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Philip Schoonmaker

Dennisport, MA 02639 (map)

Lessons Offered

Piano, Music

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

In Student Home

About Me

I am a professional piano teacher and piano technician in my early sixties with some 40 years of experience. I worked directly with the Steinway company for many years, have my own piano tuning and repair business, and have taught all piano levels since I was in my early twenties. Although I now live alone, I have raised four children and enjoy twelve grandchildren--all of them wonderful, of course!

I teach any level of piano--raw beginners to advanced, any age or ability. My first love is classical piano, and I still practice many hours a week; but I also play some popular, jazz, boogie, and rock, and can teach any style.

If you are interested in lessons, please call me at 774-269-2733 or email me at philipschoonmaker@gmail.com for an interview.

My Musical Education Background

I had 13 years of formal classical piano training from 8 years of age into college. I have both Bachelors and Masters degrees in the humanities and have taught piano for some 40 years. I spent many years with the Steinway company around career concert pianists and technicians and have a sizeable library of resources, both written and recorded. I own a Steinway piano upon which my students play their lessons, or I travel to their homes at their convenience.

Genres and Subjects Taught

I can teach any piano genre and like them all, but I am most knowledgeable with the classics, which is the best technical foundation for any style. My students can choose their own piano method books at my suggestion or their preference. A certain amount of music theory is necessary to a thorough understanding of music, so this discipline is essential, along with the more fun aspects!

Lesson Rates

$25 half hour
$38 three quarters hour
$50 one hour

Longer than one hour lessons are available at these rates for the enthusiastic student, or if there is more than one student I am happy to teach them back to back.

For lessons in your home, I charge whatever the current United States government rate is for business mileage (currently @50 cents per mile).

Ages / Skill Levels Taught

Any age, any level, any ability or disability.

My Certifications and Awards

Although I was at one time a piano major in college, and continued to seek out instructors for years afterwards, I have not won the International Tchaikovsky Competition, or the Van Cliburn, or the Leeds, or the Gina Bachauer, or the Queen Elisabeth International, so if you are a musical prodigy you should apply to Curtis or Juilliard! But if you're somewhat normal and don't want to pay $300 per lesson, I think you will be happy with the experience I have gained from thousands of hours of teaching every kind of student except the genius level. My biggest reward has been the satisfaction of seeing a beginner learn to play something that he or she simply enjoys.

My Musical Influences

My first teacher, a woman, gave me lessons in her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was 8 years old and I never looked back and my mom didn't have to twist my arm to practice. My highschool teacher was from Johannesburg, South Africa, and she was the one who influenced me the most, even more than my college professors. The concert pianists I met during my many years with the Steinway company gave me invaluable insights and tips and introduced me to the best piano music. The concert technicians showed me how to tune and repair pianos and later I studied that art thoroughly on my own, running my own business. I read many books on piano technique, piano history, music history, the lives of the great composers, the art of performance, etc. I bought hundreds of CDs, mostly classical, some jazz, and listened for hours how to interpret the great masters of the keyboard. In short, I have been immersed in the art of the piano all my life and it is my greatest love.

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