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Dennis H. holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Moody Bible Institute of Chicago in Bible and Theology and has studied at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside toward a certificate of Piano Pedagogy and Literature. He first studied piano with Mrs. Ethel Cliff Stried, a Zion Conservatory of Music graduate, from 1979 to 1989. At Bethel College he studied under Gordon Howell (1989-1990). At Moody he studied under Gary Rownd (1992).
During the lesson I ask you to play through your music. I will then ask you to play the music in many various ways that will hone the skills in all the areas you are trying to develop. With such first hand experience you will learn a great deal more than just how to play the notes correctly. You will have consequently incorporated artistry, piano technique, theory and ear training.
I am Russian classical educated musician. My personal world have been enriched since I started to study clasical music and learn to play piano at nine year old. Bringing the names of great composers, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaykovsky, Rachmaninoff, ect. to the children at the Elementary and Middle schools was the beginning of my professional journey. Touching the white and black keys of the piano with my children was the another part of the story.
I first started teaching when I was 17 years old. Then I went to college for training into this area of teaching. I was also involved with the Bradley University Chorus. Some of my teachers included Ralph Nielsen, father of Rick Nielsen of the group Cheap Trick, Mary Weyhrich, Marilyn Cade, and Jan Wanach. My school provides opportunities for two recitals, Christmas caroling, music scholarships and I am the Rockford Founder of the Carnegie Hall National Voice and Piano Exams. Also composition is offered.
For all students I'll be going over various ways to memorize any piece. I'll go over intervals, imperfect pitches, scale structure, chord progression, and how to apply all of it. I will start off with identifying notes in a scale, what they mean and how to use them. From there I'll go over rhythm and understanding time signatures. I will teach the importance of identifying and analyzing various compositions that the student finds interest in. After the student is able to apply all of these practices, there will be a final exam that involves performing a chosen song, identifying the different components of the song, and performing an instrumental improv of that song.
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There is no specific teaching method that all Musika teachers adhere to. All students will have lessons customized to their needs and goals as lessons progress. If there is a specific teaching style you are looking for, we will keep that in mind as we make your teacher match. Many teachers will have a few method books that they use for lessons, which will include exercises and techniques for practicing. All lessons will cover aspects of learning notes, proper technique, ear training, and how to read music.
For adults who are looking to learn to play the piano, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, pass an exam, or write your own music. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the piano to a competent level. However, playing the piano is a great stress reliever, keeps you mentally active, and can help with your hearing and fine-motor skills.
An upright or grand piano is often too expensive or large for the home. For lessons and practice, keyboards are a great alternative. Many keyboards can be powered via battery, making them portable, and can also be played with headphones which makes late night practice possible. Many keyboards also have built-in lessons that students can play along to, as well as having many sounds available, such as violin, cello, viola, horn sounds, and percussive sounds. This makes keyboards more diverse than a piano, and a fun alternative for practicing on. Many keyboards are also compatible with home computers, which is great for uploading recordings.
Piano lessons in your home offer a convenient option for learning to play an instrument. 90% of our students take their lessons in their home, and this is a practical and time-saving way to learn the technique of the instrument. Think of all the time you can save by not having to transport your student to a class every week! In-home lessons are structured in the same way as a studio lesson, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
Learning to play the piano as a child is fun, rewarding, and vastly beneficial to their overall development. Children can develop their motor-skills, dexterity, and coordination through technical piano playing such as learning scales, chords, and correct fingering. Young students can also develop their concentration, listening skills, and ability to master complex thought processes through theory, repertoire, and student-teacher feedback. Learning to play the piano can also be character building by instilling a hard-working attitude, developing self-discipline and confidence through practice, taking exams, entering competitions or performing recitals.
Review by Gisellesoldati
Cory is simply the greatest instructor ever! His 30 year plus teaching experience along with his knowledge of ever longer in music composition and performance make a real difference if you're in for learning the right way. Thank you Cory for teaching me not only the chords but also the history behind it and awesome tricks on getting better faster ;)
Review by Brianne Hancock
Martina has been teaching our daughter violin since early 2015. Every time our daughter has a lesson she comes away in such a great mood - she really enjoys her lessons! Martina is positive and encouraging and adjusts her teaching to help our daughter learn the best way for her learning needs. We were curious about how online lessons would work, and it turns out that they work really well. The 1:1 time and ability to teach from a distance make it work just as well as in person. We've had moves and schedule changes and Martina has been very flexible for us - which made such a big difference in making violin lessons accessible. Absolutely recommend her!
Review by Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
Review by Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
Review by Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
Review by Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
Review by Ryan Piveteau
Amber is personal and cares about her students. She is flexible in her schedule and maintains a professional attitude in her lessons. Her want for her students to succeed makes her excel as a teacher. She is very knowledgeable about music and extremely experienced. Additionally, she includes external activities aside from lessons for the students who wish to advance themselves externally. Really a great teacher who offers great opportunity.
Review by Anita
Our daughter has only been playing the piano since March. Tony replaced our other teacher who had a job transfer and could no longer teach. Tony is fun and encouraging. My daughter is playing Taylor Swift and Christmas songs and is playing the piano more than ever before. Very happy so far with Mr Tony
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