1. Donna is an excellent piano teacher. She promotes very high standards and is extremely organized with her lesson plans. Our son has        progressed immensely with her instruction. Thanks Donna!

     Mike Rich

  1. I am a 62-year-old grandfather of three who has been taking piano lessons with Donna for about a year. In that time, I have learned more, and advanced farther, than I would have ever dreamed possible in such a short time. I had always dreamed of playing piano, and had finally reached the point in my life where I had the time to learn and practice. When I first started, I was really only interested in learning a little so that I could play for myself in the evening as a way to relax. Donna has since motivated me to push myself to see just what I’m capable of achieving. While it is slightly more difficult for an older person to learn than a younger student, it is most certainly possible for people of all ages. When I first began with Donna, I had no desire at all to participate in recitals, however I just recently played in my first one. While it was kind of funny to see a white-haired grandfather playing with a group of children, I actually had a great time, and I consider it to be a valuable learning experience. I cannot recommend Donna highly enough, for both adults and children. She makes the lessons fun, but at the same time, instills motivation and confidence in the students. It is my intention to remain one of Donna’s students for a long time. I also recommend that all students participate in the Music Teachers' Association of California "Certificate of Merit" program. It is a very systematic method of learning which recognizes the achievement of milestones along the path of learning. For me, it is a great motivational tool that keeps me focused on what I need to be practicing, and establishes both short and long term goals for me to aim towards.

  2. Ralph B., student

  3. Ms. Riesen has a strong ability to connect with young children. She has been teaching my six-year-old daughter the fundamentals of piano while cultivating her love of music. Ms. Riesen's "method" is to foster responsibility in her students and she has the reasonable expectation that my daughter will maintain responsibility for her own progression through daily practice, maintaining a student notebook while receiving token awards along the way for encouragement. I admire her ability to teach young children responsibility. Quite simply put, if you are going to learn then you need to take pride in your work and I find that Ms. Riesen not only appreciates this quality but gently imparts this upon her students from a young age. While Ms. Riesen expects her students to be responsible she is always extremely respectful and supportive of my daughter. Ms. Riesen has been able to gently motivate my daughter to get her excited about learning piano so she comes home eager to practice. My daughter looks forward to the time she spends learning from Ms. Riesen at her studio. I do not believe Ms. Riesen demands any more than that which she requires of herself. She is professional and has the ability to impart that professionalism and dedication to her students while providing an opportunity for all to share in their accomplishments via group classes and piano recitals. I highly recommend Ms. Riesen.

  4. Sally C., mother of student

  5. A senior recital was something that I'd anticipated ever since I began lessons with Ms. Riesen. Initially, I had qualms about holding my own senior recital: Was I ready? Could I pull it off?  Two words: No regrets! With an audience filled with loving and familiar faces, I discovered how naturally I could play, how truly immersed I could be in my pieces. Never before in a recital had I felt so connected to the piano...

  6. I would encourage every senior to push towards having a senior recital. It is one of the best experiences I've ever had.

  7. Ann P., alumnus

  8. Many thanks to Ms. Donna Riesen for showing me that music comes not only from the piano, but also from within ourselves.

  9. Ann P., alumnus

  10. My kid is a student of Donna Riesen for more than 8 months now. Donna Riesen has the unique ability to identify and nurture the musical talents of the students to get the most out of them. Group classes are arranged which encourages the kids to get to know each other and share what they learned, which is very unique. More over, kids are given lot of opportunity to perform at various events, which helps in eliminating their stage-fear, which is very vital for a performing artist. I should say that my kid is making most use of all the opportunities provided, and I am glad we are sending our kid to a great teacher like Miss Donna.

