I began piano lessons with Mrs. Eckstein having mediocre technique and a lack of finger exercise. During my time with her, Mrs. Eckstein has never allowed short cuts around my weaknesses, and has emphasized that in order to enjoy the music within a piece, a strong technical foundation is crucial. She is very dedicated and understands each of my flaws, while giving me freedom to add music from my own perspective. Mrs. Eckstein is always patient with me, and will spare extra time to fix any problem that I made during a lesson. Because of her endless effort, patience, and experience as a teacher, I have won 1st prize in various competitions and was invited to perform at the Carnegie Hall. Mrs. Eckstein knows the pieces to choose for me that would match my musical style, yet challenge me to improve and assess my weaknesses at the same time. I am able to enjoy the learning process and feel rewarded every time I am able to complete a piece with her. Through my years with her, Mrs. Eckstein has inspired me to constantly improve and appreciate the complex and fascinating aspects of classical music.
“How is she going to help me become the best at piano? This was my first thought before my
first lesson with Mrs. Eckstein. I arrived to Mrs. Eckstein with poor theory and technique, and as
a seven-year-old at that time, I thought that it would be impossible for me to fix my poorly
trained fingers and understand theory concepts all at the same time. However, as a wonderful
and patient teacher, Mrs. Eckstein would spend our time together by trying to build up more
strength into my fingers or explaining in depth different theory concepts. Not only did she put so
much time and effort to wipe out all of the wrong playing habits, she believed in me. Mrs.
Eckstein knows the best for every one of her students, and without her, I wouldn’t have won first
prize awards at MTAC competitions or been selected to play in the Carnegie Hall. Now, four
years later, I can see how much improvement I’ve gained ever since I started with her. Without
Mrs. Eckstein, I would be nowhere with my piano playing.”
“From the moment I met Mrs. Eckstein, I knew I would get the kind of training I needed. In my years with her, I have won 1st place in both the Musical Arts Club of Orange County competition and the Southwestern Youth Music Festival (SYMF). I am so glad that I can go to so many different competitions now—while I used to be very nervous playing in front of an audience, I rarely become nervous now because I have had so many opportunities to play for people. When I first came to Mrs. Eckstein, I had very poor foundations in both sight-reading and music theory. Mrs. Eckstein was patient with me, and would even sometimes spend an entire lesson explaining a concept of theory to me that I didn’t understand. Sometimes, she would even sacrifice a block of her own time so that I could come over to work on these two weaknesses with her! She always leaves me room to add my own artistic touch to the music, teaching me that music is not something set in stone, something that should be played the exact same way by everyone—in fact, everyone has different ideas and feelings for the music, which is why it is so diverse and beautiful.”
Allison, 16, is a junior at Northwood high school, where she is active in Link Crew, Choir, and Varsity Golf. A Certificate of Merit Advanced level pianist and winner of multiple competitions, she has been a student of the studio for ten years. Of her experiences, she says, “When I started with Mrs. Eckstein, I felt that I would learn the most with her. She’s pretty strict about theory, Certificate of Merit, and improving myself—her students have to be committed and really want to learn to play the piano. Still, Mrs. Eckstein is very encouraging, and gets to know her students well. She’s gotten to know my personality so well, that she knows what kind of pieces I like and the composers I’m interested in. Even though I used to hate practicing the theory, I’ve gotten to the point where I can apply the theory to the pieces I’m playing, which makes it worthwhile. I’m definitely going to play piano for the rest of my life. I find it inspiring, because I’ve worked so hard for all these years to learn the technique and the theory, and I don’t want to give that up.”