Photo credit: Ginger Fierstein

I was 3 years old when I began piano lessons. I was fortunate to have an incredibly warm and encouraging first teacher whose classes covered note and rhythm exercises, improvising, games, and other creative activities. I remember coloring to jazz improvisations, making up and later writing down my own compositions, and learning extensive note reading, all within my first few years of lessons. Music and creativity has always been a big part of my life.

I am pleased to offer piano lessons in both the East Bay and the South Bay. My lessons are classically based but generally open-ended, depending on the student’s personality and desired field of focus. I emphasize strong grounding in technique, and incorporate composition, improvisation and detailed score analysis into lessons as well. With over 20 years of teaching experience, I bring the versatile perspective of a contemporary performing musician to my music education philosophy and aim to encourage each student’s distinct musical voice. I have taught and coached students who have gone on to top universities and music schools, including Yale, Juilliard, University of Michigan, and others.

Prospective students can contact me to schedule an interview and trial lesson.

Testimonials from students and parents

"Anne is an amazing piano teacher and I highly recommend her. She is affable, patient, and explains things clearly. She has helped me improve my piano skills both in terms of technical help and playing with emotional attunement. She is easy to be with and helps reduce anxiety if you decide to perform."
Daryn S.

"Anne is a terrific teacher: I've been studying with her for 7 years, and have 10 years of experience with other teachers. She is very supportive of learning and progress, but not pushy. She is very knowledgeable about technique, harmony, and repertoire. She pays attention in sensible, pragmatic ways to the mechanics of playing, and to musical expression. (She herself is a very talented performer, giving multiple concerts in the Bay Area and beyond each year.) My understanding of and appreciation for the music has deepened, and my practice and learning methods have improved while studying with her."
Jeff M.

"Anne Rainwater is the piano teacher I’d been looking for all my life, teaching me about musical depths and the finest details of technique. Because of her I'm playing better than I ever dreamed possible music I always thought was beyond me."
Steve B.

"Anne is a truly wonderful teacher. I would recommend her to students of any level, and especially for those who are inclined to take their musical efforts seriously. I had been struggling to get better on my own for a while before I started studying with Anne. She has helped me accelerate my progress, tackle more ambitious pieces, and think in new ways about how to practice effectively. I've studied with quite a few teachers over the decades, and I can say with great confidence that Anne is the one whose help and support I value the most. You should definitely consider taking lessons with her."
Scott F.

"I enjoy taking lessons and playing the piano with Anne. I find her analysis of scores is often very useful for both practicing and appreciating music. And from her lessons too, I find she tries to teach me, besides and beyond technical skills, how to express musical feelings."
Harry X.

"I have been studying with Anne Rainwater for nearly 3 years. She has helped me improve my piano playing in both fun and thoughtful ways. Using different means to understand and connect to the pieces we learn, Anne has brought much into music that I had not experienced before. During lessons, we explore the known and even the unanswerable questions that music raises. She uses each students’ interests to help them understand better the beauty of music and how each student can create and develop their own creativity and imagination around the pieces they are to perform."
Frances G.
Student (age 15)

“I am so glad we found Anne for my nine-year-old son. He has learned great technique, music theory, and the joy of playing. Anne strikes a very fine balance of patience, playfulness, and gentle firmness. I especially appreciate that she respects each student as an individual.”
Robyn W.

"Our 8-year-old daughter loves taking piano lessons with Anne and has learned to play so much in just one year. Anne definitely has a way of teaching kids that shows she is serious about musicianship but is still playful, patient, and kind."
Lucia H.