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I offer lessons in:

  • Accompanying
  • Adult Piano Methods
  • Arranging
  • Children's Piano Methods
  • Choral Conducting
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Improvisation
  • Classical Piano
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    Darden BurnsOffering private lessons in
    Bainbridge Island, Washington
    About MeContact Me
    Darden Burns, Nationally Certified Teacher of Music with over 30 years of experience offers piano lessons on Bainbridge Island, Washington to students of all levels and ages. Lessons include comprehensive instruction in music reading, technic, music theory, ear training, improvisation, arranging and performance; classical, folk, popular, and jazz music.

    My Teaching Background
    Darden Burns discovered her love of music at a very young age and grew up playing music and singing in school, church and camp setting. She began darden-formal-portraitstudying the piano at the age of seven and she started playing the guitar at age ten. She attended Carleton College, Cornish College where she received the Bachelor of Music degree, the Aspen Music School and Seattle Pacific University where she studied music education. Her piano teachers have included Ronald Kmiec, Anne Mayer, William Doppman, Mary Norris, Deborah Dewey and Marty Forrest Kinney. Darden has performed extensively as a collaborative pianist with both singers and instrumentalists. In addition to her classical music background she plays and improvises popular music on the piano, arranges music, sings and plays the folk guitar. Darden has been teaching private piano lessons since 1976 and maintains a studio on Bainbridge Island. She is an active member of the Kitsap Music Teachers Association, the local chapter of the Music Teachers National Association from which she holds a Professional Certificate. She continues her education by attending music workshops for teachers and taking private piano lessons. For twelve years Darden was the music director of the home concert series “Musical Evenings on Bainbridge Island”. She then organized the campaign to purchase a grand piano for the Waterfront Park Community Center and serves as president of Bainbridge Community Piano Association, the nonprofit corporation that oversees the maintenance and use of this instrument. She is the music director of First Sundays Concerts a concert series that features outstanding professional musicians in jazz and classical music.

    My Teaching Philosophy
    My goal as a piano teacher is to provide comprehensive and thorough instruction in the art of playing the piano that will contribute to life long enjoyment of music. My curriculum is unique because it encompasses mastering music reading skills and developing the ability to play by ear, and it includes teaching classical music as well as popular music, jazz, composition, and improvisation.
    I believe that a strong foundation in sight reading, music theory, ear training, good technique, and performing is essential to playing the piano and I integrate these into lessons from the beginning. I do not use a particular teaching method, rather draw from a variety of sources and have compiled my own collections of music and teaching materials. Beyond a basic reading primer and collection of folk tunes that I use with beginners, my students each choose the pieces that they want to work on. I have learned that when students like the music they are playing they are more engaged and make the best progress.

    I enjoy teaching students of many levels and ages particularly young people. First grade is typically the earliest time a child is ready to begin lessons and practice effectively on his or her own. I also take older beginners and many “transfer” students. My students perform on a piano recital for family and friends twice a year and also participate in annual adjudications organized by the Washington State Music Teachers Association.

    My personal style is relaxed and friendly coupled with an attention to detail and mastery of skills. Success at learning the piano requires regular weekly lessons and a commitment to home practice with parental support. Playing a musical instrument is one of life’s greatest joys and it my goal to make this process both educational and enjoyable for each of my students.

    Rates And Availability
    Piano lessons take place at a studio located on the south end of Bainbridge Island studio adjacent to the Burns’ residence. The studio contains a Mason Hamlin grand piano and Roland digital stage piano, an extensive library of piano literature, teaching materials, stereo, recording equipment and CDs of classical music. The room has excellent acoustic and is colorfully decorated with musically themed artwork. Lesson fees are: $30/half hour, $40/45 minutes & $50/hour.