Robyn Lorenz

Robyn Lorenz

Teaching – the Art of Helping Others to Love Learning

Learning the piano is a rewarding and an enjoyable experience. It is also challenging and therefore, having the correct teacher, with experience at all levels, is important.

Learning the piano is a rewarding and an enjoyable experience. It is also challenging and therefore, having the correct teacher, with experience at all levels, is important.

Robyn offers piano lessons for all ages from approximately six years of age to adults. Whether you are a child or an adult beginner who has never touched a piano, or someone wishing to return to lessons, you are most welcome.

Lessons by Robyn are given based on her love of music and teaching. Encouraging students to do their best is most important to her. Most students remain with her for about eight years until they have finished the last AMEB (Australian Music Examination Board) exam. She sees teaching students as a commitment and is there for the long-term.

Robyn has over 30 years of piano teaching experience, is registered with the AMEB and has a current “Working with Children Check”. Lessons are private and given in the warm, family friendly atmosphere of Robyn’s home. Various incentives e.g. stickers, treats, rewards are used to add interest and fun to learning.

Written Reports are issued twice yearly and communication between parents and Robyn is encouraged. Best results are achieved when child, teacher and parents are working as a team.

A Christmas Recital is held in Robyn’s home at the end of each year. This is a great way for parents and students to come together. On this day, the “Student of the Year” and Examination Achievement Award” are presented with medallions for the runner-up in both categories. Certificates and other prizes are also awarded.

Individual Tailoring of Lessons.

Robyn is very aware that each child and adult is unique. Each student has different capabilities. Robyn encourages students to reach their highest skill level. Adults, particularly, are often fearful that more is expected of them than they can master. There is no need for this fear as Robyn will ask no more of them than they can manage.


Awareness of Family Expenses.

Robyn is very sensitive to the costs that families incur today. She knows from the experience of raising her own three children that money is often expected to stretch further and further.

With the above in mind, she facilitates the sale of books no longer needed by students to those who need them. The AMEB exam books and beginner tutor books are especially sought after at a second-hand price.

This helps the selling family and the family needing to purchase a book. Robyn does not benefit financially from this selling at all but does this to help families.


Opportunities to meet Other Students.

It is great to see  younger students playing duets with each other. This happens at the End of Year Recital with prizes given for 1st and 2nd places.

Students make more progress if they are not totally isolated when learning the piano.

Robyn tries to give opportunities where parents and students can meet up with other. The Nursing Home Concert is yet another way of students mixing with each other while learning.

A pre-exam Recital or Workshop is held about two weeks prior to the exam to enable parents and students come together.


Awards and Incentives.

When learning from Robyn, you will find that there is never a shortage of motivational methods and treats. Various charts using stickers or stamps, lucky dips, secret boxes to choose a treat from and, most importantly, praise for good efforts made during the week.

Students are all aware that at the end of the year there are trophies and medallions awarded. These are not award automatically to the most talented students but to student who have worked well during the year and done their best. E.g. A few years ago a student who gained a ‘C’ in grade six piano was awarded the Student of the Year.


Learning about the Great Composers

Mozart, Beethoven, Bach??
Q. “Why do I need to know about these composers?” a student may ask.
A. “These composer and others are responsible for some of the world’s greatest music that has stood the test of time. After hundreds of years it is still loved.”

As students progress, they will be playing music from these composers and will need to know how a piece by Mozart differs in playing from music by Bach. This is most important when sitting for exams.

It is also very interesting to know a little about history. e.g.
#Why did Bach wear a wig all the time? Beethoven didn’t…why not?
#The piano hadn’t been invented in Bach’s time and in Mozart’s earlier years, so what did they play on?
#Why shouldn’t I use the pedal in Bach or Mozart’s work?

Composers are introduced early on in lessons. Robyn has some very easy children’s books on composers that students borrow and bring back the next lesson. This becomes interesting as Robyn and the student discuss some funny aspects of life back in the early centuries. This is not an in-depth study of composers but enough to create some interest.


Discipline and Expectations.

Robyn is a friendly and easy-going person who loves her job as a piano teacher. She also believes that if a parent is paying for a child to learn then they need results. If a child comes to a lesson with work not prepared during the week, then very little progress can occur.

Robyn will accept that in some week’s family life can be hectic and things happen to prevent regular practice. This is fine ONCE, trying it again the following week and Robyn will be quite stern with the young student. The student is given one more week and if it happens again, then the parent is contacted.

Robyn believes that parents are going without in order to pay for their child to have private piano lessons and she likes to encourage the child to appreciate this by playing the piano at home at least five days a week.

Silly excuses that children give are not accepted. Examples of these are: Mum didn’t remind me to practice: I couldn’t find my books: I’m in grade 2 at school and I have SO much homework: I could find a power point in the house to plug in the keyboard, (this was really said a few years ago!). An excuse is seen as just that….an excuse.

There are times, of course, when there are real reasons for lack of practice, and of course, Robyn is then very understanding.

Parent’s really enjoy the fact that Robyn is on their side and the children – after a while – respect the fact that they can’t fool Robyn.


Little Helpers

Robyn uses many aids to help make piano lessons fun for the little ones.

Perhaps the seven little pigs will be placed over the keys for the child to jump them onto different notes. Maybe the two small monkeys will be placed onto the child’s wrists to help them learn how to play musically with phrasing. There are many other little ‘characters’ that make there appearance when a child is finding an aspect of learning a little tricky. Robyn never seems to run out of imagination.