  11. Praveen M., father of student

  12. My husband and I have two girls, Olivia seven and Clara five. Olivia has been taking piano lessons with Miss Donna for the last two years and Clara since she was three and a half years old. Miss Donna knows music in her heart and she is academically an exceptional teacher. She is truly extraordinary with the kids. She is very patient, caring, enthusiastic and knows how to get the best out of them. Her lessons are fun, age appropriate and her love for music is contagious. We are very fortunate to have Miss Donna as their teacher. Teaching is vocational and teaching children is a gift.
    Raquel C.B.M., mother of students

  1. Wonderful with our daughter! Our daughter has been taking piano lessons from Miss Donna for two months and loves it. Donna has that great ability to make learning fun and also require the best from the students.
    Bob T., father of student

  2. Donna has been teaching my 5 yo son and me in our home for a little less than one year. We are both delighted with our progress under her guidance. I stand in awe of her ability to seamlessly shift her manner of instruction from that which is appropriate for a 5 yo (and now a 3 yo too) to that which challenges me, a 39 yo beginner. She is a Five Star Teacher!
    Katherine W., student and mother of students

  3. Great Piano Teacher! When I bought a piano for my daughters, I asked the seller for a recommendation on a good piano teacher, He gave me a 10 name list and at the top of it was Miss Donna's. From the very first time we met I knew she was the right person to teach piano to my kids. Miss Donna surrounds them with care, excitement, encouragement, patience, making each class a pleasure for them and for us. Her methodology covers all the aspects of piano learning tailored to each kid's pace. I can only say; Thank you Miss Donna!!
    Donald M., father of students

  4. As you walk into Ms. Riesen’s studio you clearly get the sense of the professionalism and passion she has for teaching piano. She represents everything you want in a music teacher for your child (or yourself), like patience, competence, and love for this beautiful instrument that will forever live within my son. A priceless investment.
    Andrea L., mother of student

  5. My wonderful piano teacher, Ms. Riesen, taught me more about piano and myself that I ever thought I could learn!
    Casey B., alumnus

  1. Donna is the best piano teacher in LA. I took lessons from her starting at the age of 7 and I still play today. She's extremely patient and has a very unique way of teaching. I highly recommend her to anyone who wants to learn how to play the piano at any age.
    Mike K., alumnus

  2. I studied piano with Donna from 5th grade to my senior year in high school. I went on to earn a Bachelors of Arts in piano performance from Azusa Pacific University. I attribute the ability to earn a degree in piano performance to the skills Donna passed on to me during our years of study. She taught me not just how to play pieces but how to practice. She also encouraged and nurtured an understanding of the music so that I could play freely. I have been out of college for over 10 years and I still play the pieces she taught me and continue to utilize the practice techniques she instilled in me to learn new pieces. Donna empowered me to become an independent and capable musician.
    Kelly W., alumnus

  3. Foundation for a Lifetime! Studying piano and music theory with Donna for almost a decade during my youth provided me with life skills that have served me in so many ways. Donna is patient -- an important quality for a teacher that challenges her students to grow. Her lessons helped me understand that success comes with hard work and discipline. And the skills, talents and music appreciation she helped me to develop have enriched my life in so many ways. First-rate knowledge, first-rate teaching, first-rate passion.
    Virginia N., former student

  4. As a current medical student, enduring the amount of stress it takes to be successful is no easy task. Everyone finds a way to get their mind off their responsibility to their books and must use that time wisely. Of course, there is no wiser use of my break time than to spend it playing the piano. However, I now find that my endeavors in studying the piano have provided me more than an enjoyable pastime; they have helped me grow personal values that will prove invaluable to me as a student and a professional.
    The piano was always foreign to me, an uphill battle I never had the confidence to realize until I was 17 years old and was lucky enough to meet Donna. Rather than cast my interest off as a teenage whim, she genuinely gave me her best, and I could do no less than give her my best in return.
    Donna's teaching was nothing less than perfect for me. She listened to me describe what drew me to playing and was able to play to my strengths and slowly develop my weaknesses. Her vast experience with students of all ages gives her the ability to not only predict areas of struggle but also employ sure-fire practice techniques for working through it. My dedication to practice was always rewarded with more practice, and I am thankful for it!
    Now, six years later I find piano has had a great impact in many areas of my life. Perseverance and consistency are absolutely necessary to succeed. While I felt adequate before beginning my study of the piano, the self-discipline I have gained is immeasurable and being a student under Donna was the cornerstone to building these values.
    Dr. Shahin Manoochehri, alumnus

To Page Reviews 2

  1. "If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. I get most of my joy in life out of music."

  2. A. Einstein

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