TESTIMONIALS - lana-piano

My students have come to me from a wide variety of backgrounds. They have included elementary, middle, and high school students, college students, adults, and senior adults.

Some have been learning for the first time; others have been returning to piano study after not taking lessons for a while. Some have had special goals.

I adapt my teaching approach to the interests and goals of the student rather than following a single methodology and curriculum.

Learning music, for me, is very enjoyable and can help to have a clearer understanding of life. In short, it makes me happy. I try to pass this on to my students. I want them to enjoy making music as much as I do. I try to work with them to broaden their musical tastes and open up the huge world of music that many people are unfamiliar with.

April 24 2004 was my last day in Tallahassee, Florida, where I had been teaching my wonderful students for 6 years, and now I live in Colorado. I truly love my students. Many of them are not only students, but my close friends. Here are few of referral letters I wish to share with you.

VIDEO TESTIMONIALS FROM MY STUDENTS

My former student Holly now works as an assistant worship leader in the church in Tallahassee. 


Her Mother sent me this picture and wrote:


" You taught her so much! Helped to create that passion for music that she can use to serve the Lord!"


“Ms. Lana has taught my 3 children for almost 2 years. The kids have progressed faster with Ms. Lana than with any other previous music teacher. They are enthusiastic about attending piano lessons and are eager to practice the music Ms. Lana assigns. Lana makes sure the kids are excited about the pieces they are learning and never forces a child to perform a piece they don’t enjoy. She’s a sweet, patient lady and easily adapts her lessons to meet the needs of each individual child. I highly recommend her to any parent who is looking to give his/her child a positive piano experience!”

Rebecca Marshall Homeschooling parent to 3 kids- ages 9, 10, and 10


Jim Reynolds and Nancy Chew, my two inspirational and devoted music students, exchange emails:

On 8/9/2013 8:36 AM, NANCY CHEW wrote:


Dear Jim: I really loved listening to your piano lesson yesterday. I learned so much! You are an amazing, talented pianist and far too humble about your abilities. I shall be embarrassed to play even my best for you.


Lana's teaching is truly wonderful. She has such a fabulous ear and solutions for problems. I am so much a beginner, I didn't realize how gifted she was until she began commenting on those tiny bits in your playing. With your skill you were able to instantly make the changes and the difference in the color of the phrases was dramatic.


We are lucky with Lana!


JIM:

Well, Nancy, You have the soul of an artist. But, it's not a competition. It's making music and, when you DO play for me, I get a tremendous amount of pleasure from it. I agree with you about Lana. I wrote her an email yesterday telling her how great she was.

We had done "Blueberry Hill" with 3 against 2, but never with the syncopated accents. That works marvelously well. And there were a lot of detail tips that make a world of difference. We are lucky.

I know she loves her work (I have taught children before, but could never do it now), but I think that people who know music, who love music, and are more advanced are also good stimulation for her. Until Sunday.


To whom it may concern, It is with great pleasure that I write this letter of recommendation on behalf of Lana Smith.


My daughter and I have been students of Lana's for the last 4 months.

The progress we have both made under Lana's instruction has far exceeded any expectations I had and demonstrated to me what a wonderful teacher she is.


Not only are my daughter and I growing as piano players but we also gaining more confidence in ourselves with every lesson.


No matter where the piano is and who is around, we will play it.


Lana is easily able to impart her enthusiasm and love of playing the piano onto both of us. She customizes our lessons and the music she gives us to our current skill level while continuing to provide us challenges to keep our learning process going.


Lana takes time to play the pieces she is thinking of giving us to ensure we like it, which provides us more incentive and motivation to practice and play. Once we master a piece we are eager to begin the next new piece.


Lana has a great ability to make a connection with me and my daughter. She acknowledges and rewards our accomplishments even when we make mistakes during our playing. She always points out the positives, and is great at helping us to overcome mistakes which allows us to improve and master the pieces of music she gives to us.


