Joy Barrett (Knipps)

Joy doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t want to play piano. At age 8, she learned her first song on a toy piano with painted black keys. At the encouragement of a college professor and piano teacher, Joy started teaching children and adult students in 1987 and started teaching group lessons for Ginny Arnold Music in 2008. She is certified in all levels of Musikgarten (group lessons for babies through adult). She is classically trained, but also teaches jazz, ‘faking’ popular, and folk music. Joy has taken lessons for over 15 years and currently takes lessons from Howard Pancoast (Colorado Power Piano) who teaches adults and fellow piano teachers.

Joy’s teaching philosophy is to help students ‘feel’ the music and ‘feel’ the rhythm rather than just playing keys and counting note values and to create students who are proficient at sight reading, know and understand the role of chords in music (chords are to music what words are to reading). Students are encouraged to bring in songs or ask about songs they would like to learn.

Class descriptions:

In all of Joy’s classes, children are introduced to Music Monster and Mr. Metronome and learn about music theory and the piano through stories, songs and games. All students learn ensemble playing (even the 2-3 year olds) and how to play for others.

Joy’s 2-3 and 3-4 age classes welcome the child’s parent or care giver. Parents can learn how to enjoy music with their children at home. Children learn through stories, games, activities and stuffed animals. Lessons are part 1) Musikgarten-based activities including focused listening, rhythmic activities, singing, and dancing and part 2) learning what they can do on the piano.

In addition to activities above and traditional lessons on how to play, 5-6 and 7-9 age classes also focus on putting chords with simple melodies and encouraged to write their own songs through activities. Joy’s students are encouraged to express ideas for ensemble playing including duets with a class friend.

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