ęGould and Fall Piano 2002-2013
Discount on Tuning
All students enrolled in piano lessons with Gould and Fall Piano are eligible to receive a 20% discount on piano tuning! Click on the "Tuning" link above for more information about the services we offer.
The traditional format of having a private lesson once a week has many advantages, and most studios still follow this model.
However, some studios offer half-hour lessons for younger students. We don't do this. Even a four year old can easily focus for an hour when properly engaged. Our youngest students frequently turn to us at the end of a lesson and say, "It's over already?". We almost have to drag some of our students away from the piano at the end of an hour. The full hour pays off big, allowing for much faster progress which translates into students that have more fun and better motivation to continue. If you want your child to quit piano after the first year, enroll them in half-hour lessons.
There is so much to learn, and teaching theory, technique, music reading, etc., just isn't possible in a half-hour once a week.
Lessons are tailored to fit the individual student. Younger students and beginners start with method books. This includes a lesson book, theory, and supplemental repertoire and exercises. Every student plays duets with their teacher to gain the skills needed to play in ensembles, and to help develop an ear for timing and expression.
Technique: This covers the physical aspects of playing the instrument. It includes how to sit, how to move, how to transfer power to the keyboard, how to achieve a wide variety of sound colors, and how to play in a way that avoids strain and promotes an easy connection to the instrument.
Music theory: How music is notated and how music is constructed. Students learn how to see patterns and recognize musical structures large and small.
Ear Training: Learning to clearly hear the relationships between notes.
Rhythm: Learning how to play within the framework of an underlying pulse.
Sight reading: The skill required to learn new music quickly and accurately.
Improvisation: Using one's accumulated skills to produce new ideas on the spot.
Composition: Writing original music.
Performance: How to prepare, how to focus, and how to adjust to unfamiliar instruments and environments.
Music History: Understanding the chronology of the development of western music aids students in producing performances that are stylistically appropriate and enhances students' understanding of all musical styles, past and present.
There is a frequent misconception that only rudimentary musical skills are necessary to teach young beginners. We, however, feel that only highly skilled musicians should teach young students to play.
Beginnings are important. A beginner who acquires a good technique from the beginning, does not need to go through the pain of unlearning a faulty technique which can make easy playing impossible and can even contribute to injury later on. A beginner who learns how to listen and who gains a solid foundation in theory, will progress much faster and will, as a result, enjoy playing far more than a student who lacks proper instruction from the beginning.
Because we are pianists ourselves, we can demonstrate graceful phrase shaping, we can model a coordinated technique that works from the center to the periphery, and we can inspire our students by showing them directly what their instrument is capable of. There is no substitute for having the skill that you wish to impart.
For more information about us and our qualifications, click the Bio's link in the navigation panel above.
Once or twice a year we offer our students a chance to attend a concert or other piano related event. Hearing pianists play live is the best way to inspire students.
Summer Camp is fun way for our students to get to know each other while learning about a specific composer and the time and place where they lived. For instance, when our students attended Beethoven Camp, they ate German Food, learned German words and phrases, learned about early 19th century European dress and customs, and of course, learned all about Beethoven and his music. While at camp, students earn camp dollars that they can trade in for prizes on the last day.
Competitions are fun! You get to hear students from different studios, different cities, and even different countries. While competitions aren't for everyone, there are competitions for students of all ages and abilities. Winners of competitions sometimes receive certificates, ribbons, trophies, medals, and even scholarships. Participation in competitions indicates a student's commitment to excellence and achievement in piano.
More importantly, students get feedback from pianists and teachers outside of the studio. Students also gain a more realistic perspective on their personal musical progress.
Our consistently hard working students have the opportunity to play in competitions at local, state, and national levels.
Our recitals are formal occasions. Students can invite whomever they wish, and we celebrate the accomplishments of the semester.
We have two recitals a year in Hensel Phelps Theatre at the Union Colony Civic Center in downtown Greeley. Our students play on one of two 9 foot Steinway concert grand pianos. Sometimes we have both pianos on stage at the same time!
If a student stays with our studio for 5 years, between recitals and masterclasses they will perform at least 70 times!
The last Saturday of each month is reserved for Masterclasses. Masterclasses provide students with a performance opportunity every month. Regular practice performing is an important part of musicianship. The experience our students gain in Masterclasses builds confidence and teaches the importance of thoughtful and consistent practice.
Our students come to one of 4 different classes.
At masterclasses, our students get the opportunity to hear what other students their age are playing. Our K-5 students engage in our studio's own Piano Olympics which is a fun way to work on theory and ear training skills. We talk about composers, music history, listen to great works, and students get comments and instruction from a second teacher. Students also have the opportunity to work through performance difficulties like stage fright and memory slips.
Having lessons without masterclasses would be like going to basketball practice but never playing a game. Masterclasses are how students begin to apply what they have learned in lessons.
Teaching Beginning Through Advanced Students
We enjoy teaching piano to students of all ages and all levels. Students of Gould and Fall Piano can blossom into advanced pianists without switching studios.