SCM

A Short Prelude...

While we believe in a strong foundation of the fundamentals, we strive to use our concentrated knowledge to encourage artistry and creativity in all pupils. Our pupils play on some of the finest instruments in the DC area to nurture their ability to listen well and understand the difference between just playing notes vs. making genuine music.

We focus on private lessons, which consist of individually tailored instruction and planning. A wide range of styles and techniques is covered to suit the desires and needs of the student. Current students range from age 5 to over 70 years old, from beginners to advanced levels.**(see side note)

A variety of styles may be covered depending on each student's interests/instructor recommendation: Classical Piano, Composition, Contemporary Music, Improvisation, Jazz Fundamentals, Songwriting, and Music Technology. Music Theory is integrated into the lessons according to the student's stylistic area of focus. Our instructors are highly specialized in Classical Piano and hold advanced performance degrees. We eat, sleep, and breathe piano!

Student Recitals and performance classes occur throughout the year. Gifted and motivated students may choose to participate in Outreach performances and Competitions held by external SCM member organizations. We are a member of MTNA, NVMTA, VMTA, FLMF, and the SMPC (a research and public organization devoted to studying music and the brain).

How to Sign Up

Interested in lessons or not sure about registering? Visit our Tuition & Policy page to fill out our online Inquiry Form, or send us your questions using our Contact page.

**We always offer a free consultation lesson before students or teachers commit to lessons. Due to the individualized nature of our lessons, we only accept a certain amount of students each semester. Therefore, we encourage applications from motivated students. Our instructors have a high level of artistic training that is best suited towards well-focused children, experienced musicians, or adults of any level.

Please note: Our schedules fill up quickly, so if you are looking for immediate lessons, please get in touch with us to reserve a trial slot. We will do our best to schedule you, but in the event of a schedule conflict, we can place you on our Wait-List and contact you when we have a new opening. Students joining any month of the year other than September, will pay tuition only from the month of enrollment through the following June and receive a specific number of lessons for the remaining school-year per policy (see Registration form for exact number according to month of enrollment).

CONCERT GRAND RECORDING OPPORTUNITIES:

If you would like to make a high quality recording on our Steinway Concert Grand piano or brand new Estonia 190 Grand Piano, please get in touch for a quote! Gretchen can record and edit you for an additional fee, or you may bring your own mic equipment/software to record yourself. Rates depend on time length, piano tuning requirements, and the extend to which our assistance is required. Contact us for more info!

Methodology:

Due to the highly personalized approach towards lesson planning, no single methodology is used. Lessons are taught using a combination of reputable editions and manuscript notebooks. Some of our favorite teaching materials include:
Step-by-Step & A Dozen a Day Series (for Beginners, great for note-reading)
The Russian School of Piano Playing (Advanced Beginners)
Royal Conservatory Development Program (Beginners - Advanced levels)
Theory Courses & Exam Repertoire
(We can prepare students for RCM development program exams)
Technical Studies: Schmitt, Czerny, Isidor Philip (Beginners - Advanced)
Chord Symbol Notation: Fake Books (for Popular & Jazz Standards)
Classics to Moderns Series: Denes Agay (Classical Repertoire development)
Elementary Training for Musicians: Paul Hindemith
(Well-rounded Musicianship for Motivated Learners & Adults)

In most cases, the instructor will devise individualized material to aid the student's musical development. Integral to all lessons is a focus on solid, musically informed technique that weaves knowledge of music theory into practice. Students will learn to develop a kinesthetic relationship with their instrument that eases technical difficulty, produces a good tone, and instills the player with confidence at the piano. Creative students may explore taught elements of music to work on developing a 'tonal ear' and use their knowledge and intuition to compose.

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