Effinger Music Studio is run by two professional instructors with Master's Degrees in Piano Performance, and offers private 1-on-1 piano lessons for kids, teens and adults from the Mt. Vista, WA area. Lessons are held in a comfortable studio space on a professional grand piano, and we use a comprehensive curriculum which covers foundational skills like note reading, music theory, rhythm, technique, and more. Whether you would like to start your children on the piano or want to take your own abilities to the next level, please get in touch to schedule a free consultation.
Thomas and Kassidy Effinger have significant experience starting both kids and adults on the piano. They have taught privately for several years, and received training from highly accomplished piano pedagogues in a supervised university practicum setting.
In the early stages, we will learn the fundamentals of music and piano playing in your lessons. We will help you develop a relaxed technique so you can approach the piano in a healthy way. This includes things like posture, the position of the hand, and how to play with as little tension as possible by developing an awareness of how to use the fingers, arms and shoulders, and back. This prevents long term injuries, and it will help you play with greater speed and musicality as you develop.
Students also learn to read music at Effinger Music Studio. As professional classically trained pianists, the Effingers value the ability to learn new music quickly and sight read. In the beginning, this means learning landmark notes around middle C, and reading by interval by following the direction and distance the notes move on the page. Over time we will learn more landmark notes, and expand the range of notes you can read on the grand staff in both the bass and treble clefs. At the same time, we will work together to develop your sight reading skills, so that you can practice the skill of playing piano music you have never seen before with accuracy and steadiness.
We study music theory from the very beginning. This is important so that all students have the knowledge and analytical tools they need to understand the music they are learning. Students of all abilities will learn about musical patterns, the musical alphabet, keyboard geography, intervals, chords, key signatures, accidentals, and how to analyze music for form and structure, among many other things. Learning to feel and play a variety of rhythms and rhythm patterns is another key component of lessons. We will learn unit rhythms, how those rhythms are grouped together using measures and time signatures, and how to play a variety of rhythms and rhythm patterns in a variety of meters while keeping a steady beat.
Thomas and Kassidy have both studied and performed piano music at the professional level, which is necessary to support students who are studying intermediate and advanced piano repertoire. Using their extensive knowledge of piano repertoire from a variety of style periods and composers, they suggest challenging and rewarding pieces of music to experienced pianists. They can help select audition music, competition literature, and identify works that you will love and learn from.
At this stage of your piano journey, you will also benefit from learning how to practice and memorize longer, more complex pieces, and how to do more than just play the notes by interpreting the music and learning how to tell a story with your playing. Depending on your preferences and interests, we can study advanced pieces by composers like Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev, and learn how to approach the pieces from a technical and musical standpoint. We will learn practice strategies you can use to solve difficult technical and musical problems independently, to memorize large amounts of music using a variety of analytical techniques, and how to solve particular, piano specific problems, like fingerings, voicing, management of textures, and pedaling.
Is there a particular composer, genre, or set of pieces you've always wanted to learn? Whether you love Bach or movie scores, we want to help our students reach their unique goals. When you get in touch, please let us know what your goals are with music and the piano so we can design a pathway to help you get there. Studying piano supports so many musical activities, so even composers, singers, and instrumentalists who play another instrument will benefit from studying piano.
Our piano studio is located in the Felida neighborhood, just across I-5 from Mt. Vista in Vancouver, WA. We help students from across Clark County in Southwest Washington, and we would be happy to work with you. Our studio is only a ten minute drive from Salmon Creek Elementary and Hazel Dell Elementary, and whether you have children who would like to take piano lessons in Vancouver, WA , or you're inquiring for yourself, we want to hear from you!