Search

John A.

New Milford, CT

$95/hour

Patient and very experienced

In-person lessons
Background check passed as of 5/20/12

$95/Hour


Send a message explaining your needs and John will reply soon.

Response time:

Contact John

University of California, Berkeley
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Graduate Coursework

Education

University of California, Berkeley

University of Southern California, Los Angeles (Graduate Coursework)

About John

You can benefit a lot from my experience.

I’m not a disciplinarian in any way. I've had the complete classical conservatory experience, yet that doesn’t mean I expect that of you in any way, especially kids.

For children, the best start involves games and immediate playing to give the child a taste of the real joy of making music. Music reading exercises have their place, but not at the very beginning.

I want you to be an individual, and learn to play in your own way, at your own pace. I’m a firm believer that you will learn faster if you are having fun.

I think it’s in your interest to play meaningful music, (to you) right away. It is possible for anyone can play music far more complex than what they can read on a page, so my first goal is to get you started playing real songs on your first lesson.

You can begin playing piano by ear, by eye, by number, it doesn’t matter, but you must start playing today in a way that satisfies you. My job is to insure that you do, and then guide you through whatever depth of the maze of musical theory and piano technique that your age and tastes demand.

I want you to be a player, not just a reader. Yes, eventually you must be musically literate, but you won’t last that long unless you’re having fun doing it, and that means finding a healthy ratio (for you) between playing and reading.

In general, I let you choose the repertoire or songs. You’ll be more inspired if you love the music you’re playing. I can tailor each aspect of musical and technique problems to a song that you love, and thus your progress will be more satisfying. Any musical task can be learned on any song, if you’re creative about it.

I won’t ask you to practice. In a conservatory, no one asks you to practice. I treat six year-olds like young artists and it works.

My job is to inspire you enough to want to do it yourself. That’s really the only way to start enjoying the piano or become a musician.
You can benefit a lot from my experience.

I’m not a disciplinarian in any way. I've had the complete classical conservatory experience, yet that doesn’t mean I expect that of you in any way, especially kids.

For children, the best start involves games and immediate playing to give the child a taste of the real joy of making
Read more

Policies
Cancellation
36 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 15 miles of New Milford, CT 06776
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons
History:
Music History

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

ADHD

ADD is the least debilitating of the special needs conditions, yet presents many challenges to the teacher. Piano teachers, in general, reject these kids as impossible to teach, but I accept every one I can. I like the challenge.

The main difficulty with these kids is their lack of focus, which I solve through the use of games. An ADD child may not respond to standard teaching, but disguise it as fun, and you have a child who will pay attention willingly. ADD kids are used to failing at the usual things like reading, and presuppose their own failure: you have to show them they can do it, in easy steps, and then they gain confidence.

I have taught piano to many ADD kids, and developed the piano method PIANO BY NUMBER for them to use. I'm very experienced and patient with these kids, and can get them to enjoy playing the piano in their own way.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The student who prompted the creation of my piano system was autistic. Reading music was out of the question. He could not sit still long enough to absorb anything.

Finally, I numbered the keys and got him to play a bit of DOWN BY THE STATION. He was so excited that familiar music came out of the piano that he was transfixed. Motivation was no longer a problem as he tried song after song.

His ability at the piano was limited, but the big surprise was his sense of rhythm. One day he showed me his drum set, and then I played the piano and he played drums.

This autistic child of seven played drums like a professional! Seriously good at rhythm, we dropped the piano and I became his accompanist and arranger, feeding him song after song to try out on the drums.

His mother then hired me to come over and play music with her son twice a week. They weren't lessons, really. He was a full-fledged musician despite his severe problems.

Composition (Music)

My composition teachers include a wide range, from Ellis Kohs, a pupil of Stravinsky, to D'Arneill Pershing, Michael Jackson's arranger and orchestrator in the early years (ABC.) Both were my teachers during my graduate work at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In related skills, I am an accomplished orchestrator. I orchestrated the Broadway musical A SONG FOR CYRANO for Wright and Forrest, the authors of KISMET and GRAND HOTEL.

I have a BA in composition from the University of California, Berkeley. I received an Emmy Award for composition for SEARCH FOR TOMORROW. Other awards for composition include Drama Critics Circle Winner, Dramalogue Award, and the MEET THE COMPOSER grant.

I am the composer of TO AN ISLE IN THE WATER recorded by American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Paul Gemignani released 1996 Sterling Records.

Currently, most of my composition students are very young, and are kids that I have interested in writing music by starting them playing the piano.

Dyslexia

I've found that almost all kids today show some signs of learning disabilities.

Confusion with graphic symbols, and a sense of failure mark these children's efforts at school. I try to counteract that by getting them to play piano without reading music.

All these kids are very intelligent, but held back by the constraints of "normal" education methods. They benefit greatly from the one-on-one contact piano lessons provide.

With extreme patience and very creative teaching you can get these kids to enjoy the piano in their own way.

All the piano teachers I know become frustrated by these kids due to their poor reading skills, but I circumvent this by allowing them to play by ear and eye, giving them success and then confidence, which is all they need to enjoy the piano.

Ear Training

My ear training consisted of the usual conservatory methods, mostly Paul Hindemith's books.

Developing the musical ear is very difficult for all but the most gifted students. For young piano students, you must first get them simply to listen, which is very hard for kids today.

But the beginnings of ear training, for kids, is largely emotional: finding the words that describe the content of the music, a game kids love to play.

So for kids, ear training consists initially of listening to certain easily found elements of the music.

I can give advanced students the exact experience of first year college ear training, and help them prepare for any standard examination.

General Music

A course in general music would first include a survey of musical examples from periods in history. One cannot grasp music in general without a quick course in all the major historical styles. I am an excellent pianist and can sight read and play any music to fulfill this purpose.

Such a course in necessarily cursory, but the main objective is to inspire the student to explore the riches of the past musical traditions.

The purpose of such a course is to create interest without requiring specific skills, and requires a teacher with vast knowledge and an engaging way of presenting it.

Music History

Music history is easy for me to teach because I am interested in it. Part of every piano lesson consists of anecdotes and demonstrations of history and repertoire that the student is unlikely to get elsewhere.

Aside from the the qualifications of a BA in Music University of California, Berkeley, a music history teacher needs to be both a performer (piano) and an engaging presenter, both of which I can do eminently well.

I have an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of music history. In addition, I am an excellent pianist and can demonstrate music from any period of history.

Piano

I have a BA in MUSIC University of California, Berkeley.

I was a piano student of Tobias M. School in London, as well as Trinity College of Music, London. Student of Denise L., Paris, and Frank M., who were both students of Tobias M.

Creator of a piano playing method and recorded a song with the American Symphony Orchestra.

Songwriting

Winner Emmy Award Music Direction

Played piano and conducted many Broadway and Off Broadway productions.

Special Needs

I am the creator of a piano method originally created for my special needs piano students, including Down's, Tourette's, ADD, Dyslexia, Aspergers and Autism.

I am very experienced and patient with special needs piano students, and can get them to start enjoy playing the piano in their own way, at their own pace.

Voice (Music)

I've played piano and vocal-coached in many Broadway shows as well as many regional and national theaters where I have been musical director. I'm an experienced Broadway veteran vocal coach and pianist.

University of California, Berkeley
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
Graduate Coursework

Education

University of California, Berkeley

University of Southern California, Los Angeles (Graduate Coursework)

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $95.00

Cancellation: 36 hours notice required

Travel policy

John will travel within 15 miles of New Milford, CT 06776.