piano lessons

"The value of music is to be able to play one note
at the right time in the right way."

-Herbie Hancock


a foundational instrument

The piano is often thought of as a "foundational instrument", making it a great choice for a first instrument. Because of it's layout, looking at a piano makes it is easy to visualize the notes needed to form chords and scales. Since the foundation of music is universal, once a student learns how to play the piano, tranisitioning to other instruments is much easier. Do we think all students should learn piano first? Of course not. We believe the best chance for a student to succeed at learning music is to learn an instrument that excites them.

digital and acoustic pianos

As technology continues to improve, families are trading in their old pianos for an updated, digital piano. 88-key weighted action digital pianos, often referred to as keyboards, feel, sound, and react much like an acoustic piano. The benefits of a digital piano come in the smaller and lighter size, different tone options, and built-in features. We teach on both acoustic pianos and 88-key weighted action digital pianos.

keeping practice fun

Our highly skilled piano instructors infuse songs of interest to the students alongside the more "traditional" teaching styles that include music theory, technique, reading music, and playing by ear. Learning songs keeps music fun! Let our professional piano instructors get you moving in the right musical direction!

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Child playing keyboard with headphones

meet your instructor!

Susan Downey

Piano/Keyboard/Voice

about

Why are you passionate about teaching?

Being able to read music, play piano and/or sing for my own enjoyment or with others has brought me much joy in my life. In teaching, I hope to help build confidence in each student as they learn their skill. I love the thought of helping someone else find their passion.

What makes you unique from other teachers?

I was an extremely shy child! Playing the piano was a “safe” activity! I was able to gain confidence and leave some shyness behind as I grew musically. I recognize this in some students and really enjoy helping them build confidence along with their musical ability. I love that I can read music! I recognize that children learn at different rates and styles. So, I’m happy to help a student learn at their own pace.

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How would you describe the atmosphere/energy in your teaching studio?
Encouraging! Correction through guiding, not criticism! No one person is the same as another, which makes each of us special and unique! (True for me, too, even though I have an identical twin!) Music is supposed to be fun, bring joy and be pleasing! I want students to leave feeling good about themselves, not overwhelmed or frustrated.

What is something fun about you that you would like people to know?
I’m an identical twin! I love musical theatre and one role I played was “Peter Pan”, which included flying through the air and sword fighting Capt. Hook! I love to ride mountain bikes on trails in the woods! I raise monarch butterflies! (I’ve got thousands of pictures to show,.....just ask me!)

What are your passions outside of teaching?
Spending time with my husband and our grown children, working in my yard and flower gardens, raising butterflies, playing with my dogs, mountain bike trail riding!


Jacob Giles

Piano

about

Why are you passionate about teaching?
I am passionate about teaching because I love to see how students are able to progress and reach new heights! Music is one of the most gratifying things to teach because it is so easy to see improvement.

What makes you unique from other teachers?
I studied classically with international piano competition winner Dr. Yakov Kasman. Because of this, I have a lot of understanding of classical music and a slight understanding of jazz.

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How would you describe the atmosphere / Energy of the studio?
The atmosphere of my studio could be described as "relaxed". I want all of my students to enjoy the learning process and not be stressed about remembering to practice

What is something fun about you that you would like people to know?
I played in the marching band for 6 years and got to go the Bahamas for a football game!

What are your passions outside of teaching?
I love to exercise! If I'm not practicing or doing graduate school work, you can catch me at the gym!


Lauren Lanier

Piano

about

Why are you passionate about teaching?
I have always had a special place in my heart for kids and music. Putting both of these things together is the best of both worlds for me! I love teaching because helping kids grow and watching them improve over time is one of the most exciting things. I love encouraging people and helping them grow to their full potential, especially if it has to do with music. I think it is the coolest thing to watch people reach their goals!

What makes you unique from other teachers?
I have played piano since I was 4 years old…15 years!! I also have written many songs over the years, starting at the beginning of middle school. I have recorded many of them, and one was released onto all music stores a few years back. I want to help kids learn how to master this beautiful instrument, but also bring out their musical creativity and productivity.

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How would you describe the atmosphere/energy in your teaching studio? My teaching studio will be full of joy and excitement as we dive into learning how to play the piano. There is much laughter, encouragement, and accomplishment. It is always a fun time, including our little dance parties when we complete something difficult.

