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I have a diverse background in multiple musical styles and instruments. I also have ample experience teaching students of all ages.
At this point in time I've been blessed with the opportunities to teach in both private one-on-one tutoring settings as well as with large groups of children through volunteering, student teaching and substitute teaching. It was through the summation of these experiences that I predicted- and have ultimately discovered- that I love being a music educator. The height of what fulfills me about being a music educator is the essence of the work: Exploration and nurturing for both the student and the teacher. The most effective teachers that I have had were teachers who recognized these important factors in the student-teacher relationship- that the best education experiences occur when both the student and the teacher embark on a positively-reinforced exploration together as opposed to the teacher solely dictating negatively to the student. It's with this spirit that I intend to conduct every lesson that I teach, because it is also through making the relationship one of mutual exploration and nurturing that I will give my past experiences of joy to my students.
I have been teaching piano for the past 6 years. I have also been working as a art teacher and a nanny which definitely helped me to understand kids and their needs to become a successful piano instructor. I myself was taught from private instructions for years and that allows me to relate to my students more and know that encouragement to regular practice on a consistent schedule as well as picking the right program for every single one of my students are the two main keys to success.
I am an eager and energetic teacher who takes pride in maintaining a busy musical schedule, both actively performing and teaching, and being able to use my wide range of experience to be a more effective instructor in my personal studio. I moved here to Chicago in 2008 from my hometown of Wichita, KS to study with Matt Lee and Tage Larsen at DePaul, and later graduated with a bachelor's degree in trumpet performance in 2012. Since then I have have many opportunies to play a truly wide variety of music all over the city, from swing music at the Green Mill, countless streetfests playing hip-hop, salsa, soul, and R&B, performing at Chicago Blackhawks hockey games at the United Center, a symphony orchestra at symphony center, big band music at the Jazz Showcase, and many other shows at venues like Lincoln hall and the Double Door. I believe that having a background in classical music, but having a wealth of experience in as many other styles of music as possible make me uniquely qualified as a music teacher, especially one that can get students of all ages excited about playing music.
I really try to meet the student where they are at, while guiding them to the next level of their development. I'm very comfortable working with books such as Rubank but I'm also very happy to craft my own exercises for each student. I believe that the most important objective a teacher can accomplish is to equip the student with the tools to do whatever they want to do. In my music lessons, my hope is that the student will develop proper technique and great musicality so they can fit into whatever musical setting that they desire.
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Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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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.
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 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!
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.
Teachers in the Musika network do not adhere to one specific method for all their students. Most teachers will customize their lesson plans to the individual needs and skill level of the student. If you are looking for any specific teaching styles or methods to be used in your lessons, please let us know during the matching process and we can try to assign you to the teacher who will best suit your needs. Generally lessons will cover topics such as learning to read music, practice skills, music theory and musicianship, ear training, and rhythm skills.
Review by Linda
I am a beginning guitar player that has now taken five lessons with Jeff. I cannot speak highly enough of Jeff has a guitar teacher! I have learned more in five lessons than the months I spent trying to learn on my own. Jeff has introduced me to music apps that I can use during my practice sessions, followed up our lessons with comments and/or music, is very encouraging - yet holds high standards. During my lessons I feel that Jeff is very observant and tuned in to your positioning when playing - whether it be your wrist, your arm, or your fingers. He always offers recommendations on ways to try to fix something that I might be struggling with. He really pays attention. As an aside, Jeff is a very talented songwriter and musician. Check him out on YouTube. His songs are very beautiful and inspirational. I'm honored to be his student! - Linda
Review by Kate Thomas
My son enjoys his viola lesson each week with Martina. She is disciplined in her approach to teaching but always makes my son's learning experience enjoyable. She knows how to challenge him and develop excellent form. Martina is always punctual and professional. We both highly recommend her as an instructor.
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 Maria
My daughter has been taking piano lessons through her school district program for the last two years. She had learned a lot in that class but I noticed that she needed advanced classes at this point. After reviewing several websites I decided to enroll my daughter for the trial at MUSIKA. We got Mrs. Veronica B., and I am more than happy we got her as my daughter's teacher. Mrs. Veronica B. was very professional and very knowledgeable at the trial day. She was able to assess my daughter skill's level, and then she was able to give suggestions about how to improve those skills. My daughter has taken 5 classes with Mrs. Barker, and I can see she enjoys each class and she's improved a lot since day one. I can picture my daughter playing her favorites songs on the piano very soon!!! :-)
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 Lea G
Kevin was such a fun, smart and innovative voice teacher to work with. I had the pleasure of taking lessons with him for over a year and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time under his training. In just a few weeks I noticed my voice was stronger and I was able to apply his teaching and see the results. He explains his techniques in a way that the student is able to actually hear and feel the changes he is referring to. This allows the student to efficiently practice outside of lessons. Even further, he believed in me and truly cared about my progress. He was always energetic and focused in lessons and was continually surprised how far a song could come in just one hour of his time. Under his teaching I developed a stronger belt in my higher range, learned how to color my voice for different sounds and improved my stage presence. I wholeheartedly trust Kevin’s musical insight and was grateful that he challenged me with a wide variety of songs and styles that I hadn’t considered trying before.
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 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.
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