In response to COVID-19 and the continuing need for online resources, we have developed classes and materials for online instruction.
Summer class descriptions are provided below. You can express interest in our classes and make additional topic requests using the form below. Because most students request individual tutoring, sessions are scheduled after you contact us. A first consultation to determine your level and goals is FREE! Class fees range from $10 to $80 (US) per hour.
Read a student review: "Our student enjoyed this class immensely. It was a great supplement to his studies to build his interest in a different area without the pressure of lots of homework and grades. Though we signed up for the music aspect, the class covered quite a bit of history, geography and even language - all appropriate for his grade level. Highly recommended." J.H. (For 'Treasures from Turkey')
For Summer 2021 we are highlighting Music Theory instruction:
Kathryn Woodard offers individual and small group tutoring that prepares students for all ABRSM grades and the AP Music Theory exam. ABRSM exams up to Grade 5 are now in an online format, making them accessible worldwide. The AP test preparation (for Advanced Placement credit in the US) can substitute for a formal class at your school. The student just needs to register for the exam through their school's AP coordinator. While class sessions focus on material geared toward each grade and level, the content is supplemented with listening and score study that reflects a broad range of musical styles. We are committed to an inclusive and diverse curriculum. Please use the form below to contact us and set up an initial conversation.
Why learn Music Theory? Music theory is similar to learning grammar and spelling when learning a language. That may sound dry and somewhat boring but I'm sure you recognize the usefulness of those subjects when communicating and writing! The more advanced levels of theory provide you with tools for understanding how music is constructed, why it sounds the way it does, and how you can create your own. Just like with spoken language, you can master quite a lot as a performer without knowing the theory/grammar rules. But if you want to know more about the inner workings of what you play, then these courses are for you! The exams mentioned above focus on music written for Western instruments such as piano and those of the orchestra (violin, flute, etc.). It is a bias for sure, and similar to the bias of learning English as a current lingua franca. However, I do like to touch on other 'languages' - other styles of music - as we learn about pitch, harmony, and rhythm. You will not become fluent in those 'languages,' but you will gain a familiarity with them - enough to find out if you want to study them further! ~KW
Beginning piano lessons are taught using a variety of materials, including our new publication I'm A Big Red Bird! The melody composed by Kathryn Woodard uses the pentatonic scale and is easily learned on the black keys of the piano. Lessons teach students to transfer the melody to white keys, play with one hand, add accompaniments, and more! Each line of the lyrics introduces a different animal and what makes them unique. Students are encouraged to make up lyrics for other animals they think of! View the blog post for sample tutorial videos!
Listening Around the World
This class actually grew out of some of the theory classes described above. I realized students could be given listening assignments simply to broaden their awareness of styles around the world without the laser focus on theoretical concepts. The first installment is off to a great start! Check out these latest blog entries (starting on March 14) to learn more and see if this might be a good fit for you.
Piano Music From Around the World
This class provides an introduction to various styles of piano music with selections from Argentina, Costa Rica, Croatia, Turkey, Ghana, Nigeria, China, Japan and more! Students learn about the composers of the pieces, styles that influenced their compositions, and features of their culture that also inform their music. Each class begins with a geography lesson and some feature of the language that enhances the music lesson. Students do not need to play the piano in order to take the course -some students will learn to play pieces but others can complete written assignments about the course material to receive their certificate.
A class for students of all levels! Most students learn rhythm by ear at the keyboard, and an understanding of rhythmic notation comes much later. This class embraces that approach, introducing students of all ages to simple and complex rhythm patterns through clapping and counting but adding some discussion of notation for older students. Examples range from common meters and subdivisions in classical piano music to irregular meters of the Balkans, cross-rhythms in West African drumming, North Indian tala counting and much more!
Students receive Certificates of Completion for each course whether they pursue standardized exams or not.