FROM A FORMER PUPIL: I was a fortunate 14 year old when I walked into Marlene Watkins' music class for the first time. I had no idea on that first day that I would still call her my friend 30 years later, nor did I have a clue how much significant fun music was about to become in my life.
Marlene is extraordinarily gifted - she accompanies dancers, performs like a diva in fine hotels, composes, writes, creates. Specifically I've noticed over the years that she has a way with children - besides being kind and inspiring, she shows kids how to believe in themselves and their abilities.
Marlene teaches perfectionism, but enjoyment; she encourages work, but not through fear or strictness. She has no "one formula" for all, as children are not all the same. But she inspires curiosity, love for the instrument, respect for composers old and modern. Marlene showed me music (all that encompassed piano - scales!, theory, history, practical) through a different view, never overwhelming me, but always cheering from the side. She taught me to play Debussy so that the performance moved its listeners emotionally.
This world, 30 years on, has changed, as have its values. But it is a fortunate child who spends time learning about musical craft and creativity with such a wise and wonderful woman. Needless to say, I recommend piano lessons (more aptly described as tapping into the creative source) with Marlene Watkins wholeheartedly.