Our 9 year old daughter Kiri has always done things her own way, which is often a challenge when the rest of the world gets involved and insists that she conforms to their way of teaching and learning. We started Kiri with Paula because we'd hoped that studying piano would appeal to her mathematical mind, and exercise her ability to focus. In short, we were hoping for a bit of mental discipline. What we got , was so much more. Once she was exposed to the limitless sounds and sound combinations possible in Paula's studio, Kiri began to compose. Her compositions were amazingly intricate, and thought out, delivering a musical understanding and sophistication we never knew she had inside. Paula's approach to teaching music unlocked a sense of place, power, competence, prowess, and beauty in Kiri that a more conventional approach to music would have never seen.
Paula's an awesome musician. She's also a fantastic, deeply sympathetic teacher. As a late beginner, coming to the piano and studio for the first time in my 40s, I always felt like she was really tuned into my goals and needs. Her lessons were strong on fundamentals but also really varied with a lot ear training and theory made accessible and fun. I learned a ton.
Computer Graphics Supervisor
Sony Pictures Imageworks
I took Piano lessons from Paula for 10 years and she always was able to explain the lessons in a way that made sense. I feel having the extensive background that she does helps her use different ways to approach a students needs. I couldn't wait to see her each week.
Foley Mixer at Warner Bros
I started lessons with Paula from when I was about six years old, and stopped weeks before leaving for college – the better part of my time growing up in LA. Over the course of our time together, I learned to read music, play piano up to recital level, record music, use sequencer programs, and compose music. When I started learning on the viola, Paula seamlessly integrated both my piano and viola skills until my abilities on both instruments enhanced each other. I went to a music academy for high school, and thanks to Paula, I was with another student the highest-placed freshman in the piano program and a year later, placed into a high level electronic music course. Though I’ve since moved on to other fields, playing the piano remains a true love of mine that I only appreciate with age. It’s hard to imagine how my maturation as a person and musician would have developed without Paula’s patient, skillful, and committed teaching and guidance.
Yet that only speaks to technical musical development, and it would be impossible to talk about Paula’s work without mentioning her personal qualities as a teacher. Paula was kind, enthusiastic, and legitimately interested in catering to each student’s interests in music. She took the time to accommodate complicated schedules, personal matters, and major life events, while maintaining rigorous, organized, and enjoyable instruction. Paula was more than generous with allowing students to explore her rich studio, allowing them to use her professional-level equipment and expertise. She became a close family friend and a real role model for me – I’m sure I join a veritable chorus of former and current students when I say Paula’s teaching was on all levels, a life-changing experience.
Student Mcgill University