Piano Lessons with Lucinda Winslow
Evolving together through Music
"Jazz will endure just as long as people hear it through their feet instead of their brains." - John Philip Sousa
On Hold and Counting (And a 1, and a 2, and a...)
Ten weeks and counting. We thankfully hear that our families are well. Many piano studios have gone virtual, with Face Time and ZOOM. Life sucked me into a darker orbit, with my hundred year old father taking a dive, then failing as the pandemic took hold. He passed April 20, 2020.
In the month since, with the isolation and time for grieving, the studio has still not reopened. But going forward, those who are interested in resuming lessons or experimenting with a virtual format are welcome to contact me. I have reports from colleagues that Face Time lessons are working great!
Music No Matter What
Update, 3-12-20. We held a "March Piano Share" with students at Creative Learning @FPC this afternoon. 10 children grades 3-5 in our Pro Bono studio, played for each other in workshop setting...but on a Steinway Concert Grand in First Presbyterian's Fellowship Hall, and for the entire after school group. Each played pieces they've been working on since January, to practice playing for one another and also to retire pieces before the big push till June. They did well, a credit to our ten Practice Partners who come every week to practice with the children (many are students in my regular studio). The event was more significant since schools will now close for two weeks and beyond for Covid-19. There was a sense of sweetness, not knowing when we will meet again.
INTENTION: The joy of music through piano
What we are, each of us, is MUSIC.
Our hearts beat. We are Rhythm.
Our breath lifts our voices. We are Melody.
We listen each other into being. We are Harmony. Come explore & express the Music you ARE through piano.
"Music gives a Soul to the Universe,
Wings to the Mind,
Flight to the Imagination &
Life to Everything." ~ Plato
I teach piano to adults, teens and children, ages 6 and up, beginner through advanced. Mine is a classical approach, teaching theory, sight reading and music from classics to jazz. I use the Taubman Approach for effortless and musical whole arm-hand-finger technique, an ergonomic approach to playing which avoids injury and maximizes musicianship. I advance students using the Royal Conservatory of Music benchmarks, unleashing fluency, musicianship and expressivity. Both children and adults progress, depending on practice and ability, a level a year.
WHY PIANO LESSONS? THE KIDS REFLECT:
"It's my time to relax," ~12th grader *"Piano is challenging. It makes you think."~ 7th grader * "It's a friend when you need it."~ 8th grader. * "Piano's fun and it's a de-stressor."~6th grader. * "It helps me to express my feelings." ~9th grader. * "Music is important in the world because it's a way for people to express their feelings and understand each other." ~ Max, age 12 * "I recommend piano because it's relaxing and sounds really good. It also helps you with math"-Chris age 11 * And a fourth grader adds: "Piano is fun. It stops you being grumpy."
Lucinda Winslow has a lifetime of experience with piano, music and theater. She has studied piano with John Goldmark, (Mannes School of Music, NYC), Margaret Marshall, Elspeth MacFarland, Shari Weisz (Certified Taubman Instructor). With a BA from Harvard University and a Masters in Opera Directing from Indiana University, Lucinda has served as artistic director of three theater and opera companies, directing over 60 operas and operettas in the Northeast and has written for television and run many programs for children. She founded Harmony of the Spheres in 2004. Some children have stayed 12 years. She began the piano program at Creative Learning@FPC in 2015, and currently teaches 10 children, and coordinates 9 practice partners working with the children K-5 throughout the school year.
"Lucinda is the "real deal" and a consummate professional. Only superlatives apply to her teaching skills;
broad knowledge base; intellect; understanding; compassion; enthusiasm; endearing personality; and overt love of music and the piano. She is more than adept and competent at her craft. After seven years of lessons, I consider Lucinda to be both my mentor and my friend. She introduced me to The Taubman Technique which has enabled me to improve more rapidly than I ever considered possible. ...To say that I highly recommend her is an understatement!"
"Lucinda, I am standing witness to the transforming power of music and your magnificent gift in invoking the best in your students. If there were such a word, I would say you are a "Music Invocateur." You carry the love magic that combines with talent to invoke something within the student."
