and studio policies are discussed during the student interview.