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.
Daisy, adult student, ISM student since 2019 with Teacher Joey on Zoom!
Emma, age 7, ISM student since 2017 with Teacher Pat on Zoom!
Claire, age 13, ISM student for over 5 years with Teacher Pat on Zoom!
ISM senior faculty guides an 8 year old student towards integrated movement of hand, arm, and fingers in a private lesson
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!