Mark Balling Concert Pianist 2019

Online Piano Lessons Now Available!
Social distancing seems to be the new buzz-phrase for the 20’s!  Not comfortable in a classroom setting?  Or, do you live an entire state, country, or continent away?  Tired of the local commute?  No problem – I offer online piano lessons in a variety of free video conference formats!  All you need is a smartphone and a keyboard to start.  Online students receive the same 30-45 minute lessons as in-studio students.  And, the tuition is the same!  Here’s a sample lesson:

Piano Lessons for All Ages
I teach students from ages 7 to 100.  Yes, in fact I have a 90-year-young student!  Piano lessons keep us lucid and sharp at any age.  It is never too late to learn to play the piano.   I am patient with every single student.  Remember, I’m a student as well – I take pipe organ lessons.  (I would be happy to introduce you to my teacher, if you’d like)

On weekdays, I teach privately at the Musical Beginnings lesson studio in Westchester, California (www.musicalbegninnings.org).  I also teach lessons at home residences in the West Los Angeles area.  Please contact me to inquire about home-lesson availability.  If you are interested in enrolling yourself, or a family member, we can arrange for a trial lesson – either through Musical Beginnings, or myself – to introduce one to the piano and method books, so as to ascertain to the pupil’s affinity to the instrument, and musical goals.

Piano Lessons for All Levels
Am I an instructor for beginners, or advanced students?  Both!  With a BA in Music from Northern Illinois University, and a MM in Jazz Studies from the USC Thornton School of Music, I bring a plethora of styles to the piano lesson workshop.  I consider my experience to be vast, with network television studio work, liturgical performance, and international concert tour experience to build from.  However, We should all be humble and aware of our limits.  While my schooling encouraged equal study in jazz and classical genres, I excelled as a master jazz improviser.  This route has paid dividends for me.  If I then meet a student interested in pushing the advanced classical repertory envelope, I will gladly refer them to one of my esteemed colleagues.  Conversely, my cohorts have done the same to me with students interested in advanced jazz lessons.

Teaching Method
My teaching method involves an emphasis on note-reading, and finger technique.  I focus on ear-training as well, however I do not condone learning solely “by ear”.  I encourage slow and patient daily practice, which ensures a rapid-build-up of repertoire.  I am a huge proponent for music and score reading.  However, I also adjust to each student’s individual preferences and personal goals.  Lessons weekly, for a 30 or 45-minute session.

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in pursuing piano lessons.  Or, if you are still deciding, I would  encourage you to schedule a trial lesson as that would be the best way to gauge if the piano is right for you.

Practicing Tips
For young beginning students, I recommend 15-20 minutes for 6 days a week.  Intermediate students, 25-30 for 6 days a week.  Advanced, at least 45-60 minutes each day. Try your best!  If you miss a day, simply get back on track.  This should serve as a general guideline.
My Mission: To ensure that each student gets the most out of their piano lesson through a musically enriching and enjoyable experience.  Moreover, I must promise to give the best quality lesson possible – with material drawn from my involvement in the USC Thornton School of Music Master’s program; live concert and international touring; studio recording; and twenty years of proven method-book teaching.