Tara’s love for all things piano started at the young age of four. Her neighbor, who taught voice lessons, would allow Tara to sit on her couch and watch her teach. Enthralled, she was there every day. After each student’s lesson was finished, Tara would run over to the piano and attempt to recreate the vocal warmups she had heard.
Six months later, the neighbor told Tara’s mother that she may want to consider piano lessons. Her mother was awestruck, not realizing that she had a tiny piano player on her hands! From that point on, a deep love of music and teaching melded together for Tara.
At the age of 14, she began her own career as a piano teacher. At the age of 16, she began writing her own music pieces. Throughout her two years of high school, two years at the Conservatory of Music in San Francisco, and four years of college at Chapman University in Orange County, Tara continued to teach. In fact, she put herself through college by babysitting and teaching piano lessons.
In 2010, Tara graduated with a degree in Music Therapy. Back in her hometown, she continued teaching - forty students, seven days a week. She found herself in high demand. Her schedule was full; she was overbooked. Tara had always wanted to run her own business, and an idea began to form in her mind.
She began asking some of her older students - many of whom had been learning from her for years - to teach some lessons. As their schedules also filled up, Tara started searching for more piano teachers. Not only did she orchestrate finding teachers, she also taught them how to teach piano - using her tried and true methods.
Her deepest passion is teaching piano the FUN way. Tara developed an entire method of teaching piano. She incorporates a positive teaching style and simple but effective techniques. Her goal is to instill a life-long love of music in her students.
Today, Tara only works four days a week, makes six-figures, and has a nearly perfect retention rate for returning students. She is working on her fifth album, and is featured on Spotify, iTunes, and Pandora (under Tara O’Brien). Although she still teaches private lessons herself, her big focus is Cascade Method, her training program for coaching piano teachers on how to teach piano the FUN way.
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About Cascade Method
Throughout the decade she spent teaching piano lessons, Tara discovered she had truly invented her own method. She had an instinctive aptitude for teaching kids in a way that would inspire, excite, and motivate them. Her students have all developed a deep, lifelong love and passion for music.
In 2016, she assembled all her research, notes, experience, and “secret sauce” teaching techniques into one complete program: the Cascade Method. This course is essentially a coaching program to train piano teachers. The key is it shows you how to teach piano the FUN way: motivating, exciting, rewarding.
The Cascade Method was developed for the piano enthusiasts who want to teach piano lessons - but they want to be more than just teachers. They want to be mentors. They love to see students’ faces light up when hearing a new song they want to learn. They love that their students ask their parents for keyboards when they head off to college - so they can keep playing. Cascade-certified teachers love seeing the love for piano.
Yes, it is about being fun. Yes, it is about being positive. However, the Cascade Method is also much more than that. It helps teachers build lessons around creating a well-rounded musician. Students who take lessons from Cascade-certified teachers will develop a rich theory background. Piano pieces in this course are embedded with such theory that gaining and comprehending these tenets of music theory will help the students better understand music as a whole.
The Cascade Method Program consists of a questionnaire, worksheets, the Cascade Method Piano Theory book, videos, pdfs, secret sauce pop songs, Tara’s NoteMatch product, an exclusive Facebook group, and all the techniques Tara uses as a teacher to get her students excited about piano.
Once your students learn the Cascade Method, they are musicians for life.
Tara developed NoteMatch in 2017. This is a tool that aids in - and even accelerates - the process of learning to read notes. It is truly the key to reading music! A one of a kind product, NoteMatch helps students understand the music notes on the page in relation to their location on the piano keys.
This simple tool has been massively successful. Tara guarantees it can help you learn to read music within one lesson. NoteMatch is included with a Cascade Method membership, but it is also available to purchase on Amazon!