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Teaching Testimonials

"Ms. Petersen has been teaching piano to both of our daughters for 4 years now (currently ages 10 and 12), and we feel very fortunate to have her as their teacher.  Our daughters have quite different personalities and learning styles, and as I sit in on their lessons each week, I very much appreciate how Ms. Petersen adapts to their personalities to connect with and motivate both of them.  She has a knack for complimenting each of them in detail on how they have improved each week, and very much bears in mind the big picture of their musical development as she chooses what to focus on in a given lesson.  She always wants my daughters to bear in mind the feel and emotion of what they are playing, and wants them to help decide how it should sound, which helps their motivation and their sense of “ownership” of their own musical knowledge and abilities.  In short, we couldn’t be more pleased."

- Steve, father of two piano students of Dr. Petersen

"Like many music lovers who wish to learn to play piano, I had to put aside my music dream for many years while supporting my family. It is only after years of juggling work duties and family responsibilities, I finally decided I deserve the luxury to pick up my dream of playing piano. After all, there is still time. To begin with, I took lessons with several, not so great, local piano teachers who did not provide the serious instruction I was looking for, but finally I found Katherine, and she is perfect ! I drive over one hour to my lesson each week, but it is well worth the time I spend in the car. I started taking lessons with Katherine in January 2017, and I have continued ever since. 

Katherine very cleverly customizes lessons, based on my abilities and my needs. Each lesson includes both fundamental theory and practical exercise, which I believe is essential to all levels of piano playing, and also includes specific instruction on perfecting the music we have decided together that I will work on. Lessons are structured, but flexible, so that I am challenged, but not over stressed.

Katherine is always punctual, but also flexible about time. She pays great attention to details, whether it concerns playing technique, dynamics, posture etc. I am always amazed at how she can quickly notice small details in my playing, either actions or sounds, and she always promptly suggests the most effective approach to improve my playing, without spending a great deal of time on complex theoretical explanations. She frequently uses analogies with common actions from everyday life to help explain a particular principal, a technique which I find of enormous help.

When Covid-19 happened, we started virtual lessons, which Katherine has been amazing with. Virtual lessons are not ideal, but it has allowed me to continue with lessons, even in the strange circumstances we find ourselves in at the moment. Katherine uses two cameras in her studio allowing me to see her but also allowing me to see the keyboard of her piano while she demonstrates. I can imagine that I will continue virtual lessons for some time yet, during this pandemic, but I am impatient to get back to in person lessons. 

Katherine’s happy and positive disposition is truly an inspiration to me. She is also firm but endlessly patient and totally dedicated to the needs of her students. Katherine’s people skills, combined with her professional performing experience and deep knowledge of music, continues to sustain my enthusiasm and this has been vital to the continuing progress I have made since beginning lessons with Katherine. 

With Katherine’s guidance and help, I have been able to express myself better through my music and successfully learn to play pieces of music which I could never previously have imagined possible for me, including classical pieces, modern pieces and even ragtime. I also never imagined that I would have the confidence to play in a recital, which still makes me very nervous, but I have managed, again with Katherine’s help to find ways to deal with the nerves.

Every lesson with Katherine gives me great pleasure and satisfaction, there is so much to learn and enjoy and Katherine is definitely the perfect teacher to bring out the best in her students. I always come away from my lesson feeling inspired to play more and to the best of my ability."

-Derek, Adult piano student 

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