My Teaching Philosophy, Approach, and Student Testimonials
Over the years I have taught thousands of lessons to students of many ages, levels, styles, and backgrounds. Frequently, when I am meeting a new prospective student, I am asked what it is that sets my teaching apart from other teachers in the area. So for the record, here’s my answer…
1. My student centered approach begins with getting to know each student individually through a free initial meeting which combines informal conversation with formal assessment to get to know the student’s personality, likes, needs, desires, learning style, and preferred learning environment while offering the student a chance to get to know me.
2. This is followed up at each lesson with a two prong approach combining:
A. Individually tailored lesson plans with the goal of mastering the mechanics of notes, fingering and rhythm, the expressive details of touch, dynamics and tempo, and addressing the elements of form and music theory. Each lesson plan is designed to build on previously gathered information about the student in order to guarantee that no element vital to the student's progress is lost.
B. Relationship building directed towards developing a unique learning partnership with each student and/or their family through the encouragement of mutual respect and active two way communication.
3. Clearly written progress notes and assignments are generated from each lesson which also promotes clear expectations and accountability for progress.
4. The lessons focus on the areas of repertoire, technique, theory, and expression. My openness to working with different styles of music reflects my belief that it is individual pieces of music, and not styles that are great. This approach balances what is relevant and meaningful to both teacher and student incorporating custom written transcriptions or arrangements of individual pieces if what is needed is not commercially available.
5. An active, engaging teaching style aimed at promoting enthusiasm, a deep understanding of music essentials, and comprehensive musicianship
6. The craft of music, and creativity are developed and encouraged through instruction in music theory, song writing, composition, and improvisation as desired.
7. I also promote an active engagement with the specific area of performance skills.
8. References and testimonials are available for review.
"Robert is an excellent teacher and Emily's really enjoying his teaching."
“Thomas has really enjoyed taking lessons from you and has made strides in his playing under your direction.”
“Thanks also for the terrific job you are doing teaching and engaging Taara…… she is now practicing of her own accord and without being pushed to, as she now really enjoys playing!”
“Arthur adores and likes to be with Robert. Robert is a very good teacher who tries to understand your children's personalities and interests before giving them lessons. Arthur has been with him for more than 2 years. I told Robert my expectation toward Arthur in learning piano, and also about Arthur's personality. And, Robert gave me his idea about how to approach Arthur before our trial lesson. He is well organized and detailed. At the end of each session, he always gives parents a paper about your child's progress and assignment.”
“I'd like to thank Mr. Gans for his extraordinary patience and willingness to teach Piano to a young student as my son, Kurn. My son was just 3.5 years old when he began... I was not very sure how things would pan out given that a typical pre-schooler has a short attention-span and under-developed motor skills. But, under the able guidance of Mr. Gans, my son has consistently demonstrated enthusiasm to attend his Piano class and has made nice progress.”
“Thank you very much for suggesting Mr. Gans as a teacher for Ansel. Mr. Gans is exactly the kind of a teacher I was looking for, in terms of his teaching style, skill, and personality. Both Ansel and I were very happy with how the lesson went. Thank you for understanding exactly what our needs were - it's a perfect match!”
“Robert is an excellent teacher, Andy enjoyed very much of his teaching, he progresses very quickly during this short period of time, most importantly, he is now enjoying playing piano very much. I would like to thank Robert for his excellent work, and thank you for your guidance and advice for our music classes.”
“Jeffrey has shown improvement this year in many ways from finger dexterity to enthusiasm and interest. Thank you for fostering his growth and continuing to encourage him.”
“Thanks so much for making Luka's piano lessons so enjoyable.”
“The children and parents were very excited to tell me how much they enjoyed your class a couple of weeks ago. Two of the mothers repeatedly mentioned that the children learned so much! Thank you so much”