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From the very beginning of my work, I believe in positive reinforcement because I find that we all need our hopes and beliefs in our ability to accomplish something to be nurtured before we take on any challenge, objective or goal. This is very important because I also believe that presenting students with challenges and goals allows them to experience adventure, fun, and rewards- particularly in the context of music. Music provides students with both expression and community, both of which I believe students- and all people- need. As a teacher, I believe that my strongest commitment and my best effort are the birthright of each and every one of my students. Just as I believe that students who struggle should be given the additional help that they need in order to continue and eventually learn, I believe that students who excel should be offered the avenues that they crave in order to satiate their desires for greater challenges. No matter what goal the student has before them, it's my belief that my job is to use every tool that I have to help the student accomplish, achieve, and grow.
I began teaching while I was in High School and I would teach the younger students who were freshman and sophomores the tenor saxophone. Once I went to Eastman, I taught several people throughout the course of the four years there. I beleive that, particulalry when teaching the saxophone and flute, a mix of classical fundamental technique is very important as well as incorporating the jazz or rock repertoire. I feel that my skills as a music therapist can be very unique particularly because I can really attend to the needs of the student and adapt the music and lesson accordingly. I believe that a person can truly grow as an individual when they bring music into their lives and my first and foremost goal is to have my students truly enjoy what they are doing. I am not a very strict teacher but I of course can be if my student really wants to excel.
Every student is unique. Therefore, a student's learning process should complement that uniqueness. I like to take time to figure out exactly what "speaks" to a student. What really works for some is completely lost on others. I tailor my instruction to their wants and needs, and take close note of the activities to which they respond well. In doing so, the student meets their goals in a quicker and more enjoyable way.
I'm a pianist, keyboardist, and singer-songwriter. I'm originally from St. Louis, MO, and I moved to Chicago in 2008 to pursue a degree and career in music. In 2013, I graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance, specializing in popular styles of music such as rock, blues, and pop. That same year I became a full time member of The Nick Moss Band, a blues/rock/jam band based in Chicago. Over the past two years I have had the privelige to play at some of the largest Blues festivals in the world, and have also played in Germany, Norway, Poland, and Canada. Before joining The Nick Moss Band, I was a member of various blues/rock and jam bands around the city of Chicago, and also played with various pop artists and singer songwriters. I am heavily influenced by blues, rock, pop, and jazz pianists. Some examples would be Elton John, Bruce Hornsby, Jerry Lee Lewis, Vince Guaraldi (Charlie Brown), Keith Jarrett, and Otis Spann. I consider myself a bit of a "late bloomer". I didn't start playing piano seriously until I was 16 years old, but a lot of hard work has gotten me to this point, and I am excited to continue to hopefully inspire others and help them love all types of music!
My passion for teaching began my senior year of high school when I assumed a leadership role within my band program. I led trombone and brass sectionals and helped to mentor younger students. As a result of those experiences, I built a private studio of trombone students made up of my classmates and have maintained a private studio ever since. As I grew as a musician I began to teach jazz improvisation to other instruments and added beginning piano students to my roster. In addition to teaching privately, I have taught at numerous music schools in Denver and presented jazz trombone clinics at high schools in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
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Piano lessons for children will focus on learning fundamentals of the technique of the instrument and learning to read music and rhythm. We suggest beginning piano lessons no earlier than age four due to the attention span of the child, as well as the strength in their hands for playing. Piano lessons offer an excellent introduction to learning music for a child. Music theory and musical skills will also be taught during the lessons. Piano lessons are a great choice for introducing the art of music to your child!
If purchasing an acoustic piano is not an option, we recommend that students look to buy a keyboard or digital piano for their lessons and practice. When buying a keyboard or digital piano, look to purchase one with 61 or more keys, as well as one with weighted hammer action. Having more keys, as well as weighted keys, will most resemble the responsiveness and feel of an acoustic piano. Typically, keyboards are a cheaper option, they take up less space, are portable and can be played with headphones. Some of the most popular brands of keyboard or digital piano are Yamaha, Roland, and Casio.
Taking piano lessons from the comfort of your own home is the most convenient way of learning to the play the instrument. All you need for your lessons is a piano or keyboard to play on! Home lessons remove the hassle of transporting your child to and from their lessons, and can be fitted around busy work schedules more readily. Whether the lesson takes place in-home or in the studio, the content remains the same. Home piano lessons are a particularly good option for younger students. It is a big advantage for young students to learn in a familiar, comfortable, and supportive environment.
Teachers in the Musika network do not adhere to one specific method for all their students. Most teachers will customize their lesson plans to the individual needs and skill level of the student. If you are looking for any specific teaching styles or methods to be used in your lessons, please let us know during the matching process and we can try to assign you to the teacher who will best suit your needs. Generally lessons will cover topics such as learning to read music, practice skills, music theory and musicianship, ear training, and rhythm skills.
In many ways adult learners have an advantage over young students. Adults have better self-discipline with regards to practice, are more patient, and have higher levels of concentration. This allows them to develop the basic skills at a reasonably quick rate. Learning the piano is also a great way of remaining mentally active during adulthood, and helps students to improve their hand-eye co-ordination and develop a critical ear. Learning to play the piano in adulthood can be beneficial health-wise, is a great way of harnessing creativity and stimulating the brain and it can be immensely satisfying when achieving set goals.
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
Review by Chad H.
"Mr. Richard has been absolutely perfect for our very active two boys. He has been an excellent fit for gauging and keeping their interest far beyond what we had imagined. Our boys actually argue over who gets to go first. Mr. Richard knocks it out of the park when it comes to exceeding our expectations"
Review by Maurice Romero
This is the 1st time I've ever taken lessons, and Robert has been a pleasure to work with. I've made quick progress and have enjoyed the process. I'm always listening for those tips that you can't find in a book. I can count on Robert to be strict on the fundamentals and am clear it will make a difference in the long run.
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
Review by Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
Review by Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
Review by Clinton Poskozim
Martina has been a great teacher. Our son is 8 and had taken some piano lessons before starting with Martina. She came right in and got him to improve. She does a great job of giving him just enough of a challenge to make him work and learn but not any pieces that are so overwhelming he can't get them. She has helped him through a lot of early music theory so that he not only can play the piano but understands the music he is reading in all of its complexity.
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
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