Tuesday, April 21, 2015


"Sight reading. The ability to read unfamiliar music with ease...All professional instrumentalists and vocalists must be able to read at sight as a matter of routine, but there are some extraordinary pianists (in particiular) who can play complicated works with great precision and fluency at sight."
(Pocket Manual of Musical Terms, Schirmer).

I am a good sightreader. Perhaps not extraordinary. But very good.
Not so good with playing by memory.  I'm working on that.

As a teacher, I would really like to encourage my students to work on becoming effective sightreaders.  Music has so many layers.  Listening with the ear. Playing smoothly and comfortably with the fingers.  Reading the visual cues with the eyes. And processing all of this in the brain!

No wonder a musical education is recommended to stimulate the whole body, brain and soul! :)

I suggest that my students, especially continuing beginning on up to advanced incorporate regular sight reading into their daily practice. The focus should be on continuing the pulse, even if a mistake is made (do not stop and correct it).  Try to keep the eyes on the musical page.

I have an acronym:


I would be happy to share this with you at your lesson!

I have been recommending "A Dozen a Day" by Edna Mae Burnham for most of my students.  I used this as a child. They are fun, short little pieces. They encourages focusing the eyes on the music page and they emphasize rhythm.

The first one in the series is a great place to start!

But really, any piece of music is good for sight reading. Even music that is beyond one's level. When I was young, I would go through stacks of my father's music when I was bored in the summer.  Always wanting to seek his praise, or the least get better than him! :)  But soon I learned to sight read just for the joy of it. Like getting lost in a good book.

Happy Sight Reading! :)

Teacher Zita

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

End of the Year Piano Recital!


Students of Zita Jefferson

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Community Music Center

Portland, OR


4:30 p.m. Beginning Students

6:00 p.m. Intermediate and Advanced Students

 Please bring refreshments to share at the receptions following the performance!

Community Music Center
3350 SE Francis Street
Portland, OR 97202
(CMC is located one block South of Powell Boulevard at 33rd Place in SE Portland.  There is a small parking lot with one disabled-reserved stall and ample on-street parking. 
 CMC is wheel-chair accessible except for the basement.)
(503) 823-3177 phone


All Aboard the Summer Piano Lesson Train! 

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I am working on my summer 2015 schedule! 

I am currently in the process of moving back up to Portland from Salem.

I will still be teaching in Salem, one day a week, but most of my life is in Portland.

This opens up a lot more time for lessons, since I won't be spending so much time looking at an Amtrak window, daydreaming, reading my Kindle, knitting and/or napping!  I feel like I am back from a retreat!

So I am now taking requests for summer term. Here is my proposed schedule.
    • Mondays - Private home lessons in Portland.
    • Tuesdays - Private home lessons in Portland
    • Wednesdays - Private home lessons in Salem.
    • Thursdays - Private home lessons in Portland before 2:00 p.m./Group lessons at the Community Music Center 2:30 to 7:00
    • Fridays -  Private home lessons in Portland before 2:00 p.m./Group lessons at the Community Music Center 2:30 to 7:00
    • Saturdays - Private lessons at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Portland. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Sundays - Day of rest. :)
    In addition, I will be teaching a continuing piano blues camp at the Community Music Center June 22nd - June 26th.

    If you would like more information about lessons or would like to reserve a spot, email me at: pianoteacherpdx@yahoo.com or message me on FB (https://www.facebook.com/teacherzita)
    and I will give you a list of my openings.

    Teacher Zita