GENERAL

Andrew holds a Masters of Science in Teaching from Fordham University, with a dual concentration Early Childhood Education and Special Education, and a Masters of Music from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a dual concentration in Collaborative Piano and Music History. He has over a decade of experience as a piano teacher and has taught class piano, piano pedagogy, and private lessons to music majors and minors at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also has taught and coached musicians at Bay Path University, Smith College, Community Music School of Springfield, Northampton Community Music School, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Before moving to the Pioneer Valley, Andrew was a special education preschool teacher in New York City.

Andrew's studio in Northampton, Massachusetts, is currently full. However, there are periodic openings, and you can request to be put on a waitlist. For more information, email andrew.a.dantonio@gmail.com or call 541-499-2232.

Beginners and Intermediate Students

Lessons are individually designed according to each student's needs, abilities, and goals. Most beginning students benefit from an age-appropriate, pedagogically-sound method book. Method books move progressively and provide a structured approach to learning the fundamentals of music and piano. Since all individuals are different, there is no "universal" method that will work for everyone. At the first lesson, the student is interviewed to determine what method might be most effective for them.

Method books are used until the student has a strong handle on music and piano fundamentals: typically after 2 to 4 years of study, depending upon the student. At this point, the student will transition into repertoire. Repertoire consists of bigger pieces that the student works on for longer periods of time.  Repertoire is chosen according to the student's personal goals and interests, with consideration of their strength and weakness.

Throughout the course of lessons, method books and repertoire may be supplemented with additional material, including theory and technique exercises.

Preschool/Early Childhood

Early childhood is one of the most critical stages of development for the growing child. During the ages of 3 to 7, children reach major milestones in cognitive skills, gross and fine motor skills, and social and emotional skills. Piano lessons can be an important addition to the development of these skills. In piano lessons, a child is taught to think critically, and fingers are trained along with the ear and the eye. Studies regularly show the benefits of studying music at a young age. As an early childhood specialist, it is important to take a developmental approach to teaching piano lessons: realistic goals are made based upon the child's age and ability. Young children are taught the fundamentals for piano and music, and learning to read music is treated as an extension to learning to read English.

Special Education

Music has gained significant recognition as an important therapeutic device for individual with special needs. However, few piano teachers are trained or have experience in working with special needs individuals. Andrew has been a certified special education teacher and has worked with a number of students with special needs, using music as a tool for accomplishing educational and personal goals. These special needs include, but are not limited to:

  • Stroke or Trauma
  • Autism
  • Speech Delay
  • Developmental Delay
  • Hearing Disorders
  • Dyslexia
  • Physical Disorders
  • Emotional Disorders

If you or your child has special needs and are wondering about the benefits of piano lessons, free consultations are available.

Adults

Piano lessons are not just for kids! Often adults pursue piano lessons and with great success. There is a common myth that only the young are able to learn music, but many adults begin to learn the piano in their 20s, 30s, even all the way to their 80s. In general, adults tend to be more successful than children at the beginning stages of learning, as their hand muscles and intellect are more fully developed. However, adults tend to not be as patient with themselves during the foundational period of piano study. If you allow yourself the time necessary to develop a new skill, much is possible!

If you are interested in learning music, or if you want to rekindle a past love for the piano, piano lessons might be the best avenue.

Advanced Students

For advanced students, lessons focus on musicianship and technique, taught through large scale projects. These projects are designed according to the student's personal goals. Examples include:

  • Recitals
  • Competitions
  • Auditions
  • Gigs

Andrew's advanced students have been accepted into college music departments as majors and minors. Training for advanced students is classical, with focuses on solo piano repertoire and/or chamber music.

Rates

Each student receives a free sample lesson with no obligations. This lesson is opportunity to get know one another, discuss any questions or concerns, organize goals, and see if piano lessons are the right fit for you. Repertoire/method book is assigned after the first lesson.

Rates per lesson at Andrew's Northampton Studio:

  • 30 minute lesson: $25.00*
  • 45 minute lesson: $37.50*
  • 60 minute lesson: $50.00*

*Due to cost of living, teacher certification, & experience, rates will periodically increase. The next scheduled tuition increase is Fall 2017.

Special considerations and arrangements are possible for financial hardship.  For a full studio policy, please email andrew.a.dantonio@gmail.com.