Rebekah Keathley started playing the piano when she was 7 years old. Piano has been the greatest constant in Rebekah’s life, for she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t playing! Rebekah also started playing the Clarinet in 5th grade band, and added percussion instruments to her repertoire in High School for Concert Band and Marching Band at her Band instructor’s request. She went on to receive her Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy with a secondary percussion instrument emphasis at Longwood University.
Rebekah’s music teachers through the years have all been amazing people, and wonderful role models for how to teach music and make it fun for all ages. She pulls inspiration from each of them, and has developed a fun, engaging, informative style of instruction.
Rebekah has been teaching piano lessons for 17+ years in a variety of locations, but mainly at her home in Fauquier County. She has also spent the past 12 years accompanying 5th grade choirs at both Grace Miller Elementary and C. Hunter Ritchie Elementary schools.
A child who receives piano lessons is started on a journey with infinite possibilities in front of them. Not only do they learn the basics and foundations of music, note-reading, theory, rhythm and dynamics, but they have the opportunity to transfer the knowledge they gain to so many aspects of life in the years to come. Learning a second or third instrument becomes exceedingly easier with the skills developed during piano lessons. Language and Math skills flourish, work habits are developed through time spent practicing, and emotions have a fantastic outlet while sitting at the piano.
Piano lessons are a 30 minute, individual lesson, once a week. Rebekah’s desire is to have fun while teaching content and discover each student’s best learning styles, to tailor each lesson to best suit each student.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PIANO LESSONS
Why is there an age minimum, of six years old, for piano lessons?
By age six to seven, children have developed the fine motor skills necessary to be successful at the piano. Little hands don’t develop finger independence (being able to lift and lower one finger at a time) until this age. Because of this, a child is much better off doing a class like Musikgarten to be able to learn concepts of steady beat and rhythm patterns before needing this fine motor skill. It is much easier for a young child to shake a bell or tap a stick in rhythm, than to tap individual fingers.
Does my child need a piano at home in order to take piano lessons?
Absolutely, yes! Introduction to new concepts and material is what lessons are for. Practicing and perfecting those concepts can only be achieved through practicing at home. It is absolutely essential to have a keyboard or piano at home for the student to practice these skills. If you have questions about what is an adequate instrument, please contact me.
What books will my child learn from?
My favorite piano method book series is Faber Piano Adventures. This series of books consists of eight levels with an optional three beginner levels for young students. These eight levels can take beginner students through to high school and right into playing classical repertoire. These books have a slow and systematic way of introducing how to read notes on the staff, while still allowing for quick results in playing songs kids love! I have been teaching from this series of books for 15 years, and still love hearing each child accomplish the songs on the pages. It is such a delight to see their progression from the very first book through the intermediate and advanced pieces of music.
Do I, as a parent, need to know anything about music for my child to take piano lessons?
Not to worry, you do not need any musical background for your child to succeed at the piano. As parents, I think we all want things for our children that we never got to experience! All of the introduction of new material happens during their lesson time. My goal is to always explain the new material in at least 2 ways, and reinforce the information with practical application on the piano. In most cases there is no need for adult intervention at home during practice time. The most beneficial thing you can do is listen to them play and praise your child for their hard work and progress! You may even learn a thing or two about music along the way!
Why does everyone say the piano is such a good first instrument for a child to play?
I love this question! The act of making music consists of many different skills. First, a musician must understand what the music in front of them is telling them to do. This involves reading rhythms as well as reading notes and notations on the page. Second, a musician needs to make those rhythms and notes happen from the instrument they are playing. This involves pushing a key, blowing a mouthpiece, hitting a drum, etc. And lastly, the musician needs to be able to hear what he/she is playing and critically think through what needs changing or fixing. This is practicing. Playing the piano dramatically simplifies the second step. If you were trying to learn to read rhythms and notes, while at the same time learning how to blow air correctly through a flute using the appropriate mouth shape and the correct amount of air flow, learning music is drastically more difficult than if you just have to find the key on the keyboard and push it. Learning piano first allows a child to learn ALL of the fundamentals and practicing strategies that are common amongst all instruments without the added work of learning those other skills at the same time. These fundamentals, reading music, finger dexterity and critical listening are all easily transferable to any other instrument.
What does a degree in Piano Pedagogy mean?
Piano Pedagogy is the study of the teaching of piano playing. As opposed to having a music education degree that focuses on teaching music in a classroom setting, piano pedagogy focuses on the teaching of musical skills to individual piano students. My four years of college were spent learning music theory, music history, participating in music performance and collaboration as well as the art of teaching piano lessons.