Why do you require students to practice on an acoustic piano? What about a touch sensitive electric piano?

     It is very important that my students begin their study with proper technique. I believe strong, quick, controlled fingers can only be achieved on an acoustic piano. Even high-end digital pianos with touch-sensitive keys cannot match the response and sound of an acoustic and they are less responsive to differences in touch. As I audition students it is easy to pick out those who have been practicing on digital pianos because overall their fingers are weaker than students who have been playing on acoustic pianos. It is important to mention, a poor quality acoustic piano is not good either. Pianos should be repaired and maintained by a qualified technician and need to be tuned every 6-12 months. 

What type of piano do you recommend?

     I recommend students practice on a grand or upright piano (no spinets), newer is typically better. My students and colleagues have reported many problems with pianos made in South Korea and China so I would stay away from those. Pianos manufactured in Japan, the United States, and Germany are usually of a better quality. Hand-built grands (Steinways, Bosendorfers, Petroffs, etc.) will most often produce a better sound but can also be more difficult and expensive to maintain. For many, the fabulous sound of hand-built pianos is worth the upkeep.

Where do I go to buy or rent a piano?

     Each music store carries select brands of new pianos as well as a large selection of used pianos. Here is a list of a few Southern California piano stores and the brands of new pianos they sell.
     Here is a list of some of the piano stores along the Utah Wasatch Front.

Where can I purchase or download sheet music online?

Where can I purchase music-themed gifts, jewelry, clothing, decorations, etc.?

How can my child practice ear training at home?

What online music resources and activities would you recommend?

I've heard music improves brain function. Is there any truth to this?

Are there any books on music you would recommend?
  • The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown., Daniel Coyle
  • This Is Your Brain on Music, Daniel J. Levitin
  • The Mozart Effect, Don Campbell
  • The Mozart Effect for Children, Don Campbell
  • Music and the Mind, Anthony Storr
  • Music With the Brain in Mind, Eric P. Jensen
  • Music, Language, and the Brain, Aniruddh D. Patel
  • Psychological Foundations of Music Behavior, Rudolf E. Radocy

If my child is interested in composing, which software do you recommend?