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I believe everyone at any age can learn to play music and should experience the joys and rewards it brings. I want music to be easy and fun, so whether a student is interested in leisure studies or is more serious, a beginner or advanced, has natural or limited ability, lessons are tailored to the student's needs. I am thorough in making sure they understand new concepts before moving on - this allows study to be fun and progress to be secure! I have been teaching for 15 years and would not trade it for anything. Music is something no one can take away, but it is meant to be shared. Sharing the love of music is my passion.
Award winning songwriter and composer. Over 50 years of music education.
My experience as an educator began when I was a junior in High School, where I fast gained a reputation as an exceptional guitarist/singer. During this time, a few of my friends and classmates asked me if I would teach them. Since then, I have been teaching non-stop out of my residence and other creditable music stores. From 2008-2010, I taught out of Avenue N. Guitars, while keeping my own private students. From 2010-2012, I taught out of the House of Music in Orland Park, while also keeping my own private students. Currenlty, I am only teaching through creditable web-music-lesson companies for in home or out of my studio instuction. Outside of my education experience, I also have real life experience as a performer, the greatest educator of all. I have been performing in bands since I was 12 years of age, which is currently over 20 years of live performance experience. During this time I have played various styles of music including, Rock, Psychedelic, Punk, Reggae, Ska, Metal, Blues, Jazz, Classical and a current blend that utilizes many of these forms.
One of the most valuable things I learned from Jim Campbell, my main professor/teacher/mentor during my undergraduate career at the University of Kentucky, is that a great teacher does not necessarily need to have already mastered the art form themselves - in fact, as it is said that the best leaders are great followers, I strongly believe that the best teachers are great students, even in a private lesson setting. I have been fortunate to learn more than I ever thought I could by this point in my life, but I am still eager to learn more, and I strongly believe that giving my students the chance to teach back what they learn helps them understand information and skills significantly better than they would otherwise, boosts self-confidence, encourages independent study, and ultimately helps them retain what they have learned better than many other approaches. I also strongly believe in the power of performance and having the opportunity to share what you learn and enjoy with others, so depending on the age I always strongly encourage finding performance opportunities of any kind, playing/practicing with friends, studying abroad, etc. However, as I said, every student is different, so these approaches have to be flexible in order to successfully accommodate my instruction to each individual student.
I began teaching in high school with middle school percussion ensembles, drum lines, and several private students. In college when I wasnt studying, performing or rehearsing, I was teaching and being taught. I taught privately in my home studio as well as several lesson studios in and around the North Texas area for 4 years before moving to Chicago where I've continued to teach and perform full time. I encourage a regular practice routine as well as regualr lesson attendance especially when it comes to younger students. I find that establishing a strong technical foundation makes further progress much easier and fluid. I also encourage as much performing as the student is capeable of. Performing in front of a live audience, while uncomfortable at first is the best method for establishing confidnece and ridding the student of performance anxiety.
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In home lessons are what 90% of our students request. Not only is it a convenient means to study music, but we also notice no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio since they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location. Additionally, the student may be able to focus better in their own home since they are familiar with it. Piano lessons in the home offer a practical choice for your family for learning the skill of playing a musical instrument.
Piano lessons are usually structured around a series of method books, which are recommended by the teacher and can be purchased at a local music store or online. Lessons for beginners usually start with learning the notes of the piano, and progress to learning to sight read using songs the student is familiar with. As the lessons progress, more focus is placed upon proper technique, fingering, and posture. Basic music theory is also introduced. However, whatever direction a student decides to go towards, the instructor will work to make lessons fun and enjoyable!
Many older students are fulfilling a life-long dream by taking piano lessons. Some students may have had lessons when they were younger and want to re-learn and others are simply looking for a new hobby. Whatever the aim or reason, there are many benefits to piano lessons for older students. Learning the piano can keep you mentally active, help maintain dexterity, improve your hearing, and stimulate the brain in a creative way. Older students can develop basic technique and music theory quite quickly, as their concentration, thinking skills, and self-discipline are more advanced than that of children.
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 is a great starting instrument for children who have never studied music before. The instructors in our network specialize in teaching younger children, and will develop an individual lesson plan for your child. The youngest age we recommend starting on piano lessons is age 4. The instructor will be able to teach your child how to read music and develop a love of playing piano, as well as beginning music theory.
Review by Stan
My two daughters wanted to study piano fore some time now and just recently I found Musikalessons website and teacher Milica. I can only say that my daughters are very happy with their piano lessons and simply adore Milica. They already made a great progress and we're all happy with what they learned in this short period. Thank you Musikalessons and Milica.
Review by Emily
Steve gets you started right away with songs but also goes into music theory and reading music which adds to understanding and appreciation of the music. He is very approachable and you can tell that he absolutely loves music and teaching. It is hard not to be excited about the process of learning with Steve. If you are considering lessons I highly recommend Steve for any level of student.
Review by William Klepatsky
Very knowledgeable on every aspect of music theory. I listen to recording artists playing various classical pieces, Dan's playing is much like a recording artist's playing. Always on time. Winning happy personality, a great role model. Puts me at ease when I am playing. Have two friends who hold music degrees, I count him a third, something special about the minds and personalities of good pianists. Thanks Dan.
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 Olivia
Andrew is very encouraging and uplifting, but also isn't afraid to tell you your weaknesses. Andrew also is super awesome with scheduling. Fits around your schedule all the time. He really knows what he is doing and can help you reach your goal in the time you would like to. Couldn't have gotten a better teacher, who continually helps me grow and pushes me.
Review by Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
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 Debbie E.
I had always wanted to take vocal lessons, but was very nervous about it until I had the opportunity to have Ali as my instructor. She made me feel very comfortable and helped me realize my strengths while giving me other areas to work on and strengthen. I liked how Ali had me sing out of my "comfort" zone to realize my vocal range. It is obvious that Ali loves music and sharing that love with her students. She is very good at what she does and works well with both male and female voices. I highly recommend Ali and give her solid 5 stars
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
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