~ Jane Velton, 'Calling in the One' Coach and Writer
Our 15th Recital "From Baroque to Boogie"
"We have fallen into the place where everything is Music" ~ Jelaluddin Rumi
Duets by BFF's are fun
Children from the Creative Learning Piano, our satellite program, learn how fun duets can be. Here they play a combo of modern and Beethoven together. It's their favorite way to be at the piano! Adults enjoy duets as well- they are companionable and there is music for every skill level.
Starting out ...
Children start as young as 6 or 7 learning the approach to the piano, learning to read music and note values, and then the fun of sharing. Age and level appropriate music, starting with flash cards for notes and note values and preparatory level music, moving out into repertoire that is fun and challenging.
...Through Senior Year
I have graduated many students, some who joined as kindergardeners. Not only are the friendships developed over this time extraordinary, but these young men and women graduate with advanced repertoire, RCM levels 8-10, with Beethoven, Chopin, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Scriabin, Tchaikovsky, Grieg and Mozart, but also Scott Joplin and Jazz.
15 years of recitals
We have two recitals and a few workshops just for kids during the year.
In June, the advanced Creative Learning kids play along side the teens who practice with them. We also have two parties at Creative Learning, December and June, where the children share their music with over a 100 familiy and church members, and the practice partners as well.
NOTINGS: A blog
It has been ten weeks since the state of Connecticut shut down. Ten weeks since I have seen the lovely faces of my students, both at the studio and at Creative Learning. Longer…
May 24, 2020
This Covid-19 event is unfolding to me like the petals of a rose. The outer petals are showy, dense, closest to the thorns of fear thinking, the counting of rising infections…
March 18, 2020
How do you mark the passage of time? For fifteen years now, I have felt the rhythm of the year through piano celebrations, one in December, one in June, at the Solstice.…
June 24, 2019
THE PIANO LESSONS
"It's easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key
at the right time and the instrument will play itself." - J.S. Bach
Welcome to Harmony of the Spheres. Just finishing our 15th season with a fabulous June Piano Celebration in my home studio in Stamford, CT. The studio accepts piano students as young as six to adult, beginner to advanced, to learn music theory, an approach to the piano that will last a life time, and the joy of music. With a classical emphasis, students also explore jazz and contemporary music.
Getting to Know You lessons
One four week session- $360
- We start with a free interview and piano lesson, to make sure we will get along, and understand what is involved
- Then we begin a series of four weeks, two half-hours a week, to learn the approach to the piano
- We may repeat this series till the child or adult is really connecting to the piano, and has a handle on reading music, and how to move around the keyboard.
- Prerequisite: Interest, and access to a piano at home.
A Year of Lessons
$90 for one hour, $80 for 45 minutes.
Then we move to a year of lessons, which includes:
- Two performance events, December and June
- Two workshops for children
- Optional access to local festivals for additional performance experience if desired
- Regular once a week lesson during the Stamford School calendar and occasional extra gaps for my other work. 2 makeups per semester only.
Volunteer as a Practice Partner
Volunteering can change a life...and yours!
Adults and high school students are invited to volunteer as a Practice Partner at Creative Learning@FPC with children K-5th grade.
- One day a week during the school year working with children, sharing your love of music and being a caring adult in these children's lives. A gift of a lifetime!
- The experience is richly rewarding, as these children who otherwise would not have the opportunity grow in music and confidence.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for Music.”- Sergei Rachmaninov
Do I need a piano in order to begin lessons?
Yes. A student needs access to a well-maintained home piano to begin lessons. The piano is actually a harp with hammers, and it is exciting to learn how to make different sounds with gradations of touch, speed, etc. I strongly encourage a piano over a keyboard, however it's possible to start out with a full-size keyboard with 88-keys, (weighted, touch-sensitive) with pedal capability. Since good keyboards can be as expensive as a second hand piano, I recommend renting or purchasing a real piano.
How old should my child be before beginning piano lessons?
Generally, somewhere between 6 and 8 years old after the child has learned to read. Older beginners and adults bring different skills, but the approach to the piano is the same...learning to drop and balance on the keys, learning to move in and out according to finger length, learning to read music.
Where are lessons taught?
In my home studio in Stamford, a space is steeped in piano learning and music. A parent who drives their children to a lesson is demonstrating the value they put on the lesson time. Please note: At this time we do have a cat, but the studio is generally off limits.
How much do lessons cost?
Getting to Know You Lessons: eight half hour lessons, two times a week, to build an approach to the instrument. $360. Generally students do anywhere from 2 to 6 of this series.
