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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).
I thoroughly enjoy creating fun, positive learning experiences with my students. My goal is to help each student build a musical foundation, explore musical styles he/she enjoys, and see every individual achieve musical capability. During my junior and high school years, I studied under a private undergraduate music professor. Along with his instruction, I explored many styles of music through my involvement with our private school choir. During high school, I had the opportunity to lead our student musicians--arranging and directing the music for our school choir concerts. Since 1988, I have been the music director for our local church congregation, which has been a rewarding and challenging experience.
I have been teaching guitar for the last 13 years, and playing for 20 years. Since I've started, I have been lucky enough to share the stage and become friends with some of the best musicians in Chicago. I have gained experience in a wide variety of musical settings and situations. Three of my most memorable experiences were playing at the UIC Pavilion to 10,000 people, auditioning at the Royal George Theatre, and performing Electric Guitar with the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra. I have been very fortunate to have all of these experiences as a musician and at a young age.
Teaching Classical Piano has always been my passion; working and sharing my love of music with children of all ages is a beautiful journey! I come from a family of teachers through three generations. I received my education in the former Soviet Union Republic of Belarus, where I graduated with honors from the Special Music School for Gifted Children after which I attended the Minsk State Conservatory where I received a Master's Degree in Teaching, Performance and Accompaniment. In 1988 my family immigrated from Belarus and settled in Chicago. I am a proud Citizen of the United States.
I am a passionate instructor who loves to share in his excitement and enthusiasm for music and bringing joy to peoples' lives. In 2012, I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Tuba/Low Brass performance from Saint Joseph's College in IN. Following the music, I have been blessed to share in this universal language on stages small and large, near and far; from the streets of Austin, TX, to the largest churches in Rome, Italy. Whether I am performing on low brass in an ensemble, playing world drums for a benefit concert, or conducting a youth choir, I take comfort knowing that I am sharing in the music making experience with those around me.
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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.
Music lessons in your home offer a convenient option to learning music! Most of our students request in home lessons for this reason. As long as you have a piano or keyboard in your home, then you should be all set to start your lessons! Children who have never played an instrument before may feel more comfortable studying in their own home, as it may be less intimidating than going somewhere else. In-home lessons decrease the time and gas money spent traveling to a different location.
The content of each lesson is determined by the ability and experience level of each individual student. For students just starting off, the foundations of piano playing will start to be laid. This includes learning to read music and chord charts, learning their way around the piano, and learning simple scales and chords. Students can put these new skills to use through simple, entry level compositions. For intermediate pianists, they will develop some of the finer arts to piano playing, such as modulation, developing speed, and combining a wider array of chords, such as augmented and slash chords. They will also get to work on their sight reading and playing more challenging songs. Advanced students may wish to work on their improvisational skills, develop their repertoire, or study a specific genre or style of playing, such as Jazz, Baroque, or Blues. Regardless, all students will experience the joys of piano playing.
Provided you do not have the space or budget to purchase an acoustic piano, such as an upright or baby grand, then a keyboard is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Keyboards with a weighted hammer action are the best option, as the key touch sensitivity is comparable to that of an acoustic piano. As a rule, more keys are better and at least 61 key pianos are advised. The most popular brands of keyboard are Casio, Roland, and Yamaha and can be purchased from most musical instrument retailers. Keyboards offer great convenience due to their price, portability, and headphones option.
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!
Review by Roselynbrown
After moving from NY and parting from our amazing piano instructor, we thought we couldn't find a piano teacher close to what we knew. We are happy to say Musika matched us up with someone professional and friendly who enjoys teaching younger students. Thank you! We definitely recommend Kuan as a piano instructor :)
Review by Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
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 Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
Review by John
When I started with Darrell, I didn't know anything bout music. Nothing. We started with basic music theory & moved into scales and reading. It hasn't been very long at all, but my confidence is growing quickly. He does ask a lot from you and he expects you to keep up. But I can honestly say that if you are willing to work hard and spend the time at home doing what he asks, you will see the results. He wants you to succeed and takes pride in watching you grow. If you want it as bad as he does, you will see the result very quickly.
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
Review by Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
Review by Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
Review by Ericcharlton
Rahsaan is an extremely talented player who relates really well with my teenagers. He has them both interested in learning. Given Rahsaan's expertise, it's clear that even though they are beginners now, they can learn from him for a long time to come. He's a real nice laid-back guy and both the boys really enjoy their time with him. I've been very impressed and pleased with the experience.
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