Lana is not only friendly and patient but is great at gualifying our level of knowledge and ability. Her commitment to us is very evident. No song is too difficult to learn because Lana can provide the song and lesson to our ability at the time. Lana has many qualities but most of all is able to connect with us as students.


She is a very positive and encouraging teacher who is able to make us confident and self motivated piano players.


I highly recommend Lana as a piano teacher to anyone who really loves music and is committed to learn.


Sincerely, Dominic Romano


Lana Smith has been my piano teacher for one and half year. I am 76 years old and have wanted to play piano since childhood. I have owned a piano for 22 years and up until I met Lana, had never found a teacher that would treat me as an "adult" student - no recitals, no scales or complicated chords to memorize by themselves. She started me out with songs that I know. After my first lesson I played "Silent Night" for my family and I was hooked! Granted it was 3 chords and sing along, but I felt I was finally learning to play. She taught the chords along with each new piece as they were needed. I now have many selections that I can enjoy playing for myself and my family. I highly recommend Lana to anyone wanting to learn to play piano. She has a winning way and makes you to want learn more. I shall miss her greatly. I can's say enough about her teaching style. She's terrific.

Ms Jimmie Hinkle.


Remember me? I was your student for about two years. I know you were disappointed when I left, but I have to thank you for teaching me so well. Not only did I learn keyboarding from you, I also expanded my knowledge of music theory. Thanks to you, Lana, I've begun writing original music in multiple genres, some of which can be found at http://www.virb.com/ajjyx. Thanks for everything! ---Vince 


My daughter Cassidy has taken piano lessons from Lana Smith since December 2003. Lana is a wonderful teacher who recognizes each student's unique gifts and talents.<br />
<br />
The first time I met her was at a recital for her students, two of which were my nieces.<br />
I was immediately struck by how different it was from my own daughter's recital, who at that time was taking lessons from another teacher. My daughter's recital was mostly elementary kids with a couple of teens. Lana's students were a mixture of kids and adults and while each student was at different level as far as their ability, the songs chosen showcased each student's unique ability and talent. They played from their hearts and at times it brought me to tears because they weren't playing a song they memorized, they were sharing a gift from inside that was nurtured and encouraged by a very insightful teacher.<br />
<br />
Needless to say, we switched piano teachers immediately and my daughter has musically blossomed with Lana's guidance. While my daughter has an ability to play by ear, she has been frustrated with her previous teacher who taught strictly by the book. Lana allowed her to play by ear while encouraging her to read music. While it is still a work in progress, my daughter is no longer frustrated because she has the freedom to play by ear while she is still learning to read music.<br />
<br />
I would highly recommend Lana to anyone interested in learning to play the piano. She has the ability to adapt each lesson to the student's particular needs by finding out what they enjoy most and in doing so, what motivates them. She is patient and kind and never fails to praise my daughter's efforts, which boosts her self confidence and makes her more eager to learn. We will miss Lana terribly but she leaves behind a gift of love of music for my daughter, as well as a strong foundation on which she may continue to build.<br />
<br />
Pam Byrd.

My daughter Cassidy has taken piano lessons from Lana Smith since December 2003. Lana is a wonderful teacher who recognizes each student's unique gifts and talents.

The first time I met her was at a recital for her students, two of which were my nieces.
I was immediately struck by how different it was from my own daughter's recital, who at that time was taking lessons from another teacher. My daughter's recital was mostly elementary kids with a couple of teens. Lana's students were a mixture of kids and adults and while each student was at different level as far as their ability, the songs chosen showcased each student's unique ability and talent. They played from their hearts and at times it brought me to tears because they weren't playing a song they memorized, they were sharing a gift from inside that was nurtured and encouraged by a very insightful teacher.

Needless to say, we switched piano teachers immediately and my daughter has musically blossomed with Lana's guidance. While my daughter has an ability to play by ear, she has been frustrated with her previous teacher who taught strictly by the book. Lana allowed her to play by ear while encouraging her to read music. While it is still a work in progress, my daughter is no longer frustrated because she has the freedom to play by ear while she is still learning to read music.

