Piano Lessons

New York City and Skype

Private Piano Lessons NYC

I teach private piano lessons at my studio in New York City on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and I also give lessons online internationally. The lessons combine traditional musical training with my unique, comprehensive, and transformative approach, the Art of Practicing.

 

 

“After only three lessons with Madeline, I have a technique that is so much freer than how I played before. And it feels natural, it feels effortless. It just flowed, in my first lesson. And that night, my practice just clicked, because it was natural. And not just the technique, but the sound is different. I had always struggled with making a big sound, without moving too much on the bench or creating a harsh sound. And the ability now to make a beautiful, big, round sound, effortlessly, is an incredible gift. “

Laura Amoriello, Piano Faculty, Ithaca College

In the Art of Practicing approach, you learn to recognize habits of overworking, tensing your body, and losing focus, and to replace them with the experience of comfortable movement, keen, joyful listening, and free musical expression. Through learning basic movement principles, you develop more physical at ease at the piano. You also use specific listening techniques to tune into each sound and achieve greater clarity and expressiveness. And you work with basic laws of rhythm and pulse to unlock the natural flow of each phrase and each piece of music.

You also use simple mental techniques for developing relaxation, focus, and presence in practice and performance. And I offer the Performing Beyond Fear exercise, a short mental technique that transforms stage fright into confidence.

If you’re considering lessons, I offer a free 45-minute consultation at my NYC studio or online. 

 

“Since studying with Madeline, my technique and expressivity have been transformed. She immediately helped me improve my positioning and to listen in a way that made me fall in love with the sound of the piano again. Her kindness and passion for music and her compassion for me as a musician helped me transform my technique so that I now play with greater ease and understanding. The tension in my back is gone, and I now perform with confidence. I can sit tall, trust myself, and share my heart moment by moment in a spontaneous way. I also share what I have learned from her with my own students. As a result, I enjoy teaching so much more now, and my students play with more ease and depth of expression. Madeline treats each student as a worthy individual, and knows how to bring out the best in each of us.”

Mary Duncan, Pianist and Teacher

Piano Technique Photos

playing piano

Madeline demonstrates an inefficient posture for playing the piano: Slumping forward cramps arm movement and creates tension in the neck, shoulders, and arms.

proper piano playing posture

In upright posture, the arms can move freely and the head balances easily on top ofthe spine, easing the load on the neck, shoulders, and arms.

private piano lesson NYC

Keeping fingers raised above the keys while other fingers are playing requires unnecessary effort from the muscles in the forearm. The excess tension spreads throughout the hand, inhibiting speed and expressiveness.

piano keys

Letting fingers rest on the keys when they are not playing minimizes tension in the hand and forearm, which increases ease and improves tone quality.

fingers on piano keys

When the wrist is level with the arch of the hand, the fingers need to bend only slightly to depress the keys. This position also allows the weight of the arm to drop directly into the keys, assisting the fingers in producing sound.

wrist position playing piano

Letting the arm move forward to assist a short finger, such as the forth, in pushing down a piano key may raise the wrist momentarily above the arch of the hand. In transferring arm wieght from the forth finger to the fifth, which is even shorter, the arm must move forward farther, causing the wrist to move even higher. Keeping the wrist in a raised position, however, causes strain.

“I was fortunate to have studied piano technique online with Madeline Bruser. Madeline is the first teacher I have met who actually knows the subject matter of piano technique, and the technique problems I had acquired in the past were actually overcome. Online study with her has always been positive because I believe she knows what she is looking for. Using the computer, she is able to see and diagnose your incorrect movements in piano playing. She guides you step by step through the process of how your hands and body need to move correctly. She effectively explains and sees in detail what many teachers aren’t even able to do in person.”

Margaret Wronka Moeckel, Pianist
Graduate of Manhattan School of Music

If you’re considering lessons, I offer a free 45-minute consultation at my NYC studio or online.

back to top