Betsy Prescott

Piano Teacher

Betsy Prescott

SAA Member


Saratoga Springs, NY
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My name is Betsy Prescott and I’ve been a Suzuki piano teacher for thirty-two years now. I became interested in Suzuki piano during my senior year in college and decided that I wanted to specialize in it during graduate school. I applied and got accepted into one of the, then, few Suzuki teacher training programs at the college level in the country, and worked towards my M.M. degree in Piano Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy at Ithaca College in New York. While there, I was extremely fortunate to work with Carole Bigler, a woman well known in the Suzuki world and who authored many books, including “Studying Suzuki Piano: More Than Music. She was also in great demand as a lecturer and co-founded, along with Valery Lloyd-Watts, a very well known and well attended Suzuki festival in Kingston, Ontario. I am proud to say that she is a woman who has shaped me both as a teacher and as a person. During my two years at Ithaca, I was trained in all seven Suzuki books and gained early teaching experience during my second year.

During the course of my thirty-two years of teaching, I have lived in New Jersey, Virginia, and, most recently, Saratoga Springs, NY. While in New Jersey, I taught at the Westminster Conservatory of Music in Princeton. I taught private lessons and group classes, and co-led several Suzuki festivals. In addition, I helped coordinate events and activities within the Suzuki piano department, such as student recitals and parent orientation meetings. I also maintained a home studio of about forty-five students from age four to eighteen. After moving to Virginia, I continued to teach from home and also co-founded and directed the “Celebrate Piano!” festival from 2008—2011.

In 2019, my family and I moved to Saratoga Springs, NY. Not wanting to leave my Virginia students without a piano teacher, I made the offer to teach them remotely from my new studio in upstate NY. Thankfully, some of my families accepted my offer and I began teaching several students remotely, with much greater success than I anticipated. Little did i know then that remote teaching would become a necessity for most areas of education beginning in early 2020. Since it seems that remote teaching will continue for some time, I have made some minor adjustments to my home studio set-up to make it easier to work with both experienced piano students as well as new beginners. As of September 2021, I am teaching both remote and in-person (masked) lessons. I am fully vaccinated and boosted and follow suggested safety protocols in my home studio.

My teaching philosophy, to put it quite simply, is “Love it and learn it.” A student who truly loves music will stay with music for his or her entire life. As a piano instructor and former piano student, I know first-hand the difficulties that invariably arise as a student progresses through ever more difficult material. Providing a supportive, nurturing, and fun environment helps the student work through these difficulties to reach the next plateau of achievement. As a Suzuki teacher, I believe strongly that the most nurturing environment is one that places equal emphasis on three parties: student, parent, and teacher. Parents and teachers share the responsibility for providing the support, love, and encouragement that the student needs to do the very best he or she can. As the teacher, my goal at every lesson is to inspire the student to go home and want to practice and to be excited about his or her accomplishments. Loving it = learning it. For music and for life.