Sandra Heinke Piano Studio

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(206) 232-1394

Sandra Heinke is a tremendous inspiration to our daughter and has been "instrumental" in teaching her to play!
—Jeff and Kim

Music nurtures mind, body and spirit. Laughing reduces stress and just makes life fun. During my lessons with Sandra, we laugh and have fun, learn and play, and before I know it I have navigated through a piece of music with deep insight and I feel great. She is a treasure in my life.

Sandra is very patient. I like the pieces she chooses. She has realistic expectations.

You help explain things that I don't get. You make it easy to learn. You're always encouraging.   You're a good teacher.     —Jennifer

I really enjoy lessons with Sandra. I have learned so much about theory and technique that I never learned when I took lessons as a child and teen. It's been all in the context of learning to play pieces that I have asked to play. I get a lot out of lessons even when I haven't done as much practicing as I should have.    

Music. Piano. It's as natural to me as breathing — and as vital. I can't imagine a life without playing, without going to my music bookcase and pulling out Beethoven or Schumann or Debussy — any one of my old friends — then running to the piano to try it out: “Oh yes, I remember this part” —“Oh, here's a piece I've never played before.” We know that the notes on the page are silent until given life and shape and voice under the pianist's touch. Nothing could be more wonderful and exciting than that moment.

Teaching for me is essentially about sharing those moments of beauty and drama and excitement with my students. It's about passing on the skill and the knowledge of how to re-create each one of those moments when you, the musician, are at the piano and you feel magic beginning to happen.

The technical foundation — and you may already have acquired quite a bit of it — is laid in exactly the same way as building a house. You take the very best materials you can find (concepts explained to you by an expert musician), you refine each one step by step (the learning process), and finally you place it just where you want it to go (the integration stage). And your musical house is going to have so many fascinating details! Let's look at this melody of Chopin to see what makes it beautiful and unique. Let's listen to the harmonies in this Beethoven sonata to discover how they drive the action of the first movement. How can we use the pedal more skillfully? (Rachmaninoff called it “the soul of the piano.”) What about those octaves? Is there a way to play them so they sound stronger, clearer? Now your musical house has not only a good foundation but interesting colors and shapes and a great architectural design as well.

We pianists are so lucky. We have inherited a vast and rich repertoire that reaches back over more than three centuries — to the days when there wasn't even an instrument called a piano. Can we play harpsichord music on the modern piano? We definitely can! Johann Sebastian Bach wrote hundreds of harpsichord pieces that sound quite marvelous on the piano. (He also wrote his 48 preludes and fugues for a new instrument — the clavier — our piano's 18th-century ancestor.) So we have all the keyboard music from Baroque times (Bach, Handel and Scarlatti), then the treasures of the Classical era (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schubert, the last three with Romantic inclinations to be sure), on into the long revolutionary Romantic century (Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Grieg and Brahms, to name only a few), then what we call the Impressionist music of Debussy and Ravel (they wouldn't have called it that — and said so), and ending up with our 20th- and 21st-century composers (each of us will have his or her own favorites).

This is what we have to choose from — truly a cornucopia of musical art laid at our feet as pianists. Could one person learn it all in one lifetime? No, of course not — but then why would anyone want to? The beauty of it is in the choosing — the music that you, a unique personality, feel enhances your world and adds pleasure to your days. If I can help you to bring the notes on the page to life, to make them a part of you and to create future memories, then my hopes as a teacher will be fulfilled.

Home l About Sandra
(206) 232-1394