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I am a passionate and enthusiastic actress, singer, dancer, pianist, and teaching artist here in Chicago. I am a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Musical Theater program at the University of the Arts, where I realized my love of teaching while tutoring struggling music theory students. I have been performing and teaching ever since I graduated in various musicals and plays throughout the city.
I am a pianist, composer, and educator who strives to bring out the best in all my students. I have composed for film, internet, and theatrical productions and performed across the country in classical and jazz contexts. I hold a masters degree in jazz studies from the Jacobs School of Music, where I studied with Luke Gillespie, Steve Houhgton, and David Baker. In the summer of 2013 I performed with the Disneyland All-American College Band. I have recently worked as music director and pianist at the Adderley School for the Performing Arts in Pacific Palisades, CA and as a private piano and composition teacher at the Joe Ferrante Music Academy in Monrovia, CA.
As a kid, I grew up listening to all types of music, from soul, jazz, hip-hop, R&B, contemporary, and rock. My mom introduced me to my first piano at the age of 6 and I was hooked. Music became a part of my soul. I had great teachers that continued to help me develop my skills and challenge me. I started in classical, and soon found myself getting into jazz and contemporary; I was growing as a musician. Music was becoming a passion. While my friends were saving for a car, I was saving for a Yamaha Motif XF8. I would spend hours in my basement producing and creating music. I believe music can take you to places with no barriers and restrictions. As the philosopher Nietzsche so appropriately stated, "Without music, life would be a mistake."
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!
I am a passionate musician and teacher devoted to helping people of all ages find lifelong enrichment through music. I am a recent (May 2015) graduate of Butler University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal and Instrumental Music Education. While at Butler, I was a part of their Community Arts School dedicated solely to giving lessons to students in the Indianapolis area. I've had students in the past few years ranging from students just starting out on their instrument to those who have been playing a number of years. My primary instrument is clarinet, which I began playing over a decade ago. In that time, I've learned that music is a lifelong passion and commitment that every day changes your lives in amazing ways. Everyone should be able to experience this, and it's part of my job to help spread the music!
Since We Started
Cities with Students
Teachers in Network
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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 the same way as in-studio lessons are, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
Whether you have an interest in learning to play Rock, Jazz, Ragtime, or Classical piano, the piano teachers in Musika's network can help develop your playing through one-on-one lessons. Teachers can also prepare you for exams, recitals, and performances. For beginners, the basics will be taught. This may include learning the correct posture, hand position, and fingering technique along with learning the notes and scales of the piano, learning basic chords and chord progressions, developing the musical ear, and learning to apply these things to simple songs. Intermediate players may work on more exotic chords and playing such as diminished and 7th chords, and applying these things to more challenging compositions. All students can develop their sight reading and ability to interpret sheet music and chord charts. Advanced students can study a particular composer or genre, can develop their repertoire, or work on their improvisational skills.
At Musika, we highly recommend that students looking to learn to play the piano do so with a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite tunes, reacquaint yourself with the piano, or just to play for fun, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality. Learning, developing, and improving technique, co-ordination, and theory can actually be quicker during adulthood as the complex thought processes and theory are easier to understand. Adults can also help maintain their fine-motor skills, concentration, and listening skills into later life.
We suggest students purchase a piano or keyboard for their lessons, as they will need to practice every day in order to develop their skills on the instrument. We recommend a keyboard with weighted keys, as this will feel most similar to an actual piano. An actual piano will have 88 keys, but most keyboards start from 61 keys and go up from there. Common keyboard brands found at music stores are Yamaha, Casio, and Korg. Many keyboard sets will come with a case, stand, headphones, and may even offer recording features for recording your own playing.
Piano is a great first instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and can develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age that we recommend starting piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child to read music, beginning music theory and musicianship skills, and how to develop a love for playing the instrument.
Review by Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
Review by James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
Review by Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
Review by Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
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 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 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 Cameron D.
After signing up for lessons with David L. I knew I made the right choice. Just after a couple of weeks I didn't see him as a teacher but as a best friend. There was always a relaxed atmosphere during the lessons. He was very easy to talk to and he really listen to you. If I ever had a question he would answer. He tailors to what ever you want to do in that lesson. David L. is a great teacher and a friend. I totally recommend him for anyone
Review by Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!