My goal has always been to provide high quality instruction,

giving students a solid foundation in performance, theory and music history. Having taught piano for over 25 years, my teaching methods have evolved to help me reach that goal. Several years ago, I discovered that students actually do far better in small group lessons (typically 3 to 6 students). Group classes are a hands on experience. Each child has their own piano with headsets. They hear their piano and the teacher's voice. Weekly, they are invited to perform the song they worked on during the week. Not one minute is wasted.

Lessons in small groups offer each student these very important advantages

Practice

is the greatest key to success. Students are motivated by the success of others. No one wants to be left behind. Groups provide a powerful incentive to practice when students know that their peers will be listening.

Feedback

Students hear and see how others are doing. This helps them to learn proper modeling. Even errors become great teaching opportunities.

Fun

Private lessons lack social interaction. Learning with peers validates the curriculum and skill development. There is an unmistakable synergy when students take lessons together. We have a lot of fun.

Priorities

Traditional piano lessons focus on technique, theory and songs from lesson books that most students find boring. I have found that students respond much better when I supplement standard teaching methods with materials which match their individual interests and strengths. What I have developed is a basic introduction, almost from the beginning, for sight reading, playing by ear, composing, improvisation, and performing.

Coralie Harless has a great gift for teaching. She teaches much more than piano... history, theory, accompanying skills, and most of all, confidence.

- Michelle Stark, Music Teacher -

Playing for Others

It is a terrible waste when people learn to play proficiently but never perform enough to be comfortable playing in public. This is why I have students playing piano outside of their own homes, within months of beginning lessons. I provide the opportunities and incentives for these occasions as a necessary part of the learning experience. In the communities where they live, my students regularly perform in or accompany: High school jazz bands, Musicals, School choirs, Church services, Graduations, Baptisms, Funerals, Weddings. They have won cash prizes for their performances at school talent shows and earned the appreciation of the elderly at the convalescent hospitals. The goal is to help them apply what they learn and make a difference in the community.

Master Classes

Master Classes occur once a year. They are groups of 8-12 students who gather for a one hour class to perform for each other. It teaches them to prepare their piece and their presentation for practice outside the formal piano recital. Additionally, composer histories are explored. We play games to teach theory & technique. It's great fun!

Piano Camp

Summer curriculum expands the piano student's musical horizons. We continue to build and develop upon these experiences during fall semester. This is the most effective way I've found to teach students how to apply what they learn on the piano to the bigger world of music, both vocally and with other musicians. We learn to play in ensembles. We teach stories behind the classics in the music world. We improve rhythm while playing with drums and expand relevant chord knowledge and experience when learning a little guitar. This has been a favorite tradition for everyone, young and old a like. Regular school year curriculum just doesn't allow for the depth or foundation that summer lessons provide.

My son has thoroughly enjoyed Mrs. Harless' piano classes. Every time I pick him up from his lesson, he always has a big smile on his face and is motivated to do his practicing. She offers group lessons, but still tailors the type of music and difficulty to each child's interests and ability.

- Julie Johns -

Recitals

Recitals are kept short and sweet and are held in the spring of each year where we welcome family and friends to join us.