Intermediate Piano Instruction

Dec 2016

Wanted to add a more recent review, just to reiterate what other people have said (many years ago) -- Prof. Skelly is one of the best parts of Columbia and everything that a good music instructor should be. He doesn't demand too much, since he knows that people have limited access to pianos for practicing, not to mention a ton of other priorities, so he encourages you to go at your own pace and learn pieces that matter to you, but he always keeps you motivated to improve. He is supportive and encouraging and genuinely cares about his students, and if you take lessons with him for more than a semester, you will be grateful to have him as a point of constancy in the turbulent Columbia community. He strikes a good balance between technical and interpretative instruction, and lets you go in any direction you want with the pieces (learning something beyond your level just for the fun of it is okay with him). Overall, a great musical experience without too much pressure but a lot of rewards.

Dec 2010

Professor Skelly is really nice and nurturing. He is not too demanding but he seems pleased when you put in a lot of effort and slightly disappointed when you don't. He's a genuinely pleasant person and a pleasure to work with for half an hour a week. I wish I were better at piano so I could have the hour long lesson. You will get an A every semester if you just put in practice time and show consistent improvement.

Dec 2002

Incredibly sweet, nice woman, but not a great teacher. She is always running behind schedule. She teaches good practice techniques, but is very nitpicky and won't let you finish playing a piece until its perfect, which can be an absurdly long time.

Dec 2002

gives really easy pieces and won't push you at all. tough grader but you have no idea what you're being graded on.