At Effinger Music Studio, we help students become confident pianists and well-rounded musicians. We've worked with beginners, aspiring professionals, kids, and adults to reach their goals at the keyboard. We can also include composition and music theory instruction in addition to private lessons. Whether you want to help your child become proficient on an instrument, or you're an adult looking to pursue a rewarding and meaningful hobby, we'd be happy to hear from you.
Thomas and Kassidy both hold Master's Degrees in Piano Performance from Texas A&M- Commerce and Bachelor's Degrees in Piano Performance from Central Washington University. Both are active soloists, collaborative pianists, and chamber musicians, and they both are also cellists. They have years of experience teaching kids and adults of all skill levels, and they are qualified to coach students in advanced music theory and composition as well.
While we certainly cannot give a complete list of what you might learn in lessons with us, students can expect to learn rhythm, theory, technique, note reading, how to listen to their won playing, and repertoire in a variety of styles, among other things.
For beginning students, we follow a standard and effective sequence of topics and skills that form the foundation all students need to be capable and independent musicians. We will cover unit rhythms, and how to feel rhythms that get one, two, three, and four beats. We'll learn the musical alphabet, and the geography of the keyboard. We'll learn how to read music on the staff, and learn to read intervallically by tracking the motion of notes on the page. We'll learn how to understand all the different symbols composers use, and what they tell you about how to play. As we grow with music together, we will identify patterns in music, and describe music in terms of structure and function so you have the analytical tools and knowledge you need to understand the music you're playing.
In the area of technique, we will work together to develop a healthy physical approach to the piano. This begins the moment you sit on the bench with your posture and alignment at the piano. You will learn how to position your hands to make it easy to play, how to use the weight of your body to easily make loud and soft sounds, and how to play with a free and low-tension mechanism. Poor technique will significantly limit what you can achieve as a pianist and musician, and could even lead to pain and injury, so we emphasize approaching the piano in a healthy way from the very first lesson.
More advanced pianists in our studio may learn concepts like:
We enjoy learning with a diverse group of students at Effinger Music Studio. Middle and high schoolers, retired adults, and young children are all welcome to enroll. Our adult students often have specific goals in mind, like performing the pieces of a particular composer, or learning specific genres of classical or contemporary music. For children, we make lessons fun, engaging, and interesting, and we always work with parents to equip them for at-home practice help. If you have any questions about lessons in our piano studio, please contact us.
We are a quick 10 minute drive north of Hazel Dell in Felida. Most of our students from Hazel Dell arrive via Northwest Lakeshore Ave. If you are looking for after-school lessons, along the way are the Humblebee Pre-Kindergarten Prep School, Lakeshore Elementary School, Lakeshore Learning Center, Hazel Dell Elementary school, and other learning and childcare organizations conveniently located nearby. We also work with adult students on finding a lesson time that is suitable for your business professional and social calendars, including during the morning and early afternoon when kids are in school.
To start piano lessons in Vancouver, WA or get more information, please feel free to get in touch. We are happy to answer your questions, and we are excited to hear from you!