Elfenbein Klaviermusik offers piano lessons to students who habitually show a high level of enthusiasm, motivation and commitment.
Lessons offer thorough and carefully guided instruction in piano literature, technique, ear training (audiation), memorization, and theory. The piano curriculum prepares students for festivals and competitions, for instance the Piano Concerto Competition through the Manhattan Area Music Teachers Association, the Music Progressions Auditions (in the spring) and the State Honors Auditions (in the fall) through the Kansas Music Teachers Association.
Particular attention is given to a natural and injury-free technique and to thorough mastery of all studied materials.
Elfenbein Klaviermusik has been serving the Greater Manhattan Kansas area since 1994 and is conveniently located in Lee Mill Heights off Miller Parkway.
CONGRATULATIONS to the following students who competed successfully in the 2013 MAMTA Piano Concerto Competition: Wendy, Thomas, Hannah, Shawn, Charles, Kyle, Gabby, Abbi, Youna, and Isabelle. You can start watching competition videos here. More videos coming soon!
HOW TO GET STARTED
While the tuition is based on the number of lessons in a school year, new students can start at any time. Call or email to set up a first meeting where we can discuss your musical goals, discover a little bit about each other, and decide if this is a good fit for every one. Parents, this initial session gives you and your child a chance to see how they react to me and my teaching style. The first meeting usually lasts twenty to thirty minutes and is free of charge.
All students must have a good instrument at home for practice. A good quality studio upright (approximately 44 to 48 inches tall) or a good quality console (approximately 40 to 43 inches tall) would make an excellent instrument. These instruments have strings long enough to produce a rich, full sound. Studio uprights many times have longer strings than “baby” grand pianos and consequently a better sound and playing experience.
It is possible to purchase a good digital piano that has weighted keys; however, money invested in a gently used upright would be better spent. I am happy to accompany any student to area piano stores to help with the selection of an instrument. The Blue Book of Pianos website is an excellent online soure of information about the different styles of pianos for those wanting to do some research. And Martha Beth Lewis offers her informed opinion on different piano brands.
WORDS OF INSPIRATION
“Inspiration is when the heart takes the lead. That is what we are practicing for every day: to be free when inspiration visits us because we have mastered the craft.” ~ quote by William Grant Nabore
CHARLES ROSEN (1927 – 2012)
Charles Rosen reminiscence as told by Donald Isler: I remember reading a very interesting comment he once made about whether or not he thought people would continue to want to play the piano. He emphasized people who enjoy the physical pleasure of playing would keep piano playing going. Sometimes we musicians get all wrapped up in the “meaning of the music” and other things like that, and forget the pleasures of the physicality of it.
JUST A THOUGHT
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires” – William Arthur Ward
… and the best teacher does all of the above. She tells, she explains, she demonstrates, she inspires, and she knows which student needs which at what moment. – Sibylle Kuder
JUST ANOTHER THOUGHT
During the eighteen months that I was a traveling piano teacher, I discovered an unexpected advantage: I got to see the instrument on which my students practiced as well as the setup and environment in which they practiced. Occasionally, a parent would apologetically say, “I am sorry, we only have a – ” and then proceed to tell me what they “only” had: a digital keyboard, an old piano that needs tuning, etc. – followed by, “I don’t know if that is good enough for lessons.”
That’s a curious thought. It begs the question: how can something that’s “not good enough” for teaching be possibly good enough for practicing?
Think about it: when students come to the teacher’s studio for their lesson, once a week, they get to play and study and try new things and correct old things on the instrument their teacher has. Then they go home and practice, every day, on their instrument. That’s a ratio of about 1 to 7. If your piano at home is not good enough – how can you possibly expect to make progress?
“Children need to move so that they become well acquainted with their bodies in order to learn how to hold still! Children need quiet, focused listening – someone pointing out the sound of that bird, or the wind, just for a few seconds – to be able to tune in to individual sounds. Moving and listening are core ingredients in every Musikgarten class; we intentionally limit the visual stimuli so that later – at the appropriate time for a child – we will be able to sit down, look and listen.” ~ Dr. Lorna Heyge, Founder of Musikgarten