with Rollin Wilber: Piano Study, Interactive Teaching, Music Study Classes

“… the language of the soul that begins where words leave off.”

This page discusses Rollin’s offering interactive “piano lessons with the language of music” and private teaching.

For the adventurous who desire deeper musical understanding and discovery through the piano, I am launching a dramatic approach for my teaching of music to interested students…. NOT JUST AN ORDINARY “PIANO LESSON”…

(offered weekly, at my home studio – Wednes. & Sat.)

See Here for Art of Listening Seminars

….If you would like to be in a stimulating musical environment, and want greater skills for enjoying and making music, then this is a rewarding, interactive learning experience of which you can be an integral part. You study not only the piano, but the ENTIRE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC from top to bottom, for 2-3 hours at a time. With my guidance, students work together spontaneously, as well as individually. We achieve and delve into a very broad coverage of musical aspects. Held within a highly supportive environment, these sessions are true “music lessons”, and the learning is non-stop.

I had the good fortune as a young pianist to be involved in just such a teaching program and know first-hand its compelling benefits and far-reaching potential for success. Our teacher inspired us so much, none of us ever wanted to leave! Music is stimulating, fun, rewarding and exciting; piano lessons are not supposed to be dull or torturous!

I employ continual ear-training, sight-singing and piano playing to intensely explore all the building blocks of how music communicates, how to listen more deeply, and therefore how we communicate when playing music.

With sessions available weekly, students are taught music’s structure, the elements of rhythm, harmony and melody, and symbols and meanings in music. Basic skills leading to more advanced ones are tested again and again in creative ways. I have my students work interactively, continually exposed to sharing musical ideas and helping each other. Performance and its issues (and pleasures!) will be a regular part of our exploration together. And, private piano lesson time is given to each person.



The study sessions will take place in my home studio. My open teaching hours for these sessions is as follows:
WEDNESDAYS – from 3:00 to 8:00 PM.
SATURDAYS – from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
(you choose the most convenient time to attend for a minimum of 2-3 hours)

PLACE: 4400 Dexter Street, Philadelphia, PA 19128 (Manayunk/Roxborough)
CONTACT: 215-803-9725

AGE and LEVELS: there is crossover of different ages and levels of students working with each other. The various activities will be fitted naturally to the students’ skill levels. As a rule, 8-12 years old come in the first 2 hours; young adults during the 2nd, 3rd and 4th hours; and adults during the last 2-3 hours. The mixing of students is done for comfort level, and at my discretion.

FEE SCHEDULE (for 2009-2010 season):
YOUNG ADULT (15+) & ADULT – $40/session, weekly; $45/session, bi-weekly; $55/session, singly or once a month.
MONTHLY DISCOUNT RATES are available for younger ages (up to 14) – from $25 to $35 per session.
My regular PRIVATE piano lesson fee is $75/hour.

Please feel free to e-mail or call me; as my friends know, I will passionately discuss music and creative ideas anytime!

and… for those who would like further reading, here are more of my thoughts about learning music…


As English is a language made of various elements within structures, it requires conceptual aspects we must learn in order to understand it and communicate in it well. This is equally true with music, as it too is a language, even though uniquely conveyed in sound without words.

LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF MUSIC AND UNDERSTANDING WHAT WE ARE PLAYING AND HEARING – how interactive group teaching can “holistically” bring us deeper into the world of music, and its conveyance of meaning.

THE GOAL – COMPREHENSION: putting it all together and relating through music; sharing with others. As with anything, this requires basic skills, in order to dig deeper into the compelling qualities music offers us as human beings. Whether we perform, teach, or enjoy playing music simply for ourselves, there always exists this trinity: COMPOSER… PERFORMER… LISTENER. Sometimes we are two of these, or even all three; but whatever the configuration of participants, these three elements of musical experience must exist. The deeper we go in ourselves to understand each of these aspects, the greater communicators we can be, and increasing the personal pleasure we take in our music.

One of the best and most thorough ways to get there is to interact together, teachers, students, and performers. It starts with learning basic skills that over time build, and enrich us with knowledge, experience, and wonderful inner realizations that stay with us for life.

Thus, we will go after these skills together! (the following are various elements and exercises we will be exploring – the headings are universal language skills):

READING: visually understanding symbols, notes, and how music is “built” from its own language elements of melody, harmony and rhythm; sight-reading music, and how to use the piano to explore and learn basic elements.

WRITING: practicing the writing out of music, scales, chords, melody, rhythms; exercise in composition; the inventing, writing and testing of aural dictations with others.

SPEAKING: deepening our abilities to communicate in this language verbally; teaching and being taught, asking questions to gain musical insight; discussing musical ideas and our perceptions, performing music as a kind of “speaking”, verbalizing “inner” qualities in our musical selves. Build confidence to meaningfully communicate our thoughts and feelings through music.

LISTENING: hearing that to which we are listening, ultimately the most important thing in music study. Ear-training and deeper listening skills; learning musical intervals; sight-singing; hearing rhythms, melodic line, harmony movement and color; relative and perfect pitch developments; distinguishing harmonies and rhythms by ear. Listening to different performance in music, and differentiating involvement levels, emotions in music, how well ideas and intentions are communicated. Training in how to listen to others and ourselves.

INNER ABILITY: This final missing link is not to be forgotten: that of our natural empathy for the human expression in music, our intuitive feelings and innate abilities to sense enough of the language, without “learned knowledge”, just as most of us came to speak our native tongue just by hearing and absorbing it. Keeping in touch with those intuited abilities, while cultivating further knowledge of musical language elements, details, and expressive qualities, creates a powerful combination. This enables us to open doors into the soulful world of universal meaning in music for all involved while we are gaining the most personal approach into it for ourselves. This will be continually emphasized.

All of this will be pursued in a highly interactive and busy atmosphere of learning, with students often helping each other; for example, musical tests in listening and other skills will continually take place, frequently written by the students themselves, and then given to each other amongst themselves.

THUS, practicing what we know builds in us the basis on which we can be better listeners, not only with knowledge, but emotionally and with heightened awareness of our senses and intuition. This can only deepen our own playing, whether at the piano, at other instruments, or in singing, and enhance our involvement in listening to music anywhere.


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