The life lessons learned in piano study prepare students for a rich and active professional life that is full of artistic pursuits as well as creative thinking that benefits a career in any field. Alumni of the Kosutic Piano Studio have excelled in their academic study, and have gone on to many prestigious colleges and universities such as Princeton, M.I.T., Columbia, Georgetown, Brown, Stanford, Berkeley, UVA, James Madison, VA Tech, Colorado, and many others. Alumni have continued on with their musical study during their collegiate lives as well as afterwards - enjoying music as a life-long pursuit and sharing with their family and friends. Balance is always the key: study, practice, and healthy unstructured play are all important for healthy growth.
Music is a DISCIPLINE that requires much hard work and concentration. It does not offer instant gratification, and students and their parents must make a long-term commitment to experience musical development. Generally, one hour of daily practice (at least) is recommended for serious musical growth.
It is the responsibility of the parents to set up a quiet practice area free from distractions, practice with their child in the younger years, and monitor them as they grow up and develop to ensure they are practicing properly. Daily practice is just as important as your lesson - schedule it into you day just like your other after-school activities.
Everyone has different goals for their piano study. I have two tracks in my studio: Competitive Track, and Artistic Track.
Competitive Track - To play at a high level and participate in the most competitive events, I recommend daily practice of 1 hour and 30 mins up to 2 hours. Beginners up to age 6-7 may break up the practice time into two 30-45 mins. sessions. Age 8-9 may break up practice time into two 30-45 mins. sessions. Age 10-11 two 45 mins. sessions daily or even more if possible. Age 12-13 two hours daily whenever possible.
Artistic Track - For students who want to build strong musical skills to last a lifetime, and also participate in some events: age 5-6 you may divide up the practice time into two 20-25 mins. practice sessions, age 7-8 I recommend 30-45 mins. - or even more, which may be broken up into two sessions. Depending on your goals, age 9-10 45 mins. to 1 hour, or even more whenever possible. Age 11-12 should practice a minimum of 1 hour daily, which may be broken up into two sessions. Age 13-14 one hour and 30 mins. daily whenever possible, which may be broken up into smaller sessions. As students grow up, schedules become tight BUT strong skills will last through high school if they do good work as young children - piano study can continue into high school! WE BUILD THESE LIFE-LONG SKILLS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 6-12 - REGULAR PRACTICE IN THESE YOUNG YEARS IS MOST IMPORTANT.
I tailor your child's musical instruction to maximize their musical growth.
Private Lessons Private lessons are structured into three parts: technique, sight-reading, and musical repertoire.
Technique - Hanon, Scales, Broken Chords and Blocked Chords, Arpeggios, Chromatic scales. Focus is on dropping arm weight into the keys, shifting weight from finger to finger, and developing fast finger reflexes. All this is done in order to create a good singing tone, and to this end we focus on Listening as we play.
Sightreading - Reading is fundamental, and I assign weekly sight-reading which i check every lesson. I use a variety of sight-reading methods including Four-Star Series, Winning Rhythms, Scales and Chords are Fun and many others.
Music Repertoire - Children develop good taste in music and art through exposure to a variety of different styles, and I assign music that is from the various style periods and moods and character. Students grow best when challenged in different ways, and so I assign students music at different levels of difficulty to help maximize their growth. Students enjoy picking out new music throughout the school year, but we pick out the bulk of new music in the summer months to map it out ahead of the new school year - this alleviates the stress of the Fall season. We choose music based on what events the child will participate in the upcoming year.
Music Theory - Reading and Writing "go hand in glove," and is incorporated into the lessons. Most students participate in the NVMTA Theory Mastery Day Test, and we prepare carefully for that event in February.
Group Classes are vitally important to the growth of young pianists. They are held monthly, and provide a positive forum for students to practice performing their repertoire, develop confidence in their own abilities, learn from watching others, participate in listening games and activities. We have food following some of the classes so the students get to know each other better and build friendships and a sense of community within the studio.
Studio Recitals are held in early December, mid-May, and in August. They are held at different locations such as The Women's Club of Arlington, They Lyceum, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax.
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