About us

Teaching and Playing Music

There is no one true method of teaching. We always keep in mind the needs of the individual student. The basic principle is to strive for a natural, individual technique and to understand how to think, move, and hear in ways that will result in seemingly effortless playing.

Playing music is one of the most complex activities devised by man. The entire body and mind are employed in performing music. Playing requires coordination of all muscles: torso, legs, feet, arms, wrists, fingers. It involves the the ears, the eyes, and the senses of touch, movement, and distance. It includes muscle memory, pattern recognition, and keen awareness of time. Above all it requires an artistic sense to express musical tones in perfect balance with the entire musical texture.

Music is a language. Both music and languages communicate with sounds organized into patterns which must be carefully phrased, dynamically shaped, correctly timed, with certain stresses for emphasis and meaning. Virtually every great composer from Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin stressed that beautiful performance begins in the ear. Fine technique develops naturally as the musician strives to produce the sound intended internally.

What do we mean when we say a musician has good technique? A musician with good technique can produce, at will, a great variety of sounds, tonal colors, effects, and moods without consciously thinking of the mechanics involved and without excessive effort.  A musician with good technique seems to perform effortlessly in front of an audience.

Music is an art, not a science or craft. There can never be definitive answers but we continue to search for innovative approaches as we strive for more creative ways to be musically expressive. We are always searching for fresh solutions to better our teaching. As in everything in nature, living and thriving requires change. Sameness can only result in stagnation and decay.  To maintain excellence as performers and teachers, we must continually be receptive to new concepts, new musical interpretations, and new ideas. There are no absolute goals for music, but only a series of upward steps resulting from sincere searching and creative thinking. Quality effort produces new realizations every day and instills in us a sense of anticipation for the next surprises.

Peter Coraggio

Peter Coraggio, Professor Emeritus of the University of Hawaii, was a distinguished pianist recognized for his extraordinary artistry. His vast musical range of keyboard literature encompasses the greatest of the classics to the most contemporary explorations. Coraggio was a graduate of The Juilliard School. Among his noted teachers have been Gordon Stanley, James Friskin, and Wolfgang Rosé. A stimulating lecturer and teacher, he presented many performance workshops and lecture-recitals on a wide range of topics.

A prolific writer, Coraggio’s illustrated series, The Art of Piano Performance, is available in the in Japan by Chopin Publishing, in the U.S. by Neil A. Kjos Publishing, and in Korea by Choon Chu Sa Publishing. His edition of Debussy’s Children’s Corner, which includes a discussion on Debussy’s style and suggestions for performance, is published in Japan by Chopin Publishing. Coraggio’s The Essential Techniques of Piano Performance was published in May 2005 by Ongaku no Tomo.  

Seven study guides written in collaboration with Joseph Bloch, Professor Emeritus of The Juilliard School, are published by the Zen-On Company in Japan. They include Debussy’s Preludes for Piano Books I & II, Schumann's Kinderszenen; Chopin's Nocturnes; Schubert’s Impromptus and Moments musicaux; Haydn’s Sonatas; and Mendelssohn’s Lieder Ohne Worte (Songs Without Words) and Variations Sérieuses. 

Contact Us

Coraggio Piano Studio


(808) 258-6321

School Hours

Daily 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM