Music Ed.



" The mental imagery involved with pianistic tactilia is not related to the striking of individual keys but rather to the rites of passage between notes." - Glenn Gould


I have long held Gould's statement to be true in principle and in practice.  It's great to hear it affirmed by one of the foremost pianists of modern times.


My Teaching Philosophy, Approach, and Testimonials


Over the years I have taught thousands of lessons to students of many ages, levels, styles, and backgrounds.  Frequently, when I am meeting a new prospective student, I am asked what it is that sets my teaching apart from other teachers in the area.  So for the record, here’s my answer…


1.  My student centered approach begins with getting to know each student individually through a free initial meeting which combines informal conversation with formal assessment to get to know the student’s personality, likes, needs, desires, learning style, and preferred learning environment while offering the student a chance to get to know me.

2.  This is followed up at each lesson with a two prong approach combining:

A. Individually tailored lesson plans with the goal of mastering the mechanics of notes, fingering and rhythm, the expressive details of touch, dynamics and tempo, and addressing the elements of form and music theory.  Each lesson plan is designed to build on previously gathered information about the student in order to guarantee that no element vital to the student's progress is lost.  

B. Relationship building directed towards developing a unique learning partnership with each student and/or their family through the encouragement of mutual respect and active two way communication.

3.  Clearly written progress notes and assignments are generated from each lesson which also promotes clear expectations and accountability for progress.

4.  The lessons focus on the areas of repertoire, technique, theory, and expression.  My openness to working with different styles of music reflects my belief that it is individual pieces of music, and not styles that are great.  This approach balances what is relevant and meaningful to both teacher and student incorporating custom written transcriptions or arrangements of individual pieces if what is needed is not commercially available.

5.  An active, engaging teaching style aimed at promoting enthusiasm, a deep understanding of music essentials, and comprehensive musicianship

6.  The craft of music, and creativity are developed and encouraged through instruction in music theory, song writing, composition, and improvisation as desired.

7.  I also promote an active engagement with the specific area of performance skills.

8.  References and testimonials are available for review.  See the following for some short examples.




"Thank you for being an amazing piano teacher! You have taught me so many amazing songs and made me so much better at playing piano." 


"So glad to have found you! You have rekindled our son's love for piano.  Thank you." 


"Thank you for all the keyboard skills you have given me over the years.  I have enjoyed our time together."


"You have been so helpful in guiding J.'s interest and teachng him.  Thank you so much for your flexibility and patience.  J. has always enjoyed having you as his teacher." 


"D. loved the trial session.  He agreed with Robert's input on what he needs to improve.  It's hard for kids to adapt to another teacher's style.  So I know how experienced Robert is." 

"I love hearing the kids practice. it's so fun to hear / see their progress. They are enjoying their lessons and I think the pace is good for them.  Thank you for working with them. You are making it fun."


"The boys love their lessons with you."  


"We appreciate greatly all you have done for T. ….we look forward to watching her continue to grow musically through 2015 under your excellent tutelage." 


"Thank you so much for all of your patience!  You are great at inspiring the kids as you are patient with me.  I would have given up had it not been for you!" 


"We have enjoyed the chance to work with Robert over the past few years. He is an amazing teacher!" 


"You are a great teacher and a wonderful person to be around. Thank you for working with us." 


"You are a wonderful teacher." 


"Mr. Gans has been giving wonderful piano lessons and our daughter has made tremendous progress over the years." 


"I am very happy that A. had a positive first lesson experience."  


"We also Thank You So Much for your unparalleled dedication teaching piano to youths and your patience bringing out the best in every student." 


"Thanks for your immense patience and hard work to make K. a happy/confident piano student." 


"I also would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being an awesome teacher. We are truly blessed to have met you!" 


"A. is very fortunate to have you as a teacher and mentor and his beautiful performance was a reflection of that." 


"T. has learned so much from Robert and we couldn't have asked for a better teacher to teach our son." 


"You are a terrific teacher and we remain grateful for all your hard work with our daughter." 


"Robert is an excellent teacher and E's really enjoying his teaching." 

“T. has really enjoyed taking lessons from you and has made strides in his playing under your direction.” 


“Thanks also for the terrific job you are doing teaching and engaging T…… she is now practicing of her own accord and without being pushed to, as she now really enjoys playing!”  


“A. adores and likes to be with Robert.  Robert is a very good teacher who tries to understand your children's personalities and interests before giving them lessons.  A. has been with him for more than 2 years.  I told Robert my expectation toward A. in learning piano, and also about A's personality.  And, Robert gave me his idea about how to approach A. before our trial lesson.  He is well organized and detailed.  At the end of each session, he always gives parents a paper about your child's progress and assignment.” 


“I'd like to thank Mr. Gans for his extraordinary patience and willingness to teach Piano to a young student as my son, K. My son was just 3.5 years old when he began... I was not very sure how things would pan out given that a typical pre-schooler has a short attention-span and under-developed motor skills. But, under the able guidance of Mr. Gans, my son has consistently demonstrated enthusiasm to attend his Piano class and has made nice progress.”  


“Thank you very much for suggesting Mr. Gans as a teacher for A. Mr. Gans is exactly the kind of a teacher I was looking for, in terms of his teaching style, skill, and personality. Both A. and I were very happy with how the lesson went. Thank you for understanding exactly what our needs were - it's a perfect match!”  


“Robert is an excellent teacher, A. enjoyed very much of his teaching, he progresses very quickly during this short period of time, most importantly, he is now enjoying playing piano very much.  I would like to thank Robert for his excellent work, and thank you for your guidance and advice for our music classes.” 


“J. has shown improvement this year in many ways from finger dexterity to enthusiasm and interest.  Thank you for fostering his growth and continuing to encourage him.” 


“Thanks so much for making L's piano lessons so enjoyable.”  

“The children and parents were very excited to tell me how much they enjoyed your class a couple of weeks ago. Two of the mothers repeatedly mentioned that the children learned so much! Thank you so much”