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Diane Heath teaches piano and organ privately and is also Associate Director of Music and Organist at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, where she directs the Boy Choir and works with a variety of choirs. Heath Music Studio offers piano and organ lessons to children and adults.

Young Students:

Generally piano lessons can begin around age seven. While most students take one-hour lessons, 45 minute lessons are available to young beginners. Study includes reading music (notes and rhythm), learning repertoire pieces both from reading a music score and by rote, technical exercises, regular sight-reading activities, and music theory. Composition and improvisation are included in the curriculum, and are much more accessible than many people realize. Musical styles taught include classical, jazz, ragtime, pop, and choices of repertoire are influenced by student, parents and teacher.

During the year, three piano recitals take place. These recitals, which are a blend between formal and less formal are wonderful opportunities for students to share the music resulting from practice. Families are encouraged to bring a small snack to share after the music.

Some special events that have taken place in the past include dramatized student piano performances of Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, and The Empty Pot by Demi. Seymour Bernstein’s collection, Birds was presented by the students, along with art work created by students in a workshop lead by artist, Bill Rock. Diane has also created Musical Stories for her young students, including Snake and Friends and The Tiger's Tale.

Additional playing and accompanying opportunities are available at St. Columba’s church, and families are strongly encouraged to create performing opportunities at home, church or synagogue, schools, retirement communities or other places.

Young students decorate their piano lesson assignment books during the year with stickers recognizing their achievements. Stickers are earned by learning 10 pieces, completing 100 pages of sight-reading, learning 10 scales, composing a piece of music, participating in a performance, etc, and provide an opportunity for the student, teacher and parents to pause and say, "Great Job! What an accomplishment!" Even teenaged students enjoy accruing colourful piano notebooks each year.

Adult Students:

I enjoy working with adult students at all levels. All work with adults is guided by student objectives which vary widely. Adults have the option of registering for the standard 14-lesson semester or customizing smaller blocks of lessons. Occasionally adult students get together to play for each other, with no spectators allowed, in a very supportive environment.

Lessons are generally one hour, but 45-minute lessons are also possible.

Progress and practicing have a direct relationship, and so students should base their expectations on how much time they will be able to spend at the piano. A minimum of 30 minutes per day is recommended, and more practice time will produce more results.

Inspirational reading for adult students:

Playing the Piano for Pleasure Charles Cooke
Great advice on how to practice. Good for left brain people - or those who want encouragement in that direction

Just Being at the Piano Mildred Portney Chase
Very mellow. Good for right brain people - or those who want encouragement in that direction

Piano Lessons: Music, Love, and True Adventures Noah Adams
A fun book written by an adult beginner.

Never Too Late: My Musical Life Story John Holt
Includes Holt learning to play the cello as an adult.

Making Music at the Piano: Learning Strategies for Adult Students Barbara English Maris;
A lengthy workbook/resource manual for adult beginners.

Ms. Heath has taught music to elementary through high school students at National Cathedral School, Sheridan School and the Maret School in Washington, DC, where she created a two-year general music curriculum providing a tandem exploration of the history of western music and formal elements of various types of world music.

Ms. Heath earned the Bachelor of Music Degree in Liturgical Music from Hartt School of Music and Master of Music Degree in Organ Performance and Choral Conducting from Indiana University. She also holds a diploma in Piano Pedagogy from The Levine School of Music, and has been certified as a Listening Fitness Instructor by The Listening Centre in Toronto. Her organ teachers were David Almond, Edward Clark, Larry Smith, and Marilyn Keiser. Piano study was with Mary Stanton, Alexander Farkas and Jeffrey Chappell.

Complete information about Heath Music Studio, including information about fees, can be found at www.dianeheath.org

Studio Location
Northwest Washington DC
(North Cleveland Park & A.U. Park)
(202) 966-3651