Lisa Donovan Lukas      Composer/Pianist/Songwriter/Teacher        

Palisades Music Studio

      

        


Mission

Welcome to Palisades Music Studio.  My goal as a piano teacher is to encourage musical growth and creativity that expands each student’s love for and appreciation of music. Students learn to perform and understand the music that they are playing and enjoying. I draw from my own musical experience and education to guide the development of performance, reading, ear-training and music theory as they relate to the pieces being studied.  I also teach songwriting (both music and lyrics) and music composition. I am a very patient, creative teacher.  I offer individualized instruction so that students progress at their own pace.
                                                                                                                                                      
Music has given me so much joy in my life! I love to teach others about music so that they can experience this joy as well.


Philosophy

Playing the piano is one of the most uplifting experiences you can tap into for the benefit of your body, mind, spirit and soul!  When you sit down to play and put your hands on the keys, you tune into an amazing way to evoke emotion, entertain a group of people or just relax and enjoy yourself.

Besides all of that, however, the piano has much more meaning.  The study and performance of music and art engages both hemispheres of the brain.  Music is a language.  Music is an art.  Music is math.  Music requires physical skill and self-discipline.  I believe that learning to play the piano puts a person on the path to an increased sense of self esteem - not to mention a life time of joy.

Playing the piano is also a wonderful way to strengthen eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills.  People who take piano lessons learn a lot about dedication and the rewards that come from practice. And all the while the piano is strengthening your brain it adds beauty to your home and to your world. When you sit down to play, however, the true magic of making music is all the fulfillment a piano player really needs.

Some favorite quotes:

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”

-- Henry Adams

“The teacher is but the humus in the soil.  It is the product that counts.  All things considered, I wonder sometimes if the teacher is not the real student and the beneficiary.”

-- Nadia Boulanger

About the Studio:



Piano*Music Composition*Songwriting



In my studio, I provide a positive, educational experience for all of my students. I tailor the curriculum to each student’s unique needs, and help them to grow as musicians and individuals. Students learn to express themselves through the language of music.



My own training was as a traditional classical pianist, and I have also worked professionally with film and television music, and as a pianist in hotels, piano bars, and for special events.



I also compose high quality, engaging educational piano sheet music for pianists of all ages and levels of ability, and my music is exclusively distributed with Piano Pronto Publishing and the Composers Community.



I value diversity, in music as well as people, and I really love working with students of all different ages, interests, and personalities!



In addition to basic method books, performance repertoire is selected based on the student's individual needs and interests. I am always open to suggestions regarding repertoire, so please feel free to talk with me about any music your child might be interested in playing.



Books and Materials:



I provide all basic method books, music books, sheet music, theory handouts, and assignment sheets, as well as our yearly incentive materials.
Each student will need a three ring binder with pockets and dividers. This will be used to keep assignment sheets, handouts and additional exercises and materials.


Practice and Performance:

To make good progress, consistent quality practice is necessary. If a student treats piano study like an academic subject, with the same priority as homework, he/she will progress and grow, and enjoy it more in the long run. The key to a child’s early musical success is parent involvement, and the priority that the family places on music in the home. Praise and encouragement are the parent's greatest tools in helping a young musician. Sit down and listen to your child's practice assignments immediately following their lessons. Then, listen again just before the next lesson. Comment upon the improvement you hear!

Performance Classes/Music Clubs:



It’s exciting to play an instrument that sounds wonderful by itself, but opportunities to play with and for others are not as numerous. With this in mind (and also because it’s just super fun!) we have Piano Performance Classes during the school year, in addition to the Fall Piano Party
 and the Spring Recital. The first Performance Class involves our Composer Club and we’ll focus on learning about composing and share our original compositions as well, including works in progress. Our second Performance Class involves our Practice Club, and we’ll focus on practice strategies and share all kinds of practical practice tips to help motivate our practice sessions at the piano.



Calendar and Enrollment:



The 2016/2017 Studio Calendar runs from September through the end of May. There will be two weeks off for Winter Break and two weeks off for Spring Vacation. There will be no lessons on Halloween, Thanksgiving Day and Thanksgiving weekend.



Summer Lessons:



Summer lessons (June 1 through July 31) are highly encouraged. Summer lessons are flexible, and can be scheduled in order to fit in with summer plans. Private students are encouraged to attend a minimum of 5 summer lessons, scheduled as convenient to the student and teacher.



All students are asked to play at the two recitals we have each year: the Fall Piano Party and the Spring Recital. Additional events will be suggested for individual students when appropriate. Student participation in the performance class is also highly encouraged!

Communication:

Please keep in contact with me regarding your child's progress and practice habits.  Email is my most efficient method of communication, or you may call me at my home studio number.

Teaching piano is very exciting and rewarding for me. I hope that you, as a student, will enjoy lessons and practice time as you are learning to enjoy music. Thank you for the privilege of allowing me to teach you!