Studio Lessons

Northwoods Piano, located in Haymarket, Virginia, was established in 1988 and is convenient to the Haymarket, Gainesville, Bristow, Warrenton, Manassas, Prince William County and Centreville areas. Private piano lessons are taught in studio for beginning, intermediate and advanced students age 7 and older. Professional instruction is provided by Ellen Nordlof, a classically trained pianist with Bachelor of Music degree and National Certification (NCTM)

through Music Teachers' National Association as well as 30 years of experience.


The studio goal is to develop a high level of pianism and musicianship through a carefully-planned, leveled curriculum with strong emphasis on sight reading and rhythm. My hope is that students will graduate from my studio capable of teaching themselves new music, enjoying piano for a lifetime.

It is my philosophy that the parent's positive attitude and tenacity toward the student's practice routine is the most important ingredient in the child's success.


The curriculum for beginners is based on concepts presented in Faber and Faber Piano Adventures series. Supplementary books by pedagogical composers are also used to expand reading skills and provide fun, interesting and motivational music.

The curriculum for intermediate and advanced students is based on traditional classical music from the four historical periods. A wide variety of music is used, including sonatinas, single composer collections and multi-composer collections.

Piano Perspectives series is used as a basis for the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program piano exams. This program represents a national standard of musical achievement for piano students. Students mark their progress by advancing through the levels of this program, studying music from Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary periods and meeting standards in sight reading, ear training and technique.


Students need to have a real acoustic piano or a full-sized 88-key digital piano with fully-weighted graded hammer action and pedals for their home practice.

Student Activities

Studio activities include recitals, sight reading contests, Royal Conservatory Music Development Program's piano exams.


  • 30-minute $143 month/$841 biannual/$1664 annual
  • 45-minute $188 month/$1105 biannual/$2188 annual

Tuition is based on 38 lessons per year. Biannual and yearly prices include discounts.

30-minute lessons are appropriate for young beginners only.

45-minute lessons are appropriate for late elementary through late intermediate students


Schedule an introductory lesson
During the interview a beginning piano student will be introduced to piano lessons. A transfer student will be evaluated on his playing, sight reading and rhythmic skills. Parent and teacher will discuss studio program, goals, instruments, curriculum and policies.

A signed enrollment form and $150 deposit are required to reserve a place in the studio schedule.


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Piano Lessons for students from the following areas:

  • Haymarket
  • Gainesville
  • Bristow
  • Warrenton
  • Manassas
  • Centreville
  • Chantilly
  • Fairfax
  • Prince William County

"Ellen has an innate understanding of how to motivate and encourage children. Each child is different, and she tailors her approach and the lessons themselves to best reach each individual student. Because of this - and the respect with which she treats her students - children respond to her and eagerly work to reach the weekly goals that she sets for them. My son has been in Ellen's studio for five years now, and the progress he's made in piano is a beautiful thing to see, but that's only the tip of the iceberg. He has learned that, with hard work, he can accomplish tasks that at first seem impossible to him. I've watched his self-confidence blossom because of that. In turn, as he's realized that applying himself pays off, I've seen his self-discipline grow, too. Despite having had both of my children in piano for years prior, I didn't see any of these benefits. When Ellen looked at them, though, she saw their potential. She saw what they were able to do right then, but she also saw what they were capable of. She challenged them to work toward that potential rather than be content staying where they were in their skill -- and they rose to the occasion. I can't recommend her or her studio enough. If there's an opening in Ellen's studio for a student, snatch it up. Your child will thank you for it. "

Heather G.

More testimonials here >>