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.


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!


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 Thanks for everything! ---Vince