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You can learn to perform at the piano. Did you know that you can also understand music and be free to compose and improvise music of your own?

When you learn a new language, do you begin the process by thinking about how you make sounds with your mouth? Of course not. First you listen to the sound of the language and then you start developing a vocabulary to use. There are many piano teachers who will help you to make sounds at the piano. Maybe even impressive sounds. But you are capable of much more. I’ve received specialized training through the Gordon Institute of Music Learning to help you audiate, or think, music. You’ll still learn to read and play impressive music. But you will be so much more fulfilled because you’ll have an understanding of the music you’re making instead of just knowing how to push the right buttons. And you’ll be able to create and improvise music of your own.

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My Philosophy

Music Foundations teaches an audiation based approach to learning music and piano. Audiation means thinking music. Students who learn to audiate play with understanding and are able to create, read, write, and improvise music. An audiation based approach represents the culmination of my efforts to make piano lessons that work for every interested student. Here are some ways Music Foundations piano lessons are different from standard lessons elsewhere:

  • Robert’s students learn an audiation based approach to music. Music Foundations incorporates teaching breakthroughs by researcher Edwin E. Gordon. Dr. Gordon’s research led to his Music Learning Theory. MLT underscores the importance of learning to listen and move musically early in the learning process. We use a carefully sequenced curriculum to help children not just play music, but to understand it.
  • Students gain skills they can use to apply music in their own lives, in their own way. Traditional piano lessons focus too much on learning standard repertoire without teaching the basic skills that composers of that repertoire understood so well. Music Foundations Piano Studio teaches those skills. With these skills students can approach standard repertoire more intelligently. And if they choose to pursue other directions they can do that intelligently, too.  An audiation based approach unlocks unlimited creative musical opportunities.
  • Robert’s students learn specific physical motions to overcome technical difficulties.  In traditional lessons, kids are often told that  “practice makes perfect.” But if kids don’t know how to practice, they’re out of luck!  I show my students how to play those difficult passages so there’s no struggling, and more music. I personally engage in regular lessons with nationally known teacher Sheila Paige, founder of Keyboard Wellness Seminar, to keep abreast of the most up to date scholarship on how to play the piano in a way that’s efficient and beautiful, minimizing risk of repetitive motion injuries.
  • Students’ intrinsic love for music is nurtured. Too often students are pushed to practice for their teacher or their parents or a judge at a competition. My aim is to help students do it for themselves.  My goal is to help students develop a lifelong appreciation for music and the arts.
  • Robert’s students at Music Foundations receive instruction in classical, jazz, pop, and rock concepts. Many piano teachers don’t have the breadth of experience to approach these genres knowledgeably. I have degrees in Classical piano performance, years of experience playing in pop, rock, and funk bands, and I’ve studied jazz with great local teachers. So I can help students approach any of these genres.


learning piano

basic music steps

Music foundation class ongoing