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Private Music Educational Background

Twelve years of private Classical Piano study under Ms. Fraser, organist/pianist Marin County, California. Five additional years of private Classical Piano study under Miss Faith France, soloist for the Marin Symphony of Marin County.

Private two-year study of Music theory, counterpoint, and composition with Mr. Anthony Turrietta, Composer, University of Oregon, Eugene, Or.

Continued private study in Advanced Classical Piano under Lynn Wheeler, Ph.D., Chair of Music Dept.,Pacific Union College, CA Dr. Wheeler studied under Leon Fleisher.

Esther participated in a working Trio of Harpsichord, Cello, and Flute, performing Early Music-pre Bach-around the Bay Area in the late 1980's, early 90's. The Trio had the fortune to be coached by Early Music Specialist, Tamitha Loring, Dominican College, Ca.

Pianist/ teacher/performer/educator in the Bay Area for 30+ years, Esther is a Fourth Generation San Franciscan and hails from a large musical/artistic family. She has taught hundreds of children and Adults and was independently contracted in Santa Rosa, CA. for many years. She maintained a Private studio of 50+ students weekly, then became a "traveler" to individual homes throughout the Northern Bay Area.

Children/Adults with Special Needs

Children and Adults with ADHD, ADD, Generalized/Social Anxiety Disorders, Self-Esteem issues, are most welcome and highly encouraged in Esther's Practice. Often, these are the gifted ones, having much to give our world and to themselves. Relaxation, imaging techniques, self-quieting and calming techniques, breath-work are offered to help the students study, moving gently and slowly through their lessons. Hand and body work is also addressed to aid in relaxing the student to play at their very best and discover their own unique talents in Music. Piano study and Music is a calmative, restorative, healing process with these diamonds in the rough, who sometimes are just seen as a behavioral problem. Esther is a trained Child Therapist with a Graduate Degree in Family Systems and encompasses her training within the piano lessons, as well.

Active Imagination in Lessons

The use of active imagination is so important for young children and Esther often utilizes the child's own world to facilitate in conceptualizing musical language. This has led to very interesting ideas from many students. One student conceptualized the Bar and Measure as 'Doors and People'. For her, it was a device to remember the rather complex idea in her own special fashion. One older student gave the notion of going through a trough in a river, to understand the slur. These are highly inventive, and creative avenues for the students and the use of imaging is, indeed, potent.

Music Appreciation

In addendum to keyboard study, Esther offers Music Appreciation for all. This addition of stories of the Composers and their Music are in-depth and exhaustively researched, indeed, they are jaw dropping to hear. The tales note the brutal polarity of somewhat flawed individuals with the incredible glory of their music withstanding the test of time. The selected Music is an amplification of each presentation, sometimes bringing laughter, sometimes bringing tears...

Philosophy of Teaching

Each student who comes to me is an individual. I hand-tailor each course of study, keeping in mind the student’s level of interest, stamina, goals, and intent. I try to sense when to push, when to pull back, and when to stop altogether.

At times, there are tears of frustration, and it is crucial to take that experience and turn it into a positive learning situation. During the course of a lesson, we’ll take a "brain break" and simply talk about the day, or what colors the student likes—anything to release the tension of acquiring a new language. In moments, we are ready to begin again, refreshed and renewed.

To push students too much, being insensitive to their needs and limits, is to fail them. Sometimes this may cause students to dislike not only Piano, but Music itself. That may translate into profound personal regret years later. As their Teacher, I do anything and everything to avoid that occurrence, making adjustments, realignments, and pedagogical alterations of their course of study.

Yes, of course, children and adults quit at times, but only on a positive note, with suggestions of other avenues to explore, other ways to learn and grow. Closure is consciously done in a good and healthy way, and students are not ever deliberately abandoned.

Ultimately, I never give up with whom I work and attempt to instill that work ethic in each student. This is an instrument that requires tenacity, dedication, and strength. Further, it requires humility in recognizing personal and professional limitations with gracefulness and peace. We all can’t be world-class Pianists; yet, we can all possess within us their qualities of the love, joy, and sheer wonder that Music brings to both the listener and performer.

Studio Features

Studio consists of Professional Instruments only.
One: A classic well-maintained GA-1 Yamaha Grand
Two: A state of the Art 'slim-line' Digital with recording.
Students are recorded each week for their education and learning. By listening to themselves, Students immediately correct pedagogical problems. The Digital with Headset also serves to occupy a Sibling while the other is busy with a lesson. Instead of down time in Music, they can practice as they wait.

Studio Location
10 Market Place
Irvine, CA 92602
(949) 870-6200