The dedication with which Ken teaches and his passion for helping students succeed are evident from the very first lesson. He has a strong command of both music theory and performance, and under his instruction, my improvisational abilities and overall technique were elevated to new heights. Ken is honest, professional, and an incredible musician, not just in name, but indeed. I highly recommend him to any prospective students who are wondering what a great teacher could do for their musicianship.
I've been with Mr. Ard for six years now. He is the one who first opened up my eyes to the world of jazz and taught me how to use my ear and improvise. Because of him, I learned how to perform on stage and accompany myself on the piano while singing. I love the moments where he plays out a piece for me on his keyboard and sings along; I can tell how comfortable he is. Mr. Ard provided me with many opportunities to perform around San Diego and has supported me at every show and in every decision I faced in music. If not for him, I wouldn't have discovered my passion for performing. I know I will be with him for many more years.
-Elizabeth Hull, NOW LIVING AND PERFORMING IN AND ABOUT BOSTON AND NEW YORK.
Ken has been teaching my 14-year-old daughter for six years in classical, jazz, and blues styles. He is responsible for teaching Elizabeth the technique of accompanying herself while she sings. He has nurtured Elizabeth to grow into a versatile musical artist by catering to her more popular interests while keeping her disciplined in classical music. He finds different opportunities outside his studio for his students to perform like festivals, workshops, contests, auditions, even gigs for Elizabeth, and ensembles. He is very supportive of his students. He's always been around to watch Elizabeth's performances at different venues. I sit comfortably in the living room next to the piano room during lessons. When teacher and student start jamming doing improvisations, I am treated to a free concert of beautiful music.
We are so glad to have found Ken Ard as the piano teacher for our sons. We've been taking lessons with him for over four years, and we plan to continue because once you find a music teacher like Ken – a versatile musician who knows how to teac and who can teach a range of styles and levels along with theory and who loves what he does and enjoys watching his students learn and make progress, you stick with that teacher as long as possible.
- Lisa D.
Ken Ard is an excellent classical and jazz piano teacher. He not only provides careful, rigorous training, in theory, technique, and classical music, he also helps students understand how to "speak" the language of music by working with improvisation and other musical forms. That is, Ken's students learn how to use the theory and technique he teaches them to make music. Ken uses a variety of classical, jazz, and modern music depending on his students' levels and interests. He tailors his teaching to the particular needs and wishes of his students.
My son has been studying piano for ten years, and he has developed and matured into a skilled and dedicated pianist under Ken's direction. Ken has found ways to keep him engaged and excited to play the piano at each stage of his development (from the young child to a complex teenager)—not always an easy task, but Ken has proved up to and willing to take the challenge!
—Holly Bauer, parent of one of Ken's students and UC San Diego faculty member
Ken is an awesome teacher. In the eight years I have studied piano with him; he has not only taught me classical music, jazz, improvisation, theory, technique, sight-reading, and ear training; he has helped shape me into the person I am. Ken genuinely cares about me and wants me to be successful—in music and life.
—Kai, age 14, 9th grader at Francis Parker School
Our daughter started taking lessons from Ken two years ago when she was five. At first, we were afraid she might be too young, but Kenny proved to be a complete natural at working with little kids. Our experience has been nothing but remarkable, and I can't recommend him enough.
As a retired adult who has been taking piano lessons from Ken for several years, I can attest to his patience and inspired teaching skills. I have come away from each lesson with a greater understanding of a particular piece of music and new practice techniques. His engaging personality makes each lesson a pleasure.