About Geist Piano

Meet Valerie

 I’ve been playing the piano for over 30 years, and I’ve been teaching professionally in private and group environments for over 20 years! I love the piano, and I thoroughly enjoy helping others on their piano journey.

I have a Bachelor of Arts in Music and am currently working to finish a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy. I also regularly attend state and national music teacher conferences and workshops. I do this for my own enjoyment as well as to increase my abilities to help students of all ages, abilities, and interests to be able to progress at the piano.

Why does it matter? It doesn’t – I’m just giving you a sense of me and my background, why I’m here, and what I can do for you. The goal is for you to enjoy piano lessons while progressing, and I can help you with that! Piano is FUN!


Valerie's Teaching Philosophy

This was crafted years ago and then honed for my application to achieve the NCTM certification (National Certified Teacher of Music through the Music Teacher's National Association).

Not everyone wants to read this much text, but I'll leave it here just in case you're curious!

I believe music has something to offer everyone! Goals may range from pure enjoyment of a specific style of music to a career in music, and I am happy to guide and assist students with reaching those goals. Regardless of the student’s goal, I strive to curate meaningful experiences during lessons. 


I want my students to appreciate music, to feel inspired to learn about music. I want them to enjoy music and to challenge themselves to become better, to feel encouraged and capable. I want to help my students learn the musical terminology and the notes and the rhythms, but even more I want to help them move beyond these to become lifelong musicians and educated lovers of music.


Music encompasses math, foreign language, history, art, and life skills. All these are integrated in our lessons. I teach a comprehensive curriculum that I tailor to the individual student, preparing all students to be well-rounded musicians. My curriculum includes materials and activities to develop reading, sight reading, rhythm skills, transposition, composition, improvisation, aural skills, ensemble skills, knowledge of music history, and expressive music-playing. I utilize solfege and movement with all students to facilitate progress and an increased understanding of music.


I encourage cooperative learning through various formats of group lessons. I want my students to increase their musical abilities and enjoyment by participating in ensembles and developing performance and listening skills. 


I am a strong believer in off-the-bench learning for children. Valuable time at the keyboard is interspersed with hands-on activities and games that aid students in learning musical concepts which can then be applied back at the keyboard. 


I believe music lessons teach students so much more than simply how to read notes or press keys. I want to help students learn that they can set a goal and achieve it through hard work. I believe music can be part of a busy life. I help students determine ways to incorporate music-making into their schedules, and I help them discover why it’s worth the effort to make time to keep developing musically.


Most of all, I love teaching piano! I am honored to be a part of my students’ musical journey. It is incredibly rewarding, and I plan to continue teaching piano for many, many years.