FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT ERICA FEIDNER’S LEARNING APPROACH
What method does Erica use to teach beginners?
Piano expert Erica Feidner teaches people to read music and play piano in one lesson. She’s been granted a patent on her approach, which means it HAS to work! To be issued a patent, even a layman must be able to understand it – FACT!
In 2006, Erica developed an easy way to read music and play piano in minutes. Then, she applied for a patent. At first, she was told that her teaching approach to reading music was “TOO OBVIOUS!” Imagine that! learning to read music in such a way that is “too obvious!!” Best testimonial ever, and it came from the illustrious USPTO.
What method books does Erica use for beginner piano students?
Erica tailors her piano books and repertoire recommendations to each student, recognizing their unique strengths, interests, and challenges. Each student has their own personalized collection of piano books that have been selected specifically for them by Erica, with the goal of making progress while enjoying fun and interesting pieces.
How many pieces will my child learn?
While many teachers focus on learning one or two pieces during the academic year, Erica encourages learning many different kinds of music-related topics at the same time – from the very beginning – backed by the confidence that new concepts or material is explained in a way each student understands – prior to the student’s departure from their piano class.
Weekly assignments usually have a detailed “roadmap” indicating how to approach the 3-5 pieces/activities listed. Some pieces on the assignment might be new to the student, while others are in progress. From time to time, a piece from the learned repertoire is listed for the purposes of keeping the piece “in the student’s fingers” and making certain the student feels like they are always able to sit down at any time to play a piano piece for themselves, for family, or for a pop-up performance for guests.
Does Erica “make” her piano students practice every day?
Does Erica “make” her piano students practice every day?
Nope! As a teacher, Erica not only makes lessons enjoyable but also crafts fun, interesting weekly assignments tailored to each student’s interests, promoting progress.
For children, Erica suggests visiting the piano and completing their assignment 4 or more times between weekly lessons. At the start of each lesson, she asks questions such as, “Was your assignment too easy, too hard, or just right? Was it too long, too short, or just right?” Once she knows how much time was or was not spent at the piano that week, she can better gauge how to proceed with that particular lesson.
Some students work with Erica with the understanding that progress will be made during the lesson itself. (In other words, the is no practicing at all!)
For adults, who usually have a good sense of what they want to achieve, they are in the driver’s seat.
How young can my child begin taking lessons with Erica and how long will their piano lessons be?
Erica works with children as young as 2 or 3. Lessons are 15 minutes at a time.
For children ages 4 (and sometimes 5), 30-minute lessons or longer are an option.
Children ages 5 – 10 come for 45 or 60-minute lessons, while children ages 11 and up stay for an hour of “piano fun” with Erica.
My child cannot sit still. Will they be able to begin piano lessons with Erica?
Absolutely! It’s Erica’s job and responsibility as a teacher to inspire children to love music and to enjoy their lessons with her, and she takes this responsibility very seriously. It is also her job to keep children of any age fully engaged for the entirety of their lesson. Piano lessons with Erica are always chock full of fun activities and games. These are the backbone of my approach to teaching, making this seemingly difficult task very easy.
My teenage child does not want to take piano lessons, but I want them to. Can Erica help?
YES, Erica can certainly help in this situation. Setting up a “meet and greet” to find a solution that works for everyone involved works like a charm. Occasionally, students do not practice at all and that is okay if all parties (parent, child, and Erica) agree to it. In this case, phenomenal progress is still made.
How much does Erica charge for piano lessons?
Erica’s hourly rate is $150 per hour. 30-minute piano lessons for ages 4 (and sometimes 5) are $75. For ages 5 – 10, 45-minute piano lessons are $112.50 and 60-minute lessons for any age are $150.
Being a pianist and being a piano teacher are two distinct professions. Both professions are challenging and take enormous amounts of time and dedication. And yet, not every pianist is born to become a good piano teacher.
The fact is, this piano expert has spent the better part of her lifetime becoming a concert pianist and honing her piano teaching skills (while enjoying it all the way). The numerous years crafting a patent on her teaching approach and going through the tedious, lengthy patent application process were exhausting, exhilarating, and excruciating (and expensive!). But Erica knew in her heart that it would be worthwhile and that she would treasure the result of all the hard work for the rest of her life.
Does Erica offer a free trial lesson?
No, the fact of the matter is, this piano expert does not offer a free trial lesson. She does, after all, teach people to read music and play piano in their first lesson!
Erica has become an expert in “creating a good fit” between student and teacher. This is the second reason that a trial lesson is not offered.
Beyond her substantial credentials regarding her work, Erica sometimes offers to chat about her philosophy and approach with an initial 15-minute phone call. If circumstances dictate, Erica occasionally arranges for a short meet and greet for new students and their families.
Does Erica make “house calls” to people’s homes?
She enjoys spending her time teaching, not traveling. Her studio is packed with lots of fun activities and games, most of which have been developed by her. In her experience, these activities facilitate swift understanding and sprinkle joyful interaction during lessons. Therefore, it’s better for the education of students to come to Erica’s piano studio.
As a pianist, why did Erica enter the Miss America Scholarship Competition?
As Miss Vermont 1985, and subsequently a contestant at Miss America in Atlantic City, Erica wanted to help introduce Classical Music to those people in the state of Vermont who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to listen to it before.
Did she study Piano Pedagogy?
While Erica chose to take the concert pianist route, she began teaching piano nearly half a century ago when she was 9 years old. She’s been surrounded by pianos, piano students, and piano teachers her entire life, so she is very familiar with most methods of teaching, including the Suzuki method, RCM, etc.
The fact is, a degree in Piano Pedagogy does not necessarily make an individual a great piano teacher or an expert on all things piano.
Which pianists did Erica study with?
Erica began taking piano lessons with her mother in a group setting starting at the age of 3. Later, her father began spending time at the piano with her as well. Subsequently, at the age of 11, Erica traveled five hours each way on a weekly basis to NYC to study with Edgar Roberts and Leonard Eisner at The Juilliard School Preparatory Division.
During her Junior year of high school, she continued her studies in NYC with Daniel Epstein. The following year, she skipped her Senior year of high school and continued her piano studies with Daniel Epstein at SUNY Purchase.