Charlottesville Talent Education

Jessalyn Fink, Piano Educator

My primary goal as a piano educator is to help you and your child discover, appreciate, and enjoy the rewarding experience of learning to play the piano. But beyond simply learning to play an instrument, I aim to coach each student toward developing increased confidence, discipline, and a lifelong passion for music in ways that are fun, engaging, and appropriately challenging. My focus in piano pedagogy features a well-chosen repertoire; ample performance opportunities; a holistic approach to theory and sight-reading; collaboration with parents; and student-centered learning strategies.

Repertoire. The foundation of the music I teach students lies in the Suzuki repertoire, a series of graded, classical pieces that introduce developmentally appropriate musical techniques. I supplement with additional classical works and technical studies to ensure a balance across all musical eras (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern). 

Performance. Performing is the real-time assessment of student progress. I provide multiple opportunities for students to perform formally in studio recitals and adjudicated evaluations, as well as informally in group classes and voluntary play-ins.

Theory. If repertoire is what we play, theory is the why it works. Once listening skills and tone production have been developed, I introduce music theory to help students become more fluent in the language of music. 

Sight-reading and review. These are the gifts that keep on giving. I incorporate pop music frequently for sight-reading assignments. I advocate review of learned pieces in order to build students' personal libraries of pieces they can play.

Parent collaboration. Whether or not you have a musical background, I believe that parent involvement in student learning is extremely influential, especially at the younger ages. I coach parents in supporting student practice and development in ways that are positively motivating and extend the learning that happens in weekly lessons.

Student-centered learning. I provide a supportive, nurturing environment based on positive relationships. While each unit of pieces lends itself to being learned within an academic year, every student progresses at a different pace and will advance upon demonstrating mastery of each piece in a unit. This emphasizes my dedication to helping students receive a quality piano education. I use energizing games and interactive learning to customize each student's piano education based on personality and learning style.