I would highly recommend Lana to anyone interested in learning to play the piano. She has the ability to adapt each lesson to the student's particular needs by finding out what they enjoy most and in doing so, what motivates them. She is patient and kind and never fails to praise my daughter's efforts, which boosts her self confidence and makes her more eager to learn. We will miss Lana terribly but she leaves behind a gift of love of music for my daughter, as well as a strong foundation on which she may continue to build.

Pam Byrd.

The light seems to have suddenly gone on in Andrew's head. He's been practicing a ton lately. He got up this morning and asked to play the piano after breakfast before school. He rips through his "regular" practice and then moves on to whatever he feels like working on. Once I get him past the point of meltdown (about three times in on something new), he's at it for an hour. At the moment, he's been adding "Ode to Joy" and "The Music of the Night" I think he is really excited to play his "concert" for you on Tuesday. You might even get a few extras if he decides he's ready :-) I think he's about to make me work for it if I intend to keep up with him - I'm starting to have to practice now, too. I can't get away with once or twice through anymore, but we're having lots of fun.<br />
Lisa

The light seems to have suddenly gone on in Andrew's head. He's been practicing a ton lately. He got up this morning and asked to play the piano after breakfast before school. He rips through his "regular" practice and then moves on to whatever he feels like working on. Once I get him past the point of meltdown (about three times in on something new), he's at it for an hour. At the moment, he's been adding "Ode to Joy" and "The Music of the Night" I think he is really excited to play his "concert" for you on Tuesday. You might even get a few extras if he decides he's ready :-) I think he's about to make me work for it if I intend to keep up with him - I'm starting to have to practice now, too. I can't get away with once or twice through anymore, but we're having lots of fun.
Lisa

I took lessons from Svetlana ("Lana") back in 1996, and was surprised at how quickly I progressed under her unique methods of instruction. It was fun, it was exciting, and I looked forward to every lesson. Unfortunately for me, personal circumstances prevented me from pursuing my lessons beyond a certain point, but I was surprised at how easily I could sit down and pick out almost any desired tune when I was alone with my piano. She and I both felt I was progressing quickly, and I would have pursued my lessons indefinitely if it weren't for those other circumstances. <br />
<br />
Lana is immensely talented, highly educated in piano and music theory, and is the sweetest, most accommodating music teacher I have every had the pleasure to deal with. I don't know if she's the cheapest or not, but *GOOD* is what you should be looking for, not dollar signs. <br />
<br />
All these years later I remain friends with Lana and her family. Why? Because her students are like family to her. She's patient when you need it, and will drive a little harder when she senses that's what you need. Never in a rude or mean way... Just the level of firmness that you might need if you find yourself "slacking off." She was a way of giving "difficult feedback" in a way that still leaves you feeling good about yourself. Amazing! <br />
<br />
Give Lana a try... you WON'T be disappointed! <br />
<br />
Jeff Schinsky - Former Student and Constant Admirer"

I took lessons from Svetlana ("Lana") back in 1996, and was surprised at how quickly I progressed under her unique methods of instruction. It was fun, it was exciting, and I looked forward to every lesson. Unfortunately for me, personal circumstances prevented me from pursuing my lessons beyond a certain point, but I was surprised at how easily I could sit down and pick out almost any desired tune when I was alone with my piano. She and I both felt I was progressing quickly, and I would have pursued my lessons indefinitely if it weren't for those other circumstances.

Lana is immensely talented, highly educated in piano and music theory, and is the sweetest, most accommodating music teacher I have every had the pleasure to deal with. I don't know if she's the cheapest or not, but *GOOD* is what you should be looking for, not dollar signs.

All these years later I remain friends with Lana and her family. Why? Because her students are like family to her. She's patient when you need it, and will drive a little harder when she senses that's what you need. Never in a rude or mean way... Just the level of firmness that you might need if you find yourself "slacking off." She was a way of giving "difficult feedback" in a way that still leaves you feeling good about yourself. Amazing!

Give Lana a try... you WON'T be disappointed!

