Angeles Academy is the largest premier Music Academy in Los Angeles, with a specialty in offering the highest quality one-on-one piano lessons. The Academy has multiple locations across west Los Angeles and now a new facility in the heart of Tarzana. This new location is conveniently accessible from surrounding areas such as Encino, Woodland Hills, Reseda, and Sherman Oaks. The piano lessons cater to any age and any level, accommodating beginner students as young as four, as well as adult beginners and advanced players of all ages and styles. The faculty is university trained, plus certified in a special training program by the Academy. With over seventy-five instructors on staff at the Academy, individuals or their children are sure to find the right fit.
The philosophy of Angeles Academy is to “blossom talent.” They achieve this by meeting students exactly where they are, understanding the music they love, and then creating a custom approach to the curriculum based on each individual and their needs and interests. The Academy works with students that need a creative custom approach, with more focus on playing rather than theory, to students that need step-by-step disciplined programs, with theory requirements, like RCM or ABRSM, to semi-professionals and students preparing for admission to leading music schools. The diversity of instructors on staff includes a wide range of specializations, such as jazz piano graduates from USC, to classical concert pianists from the Juilliard School of Music, and music education graduates who are especially skilled with the very young.
In addition to weekly classes in their first-class facilities across Los Angeles, Angeles Academy offers the option for students to participate in concerts every six months in leading venues across Los Angeles, such as Beverly Wilshire (Four Seasons), ballroom, and even Disney Hall.
Great Instructors “a great school is just an amazing group of teachers.”
In our hiring process, we filter hundreds of prospective instructors in search of the qualities that make a great instructor. There are four qualities we are looking for. The first is a strong, positive personality. This is just essential to keep you excited about music, and engaged during the lessons. Secondly, we look for the instructor’s ability to create intelligent, achievable goals, that are customized to your needs. Great teachers will help you learn the techniques and skill you need, but do it though the music you love. Thirdly, a great instructor is intuitive. They have the sensitivity to know if what they are teaching you is being understood, and if their delivery is effective, (Keeping the energy and excitement high). Finally, we look for outstanding educational credentials. Our instructors possess degrees from some of the finest music schools in the world, places like Juilliard, USC, Berkley School of Music, Indiana University, and Royal Conservatory of London.
Angeles Academy sets itself apart with the highest caliber performance opportunities in leading venues around Los Angeles, such as the Beverly Wilshire Ballroom, (Four Seasons), where such events as the Emmy’s are held, as well as the BP hall at the Disney Center. The rare opportunity to perform in these world-class facilities increases student recital participation, preparation, and results. Recitals are optional, but we encourage participation from all enrolled students. There are approximately 30 recitals every six months, divided into the following categories for the benefit of students:
The piano is a great instrument to start with. This is because its very visual, and produces a great sound without having to learn how, (such as the violin or the guitar). Because of this, it is and ideal starting instrument, especially for a young child, and this is probably why it is the number one instrument choice in the world. The piano is also the best instrument to understand music theory, (the study of the structure of music). This is because while most instruments can only play one note at a time, the piano can play many, helping students see the musical structure. While the piano is the easiest instrument to begin, and provides a great musical foundation, it is also the hardest instrument to master.
Usually 4 and up. This is hard to answer however, because music requires concentration and focus, and children are ready for this at different ages. The best way to find out is enroll in classes and see how well the child responds. If the parents can provide some structure and oversight to practicing that makes a huge fifference. Also attendance of our masterclasses and rectitals often sparks curiosity about learning the piano.
Usually a few months to learn a simple piece. That said, everyone learns at a different pace, and this question is difficult to answer. With regular practice a basic level of playing can be accomplished in a few months. Also, progress tends to accelerate over time. Most of our students take lessons on a long term-basis because they want to be constantly improving and they find the lessons enjoyable.
No. This is a question we frequently get from adults who are interested in getting back into piano after many years, or who are thinking of starting for the first time. We fully believe that its possible to learn piano at any age, and in fact some element of learning such as the technique, theory, and reading can be faster learned by the adult mind.
Proper hand position is very important to being able to play piano capably.
The fingers should be curved, especially the final joint of every finger. A good hand position can often be felt by simply relaxing your hands at your sides and then bringing the hands up to the piano. Look for a slight C shape between the thumb and index fingers, and try to maintain this while playing. The wrist should remain level on top. Generally fingers should point strait ahead in conjunction with the keys. Each finger should be centered on each of the five notes to allow for greatest accurately. posture should be upright, and seat should be high enough that the elbows do not drop below the level of the keys. Shoulders should be low, and the wrist and elbows should be flexible.
Scales are very important, because it gives the aspiring pianist an opportunity to just work on legato, and evenness. Legato, (Italian for Tied Together), is an important concept for piano, and best practiced with the scale. The idea is that notes are smoothly connected from one to the next. At the moment the first note is released the next one is pressed down. This means there is no overlap between the sound of the first and second note, and but no gap in sound. The next consideration is how even the sound is. Even refers to volume level, and also rhythm. It can be quite challenging for the beginning pianist to keep every note the same volume level, especially the thumb since it is heavier and tends to make more sound. Rhythm is best practiced with a metronome, and steadily increased as everything becomes more comfortable.
Sight reading is an important skill for any aspiring musician. To begin, students are taught about treble and bass clefs, (different ranges), and to identify notes that are on the lines, and notes that are in the spaces between the lines. To remember the notes on the lines, students learn phrases such as, “every good boy does fine” The first letter of each word are the notes on the lines of the treble clef from bottom to top. E, G, B, D, F. The notes that are in the spaces between the lines spell the word “Face”, F, A, C, E. As students become faster at identifying these notes based on these simple phrases, the phrases wear off and they simply recognize the note for what it is. In addition to identifying notes, sight reading includes understanding rhythm. Rhythm is differentiated in notation by notes filled in or empty, and with different stems and beams. These indicate different speeds of notes. Even the most accomplished musicians can often improve their sight reading. More advanced training involves pushing speed and looking ahead, and through creating progressive goals.
Music theory teaches us how recognize and identify patterns across all music. It is fascinating because it starts to bring together a clearer understanding, and patterns once complex become simple. Imagine a complicated math equation that actually has a very simple answer. Learning theory involves a mixture of ear training, (the ability to identify harmonies and melodies), as well as identifying and labeling these patterns on paper. Harmony is seen in notation vertically, and is often what might be described as the background in which a melody is set. Harmony consists of chords, (3 or more notes heard simultaneously), and can be Major, Minor, Diminished, and several others. These differences in sound are often described emotionally; happy, sad, or scary. The beginning of music theory training might involve identifying the difference between a couple of these chords. Ultimately, advanced theory students are able to write out the music they hear, and to analyze harmonies and melodies in musical scores. A full grasp on the structure of music can take years to develop.
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