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Teaching Philosophy  

It is the supreme art of the teacher to
awaken joy in creative expression and
knowledge. ~ Albert Einstein


My earliest recollection of having a “philosophy” of piano teaching was when I was a third grade piano student.  Although I was young and inexperienced, I knew something was wrong when I played newly assigned pieces full of mistakes for my teacher, and her regular response was, “Cheryl, that was wonderful!  Let’s go on to another piece.”  Amazed, I told my mother that this would never do!  How could I learn anything under such poor instruction?  Consequently, I began studying with another teacher.  This new teacher had a purposeful philosophical framework as the foundation for her teaching, and I am indebted to her for laying the philosophical foundation for my teaching.  She carefully educated me, she expected me to excel, and she encouraged me to enjoy music-making.

Today, my philosophy for teaching piano lessons is summarized by three words

  • Education
  • Excellence
  • Enjoyment.


It is of utmost importance that my students are well-educated in piano; they must know and understand music and music-making.  Students who can play the piano are a dime a dozen, but students who understand the music they are playing are often hard to find.  I teach my students to thoroughly know music, not just to “play” piano.  I desire my students to comprehend elements of the score, to use their bodies effectively to make good sound, and to interpret music creatively and according to historical performance practices.  I give students a purposeful education in technique, quality piano literature, performance and artistry, music theory, and music history. 

Although students differ in ability and development, I maintain high expectations for my students.  I expect attention and respect in lessons, faithful and diligent practice, careful adherence to my instructions, and an “I’ll-do-my-best” attitude.  If students regularly meet these expectations, then they will excel to the level that they are able.  It is my joy to help students master their music, to do the best they can, and to strive for and achieve excellence.


Lastly, I want students to enjoy and appreciate piano, music, and music-making; and I know that as a teacher I am very influential in making this happen.  Students develop enjoyment of music by understanding music, experiencing success in music, being exposed to good and varied music, receiving instruction from a teacher who is enthusiastic and encouraging.  It is my goal to provide all of these opportunities for students, and as a result their lives will be enriched as they enjoy the piano.


Cheryl Marshall provides Harris County, TX with private piano lessons and summer music camps.


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