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I have been teaching music since 2000, and piano and composition full time since 2008.
The best part about one-on-one lessons is that you can match instruction with the student's learning style, time schedule and goals. I cater my teaching style to each student, depending on what they are looking to accomplish with lessons. I emphasize positive reinforcement, and also push my students to do better and want more. Especially for kids, I also try to bring a holistic approach to teaching--music lessons are a bigger lesson on how working on something for an extended period of time will make you better at it. In all cases I want to make lessons a safe space for making mistakes, learning from them, asking questions, and getting better--that's how musicians do what they do.
I am an experienced and versatile trombonist and educator living in Chicago. I hold a Bachelor of Music from the University of Denver and have been teaching and playing professionally for over 5 years. My professional experiences include playing in big bands, small jazz ensembles, musical theater productions, salsa bands, wedding bands, funk groups, and traveling the world performing aboard cruise ships. I have been teaching privately since 2009, maintaining a studio of trombone, jazz improvisation, and beginner piano students.
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.
My goal in teaching is to make sure my student reaches their fullest potential. If something that I'm doing isn't working or getting through to the student I will make sure to adapt and find the right way to engage them. Positive encouragement helps a student grow in the healthiest way. My students understand, especially the more experienced ones, understand the importance of putting work into their craft. I am there to give you the tools for success. I will help you refine those tools so you can perform at the highest level possible.
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The content of each lesson is determined by the ability and experience level of each individual student. For beginner students who are new to the piano, lessons will be devised to give students the fundamentals of good piano playing. Students will learn the correct posture, hand position, and fingering techniques for playing scales and chords. Intermediate players can start to increase their playing speed in order to perform runs, fills, and solos, they can broaden their chord playing to things like augmented and diminished chords, they develop their sight reading, learn music theory such as time signatures, and work on applying these skills to more complex compositions. Advanced players may want to study a particular genre or composer. Pianists who enjoy Classical music may like to study the compositions of Bach or Mozart, or maybe develop their Jazz or Blues playing. Teachers can also help prepare students for exam, auditions, performances, or recitals.
Some of the most popular keyboard or digital piano brands are Casio, Yamaha, Korg, and Roland. When buying a keyboard, look for ones that have 61 to 88 keys, and have weighted hammer action. This means your keyboard will most closely resemble the playability of a real piano. Keyboards are convenient as they are cheap, space saving, portable, and can be played with headphones. If it is within your means, we highly recommend investing in an acoustic piano, such as an upright, as they are better built and more satisfying to play.
Taking piano lessons as an adult is a great way to learn a new skill and have fun at the same time. The instructors in Musika's network can help you learn from the very basic level if you are a beginner, or if you are an advanced player they can help you refine your skills. Adult lessons generally focus on learning the technique of the instrument, including how to read music, chords, and learning repertoire.
Musika offers one-on-one, in-home guitar lessons that are designed specifically for each individual student. Whether your lesson takes place in the studio or at home, students will get the exact same lesson content, with the only difference being the location. Parents will find home guitar lessons a much more convenient option for their child, as it saves the time and costs of transporting their children to and from the studio. Younger students will find that learning to play the guitar in the comfort of their own homes greatly benefits their development as they are learning in a supportive, secure and familiar environment.
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 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 Vanessa
Eduard is an amazing teacher. (Coming from someone who previously knew the basics of playing and music.) He is not to harsh with his words and is extremely nice. Eduard has a great amout of experience and displays it through his teachings. Specifically by making it easy to follow along with his words to actions. As a person with a wondering mind whom is distracted easily, it is easy to pay attention.
Review by Alamu Vinai
Usually I don't write reviews. I am compelled to write for Feng. I've experience finding/working with many music teachers over the years for different instruments (piano, flute, sax) for kids. I think Feng is the best, he is so passionate about music, he encourages the kids. He teaches thoroughly - you can tell he knows lot about saxophone. I would definitely recommend Feng!!
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
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 Leslyn
Steve is an excellent instructor. My son has really connected with him and he is learning the guitar quickly. Steve is patient and never rushes through a lesson in order to make it fit within the session time limit. In addition, before he leaves, he writes notes and instructions for my son to follow. By the next lesson, my son is confident in what Steve has taught him. Most importantly, Steve builds my son's confidence in his own own ability and progress after each lesson.
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 Gillian
Vince is a great drum teacher for my 8 year old son. We go to his house where he has a studio setup with a huge drum set. He has been very patient but really holds my son responsible for learning the right way to play. After about 5 lessons, my son is playing some rhythms on the drums and reading music. He looks forward to his lessons with Vince.
Review by Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
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