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Piano Lessons - Private or Semi-Private Lessons
The Irvine School of Music offers piano lessons for students of all ages and abilities from beginners to very advanced students. For all students, special attention is paid to developing a strong foundation in ergonomic technique and ease of playing, the building blocks of a virtuosic keyboard technique. Auxiliary skills such as ear-training, sight-reading, and theory are simultaneously developed in order to create a comprehensive skill set that enables the student to play the style of music of his or her choice.
We offer every style of piano lessons from classical to jazz and pop. We have students who want to play just for fun and students who excel with exams, competitions, and festivals. As we have multiple piano teachers on staff we are able to match students with a teacher that works best with their particular age, ability and interest. We start piano lessons from age 5 onwards. Before age 5 we recommend our pre-piano/music and movement lessons.
Our private piano lessons are one-on-one instruction and lesson lengths are 30 minutes, 45 minutes or 1 hour. For our advanced piano students we have teachers with Master’s degrees in piano who can prepare them for university entrance, competitions, and other competitive performance opportunities.
Optional Performance Opportunities include:
In our piano department, special emphasis is placed on teaching the building blocks of a virtuosic technique free of tension and limitations - whether you're a 4 year old beginner or advanced, college-level pianist! We dispense with dogmatic ideas of curled ﬁngers, placing 5 ﬁngers over ﬁve keys, holding "balls" under hands, or putting coins on hands to prevent natural up/down movement; these concepts, from the outset, create tension and rigidity which limit speed and ease, and ultimately make it impossible to develop a virtuosic technique.
In fact, these are misguided attempts at describing what a truly virtuosic pianist does when playing! Instead, our teaching is rooted in the natural anatomy, alignment, and movement of the ﬁngers, hands, and arms.
In lieu of curled fingers or placing fingers over five keys that immediately causes tension-inducing stretching, we help students find their natural hand shape; instead of "balls" held under the hand, we help students develop an awareness of their knuckles and wrist, and where these parts should be for ease, ergo optimal playing; instead of limiting hand movement, we encourage it as proper movement of the hand and arm make it possible for the fingers lift and drop into the key without tension!
ISM senior faculty Cameron guides an 8 year old student towards
About our teaching:
"Although I have had excellent teachers in the past, studying with (Irvine School of Music faculty member) Cameron has been a revelation in more ways than one...He has transformed my awareness of my body in relation to the piano, including the way I sit and the relationship among my body, my arms, my wrists, and my fingers...I can now accomplish things on the piano that I could not before...he is the finest piano teacher I have ever had"
"It is because of the piano program at the Irvine School of Music that I have been successful in the music program at UCI."
" Cameron Tong has been teaching piano to our 8 year old and 5 year girls. He manages to be young, energetic, inventive, fun, and strict at the same time. We pay attention to the details without it being a chore. Our older child had taken lessons from another teacher and we are progressing faster, yet he stresses the foundation of good piano playing. We have participated in the Baroque Music Competition and found that Mr. Tong's students do very well. He stresses public performance by having frequent recitals which get the kids to shake off those jitters early. We also spend time on music theory. The girls have just started doing choir and looking forward to that as well."