For more than a decade, Lorna Henderson has taught classical piano to her students but also likes to branch out into jazz and pop, especially if that’s what her students enjoy. As Lorna points out, these genres happen to be great for learning and mastering chord theory and rhythmic challenges. She is especially patient and warm giving her students continuous feedback that helps them develop into musicians. Lorna says, “Each student comes with their own talents and learning styles, and they each have a different expectation for themselves. You want a child to take responsibility for their own learning, and you show them how to do that by listening to them and figuring out where they need encouragement, and where they need some tough love.”
Lorna focuses on building clear and solid technique with each student, which enhances clarity of musical interpretation, better ability to phrase, and deliver the piece. She also incorporates ear training, and sight reading, which sharpens a student’s ability to learn independently. Ultimately, Lorna strives to balance technical versatility with artistic expression.
She inspires her students to learn and practice. Lorna says, “Ideally they learn how to be their own teacher during their week of practice. An even bigger picture is that they learn to rely on self-motivation for life.”
Lorna likes to challenge her students—she expands their repertoire with less known pieces but still worth hearing and learning. She says, “I like to play pieces that are maybe new to them, or ‘strange sounding’, and talk about what they hear. Most people enjoy familiar music, so expanding musical experience is a matter of exposure.”
Lorna received her Masters of Music in Piano Performance at University of Kansas with a minor in Music Theory. She has made recordings for films, and concertizes actively in the States and Europe, performing both as a pianist and coloratura soprano.
Outside of music Lorna enjoys downhill skiing, which she says reminds her to be humble when she sees a student struggling with a technical challenge.