Year long lessons, September to June: Piano is a process, and I usually think of a year at a time, to allow for ups and downs, and the real feel of accomplishment at the end. 60-min.: $90 ; 45-min.: $75. Teaching materials are billed separately. Lessons are billed in advance, for 6-8 weeks, depending on the month.
I will decide what length of lesson is appropriate. Generally age 10 and up, children move to hour lessons.
How much should my child practice? Or an adult beginner?
I give clear practice guidelines to each student. "Practicing smart" is a skill that needs more accuracy than time. That said, I recommend a half hour a day, 10 minutes at time, 5 days a week for a beginner, working up to an hour a day--in 2 sessions-- for more advanced players and adults. Parents need to set regular practice times, without distractions. Attention fosters interest rapid progress, enthusiasm and confidence. I encourage parents to attend lessons of beginning students and practice with them for company and guidance.
Will my child play in a recital?
Yes, if he or she wants to. I offer four performance opportunities a year: December and June, and then workshops for kids in November and April. I can also arrange performance opportunities through the Schubert Club and local festivals if there is interest. However, no one every has to perform if they wish not to.
"Even as my fingers on these keys make music, So the self same sounds on my spirit make a music, too.
Music is feeling then, not sound...." ~Wallace Stevens, Peter Quince at the Clavier
“I took piano lessons with Lucinda Winslow from the time I was seven years old till I graduated high school. Lucinda taught me to play in a way that was fun and interesting while helping me develop my passion for music. Lucinda is my role model, she is intelligent, kind, full of wisdom and she inspires me. Lucinda is more than my piano teacher, she is my friend.
I absolutely recommend Lucinda Winslow’s piano studio. You couldn’t ask for a better teacher.”
"Our children (15 years and 13 years) have been taking piano lessons from Lucinda for 7 years and love learning with her. As a piano teacher, Lucinda sets a high standard of playing, coupled with a gentle and encouraging style of teaching. Her informal workshops and family concerts provide a real focus to master the pieces our children are learning. Lucinda inspires a love of music and provides the flexibility for our children to explore pieces that interest them. If I had the time, I would take lessons from her too!"
"I'd rather be a musician than a rock star." ~George Harrison
Welcome! I'm excited you're interested in piano lessons. Please fill out the form below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. In the message section, let me know if the lesson is for a child or an adult, any previous experience with piano, whether you have a piano or plan to rent one, and when you would be free for an interview.
I look forward to getting know you!
Benefits of playing piano, taking piano lessons and the research backing it up:
Is Music is the Key to Success- Joanne Lipman, NY Times, Oct. 2013
"Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields?...MORE>
4 Ways Parents Can ensure their Child Sticks with Piano Lessons
These common sense suggestions make a smooth transition from elementary to middle school--including "don't let quitting be an option. MORE>
Rewards of Music Education - Steinway & Sons
"New research proves the value of childhood music education. Piano lessons in early childhood has lasting rewards. There is an undeniably strong correlation between music education and the development of skills that children need to become successful in life. Self-discipline, patience, sensitivity, coordination and the ability to memorize and concentrate are all enhanced by the study of music..." MORE>
Ten Ways Piano Playing Makes You Healthier and Smarter- May 2011
"It’s music to my ears and to my heart. Playing the piano can make you healthier and smarter. There’s scientific research to prove it. Here’s the top 10 ways being a piano player can improve the quality of your life. 1. Music keeps your ears young... ..MORE>
Piano Lessons Were the Best Thing Your Parents Ever Did for You!-T. Barnes
"A variety of scientific studies have demonstrated the positive effect of music on the brain and learning in general. They have been collected in this article by Tom Barnes..."
The Taubman Approach to the Piano
Dorothy Taubman: The Taubman Approach
Dorothy Taubman developed this approach to piano technique based on an analysis of the motions needed for virtuosity and musical expression, but at first earned a reputation through its high rate of success in curing playing injuries...
The Taubman Approach at the Golandsky Institute
Decades ago, Dorothy Taubman's genius led her to analyze what underlies virtuoso piano playing. The result of that investigation has produced a body of knowledge that can lead to an effortless and brilliant technique. It can also prevent and cure fatigue, pain and other playing-related injuries. This work continues with Edna Goldandsky at the Golandsky Institute...