Teaching Philosophy

Music is a source of JOY and INSPIRATION.

It’s good for you, too: studies show that students who practice music have better test scores and more success in life. Music is the perfect combination of body, mind, and spirit. Playing music either for your own enjoyment or as a tool for self-expression will help you stay in balance. Learning music as an adult or as a child is the best gift you can give or receive!

Teaching Technique

I am a classically trained musician, but after more than 20 years of teaching experience I learned that there is a lot of beautiful music out there, and the important thing is to find pieces that the students feel enthusiastic about playing. So I do a lot of research, I am always buying new music books with original songs, or pop songs, or jazz, or classic, making arrangements to tailor the student’s needs, and many times, composing for them too or working on the piano song’s book with the compilation of student’s compositions. So, as I tell my students, you have your homework and I have my homework too! Every morning I spend a couple of hours entering arrangements into the computer, looking for songs that the students told me specifically they want to learn… I think it is important that the student knows what kind of music they like, and to figure that out, they need to be exposed to many different styles. There is so much music out there! So my job is to guide them through the abundance of music and help them discover what is the music that makes their heart sing, the music that will accompany them for the rest of their lives. And some times, that music is inside themselves, so I help them write it too.

I think that by encouraging students’ natural creativity through free improvisation and composition, I help them develop a deeper love and understanding of music.

More Than A Teacher

I am not only an experienced music teacher and classical pianist, but also an experimental musician, improviser, composer and multimedia artist, with credits in radio, film and stage. I will soon include my YouTube channel and SoundCloud links here so you can listen and see what I have done till now and be informed of new projects.

Why Choose Piano Maria?

With so many offers of music lessons out there, why choose Piano Maria?

I love teaching. I chose teaching over other professions. I don’t do piano lessons as an extra gig to earn an extra income. This is what I do for a living because I like it. My first degree is in Music Education and Piano Instruction.

If you go to a traditional music studio or music school, they will charge you enrollment fees, they have a much more rigid structure (you can only take off the days when the studio is closed), and they can switch your teacher anytime, because your contract is not with the teacher but with the studio. With me, you are sure to have personalized instruction and flexibility. I need it too! I am not a machine or an institution, I am a person.

I adjust my curriculum to your needs. For example, I have a student, from Mexico, who likes to play Boleros. He is a beginner, but I make arrangements of his favorite songs according to his level, at no extra cost!

I take music seriously, but I also like to have fun with it. I improvise with musicians weekly, not only because it’s good practice, but also, because it is fun and enriching. I also write songs, some of them are here (I am not a singer, mind you) https://soundcloud.com/cucaesteves/

I organize one or two Recitals a year, and Piano Parties, so everybody has a lot of opportunities for playing. Also, I record a CD a year with all the students performing repertoire and their own songs too!

Several projects a year, such as the CD projects and Students Compositions Book project. (I hope it will be finished soon!) You can check the first chapter here:
handsonpianosongsblackkeys

If English is not your first language, podemos hacer la clase en Español, ou on peut aussi parler en Francais! I do lessons right now also in my basic Dutch and Italian.

If all these reasons are not enough for your, here are some more:

Creative and patient teacher

Lessons for all ages and levels

20 years of teaching experience in Argentina, France, Netherlands, and the U.S.

International degrees in Music Education, Piano Instruction, and Composition:

1989: Music Education, Conservatorio de Musica, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1991: Piano Instruction, Conservatorio de Musica, Buenos Aires, Argentina

1995-1997: Studies in Paris in Electroacoustic Music Composition, Orchestration, Film Music, and Composition.

2001: BM in Composition, Royal Conservatory of The Hague, The Netherlands

I also have a Masters in Fine Arts in Writing for Performance from the University of California Riverside (2006), because I am multifaceted and love to write theater pieces, poetry, storytelling, and work all that together with the music into multimedia performances. Now, working in theater installation for kids!

Active performer and composer

Fun with kids, open to work on student’s preferred styles

First lesson Free!

I also encourage Ensemble playing. If you want to play with a friend that plays another instrument, or piano four hands, I will be the first one to look for scores or write something for you. I think music is the best when playing with others. I would like to organize Chamber Music classes and Improvisation ensemble meetings, so that will be coming soon (first I need to find a place!)

Also coming soon, workshops for multi-talented kids that want to explore their imagination into unique pieces for performance.