Playing the Piano

Piano Garden Studio

Play and learn who you are
Serving Upstate South Carolina: Anderson, Lake Hartwell area, Centerville, Townville, Starr, Pendleton, Clemson areas.

Piano, music theory, audio/music technology -
Private Lessons with Katia Karkkainen

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New permanent location in Anderson, SC!

August 2022 updates:
we finally settled in our new home at 200 Meadowood Dr., Anderson SC and I am accepting new students! If you are thinking to take piano lessons -- please schedule the first FREE consultation and visit my new location.


Piano Studio News

Piano Garden Studio at Upstate SC Homeschool Expo - 2022

July 21, 2022, Children's Museum, Greenville, SC

I was happy to participate as a vendor and meet many lovely kids and their parents. Homeschool community is growing and reached 1000 participants this year!

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Start your fun adventure of self-discovery

I teach kids 4+ and adults of any age (beginner and intermediate levels).
Motivated kids under 4 may be enrolled on case-by-case basis.
I encourage everyone to participate in student concerts to share what you learned with your family and friends!

The mission of my piano studio goes beyond teaching “how to press the right keys at the right time”.

My goal is to help you to learn who YOU are through music. Together we will find repertoire that fits you best, brings you joy, and helps you stay motivated. With kids I like to start with their favorite Disney songs that we are going to play AND sing too! Piano is a whole new world, and it is fun to explore it through your favorite characters and stories.

Find music about yourself and play it

I am not just going through the method books page by page (although I use them too) – I am giving you a lot of music in various genres to listen to (not only classical!) so you could find something you like.

Piano playing and singing

Piano lessons are one-on-one lessons. If you are interested to play 4 hands ensembles with other kids (not only with me) -- I can arrange that. Also I would be interested to create a small singing ensemble and learn songs from musicals with my piano accompaniment (and I am open to your suggestions as well -- whatever you want to sing).

Schedule your first 20-minute FREE consultation/lesson

Please feel free to ask any questions. This time is to determine if we are a good fit for each other.


My studio

You can chose to have lessons in my studio or at the comfort of your home. My studio is located in Anderson, South Carolina, in a quiet and spacious neighborhood with beautiful landscapes. I have a nice upright Kawai piano.

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Six benefits of playing the piano

The most abstract art of all

Music is the most abstract art. You can't see it, you can't touch it, but it is very powerful. If you can master music, you will understand other abstract and complex things in life. For example, people who understand music theory are usually good at math. I learned fractions at the age of 5 through music (apples and chocolates were also involved).

Brain exercise

Playing an instrument recruits almost every part of the brain, including regions that process vision, sound, movement, and memory. It adds new neural connections, enhances communication between the left and right hemispheres of the brain, resulting in positive effects on learning, memory, fine motor skills, coordination, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. Practicing music at an early age can make structural changes to the brain that stay with you for the rest of your life.

The easiest instrument

There is no physical pain involved with learning to play the piano. When new to the guitar, one must build up calluses on the fingers, and when learning to play a brass or woodwind instrument, one must learn how to use your facial muscles and lips to produce sound. One can spend months and years learning just how to extract sound on string or brass instruments. To play the piano, all you have to do is sit, and press down a key.



Polyphonic instrument

Piano is a polyphonic instrument, meaning that you can play multiple melodies and chords at the same time. It is like having the whole orchestra under your fingers! In addition, you can sing while playing.

Boost your confidence

Playing a musical instrument helps to overcome an anxiety of public performances. After playing music in public, tasks like public speaking will be a piece of cake!



College admissions

Create your video piano portfolio and win college scholarships, no matter which major you chose!

Owning a piano

A useful piece of furniture that can help you to get rid of unwanted guests


Learn efficiently and have fun!

No boring lessons!

Repertoire-driven learning

Play what YOU want!

You chose what songs and pieces you want to play. Any genres are welcome. Your favorite music will help you to stay motivated, have fun and advance your musicianship and technique. Speaking of technique, I will still assign you some little exercises which help your fingers move faster, but repertoire is always a priority. I am also sharing my favorite pieces on Repertoire page that you can use if you are looking for music to play.

Duets and Ensembles

Play a melody - sound like an orchestra!

I like to play 4 hands duets with my students. It brings joy to students of all levels, and especially beginners: even if they only thing you can play is a melody, with my accompaniment it will sound like a full arrangement. Also playing duets is a fun way to introduce young beginners to public performances (concerts) public. Your 5- or 6-y.o. may feel way more comfortable playing together with a teacher rather than solo.

Play along with a pre-recorded band

Play piano, sound like a full orchestra

There are some very entertaining piano "karaoke" resources on internet like Hal Leonard where you can play along with a band or an orchestra. Check out your favorite tunes in Instant Piano Songs, Easy Piano Play Along, Keyboard Play Along, Piano Play Along.

Listening and inspiration

Gain listening experience

Check out Listening and Repertoire pages on this website to enjoy outstanding performances of pianists of any ages. When you are working on your repertoire, search for other performances of this piece (piano versions and especially orchestral versions, when available). Youtube is a great source to use for a quick search!

Games and drawing

For young kids

Young students (ages 4-12) will learn basic music theory through games, drawings, and fun rhythm exercises

Sight reading and improvisation

Learn to read music and to play by ear

Learn music notation and create your own music

Music Technologies

Start your own Youtube channel!

Learn how to record, edit and release your music performances and music videos. Be your own producer!


About your teacher:
Katia Karkkainen

My education:

  • Gnesins College of Music (Moscow, Russia) - Music Education/Music Theory with a strong minor in Piano

  • Gnesins Academy of Music (Moscow, Russia) - Music Recording and Production with a strong minor in Piano

  • Middle Tennessee State University (Murfreesboro, TN) - M.F.A. in Recording Arts and Technologies

5 years of experience teaching private lessons to students ages 5-26 (beginners and intermediates).

10 years experience working as a recording/mixing engineer in the recording studio, TV live broadcast including Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, and six theaters in Miami, FL.

2 years teaching in Performance Arts programs at community colleges (Miami Dade College and Broward College).

In 2021 I moved to South Carolina where my husband started a new job as an Associate Professor of Engineering at Anderson University. 

I started asking my parents to teach me piano at the age of 3, and at the age of 5 I started my music journey that never ends.

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Get in touch to schedule the first FREE consultation/lesson or ask any questions.

615 810 7817 Katia Karkkainen (text, call, voice mail)

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