Hello! My name is Beth Parks. I am the owner, director, and primary instructor at the Austin Piano School. I have been playing the piano for over 40 years and teaching piano for over 14 years. I began taking private piano lessons when I was six years old, not because I wanted to, but because my parents required it. I did not particularly like my piano lessons. My teacher was rather strict and taught mostly classical music. Weekly lessons seemed like thirty minutes of personal criticism. But I persevered, mainly because my parents wouldn't let me quit! In junior high and high school, I played piano for the jazz band, the show choir, and many instrumentalists at band competitions. As an adult, I performed solos at church and accompanied the choir. I found that I enjoyed piano much more when working and performing with others and playing a variety of musical styles.
When I had children, I taught them piano myself. Other parents asked me to teach their children as well, and my career as a piano teacher began. At first, I taught only private lessons, as that was all I knew. Remembering my childhood piano teacher and how nervous she made me, I tried to be as nice a teacher as possible, but I could still see that the one-on-one lesson format caused stress and tension for my students. In 2008, while researching other piano methods online, I discovered the group lesson format. What I liked most was its emphasis on making piano lessons fun by having coloring pages in the books, learning and playing with friends, and reinforcing musical concepts through games every week! I became certified as a group teacher, purchased several digital pianos, and opened the Austin Piano School in 2009. It has made piano lessons fun not just for the students, but also for me! Each week the students are eager to arrive and play their songs for each other. They also love playing the musical games which make up a part of each lesson. I hope you will join us as we learn, play, and make music together!