Piano Lessons

I love helping pianists shed years of inefficient habits and discover how to play much more easily and expressively.

Every detail of body position and movement makes a difference. So does having more awareness of sound and rhythmic impulses. It’s like putting a puzzle together – you put all the pieces in place to create something whole and brilliant. There’s nothing like the feeling of genuine mastery of your instrument.

I focus a lot on each student’s perceptions and ideas, so that we can collaborate to create an exciting learning experience for both of us. So instead of only giving you my ideas of how to improve your playing, I will also ask you questions to find out what you already understand and to encourage your own thought process.

Questions like, “How did that feel?” “How did it sound to you?” And even, “What do you think you could do to improve it?” We end up having a real creative dialogue in which I get to know you and can really support your natural learning process with my appreciation and input. Every lesson becomes a rich and fun experience.

“I came to Madeline to fix bad habits and improve my technique, but I almost feel like those were fixed incidentally, and that I learned much more important things along the way. She taught me how to really connect with, listen to, and trust myself — both my body and my heart. I regained the confidence I had lost and learned how to create space for myself to grow, as a pianist and person.”

–Amy Lam, pianist

PIANO TECHNIQUE

I’m passionate about piano technique. Experiencing the physical energy moving freely through your body in relationship to the piano is joyful and life-giving. And that physical pleasure, combined with the visceral experience of taking in the sounds you love as you’re playing, brings such vibrancy to the music you make. No one should feel uncomfortable playing the piano. The happier your body is, the better you’ll sound.

“I discovered an amazing way to move my hands and body that was very gratifying physically. From the very first lesson I got back in touch with my body, and feeling my hands, and a certain physical pleasure in playing the piano.”

–Christian Bonvin, pianist and teacher

“After only three lessons with Madeline, my technique feels amazingly natural and effortless. Instead of struggling for power and sounding harsh, I can now make a beautiful, big, round sound easily, just by making simple changes in how I use my body.”

–Laura Amoriello, Piano Faculty, Ithaca College

“I was unhappy with my playing for years when I started studying with Madeline. She taught me so much about technique, listening, practice, performance, and mindfulness, and all of it completely transformed both my playing and my life. It is because of these lessons with her that I trust in my music making again, and I trust in my heart.”

–Jad Bernardo, pianist and coach

ONLINE LESSONS

Madeline on teaching online:

“The first time I taught online I was amazed. It was incredible to be teaching in Borneo from my studio in New York and to be able to instantly see and feel where the student was holding tension in her body, and to help her play more easily. She sounded better quickly, and I was so grateful for this fantastic technology. I still can hardly believe that I’m able to help musicians all over the world.”

“Teaching me online, Madeline explained and saw in detail what many teachers can’t even do in person. She helped me solve long standing technical problems, and I finally feel confident at the piano.”

–Margaret Wronka Moeckel, pianist, alum of Manhattan School of Music

If you’re ready to discover new possibilities in your playing by breaking free of habits that are holding you back, take the first step now, and set up a complimentary diagnostic session.

INJURY PREVENTION AND RECOVERY

Scientists have said that playing a musical instrument is the most complex neuromuscular activity that people engage in. This means that practicing and performing make extreme demands on your coordination, requiring maximum physical control, sensitivity, and precision. It’s easy to fall short of the high level of physical expertise that you need to master your instrument. Because musicians often use their bodies inefficiently and practice with excess tension, 75% of them develop practice-related injuries.

Specializing in piano technique has enabled me to help many pianists recover from their injuries. Read three case histories of accomplished pianists who were able to recover from their injuries and resume playing through their work with me.

Of course, it’s best to prevent an injury from happening in the first place. By training pianists step-by-step in using their hands, arms, and body comfortably and efficiently, I help them avoid excess tension and injury and fully express the music that’s inside of them.

Here's more info:

These workshops will give you
  • A reliable method for practicing with more ease and focus
  • The ability to play with more emotional intensity yet less physical tension
  • Greater access to your deepest musical potential
  • Stronger stage presence
  • A potent three-step technique for unlocking your communicative power and transforming stage fright into confidence.
How many workshop groups are there? What happens in them?

