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My main goal is to give each student the tools to be successful on their own. This is important because most progress is made outside of the lesson. This includes music reading and general knowledge of the music. I feel that success comes from the student feeling that THEY have accomplished something.
I love music! It is fun, it is passionate, it is serious, it is Godly, it is ungodly, it is mysterious, it is profound, it is simple, it is complex, it is creative, it is skill, it is expressive, it is impressive. I am a professional musician living in the Chicago area - I teach oboe, piano, guitar, and saxophone. I am very blessed to be able to do this, and I try to remember that every day. Music is a gift, and it should be invested in - I try to do that, and I try to motivate my students to do that and give that gift back to others as well.
Every student is unique in their ability level, dedication to the instrument/craft, et. al; therefore, I cannot expect that every student will be the next Larry Combs. I do, however, expect that every student take their responsibility for practicing each week, coming prepared to lessons, and being a good student. In lessons, I am kind and personable as anyone should be, but I like to make clear my expectations right from the beginning. I remain supportive of the student's progress every step of the way, and the growth is not just about the student, it's about the collective - if both parties put in their ten cents, amazing things can happen, and it's rewarding when these experiences occur!
Every musician has some strength which can be developed and built upon. In some students it can be recognized as talent. In others it is enthusiasm and dedication to study and improve. It can also be curiosity and the joy in discovering new ways to express oneself. I love finding my students where they are and helping them toward mastery of their craft. A good music teacher listens. And listens. And listens. From the first lesson I am very interested to hear where the student is in their own practice. (Not even complete beginners are the same; everybody has a unique perspective and personality that informs how they "speak" in music.) The next task is to hear where the student wants to go. How much, how fast, and how far are they are willing and able to work toward their personal goal? These questions are the starting point of every relationship. It is also the starting point of every session. In lessons, I listen to the student progress through warm ups, exercises, and repertoire. Each of these three elements - warm ups, exercises, and repertoire - can be used for instruction and encouragement.
With teaching students, I like to start them out with Dozen A Day as this helps warm up their fingers and hands to get ready for the music in their lesson. After that I will start them on going over the name of the notes that are on the piano as well as the scales. I like to work with them on the basics such as the note values, the different music symbols such as the treble and bass clefs, what is on each measure of music. When starting them out on music I like to teach from beginner books such as the ones I grew up with that will have some little tunes that they can learn as well as go along with teaching them the basics and what each note means and represents.
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We recommend that students get either a full size piano, or a weighted keyboard for their lessons. It is very important to set up a practice schedule every day. You can purchase a basic keyboard at a local music store or online. Some students may also wish to rent a piano if they do not wish to invest in buying one right away. Digital keyboards are good choice for the beginning student because they are portable and easily stored in your home. Keyboards will start at 61 keys and increase to a full size keyboard of 88 keys. The most common brands of keyboard are Casio, Yamaha, and Korg.
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.
Students at different levels of their piano playing will require different aspects of piano playing to be covered during their lessons. Beginners typically start out learning the basics, intermediate players will be applying the foundations to more complex compositions, and advanced players will want to hone a few specific skills or styles. The basic things that beginner students will work on tend to be learning the notes of the piano, posture and playing technique, scales, and chords. At this level, students will learn simple scales and chords, such as major and minor chords, and start to put some of the basic techniques into practice via simple songs. Intermediate players will work on more exotic chords and playing such as diminished chords, 7th chords, and applying these things to more challenging compositions. Advanced players can improve sight reading, improvisational abilities, or work on genre specific techniques, such as Jazz or Blues. Throughout, students can develop their musical ear, reading, and theory.
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.
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 Carol A
“Lynn is my music hero! She can listen to any song and write down the chords. She will adjust to make it easier or harder whatever your abilities. I have a busy schedule and often don't have time to practice between lessons and she is cool with that. She also will adjust lesson times when she is able which fits my hectic schedule. I'm glad my first guitar teacher "fired" me ....that allowed me to meet Lynn.” - Carol A., M.D., Aug 2015
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 Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
Review by Nancy
Darrell is A-Maz-Ing! He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly. The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction. He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general. I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!
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 Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
Review by Svea Bryan
Brett is an accomplished musician, who shared his knowledge at a level that my five year old understands. He is polite and relaxed in his mannerisms but take a serious approach to focusing on the lesson. He is very patient and engaging with the attention span you'd expect from a kindergartener. His motto ever is "sometime you learn faster by going slow"
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.
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