More than teaching piano

I specialize in teaching adults how to play piano. More and more adults are learning to play the piano as a way to relax, exercise their mind and body coordination, and play songs they like. Adults learn quickly, but they are also self-critical.


Teaching adults is different from teaching children. Adults are impatient. They learn fast. But they also give up easily. My job is to get them to be able to read music, play from lead sheets, self-study, and experience flow BEFORE they even think about giving up.

I focus on developing 20% of the skills that will bring 80% of the value, such as how to sight read and accompany from lead sheets. These are not part of the standard piano lesson. In fact, I did not learn how to sight read, accompany, or improvise from my piano teachers. I learned out of necessity, as church organist (to sight read hymns), choir accompanist, band member (improvise solo parts) and other  positions.

Once upon a time, I gave piano lessons from my home. By the time I turned 17, I had acquired some twenty students on Okinawa. When I was studying for my teaching diploma in piano in the Netherlands, I started my private piano studio again. My approach to piano teaching reflected how I gave piano lessons.

On Maui, I prefer to teach group piano, also known as class piano. This is an efficient way to get up to 20 adults to progress rapidly from zero music background to performing a piece of their own choosing. I conduct the class as an ensemble. Everyone has headphones on but can also opt to take them off and join the ensemble. I give individual coaching from time to time.

Compare the cost of class piano to private piano lessons which range from a low of $1 per minute to a high of $100 per hour, it makes sense to take group lessons. Either get another person about the same level or enroll in classes at the college.

As a resident of the State of Hawaii, you pay $120 per credit plus fees, effectively less than $250 for 16 consecutive weeks of 2.5 total hours per week, either meeting once or twice a week. [Fall 2015 rates are $120 per credit for state residents and $328 per credit otherwise.] Classes may easily reach the 20 seat capacity. Next intake starts in January. The college is open enrollment and without pre-requisites.

Another option is to take the non-credit “Learn to Play Piano” classes for a flat fee of $99 for 2-hour workshops that meet once a week for 3 consecutive weeks. Class size is capped at 8. This is also open enrollment. Next class starts Friday Oct 16.

A final option is to find another person or two to share lessons with you, to make it more affordable and fun.

CLASS 2-credit class non-credit
State Resident $240 $99
Non Resident $656 $99
Weeks 16 3
Number of hours 40 6
Effective hourly rate:
State resident $6.00 $16.50
Non resident $16.40 $16.50
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