Staff Pianist at UU Congregation of Rockville, Music Director at Veritas UCC
Classical Piano, Lead Sheet, Contemporary/Pop, Romantic Period, Classical Period, Baroque Period, 20th Century
B.A. Music Performance from Hood College
About Justin Furnia
Justin Furnia graduated from Hood College in 2011 with a B.A. in Piano Performance. At Hood, he was a student of Dr. Noel Lester and was twice a Sidney Silverman Young Artist. He was a recipient of the Patricia Bucheimer Piano Prize. In 2008, he participated as a pianist in the Brevard Music Center Festival. He is currently the Staff Pianist at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville and the Music Director at Veritas United Church of Christ in Hagerstown. Justin works as a professional pianist, teacher, and accompanist in the Frederick, Hagerstown, and greater D.C. areas.
About Me as a Piano Teacher:
In our busy lives, we often find ourselves overwhelmed and distracted by the next appointment, the next task at hand, the next homework assignment. Learning to play an instrument helps us to focus for a time on something that is important, relaxing, and beautiful. I believe that music itself can be a great teacher. It teaches us to focus on the sounds we hear all around us and gives us an outlet to express emotions unable to be fully articulated by thought or words. Ultimately, I want to bring music into the lives of all my students in the hopes that they might be happier because of it. I strive to help students of all levels and ages to learn to be present for every moment in the glorious process of music making.
As an experienced professional pianist, I enjoy conveying what I’ve learned about music and piano playing over many years of study and practice. In lessons, I find myself focusing a great deal on technique. The way we physically approach the piano can make all the difference in the world between brash, ugly playing and lovely, finessed sound. I try to show students how to listen to the sounds they produce on the instrument, and ultimately to learn how to play as if they were singing—as if the piano were a natural extension of their arms and hands.
I find it important to show students how best to practice and make music on their own time. It is important to make the process of learning the piano a daily practice and I recommend that beginners spend twenty to thirty minutes a day at the piano. This time should gradually increase as students advance into more difficult music. I want to show students how to make the most of their practice time, focusing on the details of what might be giving them problems in the music. It is important to practice not only by playing pieces through over and over again, but also by focusing on difficult spots and finding out why those spots are so challenging.
Public performance is an essential part of a musical education and so each year, students can look forward to the opportunity to perform in one of my recitals. This gives students a chance to delve into pieces of music in a deeper way and show off what they’ve learned to peers, friends, and family.
The study of piano has been such a rewarding part of my life. My passion is to bring some of that joy into the lives of my students, helping them to improve week-by-week and month-by-month. If your child has the desire to learn piano, or continue study with a fresh perspective, or if you as an adult would like to learn, I look forward to seeing you in lessons!!
(Note: I accept students from age 6 to adult. Especially at the younger ages, parental involvement in learning and practice is important, and I often ask parents to help students with practice. I also expect all of my students to come to the piano with a spirit of curiosity and a desire to learn.)