The Basic Group meets twice a month for 90 minutes, and each session includes 10 minutes of either mindfulness meditation, or the Performing Beyond Fear exercise, or Focusing practice – a mindfulness practice in which you explore your inner bodily experience of emotional energies. Each of these instruction 10-minute periods includes brief instruction. Following the mindfulness practice are a group discussion and a 45-minute master class with me for one of the participants. In between sessions, group members can stay in touch through a secret Facebook group, where you can share experiences and ask questions. All sessions will be recorded, so if you miss a session you can view the recording.

The Premium Group, with a maximum of 3 participants, also meets twice a month for 90  minutes, if one person plays or sings in the session, or for two hours,  if two people play or sing in the session. All Premium members can also participate in the Basic Group. As with the Basic Group, mindfulness practice begins the session, followed by group discussion and a master class session with one of the participants. In these more intimate Premium Group sessions, participants each work with me at their instrument once a month, and the work and discussions can be more personal and in-depth. This group will also have its own secret Facebook group to stay connected between sessions, and all sessions will be recorded for later viewing.

What does the Basic Group cost? What will I get for that price?

The Basic Group costs $50 per month, and includes the following:

  • Brief practice of mindfulness meditation, the Performing Beyond Fear exercise, and Focusing practice (brief instruction included)
  • Discussion with a maximum of 12 participants, plus our faculty
  • The opportunity to sometimes work with me in one of the master class sessions.
  • Membership in the group’s secret Facebook group, where you can share experiences and ask questions of each other between sessions.
  • Access to recordings of each session
What does the Premium Group cost? What will I get for that price?

The Premium Group costs $145 per month, and includes the following:

  • Participation in the Basic Group
  • The three mindfulness practices we do in the Basic Group (meditation, Performing Beyond Fear, Focusing).
  • Discussion in a more intimate group with a maximum of 3 participants and myself, allowing more personal and in-depth conversation
  • The opportunity to work with me at your instrument once a month
  • Membership in this group’s secret Facebook group, where you can share experiences and ask each other questions between sessions
  • Access to recordings of each session
How do I know which group is for me?

The Basic Group is for you if

  • You’re curious to try a new approach to practicing and performing
  • You’ve heard about API and would like to experience it a little
  • You want the community support – both live and online – of other musicians who are willing to explore practice and performance on a new level
  • You’ve already participated in API programs or lessons and would like to continue the experience.
  • You like the idea of occasionally working on your playing or singing in a master class setting, or you want to learn through observing others in that setting

The Premium Group is for you if

  • You’re ready to work more often and in depth with the API approach
  • You like the idea of sharing personal challenges and breakthroughs with one or two other committed people with whom you can explore all the musical and emotional facets of your playing or singing
  • You want to explore specific, current issues in your playing or singing in each monthly working session with your instrument
  • You’re performing professionally or oriented toward that goal
  • You’re a teacher of professionally-oriented performers or amateur, and you want to deepen your own understanding for their benefit as well as your own
When do the groups meet?

The Basic Group meets two Thursdays each month at 1:00 PM Eastern Time. You can join the group at any time.

Dates for early 2020 are:

January 16 and 30
February 13 and 27
March 5 and 12
April 2 and 16

The Premium Group meeting times are TBA and based upon the availability of the participants.

Payment/Refund Policy
  • The credit or debit card you use to pay for your group will be automatically billed monthly, according to the first date you use it for your payment.
  • You can participate live in as many sessions as you are able to, and you may also watch the video recordings of any sessions you have paid for.
  • After the first three scheduled sessions, you are responsible for each month’s payment, and sessions cannot be refunded.
  • If you withdraw from your particular group (Basic or Premium) within its first three scheduled sessions, payments you have made for any sessions you have not participated in, or for which you have not already been sent the video, can be refunded.
  • The deadline for withdrawing from your particular group is midnight Eastern Time on the day after the last session you have paid for.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have about the workshops – including what will happen in them and which group is for you. We want everyone to feel they belong – that you’re part of our community and that you have the best possible experience.

If you feel ready to join us, we’re excited to include you.

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