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Teaching philosophy

My approach to teaching mirrors my approach to composition in that I try to treat each venture completely on its own terms rather than plugging it into a previously devised "style." I try to make my teaching as flexible and customized to the unique atmosphere of each class and student as is conceivably possible, treating my own musical inclinations as a non-factor. As a result of this philosophy, I have worked with students on everything from composing original film scores to writing rap songs to arranging pop songs for solo piano to creating their own musical improvisation exercises to analyzing motivic development in Beethoven sonatas. In the same way that I am excited by composing pieces for completely different settings and audiences in completely different styles, I am similarly excited by teaching students through entirely dissimilar methods, depending on what excites them.


Unlike many other disciplines, I feel that music is truly universal in the sense that everyone can admire it from some angle. I find it thrilling to adjust my teaching in whatever way is needed to discover and nurture these angles with students.

Testimonials

"As a parent I asked my daughter many times if she was interested in pursuing singing lessons and she never seemed to have the confidence to do it until she met Ben. Since Ben started lessons with my daughter, I see a new confidence in her singing but most importantly I see that she enjoys each and every session. Ben has brought her voice back to our home and we are very happy to hear it."- A. McGonicle, parent


"I have known Ben for several years as the pianist for our kindergarten through 8th grade musical at our school. While our musical has been exceptionally well accompanied, he has also shown himself to be an excellent piano teacher to boot. He taught my 2 daughters in piano for quite a while. While amazingly talented in his own right, he also has an innate ability to connect with young students who want/need to learn music. I would highly recommend him."- Kim G., parent


"I think that Ben really helped me become who I am today. When I first met him I was stuck on some songs in the starters piano book, and now I can play huge and complicated songs with almost no mistakes! He is the best and coolest piano teacher I have ever had."- Zoe, student, age 11


"After spending almost 3 years and countless dollars watching my son learn to *hate* piano and dread his lessons I knew something had to change. Enter Ben Kapilow. Ben was (and is!) kind, considerate and willing to get to know children on an individual level and to engage them in unique and creative ways. Ben took the time to understand what wasn't working and developed an extraordinary plan to get my son back on track. My son responded IMMEDIATELY! Ben saved my son from quitting piano - and more importantly he taught him how enjoyable it is to learn and play music."- Kelly Zakielarz, parent


"I can't recommend Ben highly enough. My girls (rising 1st and 3rd graders) came away from lessons able to read music, eager to compose their own pieces (several odes to Ben himself) and interested in playing. Ben made them comfortable with his easygoing and funny personality. I appreciated how easy he was to work with... on top of every detail and fantastic at communication. He's greatly missed here already!"- Jodi McGee, parent


"I never knew how to play piano. Then Ben came along, then I was playing like a star." Ella, student, age 7


"Ben was the music director for our theater program for several years, and he was instrumental to the success of our program. He has an impressive ability to teach and connect with children so they have a lot of fun while they learn and develop their talents. He was able to quickly adapt to changes and requests we had with the music and also offer suggestions for improvements. Ben's talent, dedication, and reliability were greatly valued by our staff, our actors, and the families involved in the show."- Sara O'Reilly, Mother of Providence School Drama Coordinator


"Ben is a phenomenal piano and voice teacher. His energy for teaching and music helped me tremendously. I had been taking piano lessons for a few years before I met Ben, and I started losing interest. But when I started taking Ben's piano lessons, he reenergized me for learning and playing on piano. He learned my style of learning and adapted his method to it."- Claire, student, age 11


"I am very glad that Darlington assigned Angie to Ben. He has a great way of teaching, that from day one she was so proud of herself that she could play the piano. She continues to practice daily and I am still amazed that in such a short time with Ben, she learned so much."- Dawn Scanlon, parent 


"Both of our daughters had their first piano lessons with Ben. He engaged them with a combination of musical knowledge, a fun and friendly approach, and lots of creativity! He would still be their teacher had he not moved out of state. Highly recommended!"- Reed Frati, parent


"Ben is a great teacher. I have learned so much about singing thanks to him. He is patient, kind and encouraging. He knows a lot about music and voice. I feel a lot more confident now when I sing."- Katie, student, age 13


"I highly recommend Ben as a piano teacher. My two sons, ages 4 and 6, had lessons with Ben. My older son rejected 3 piano teachers before immediately enjoying his lessons with Ben. When my younger son asked for lessons Ben conducted very age appropriate lessons that kept his interest. Both of my sons looked forward to their weekly lessons and had an enjoyable and productive time at those lessons."- Debby Pajerowski, parent 


"Ben is a phenomenal teacher. His ability as a voice teacher is second-to-none. He motivates his students to learn and push themselves towards excellence. I am so pleased with the progress that my daughter has made thanks to Ben's instruction."- Jen T., parent

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