What Students and Parents Say
We all have nothing to say but fabulous things about you and your piano program. You are gentle, patient, and most importantly, "fun."
You are an amazing piano teacher, but you are so much more than that. You are a teacher of LIFE! Ryan and Kyle are learning about how to tackle long-term challenges, how to make up a plan for learning something new, how to persevere when the going gets tough, and how to pick themselves back up after a crash and burn. Their work with you helps them to build confidence, self-knowledge and the kinds of competencies they will need to be successful adults.
As an educator, I simply love to come to Ryan and Kyle's lessons, because watching you teach is a true pleasure. You are truly responsive to each learner, using your wealth of expertise to come up with just the right question to ask, just the right metaphor to offer, just the right level of push combined with just the right level of support and just the right amount of patience (always pretty much endless!).
Thank you, Kathy, for caring for my children, teaching them to love music and to know themselves, and for sharing your incredible approach to teaching with me, by opening Ryan and Kyle's lessons to me. Thank you also for approaching what you do with them as a partnership. I feel strongly that all education should be a community effort and you make that happen!
Kathy is such a fantastic teacher. She is so supportive and understands what each student needs, how to motivate students to work towards and achieve goals. She has a wonderful ability to explain through modeling and using metaphors and detailed descriptions so students know how to hold their hands or think about phrasing. Kathy gives students so much freedom to choose pieces and be involved in goal setting. As her student, I am learning piano and music and how to work towards my goals, each day, through practice and concentration. Kathy's encouragement and extensive knowledge of piano education are helping me achieve my goals.
We have three children who currently take piano lessons from Kathy and our oldest is starting her 6th year! Their personalities range from serious to shy to distracted, and Kathy is adept at meeting their individual needs. She is patient, kind, and motivating. When the routine of piano practice gets mundane, she is fantastic at helping them successfully work through that difficult time. Her studio offers several performance opportunities including parties, recitals, and festivals. Kathy works to make sure the kids feel very comfortable and safe during these performances. Our kids have a considerable amount of admiration and respect for Kathy, and we are amazed by their progress. We are extremely grateful that Kathy is their teacher.
Kathy Santiago was the perfect teacher for me. She is an incredibly kind, unimposing and patient woman, and geared the lessons toward me specifically; she did not use a “textbook” approach as other teachers have. I felt comfortable talking one-on-one to Kathy about technique, form and style, and she helped me to hone these skills beautifully. Whenever I was to learn a new piece, it was always a decision we would make together; she would play a few pieces and I would pick one. I never felt like I was being forced to play anything. She did her best to make me feel as relaxed as possible, during the lessons and recitals. I would highly recommend her to anyone genuinely interested in pursuing the piano.
We have been delighted with the progress our two children, Sarah and Matt, have made playing the piano as students in Kathy’s studio. It has not always been easy, with any number of ups and downs, but Kathy has always managed to remain patient and keeps the kids interested and engaged learning pieces that are both fun to play and listen to, but also varied and challenging from a technical skills perspective. We are looking forward to our third child starting lessons with Kathy in the near future and highly recommend Kathy as a piano teacher for children.
--Amy and Andrew Hamilton
Kathy has been a wonderful teacher for our two sons. Besides being an excellent pianist and musician herself, Kathy is an excellent pedagogue who has taken the time to really know and understand our kids. Piano study can be a lonely endeavor, since students cannot really play in school ensembles until they get pretty advanced. Kathy mitigates this problem by organizing parties and recitals where the kids play for each other and get to know each other. I’ve never known any other teacher who gave so much of herself to ensure her students’ personal and musical development. Thank you, Kathy!
You are a truly amazing teacher.
Thanks for a great celebration Sunday. It was so nice of you to go to so much effort on behalf of the kids. I think everyone felt special. It was great to see and great to hear Meg play in a way that seemed so relaxed and almost effortless. Anyway I just wanted you to know that all your great work really does make a difference.
I love hearing Taryna play in the house. I never heard the piano so much every day. I’m so happy about this and thank you so much for it.
Thank you so much for always taking the extra initiative to make music such a wonderful experience for Janet.
Our daughter has taken lessons with Kathy for the last two years and has done very well learning to play the piano with the encouragement of a calm, gentle teacher. Being more on the quiet side, Mason easily became comfortable with Kathy and her matter-of-fact approach and ability to explain things in easy to understand, sometimes silly ways. She knows how to keep her students motivated by smartly positioning them in opportunities such as recitals, piano parties and festivals. Mason looks forward to these events and her confidence has been built through her participation with peers. By setting weekly goals and providing appropriate feedback, Kathy has also paced Mason to meet her own individual abilities yet pushed her to move forward steadily. Our experience has been wonderful with Kathy, so much so that we have signed on for Mason's brother to give the piano a try with Kathy as well.
--Graham and Michelle Hall
My child has been with Kathy for four years now, and I have always been impressed by Kathy's ability to communicate clearly with her students. Piano often involves difficult or abstract concepts and Kathy has a talent for making these concepts understandable and often attractive to children. She is always gentle, clear and thorough. I have watched Kathy smoothly shepherd my child through various levels of learning -- from young childhood to later elementary school-level -- and her methods have transitioned seamlessly and always appropriately with my child. She tempers her high standards with patience and kindness.