Donald Isler is a pianist and piano teacher who gives lessons in classical piano. Having performed, and recorded many works, he specializes in working with advanced students. But he also enjoys working with intermediate and early level students who enjoy music, and are willing to make an effort to learn, and improve their skills. A certain amount of focus, and commitment is necessary to achieve progress, but everything is done in an age, and level appropriate manner. Contrary to popular belief, practice cannot be guaranteed to make perfect, but it does make BETTER!
Emphasis in lessons is placed on several things, including:
- musical literacy (learning to read music, and play in the correct rhythm),
- how to develop a technique that enables the student to play his/her pieces smoothly and accurately, and the importance of producing a good musical tone.
As the student matures and progresses more factors become relevant, such as understanding the style of the music, and a greater variety of sound and expression. Learning to play the piano is a never-ending opportunity for growth and enrichment, and student and teacher ideally work together with regularity, seriousness of purpose, and a sense of humor. Yes, music is sometimes funny, as are some of the things we learn about it along the way.
Five times a year Donald Isler conducts a special class for his school-age students (which is included in the tuition) at a home in Scarsdale. During that one hour class students listen together to recordings of great music played by well-known artists, learn about famous composers, participate in ear training and rhythmic exercises, some of them in the form of a game, and get to perform, when they are ready to do so, in an informal setting before their peers.
Donald Isler is also available to conduct master classes.