Charles believes that the fundamentals of classical technique, improvisation, musicianship, and composition are essential to the study of piano. Her students develop solid technical foundations with traditional repertoire, and they learn to read and improvise with jazz and popular music charts. Composition is also a prominent aspect of Charles' teaching.
Through this variety she believes all students can not only develop a love of music, but also discover the joy that a daily practice routine brings.
Charles' study of both improvisation and traditional repertoire has given her a rare appreciation for what both sides of music have to offer.
Bach and Mozart, of course, were famous first and foremost as improvisors, and so Charles feels strongly that the study of classical music must also involve the study of improvisation.
Similarly, jazz musicians were far more classically trained than one would at first believe. So, in order to do justice to improvisation and composition, one is served best by having a traditional education.
This unusual mix has lead her students to study jazz performance at university, write orchestrations, play in reggae bands, and a host of other eclectic musical adventures.
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