Elise Hayden-Ferdman

Teaching Approach:
I am a very patient and friendly, yet accomplished and focused piano teacher. I strive to create a relaxed, supportive learning atmosphere where I guide students to reach their greatest musical potential. I am a classically-trained pianist who appreciates most styles of music. I offer the opportunity to learn the best of classical piano technique and music theory for flawless skill and mind-body techniques for ease and relaxation, while also inspiring artistry and expressiveness, encouraging students to find their own musical voice. I am an especially good teacher for shy beginners of all ages, adults who studied music when they were young and want to come back to music after a long hiatus, and people who have had negative previous experiences with music lessons.

I work loosely from the Faber Piano Adventures Series with beginners, teaching a variety of musical styles, music theory, ear training and improvisation. These skills provide a solid foundation of musicianship for all musicians. In the intermediate and advanced levels, I have a particular passion for teaching classical music and helping musicians of other styles expand their technique, go deeper into their individual expression and hone their “chops”.

In addition, I am a holistic, alternative health practitioner and employ these skills in separate healing sessions for performance-related injuries or in tandem with music lessons for those who seek to heal from performance anxieties, creative blocks, the belief that they are not “musical”, or any else that hinders the flow of their music.

I have been playing piano ever since I remember myself. I started formal piano lessons when I was 8 years old and started teaching piano to the children in my neighborhood at 16. I eventually went on to study Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy at the University of Oregon School of Music, where I received a Bachelor of Music cum Laude. Since then, I have taught piano and music theory in schools and music studios, including my own private studios in Eugene, OR, Boston, MA and now in South Hadley, MA. In addition, I homeschooled my children, my greatest teachers, for 11 years- an experience which has profoundly and irrevocably influenced how I currently teach. I am also a certified Reiki Master and alternative health practitioner specializing in helping people recover and heal from performance injuries, creative blocks, performance and other music-related anxieties. In my own art, I am currently expanding my musical horizons from simply playing the music of others (both solo piano and chamber music) into free improvisation and composition. In the words of Michelangelo, at age 87, “Ancora Imparo- I am still learning”

Elise Hayden-Ferdman
313 Hadley Street
South Hadley, MA 01075