History of Music House

It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of education have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom.  –Albert Einstein 

Music House was created in the year 2000 when a parent – one of many – approached me with an unhappy story of his son’s piano lessons. The child had started out full of enthusiasm and hope, but now, after several months, was feeling bored, stifled and discouraged. The lessons had no personal relevance for him, and now he wanted to quit. His father was, understandably, distraught.

Alas, this was not the first such story I had heard; Far from it! For a long time, parents at the school where I was teaching had been coming to me with stories that were amazingly similar: Their child hated to practice, had lost interest, and the excitement initially felt at the prospect of lessons had entirely disappeared! So without being aware of it, I had been pondering the situation for quite awhile.

Therefore, by the time Charlie’s dad came to me, I was ready with a response, and I blurted out an idea I didn’t even realize I had! I began to expound on a new way of approaching lessons: one that would be exploratory in nature and personalized for the needs, interests and readiness of the student. I went on and on: “I’m not a pianist or a piano teacher,” I said, “but if I were teaching piano to a beginner it wouldn’t be about black dots on a page or proper fingering. It would be about using the keyboard as a map of music, experimenting, becoming familiar with tonal relationships, discovering what happens when you play these notes together, learning how to play by ear. I went on and on, expounding on an idea I did not even realize I had. Dad held out his hands in a gesture of supplication. “Take him,” he said.  [read more]