Q: For any student looking to find a music instructor, what do you feel
you bring to the table that distinguishes you from other piano teachers?
A: I am very patient and approachable and love to participate in the
learning process and answer any question the student has. I am very well
versed in popular music, including arranging, writing and recording. I can
usually sight-read and arrange or perform any piece of popular music the first
time it is put in front of me. I have produced and sold over 5000 CDs which
are downloaded online around the world. I've worked as a professional pianist in night
clubs, hotels and cruise ships. I've been a church music director for over 10 years.
I customize the lessons for each student and I am classically trained with
a BA in Music Education.
Q: What are the most common challenges you've observed beginners facing
in learning to play piano?
1. Learning to read the notes!
2. Practicing on a regular basis.
3. Staying disciplined, interested and motivated.
Q: What is your approach to helping students overcome these challenges?
How can you help them?
1. Note reading: Notespeller books and theory, having the student
say and play the notes.
2. Practicing: They use practice records and show me them. I schedule for a
recital or other performance goal, this really helps them to practice!
3. Staying Interested : They learn the styles and songs they like and I work
to make it a creative experience and I'm very supportive also.
Q: How much time should a beginning student be ready to devote to
practicing on a weekly basis, if they want to make good progress?
A: Five to seven days per week and 30 to 40 minutes per day.
Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching piano to adults?
A: I love to teach adults. They have a great sense of humor and many
of them are very committed to their lessons since it has been their dream
to play for a very long time. They come prepared and interested.
Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching piano to children?
A: Children are delightful since they are so full of wonder and look at
the challenges of playing in such a unique way. They are open, insightful and
ready to absorb the music. You can't find a better student than that. I have
a six year old who likes to sing every song she learns. She really knows how
to make piano lessons fun!
Q: For parents, how long, on average, should they expect their child to
need to take music lessons before they can play their first simple tune?
A: In three to four weeks they should be able to play the first tune
that every kid still goes crazy to play on the piano: "Yankee Doodle".
Q: How will intermediate or advanced students benefit from coming to you
for further instruction? How can you improve their musical abilities and
satisfaction in playing/singing the music they love?
A: These students can refine their rhythm, improve their technique and
best of all perform the great piano masterworks that they have earned the
skills to be able to play. Advanced students can also branch off and learn
another style since they now have the background and basics to play any style
Q: What local opportunities are there for your students to play their
instruments in a performance setting?
A: I am currently preparing some students for the LA County School of
Music and the Arts - a progressive performance arts high school. I also offer
two recitals per year on a grand piano at a local upscale retirement living
complex. The city of Alhambra pays people to perform at small outdoor stages
around town. My students have performed at my church and at a local jazz club
where I used to perform.
Q: To take our last question a step further, are there any local musical
venues where you have performed, or any local orchestras/groups with whom you
A: Yes, Holly Street Jazz Club in Pasadena and with the Torrance
Symphony and the Unity Church in La Crescenta.
Q: Tell us about a music student you've taught who has made you really
A: My student of 14 years, Kevin Tom, is currently the music director
of the Pasadena Baptist Church. Another student, Nicholas Gerpe is on the
faculty of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and is earning his Doctorate
in Piano Performance at the University of Southern California. Many have gone
on to study music and make money at it as well which makes me very happy!
Q: When do you know that you've succeeded with a student?
A: I know I've succeeded when the student has achieved the goals they
came to achieve. Also, they can play with a relaxed, effortless technique,
flowing expression and confidently perform a piece in recital - if they chose
to play in recital.
Q: When did your interest in music begin?
A: My mother was a piano teacher and at seven or eight years old I went
crazy hearing her. I could see her fingers brushing across the keys and the
amazing music flowing forth. It seemed like magic. I had to learn to do it,
too. I was absolutely captivated. From then on I played and learned every day,
taught myself actually with some coaching from her for the next five years
then by age 18 I was entertaining at a local restaurant.
Q: Please tell us about your formal music education and credentials.
A: I have a BA in Music Education from Michigan State University. I
have studied with many great pianists including Mark Richman, a concert
pianist and former music professor at UCLA.
Q: What is the style of music you love playing best, on your own time?
