Welcome to Cixi Music Studio, where beginners, advanced musicians, and students of all ages take piano lessons in Houston. Choose between private 1-on-1 lessons or fun group classes, and work with an expert, professional teacher.
Our students learn musical fundamentals as well as advanced techniques; we will make sure you are playing the music you love as quickly as possible. We are also committed to our students’ goals, so don’t hesitate to let us know what you want to accomplish in lessons.
To learn more about our piano instruction or to enroll, please get in touch!
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We Teach Kids and Adults How to Play the Piano
Piano Lessons For Kids in Houston
Does your young child show an interest in music, would your teenager like to prepare for college auditions, or do you believe in the value of a childhood music education? Regardless of your goals for your family, we would love to teach your child how to play the piano. Our lessons are fundamentally sound and focused on excellence, but we also have fun, play games, and make sure your child is working on music they love.
They will learn how to read notes, identify steps and skips, and play with good technique on the keys, but we will also move a few steps beyond; we love to encourage our young students to compose their own music and play by ear. We do incorporate the Faber Piano Adventures method into our lessons, but we also supplement with skill level-appropriate repertoire and exercises.
Piano Lessons For Adults in Houston
Whether you’re a young professional adult, busy parent, or retired individual who has always wanted to play the piano, we would love to help you out on the keyboard. Our adult piano lessons take many forms; some of our students have a note reading deficiency, some want to learn music theory, some come to us with tension in their playing - every student is different.
In short, we want to hear about your goals, and we are happy to answer your questions. Our lessons with adults are collaborative, and we will move as quickly or as slowly as you would like.
Goal-Oriented Piano Teachers in Houston
Your piano lessons can only be as effective as your teacher. Instructors at Cixi Music Studio have degrees in music, years of teaching experience, and can perform at a professional level, and we are confident that you or your child will improve in short order.
We Work Towards Your Goals
We don’t require our students to participate in MTNA piano competitions (although we are happy to help you prepare!), we won’t force you to play music you dislike, and we are happy to work with different methods and goals. Are you taking lessons so you can learn Christmas tunes this year? Let us know. Do you want your child to have a fundamentally sound, classical music education? We would love to help. Communicate your goals to your teacher, and we’ll help.
Our Piano Lessons are Suited For All Genres
Our curriculum is classical by nature, but we can help you learn how to play jazz, rock, pop, classical, and other musical genres. Piano music comes from notes, chords, and the keys on the instrument, and the combinations of notes you use, and rhythm you play them with, is secondary. Let your instructor know what your favorite music is, and we’ll do our best to accommodate.
Make Progress Rapidly
You can piece together a working knowledge of the piano on YouTube and with video courses (or by working through method books on your own), but you will progress much more quickly with a qualified teacher. A teacher will assign effective drills and literature, tell you exactly how to practice, and keep you on schedule. Furthermore, you won’t run the risk of leaving gaps in your music education.
Demonstrate Your Progress in Annual Recitals
Students at Cixi Music Studio have the opportunity to perform for friends, family and peers in annual recitals. We love showcasing the music you have been practicing, and our piano recitals are a great way to meet other students and their families.
Looking For Advanced Piano Coaching in Houston?
While many of our students are beginners, we love helping advanced pianists reach the next level. We can help you memorize literature, put an impressive audition together, and choose repertoire that challenges you and shows off your abilities. Whether you are working on Prokofiev, the Carl Vine sonata, or a Bach set, let us help you take your playing to a professional level.
We also coach advanced pianists on technique and musical interpretation. We can help you develop speed, a beautiful sound, or a framework for playing a difficult piece musically.
Group Piano Classes or Private Lessons
What’s better, group piano lessons or private instruction? The truth is, every student is different. Your child may benefit from the positive peer pressure and camaraderie of a piano class, but others may learn more efficiently in a 1-on-1 setting. If you’re unsure of which option to pursue, give us a call! We can tell you about our classes and lessons, and you’ll be able to make an informed decision.
Specific Skills and Knowledge You’ll Acquire in Piano Lessons
The following is not an exhaustive list of what our piano teachers will share with you, but it’s a good starting point. If you have any questions about how we help our students succeed, please reach out!
