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I have been taking lessons since the age of three. I've studied with many different teachers and I love music as a way of life. I love teaching as much as I love playing and couldn't imagine doing any other job.
I am an experienced and enthusiastic instructor who has been working with music students in the Pittsburgh area for over ten years. As a young child, my grandmother introduced me to the piano and it's been a life long passion ever since. Music has been a source of great opportunity for me, and has allowed me to work with wonderful musicians such as Ralph Zitterbart and Hanna Wu Li, who I worked closely with at Carnegie Mellon University. Piano teaching has also given me the chance to work with wonderful families from around the world, and I have found that I often learn many things from my students, as they learn from me. Learning music has been a creative outlet, a great source of joy, and has provided me the confidence and skills to learn other subjects. My hope is to share my gifts with my students so that they can develop a love and appreciation for music, as well as opportunities to grow and learn artistically.
I am an enthusiastic and flexible teacher who seeks to help students chart their own path in music. I'm an Illinois native, and I studied music education and clarinet performance at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Wisconsin before coming to Pittsburgh to study at Duquesne University. While in Pittsburgh, I've had the opportunity to perform with Alia Musica, a professional contemporary music ensemble, and with the Directions Duo, a group dedicated to performing music new and old in innovative settings. My performing career has taken me from Boston to the Arkansas Ozarks and many places in between, allowing me the opportunity to grow as a teacher and musician through my interactions with colleagues from a variety of backgrounds.
I have had a love of music since I was 8 years old. I have been teaching music for over 15 years and enjoy working with students and sharing my love of music to children and adults alike. In 1993, I graduated from the State University of New York at Purchase with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degreen in Clarinet Performance. I had the privilege of studying under Ben Armato who was a clarinetist for the Metropolitan Opera for many years. Shortly after completing my undergraduate degree, I went to Bowling Green State Univeristy and graduated with a Masters in Clarinet and Piano Performance. Most recently, I have had the opportunity to begin developing a music and movement program for young children called Play to the Music. In 2015, I graduated with a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University. Having both a strong music and education background has only continued to strengthen my love of teaching.
While in my formative years, I enjoyed weekly piano lessons with a woman that I've come to appreciate as my second mother. She has always encouraged my talent and made sure I was using proper form as often as possible, even when I adopted the hobby of transcribing popular music to the piano and playing from rote. She has truly helped me appreciate the nuance and freedom of piano, and I joined Musika to pass that along to even more students.
Since We Started
Cities with Students
Teachers in Network
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"We have many adult students taking lessons with us. Whether you have studied music as a child, or are wanting to learn a new skill, music lessons are a great avenue to go with! Not only do they keep you young and energized, but our teachers are also able to relate to you and instruct you in a way you can understand."
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.
Our recommended starting age for piano is 4 or 5, when students are capable of playing the keys properly and have sufficient strength in the fingers and hands. Young students also should have begun learning to count and to read. No matter what your age may be, the piano is an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of music, including music theory and basic composition techniques.
For the sake of lessons and practice, a keyboard is often a much more viable option than buying a piano. Pianos are space consuming and expensive, as well as being very loud. Keyboards are perfect, especially for beginners, as they are more diverse in their functionality. Most keyboards come with a range of different sounds and effects (FX), such as chorus, reverb, and synthesizer sounds. Another great feature common to many keyboards is a record function. This allows students to hear things back after they have played them, such as practicing scales... or to record ideas they are composing!
One-on-one piano lessons straight from the comfort of your own home is a great way to learn to play the piano. 90% of our students choose to take lessons from home, mostly due to the convenience of not having to make travel arrangements both to and from their lessons. This is great for parents and students with busy schedules. The content of home lessons is exactly the same as studio lessons, however, you will need to have a keyboard or piano at your home. Home lessons provide the best learning environment, as it is a comfortable, familiar surrounding for students to learn in.
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 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 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 Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
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 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 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 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 Shilpa
"Richard is a very talented and a patient teacher. He teaches my 6 year old daughter in the comfort of our home and he is very regular. He follows a learning book and mixes his lessons to bring difficulty and technicality while keeping it interesting for my daughter. My daughter was difficult to work with at the beginning but he was able motivate her in every possible way. As a parent I make an effort to learn with my daughter so that when my daughter practices I am able to guide and correct her and Richard is very generous to take the time to give provide me concepts. I am extremely happy with Richard and his ability to teach children."