Jeff Schinsky - Former Student and Constant Admirer"

I am writing this on behalf of Lana Smith. What a joy she has been to our family, especially for out twelve-year-old son Ben.<br />
<br />
Ben has been taking piano lessons from Lana for 2 and half years. Her love for piano and music certainly shows in her teaching. She is kind and patient and loves to see her students excel. What a privilege it has been having Lana as Ben' s piano teacher. We'll sure miss her.<br />
<br />
Sincerely,<br />
<br />
Lisa Revell<br />
<br />
 On competition for Florida Christian Schools Ben twice took 1st place in  Tallahassee (year 2003 and 2004),  and 2nd place in West Palm Beach  (Florida State level) year 2003.

I am writing this on behalf of Lana Smith. What a joy she has been to our family, especially for out twelve-year-old son Ben.

Ben has been taking piano lessons from Lana for 2 and half years. Her love for piano and music certainly shows in her teaching. She is kind and patient and loves to see her students excel. What a privilege it has been having Lana as Ben' s piano teacher. We'll sure miss her.

Sincerely,

Lisa Revell

On competition for Florida Christian Schools Ben twice took 1st place in Tallahassee (year 2003 and 2004), and 2nd place in West Palm Beach (Florida State level) year 2003.

Lana, your efforts and encouragement are much appreciated. You give me my start. Watch for me in piano bars or on cruise ships... tickling the ivories.<br />
<br />
Frank Cooke.

Lana, your efforts and encouragement are much appreciated. You give me my start. Watch for me in piano bars or on cruise ships... tickling the ivories.

Frank Cooke.


My daughter Michelle started taking lessons from Lana one year ago. Under Lana’s instruction Michelle has progressed so rapidly in technique and skill that my wife Sachi started lessons from her a half year ago. They both progressed so well that we decided to step up from a spinet to a grand piano to better enjoy the sound that fills our house. Lana is a very fine instructor. Her methods and teaching decorum are excellent. We plan to stay with her for a long time. I highly recommend her to any student desiring a professional approach that gives pleasing results!<br />
<br />
Bob Mutu.

My daughter Michelle started taking lessons from Lana one year ago. Under Lana’s instruction Michelle has progressed so rapidly in technique and skill that my wife Sachi started lessons from her a half year ago. They both progressed so well that we decided to step up from a spinet to a grand piano to better enjoy the sound that fills our house. Lana is a very fine instructor. Her methods and teaching decorum are excellent. We plan to stay with her for a long time. I highly recommend her to any student desiring a professional approach that gives pleasing results!

Bob Mutu.

To Whoever it May Concern,<br />
 <br />
     For almost three years now Lana Smith has been dedicated in helping my children reclaim, and improve on their skills in piano playing. With her delightful demeanor, and patience towards people she is able to embed information into their minds with potent, and engaging ways. She allows herself to learn about each of her students as individuals, and treat them differently according to their needs. My children have excelled in their piano playing to a greater extent than they thought they would have while working with other music teachers. Lana Smith is wonderful with beginners to advanced. She is very knowledgeable in what she teaches, and makes the while experience one that is far from dull. I recommend Lana Smith as a piano teacher to anyone who wants to bring music into their lives, or just fertilize the talent they already have. You will not be disappointed.<br />
 <br />
                                                                                           Sincerely,<br />
                                                                                                       Ewa Podlacha

To Whoever it May Concern,

For almost three years now Lana Smith has been dedicated in helping my children reclaim, and improve on their skills in piano playing. With her delightful demeanor, and patience towards people she is able to embed information into their minds with potent, and engaging ways. She allows herself to learn about each of her students as individuals, and treat them differently according to their needs. My children have excelled in their piano playing to a greater extent than they thought they would have while working with other music teachers. Lana Smith is wonderful with beginners to advanced. She is very knowledgeable in what she teaches, and makes the while experience one that is far from dull. I recommend Lana Smith as a piano teacher to anyone who wants to bring music into their lives, or just fertilize the talent they already have. You will not be disappointed.