The Basics: Reading the Score and Playing By Ear
Firstly, we help our beginner students learn several landmarks on the keyboard. These are often middle C, F, and G, and it’s very easy to learn five finger patterns and chords from these places on the keyboard. Once the student is comfortable with landmarks and the concepts of playing steps and skips from those notes, we will add D, E, A, and B. From there, we’ll introduce the concepts of flats (a half step lower), and sharps (a half step higher).
This skill set will allow you to play tunes by ear at the piano. We’ll teach you how to block chords in one hand while you play a melody in the other, and as your arsenal of chords grows, you’ll be able to play and improvise increasingly challenging music.
Once you are familiar with the topography of the keyboard, we will teach you how to read notes on the musical staff. We will teach you both the treble and bass clefs, and you will learn to play music on the piano while reading a score (the music on a page). Depending on how much you practice, you will become more and more fluent at reading music on the page – eventually, you will be a competent sight reader who can see a piece of music and play it at first sight.
More About Learning How To Sight Read at the Piano
We do take our students’ goals into consideration, so if you specifically want to play by ear, we’ll prioritize that. And if you specifically want to sight read well, we will focus on that. But all things considered, we consider sight reading to be a valuable skill. It can help you enjoy gigs and performances as an accompanist (“collaborative pianist”), and you will find enjoyment in sight reading through new pieces of music on your own at home.
The first step is to gain 100% fluency reading notes on the staff. After that, you will need to be able to identify patterns in the musical score, like:
- Identifying the chord pattern in a given measure (derived from our music theory teaching)
- Identifying scalar runs in a measure – if you see that a measure has a D Major scale for instance, you don’t have to read each note
You will also need to be comfortable finding notes all over the keyboard without looking at your hands. This takes discipline and practice, but it can be a pianistic superpower.
Firstly, your teacher will show you how to sight read well by identifying the patterns mentioned above, teaching you to read from the bass note upwards, and more. Secondly, we can give you drills and strategies that will help you improve: sight reading measures backwards, sight reading rapidly and slowly, etc.
Realistically, you should be able to comfortably sight read music graded 2-3 levels below your “ceiling.”
We Incorporate Music Theory Knowledge
Piano music requires you to read and comprehend a tremendous amount of notes – more notes at the same time than any other instrument. Therefore, you will benefit from understanding the fundamentals of music theory. As you progress at the piano, you will learn about tonic, dominant, and subdominant degrees of the scale, the chords and progressions built upon those scale degrees, and more. You will also learn about V7 chords, leading tones, V-of-V chords, and so much more. If you find a particular interest in music theory, let your teacher know - we can focus on that element of your lessons.
Technique and Finger Speed
If you’ve ever watched Evgeny Kissin play a Chopin piano concerto or Yuja Wang playing Prokofiev, you’ve probably been amazed by their effortless speed. They are natural talents of course, but speed like that is only possible if the following is true:
- You play with perfect hand position
- You play without tension in your hands, arms, neck and back
- You practice your scales and arpeggios consistently
- You gradually build speed in your technical exercises while using the metronome
Your teacher at Cixi Music Studio will help you gain speed and evenness at the piano with drills, practice strategies, and more.
Strategies For Memorization and Learning New Pieces
Eventually, you will want to be able to learn challenging pieces of music and play them from memory.
The first step is learning how to break tough technical passages of music down into manageable chunks, practicing in bits and pieces, and putting it all together through consistent practice. We will teach you how to do this, so when you become a more confident pianist, you’ll be able to choose your own music and learn it from scratch.
Secondly, we will show you how to memorize even the hardest pieces of music. We’ll give you opportunities to perform in front of peers, and we will help you internalize music so that it lives in your long term memory.
Learn How To Practice the Piano at Home
The most important element of learning to play the piano is practice. A skillful teacher will teach new concepts and practice steps in your lesson, but it’s up to you to follow these instructions at home on your own time. In your lessons, you will learn technical exercises, theory exercises, and strategies for learning and memorizing your pieces of music. We will make sure that you can improve on your own, even when you aren’t in a room with your teacher.
Our Music School Location
Our piano school is conveniently located near the intersection of Town Park Dr. and Sovereign Dr. in the Chinatown neighborhood of Houston. Many of our students arrive from the downtown area via Westpark Tollway, and students from the northern and southern suburbs sometimes catch Route 8 or the Sam Houston Tollway. We are next door to Collins Elementary School and near YES West Prep School, Advance Academy, and more.