Thomas and Kassidy Effinger are professional pianists and experienced teachers who offer piano lessons to students in Ridgefield, WA. Their studio is just a ten minute drive down I-5, and they serve students in Battle Ground, Lambert, Duluth, all of the suburbs along the I-5 corridor in SW Washington.
The curriculum at Effinger Music Studio includes developing foundational skills and elements of musicianship, including how to read music, how to feel different rhythms and keep a steady beat, and how to develop a healthy technique. As students grow, their opportunities grow with them. Students have access to a sight reading library, can learn the art of collaborative piano, and can learn advanced music theory that would prepare them for college entrance exams or the AP Music Theory test. Please get in touch to tell us about your goals at the piano and with music. No experience required!
Every child learns at a different pace and has individual interests and motivations. At Effinger Music Studio, each lesson is focused on what your child needs on that particular day. As we learn together, we will discover what your child finds exciting and motivating and direct the learning toward goals that will help them do more of what interests them. We use age-appropriate materials and off-the-bench games to keep young kids engaged during lessons.
We have an expansive and comprehensive resource library to help us select music and methods that are the right fit for students at any level of ability. We use age appropriate methods with topics that are organized so nothing is left out, no steps are skipped, and new content builds on what students have previously learned. Since lessons are individualized to each student, your child won't be “left behind” if certain concepts prove challenging.
Your child will enjoy lessons with caring and enthusiastic teachers who want to motivate young students to become well-rounded, capable pianists who share in the joy of making music!
Adult students at Effinger Music Studio have various goals and aspirations. Whether you want to tackle a challenging piece by a significant composer for piano like Chopin or Rachmaninoff, expand your understanding of the structure and function of music by learning music theory, or you've never made music before and want to start from scratch with a teacher who knows how to develop foundation skills, we can help you reach your goals. Lessons are designed around your interests, but it's okay if you don't know exactly what you want to do yet. We can explore the possibilities of music together and discover what excites you!
For our adult students with children, we can schedule lessons during school hours while children are in school. A variety of times during the weekdays are available. If you have a child taking lessons, consider taking lessons yourself! Seeing a parent practice the piano is motivating for children, and you can use what you learn in your own lessons to support your children with their practice at home.
Students will enjoy playing on a beautiful 6 foot grand piano in their lessons and recitals. It is kept well-tuned and regulated to provide the best playing experience possible. We also have two world-class 9 foot Bosendorfers that will be joining the studio when we can expand to a larger space!
We have an extensive lending library with music for all levels of study available to our students. Students can borrow books from this collection to practice sight reading, or to explore pieces for short study. This also gives us a wealth of music to choose from when recommending pieces to our students.
While our piano lessons are specifically tailored to each student's interests and goals, we also ensure all our students have the foundational skills they need to successfully study music independently. We will help you develop a healthy and tension free technique. This includes helping you eliminate tensionful habits that may have crept into your playing over time, or were ignored by a previous teacher. A significant part of successful piano playing is the ability to control the sound you make, and a tension-free physical approach to the piano facilitates playing with control.
We will help you grow as a reader, and develop the unique skill of using your hands while your eyes are looking somewhere else. This includes learning to understand different notations that tell you about what keys to play, and when, including time signatures, key signatures, accidentals, and articulations. With your growth as a reader will come the opportunity to learn how to sight read, how to prepare pieces for performance from memory, how to harmonize familiar melodies, and how to collaborate with other musicians.
As a general guideline, we recommend that pre-college and adult students spend at least 30 minutes a day doing some sort of musical enrichment activity. Practicing music assigned during the lesson certainly counts, but there's more to growing as a musician and pianist than just playing the piano. These other activities include completing theory assignments, critically listening to recordings of pieces you're working on, composing, improvising, or rehearsing with another musician. Young children often need the support of a caretaker when practicing, and in the early stages, there may not be 30 minutes worth of activities to do at home. That's okay! Practice expectations will change as a student grows, and in the beginning the most important thing is to enjoy making music at the piano.
We love working with piano students from Ridgefield, and we would be happy to welcome you to Effinger Music Studio. For more information about our program and offerings, please get in touch.