Sincerely,
Ewa Podlacha

I would like to recommend Ms. Lana Smith as a piano teacher. Although I have played the piano most of my life, I needed to improve my technique. Lana suggested pieces that helped me with specific problems that I was having. We worked on variety of different types of music that challenged me, but she never insisted on my working with songs that I did not like.<br />
<br />
Lana is a very patient, kind person who makes lessons fun. She is knowledgeable about all genres of music and often discussed theory and music history with me. I know that she would be a good teacher for children as well as adults at any level of instruction.<br />
<br />
Sincerely,<br />
<br />
Emily H. Beck

I would like to recommend Ms. Lana Smith as a piano teacher. Although I have played the piano most of my life, I needed to improve my technique. Lana suggested pieces that helped me with specific problems that I was having. We worked on variety of different types of music that challenged me, but she never insisted on my working with songs that I did not like.

Lana is a very patient, kind person who makes lessons fun. She is knowledgeable about all genres of music and often discussed theory and music history with me. I know that she would be a good teacher for children as well as adults at any level of instruction.

Sincerely,

Emily H. Beck

After having playing piano and organ at advances intermediate level, I was forces by personal reasons to give up playing for 25 years. Recently, I sought recommendations for a teacher to reacquire technique and musical knowledge, and was delighted to find Lana Smith.<br />
<br />
I can say without equivocation that becoming Lana's student has been the best decision and experience I have had in music taking.<br />
<br />
Several teachers, from beginning level to university level, have taught me. None has had the consuming passion for music, the musical knowledge and compositional knowledge, the ability to completely individualize instruction, or the ability to impact that passion to her students as Lana has.<br />
<br />
She has inspired me to learn "little" pieces and taught them in a way that makes me appreciate their beauty. But requirements of "big" pieces are possible with her individualized technical knowledge and instruction. She doesn't just tell how to do something to overcome the difficult passage; she demonstrates in many ways how to perform correctly and assigns etudes and studies for that problem.<br />
<br />
After two months, I am learning a Mozart sonata and a Beethoven Sonata (Appasionata) which is astounding! Students are allowed to work at their own pace. But Lana has the rare and indefinable talent of motivating students to work at very high pace.<br />
<br />
I can personally attest to Lana's effectiveness with students ranging in age from 6 years old to sixty-five years old, because I have heard them play. Their love of music and ability amply demonstrate how wonderful she is as a teacher.<br />
<br />
Her love to music, inspiration to the student and knowledge of the instrument and performance art are equaled by no one in my experience. If you have a chance to become a student of Lana Smith, do not miss the chance!<br />
<br />
Sincerely,<br />
<br />
James M. Reynolds

After having playing piano and organ at advances intermediate level, I was forces by personal reasons to give up playing for 25 years. Recently, I sought recommendations for a teacher to reacquire technique and musical knowledge, and was delighted to find Lana Smith.

I can say without equivocation that becoming Lana's student has been the best decision and experience I have had in music taking.

Several teachers, from beginning level to university level, have taught me. None has had the consuming passion for music, the musical knowledge and compositional knowledge, the ability to completely individualize instruction, or the ability to impact that passion to her students as Lana has.

She has inspired me to learn "little" pieces and taught them in a way that makes me appreciate their beauty. But requirements of "big" pieces are possible with her individualized technical knowledge and instruction. She doesn't just tell how to do something to overcome the difficult passage; she demonstrates in many ways how to perform correctly and assigns etudes and studies for that problem.

After two months, I am learning a Mozart sonata and a Beethoven Sonata (Appasionata) which is astounding! Students are allowed to work at their own pace. But Lana has the rare and indefinable talent of motivating students to work at very high pace.

I can personally attest to Lana's effectiveness with students ranging in age from 6 years old to sixty-five years old, because I have heard them play. Their love of music and ability amply demonstrate how wonderful she is as a teacher.

Her love to music, inspiration to the student and knowledge of the instrument and performance art are equaled by no one in my experience. If you have a chance to become a student of Lana Smith, do not miss the chance!

Sincerely,

James M. Reynolds