Connect with Mariken: 413-441-4317

Lessons

I love teaching. I have always loved it right from when I first started teaching at age eighteen. What I love about it is the journey of discovery with the student. Even after decades of teaching I am still amazed at this process; the power of music, and students’ ability to learn and grow in their musical expression. Teaching beginners (young or old) is as exciting to me as teaching already accomplished players.

I am primarily classically trained, with a specialization in Baroque music. But lots of different styles interest me, and besides classical music I can help with popular songs, chord sheets, improvisation, etc. The fundamentals of classical technique are the basis for all other styles.

Your Goals

Do you want to learn for the first time? What kind of music appeals to you? Do you want to improve your technical skills or musical abilities? Do you like to play by heart, or do you want to learn to read music? Have you played in the past and want to pick it up again? Do you want to challenge your brain with new skills? Have you ever improvised? Are you looking for a partner to play duets with? Are you a singer and want to learn to accompany yourself? There are many ways in which playing an instrument can give you satisfaction and pleasure!

My Goal

Of course, to help you, and to encourage you towards your goals. I hope to inspire greater musical understanding, appreciation, and expression. I love finding creative ways to integrate technique, basic music theory, improvisation, and illustrating music in its historical context.

But the most exciting and rewarding part of my job is helping you find the key to your natural disposition at the keyboard, and to your own unique musical voice.

The Basics

Learning to play an instrument requires many skills involving body, mind, and spirit:

  • coordination of fingers, hands, arms, and posture to produce the sound that you want to hear.
  • connecting reading notes and rhythm with that physical action.
  • learning to practice with focus and relaxed attention.
  • bringing the music alive by finding your own natural expression.

When to Begin

Generally, any age after 7 or 8. But I have students who began at age 72! Everyone is different.

Most 7-year-olds have developed sufficient finger strength, spatial awareness, focus and structural thinking to start taking formal lessons, and developing the discipline of regular practice. If younger students are exceptionally focused, musical, motivated, and supported by their parents we might be able to start earlier than 7.

Practicing

Every student has different goals. And much depends on how often and how much time one wants to practice. Practicing is an art, and learning how to practice is a joy. Good, effective, regular, and relaxed practice is the key to good musicianship. It is the doorway to concentration, attention, and immersion. It’s exhilarating to feel your fingers starting to find their way effortlessly and express the music. Every practice will be different; possibilities open, you’ll find different solutions for technical difficulties, or how to shape a musical phrase.

Musical Expression

Music is a language. Each piece of music tells a story—a story in sound. Like an actor, a musician will develop the means to express that musical story. It’s profoundly rewarding to find the key to your own musical voice!

Improvisation

Improvisation is a gateway to freedom of expression, and creativity. From the very first lesson musical worlds can open for the student when we improvise together. It encourages listening, relaxation, and trust in the creative process.

Student Recitals

At the end of every school year, I organize a recital for the children I teach. Recitals are a great opportunity to learn how to prepare and perform a piece of music with care, conviction, and joy. The students inspire each other and learn to trust that performing for an audience is exciting and rewarding. I also prepare my students for other recitals (Great Barrington Waldorf School, Young Pianists’ recital in Salisbury CT), and auditions. Students have performed easy beginning pieces, music of different styles and difficulty, duets, and their own songs, compositions, and improvisations!

Learning the Harpsichord

Harpsichord playing is quite different from piano technique, interpretation, and literature. Music from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries become very interesting and alive on the harpsichord with the proper approach and technique. Children and adults can start harpsichord lessons without any prior keyboard experience. I love helping pianists and organists transition to the art of harpsichord playing.

My Teaching Career

My love for music started at a young age. I taught myself the recorder at the age of six and started taking private piano lessons at the age of ten. When my eyes fell on a harpsichord at the music school where I was taking lessons, I decided that was the instrument I really wanted to learn. However, harpsichords were not readily available, and I continued playing piano throughout my high school years. But when the opportunity arose to switch to the harpsichord, I took it without hesitation. I studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, finishing with a master’s degree in solo performance specializing in harpsichord and Early Music. Throughout my studies I taught harpsichord to beginners, and accomplished pianists. When my life brought me to the United States, I started teaching piano as well. I have taught in Marin County, California, and since 1997 I have had an active private teaching career in Berkshire County, MA. I have seen the joy of music grow in my students, and some of them have embarked on their own professional musical journeys.

Lesson Fees

Monthly fee for a weekly scheduled time slot of 45 minutes (major holidays are included); Recommended for beginners and children:

  • At my studio in Stockbridge, or on Zoom: $210 per month
  • At your home: $230 per month

Monthly fee for a weekly scheduled time slot of 60 minutes (major holidays are included):

  • At my studio in Stockbridge, or on Zoom: $230 per month
  • At your home: $250 per month

Individual lessons:

  • 45 minutes at my studio, or on Zoom: $65 per lesson
  • 60 minutes at my studio, or on Zoom: $75 per lesson
  • 45 minutes at your home: $70 per lesson
  • 60 minutes at your home: $80 per lesson