What is something fun about you that you would like people to know? I am a freshman at Auburn University, majoring in Nursing. I can’t wait to see how music and science weave together in my life. A dream of mine since I was a child is to live in Nashville and write music for famous artists… we’ll see how that one goes!

What are your passions outside of teaching? My passions outside of teaching include serving and leading others. I love leading worship at my church in Auburn, leading Bible studies, and getting coffee and talking for hours with almost anyone. I love school and learning, especially in the field of science. Not only am I a pianist, but I also am a dancer, an actress, a singer, a writer, a runner, and most importantly, A PEOPLE PERSON! I live for loving and caring for people, especially young kiddos.


Jamie Newsome

Piano/Keyboard/Bass/Ukulele

about

Why are you passionate about teaching?
Music has been one of my greatest joys for the past 10 years and I am just thrilled to introduce new people into such a rewarding hobby!

What makes you unique from other teachers?
I have experience in a wide range of musical settings from orchestra to jazz to marching band to rock cover bands. I also am well versed in theory and believe in the importance of integrating it into all lessons. Lastly, I have oodles of audition experience and have lots of fool-proof ways to prepare and calm nerves!

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How would you describe the atmosphere/energy in your teaching studio?
Welcoming, encouraging, and fun! I want to help y’all learn and do whatever it is y’all want to learn and do.

What is something fun about you that you would like people to know?
I was a vegetarian for 9 years because every one told me I couldn’t do it and I wanted to prove them wrong... some call it hard headed I call it tenacious!

What are your passions outside of teaching?
I am very passionate about bettering our environment! I am a double major at Auburn University in Ecological Engineering and Music. I hope to one day work to restore our nation’s lush ecosystems, specifically on the coasts!


Rachel Pair

Piano/Keyboard/Voice/Theatre

about

Why are you Passionate about Teaching Music?
There is a certain magic that happens when a student and the music “click” – I live for that look on their faces and the energy in the room! Music has the power to change people’s lives in both big and small ways, and being a facilitator of that creative outlet is a dream come true. I’ve worked with kids in some capacity for most of my life, and I count the opportunity to be an encourager and an instructor as a huge gift.

What makes you unique from other teachers?
I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in musical theatre from Auburn University, so my foundation is one of acting through song and breathing life into music, regardless of the genre! Also, I LOVE working with students on any audition/theatre material. With my background comes a specific passion where music is concerned, and I do my best to help my students feel that as well. Whether we’re belting out Evita or playing Ode to Joy for the 4th time :)

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How would you describe the atmosphere/energy in your teaching studio?
Positive, FUN, and safe. A huge goal of mine is to have an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable, known, and free to be exactly who they are. To make the hiccup mistakes and ask the questions, while feeling supported and encouraged along the way. There will never be a lack of fun in my studio, but that also comes paired with a constant strive for technique, understanding, and progress!

What is something fun about you that you would like people to know?
Fleetwood Mac is my favorite band of all time, green is my favorite color, and one summer I lived in New York City & performed in a musical!

What are your passions outside of teaching?
I love reading, cooking, pottery, watching films, live music, day trips outside of Auburn, and drinking coffee! (I like to think my studio is like iSpy and there will always be coffee somewhere to be found.) But most importantly, I love spending time with my pesky pup Samson, my friends, and my awesome family.


Susan Ray

Piano/Keyboard

about

Why are you passionate about teaching?
Music is the language of the heart. As a teacher I am very passionate about teaching students the endless possibilities the piano has. Every genre of music can be played with this instrument! I’ve been known to lose track of time when playing the piano.

What makes you unique from other teachers?
From beginners to advanced. I love all levels of music. I love the look on a beginners face when they realize that the notes are coming together to make a real song and advanced students always amaze me with their determination and perseverance!

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How would you describe the atmosphere/energy in your teaching studio?
I love music!!! I think that shows in how I teach. I love students to feel encouraged, motivated and ready to take on new pieces. Playing the piano sparks the imagination and opens the door wide for creativity!

What is something fun about you that you would like people to know?
I stayed on an island off the coast of Maine. I’ve sung at weddings all over the States. I have 7 siblings.

What are your passions outside of teaching?
Singing. Learning languages. Poetry. Flower arranging. Writing lyrics. And having fun with all my nieces and nephews


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