A: I teach classical, Jazz and popular. On my own time I would say I
like to play classical music the most. It is like concentrated music, so rich
and full of emotion. I also play popular and classical as well.
Q: Please share the highlights of your performance/working experience.
A: I have taught the piano for 28 years, including 18 years at the
Music Teachers on Main. I have performed in restaurants, hotels, and on a
cruise ship for 20 years. I have been a music director in my church and
others for 10 years. I accompany singers, direct chorus and produce musical
variety shows for the church.
Q: I understand you're a recording artist, Larry. Where can I buy your
A: I published my first piano CD in 1999 called "Magnificent Movie Love Themes."
It was nationally released and is currently available on
cdbaby.com. My second CD in 2001, "Moonlit Nights"
(jazz combo), and my third CD very recently (Nov. '08) called: "Beautiful Broadway Love Themes."
They have sold about 5000 CDs to date nationwide and countless downloads
world wide. You can search for my music at www.cdbaby.com.
Q: How has music enriched your life?
A: Music is a special skill that lifts people's spirits when you share
it with others. Being able to play the piano is a gift that just keeps on
giving. I have met television personalities, accompanied countless vocal
artists, played lavish parties in Beverly Hills, performed for the Mayor of
Los Angeles, played for tourists on a cruise ship in the Bahamas and recorded
music to share with people all over the world. The piano opens doors to meet
people I never would have met and go places I never would have traveled to
if I didn't know how to play.
Q: What do you want students to get out of getting to work with you?
A: I want my students to have the knowledge to sight-read music easily,
the skill to learn any song they want to learn, the technique to perform
the standard classical repertoire, the confidence to play for anyone,
anywhere - and the chops to play professionally if they so desire.
Q: Can you share a free tip that prospective students can benefit from
A: An easy way to start exercising your fingers right now! Put your
right hand thumb on middle C and go up the keyboard playing CDE with fingers
1,2,3 (the thumb is one). Now cross your thumb under your third finger and
just continue with all the fingers (1,2,3,4,5) on FGABC. Go up and down too.
Try the left hand on a lower C and go up using fingers 54321, 321. Remember
the pinky is 5! When you've got that, give me a call at 626-202-5194 and I'll
show you how to go up and down the whole piano!
Q: What is the best age to start taking piano lessons?
A: The earliest we recommend starting piano lessons for children is 4
years old. Our Piano Toons class is specifically designed for 4 and 5 year olds.
Students younger than 4 can have difficulty reaching the distance between keys
because of hand size. If a child is younger than 4 and still has an interest in
starting music we recommend taking one of our preschool music classes. These group
classes for ages 18 months to 4 1/2 years old, give children the foundational skills
of rhythm, melody and help develop the basic music competence that will give them
future success in private piano lessons. You can learn about our preschool music
classes by clicking here. Adults can get started at any age. We have had several
beginner students in their 70's and even a few in their 80's!
A little something more about Larry Evans, piano teacher at Music
Teachers on Main:
Larry Evans at nine years old begged his mother, a piano teacher herself,
to learn the piano and has never stopped since. At 18 he was already playing
for large crowds at the Elks Club in Michigan where he grew up. He played
Friday nights with a repertoire of 52 songs memorized. At 19 Larry went to
audition to accompany for a full musical production of "Carnival" The
director, who was new that night, thought that Larry was the regular pianist
and said "okay everyone, let's run the entire show!"
Larry, being young and not knowing what an audition entailed, SIGHT READ
AND PERFORMED THE ENTIRE 1 & 1/2 hour SHOW ON THE SPOT! Then when someone
said to the director, "Larry just came tonight to audition," The director
said "You got the job!"
At 23, Larry put himself through MSU School of Music by playing at an
upscale restaurants and piano bars on the weekends after having increased his
repertoire to 220 songs.
From 10 years old he showed a natural ability to improvise and arrange
popular music while reading it for the first time. Finally in 1999 he
released his first full length CD featuring his own piano arrangements.
"Magnificent Movie Love Themes"
has sold several thousand copies to date. Now in digital distribution, the CD
is repeatedly downloaded by fans all over Europe.
Contact Larry Evans To Set Up Your First Piano Lesson:
Call 626-202-5194 or email email@example.com