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Organ concerts at the Washington National Cathedral, Creative Arst Center, West Virginia University, Alexander Arts Center, Concord University, churches throughout West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois. Private teaching in piano with Ascendo Piano, Fort Wayne, Indiana from 2003-2006 and Fun with Piano, Western Springs, IL starting in 2011 and Musika Piano also beginning in 2011.
For beginning voice students, I focus on opening and relaxing the throat by way of diaphragm support and healthy, strong breathing. These are the fundamentals of good singing, regardless of the style. We work on these techiniques with both vocal exercises and repertoire. From there, I focus on the student's quality of tone and helping them find their "natural voice." The best singers use their authentic sound, and are not a second-rate imitation of someone else. Once a student is ready, I work on overall musicality and polishing, i.e. phrasing, diction, emotion of a piece, etc. For beginning piano students, I use Alfred's Basic Piano Library for both children and adults. One of the most challenging steps of learning to play the piano is the coordination of muscles in the fingers and hands. To ease this struggle, I use Hanon's Piano Virtuoso method drills.
I have loved music from a very early age and I have been fortunate to study a variety of instruments and musical styles. I grew up studying the drums, piano, guitar, voice, and songwriting. I have been in a cover bands, original bands, jazz bands, choirs, a country band, a steel drum band, marching band, opera, a pop orchestra, a hip hop ensemble, and musical theatre productions. In college I took my studies further by learning music theory and aural skills while still performing in ensembles and writing lots of music. Now I teach and perform around Chicago! My studio is equipped with a keyboard, acoustic and electric guitars, and a cajon, as well as various percussion instruments.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing one of my students develop a passion for music! Therefore, it's important that each student develops at his or her own pace. I encourage this by setting realistic goals for students in each lesson. Acknowledging progress encourages a student to excel, therefore aiding them to yearn for more. By finding out what inspires the student, I can begin to tailor instruction to better fit their needs.
I started teaching private students 12 years ago when I was a senior in high school. My experience comes largely from the time I spent teaching at Imperial School of Music in Geneva, IL.
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The teachers in Musika's network design their piano lessons around the needs and abilities of each student. This means that lessons cater to a wide range of ability and experience levels, from those just starting to play the piano for the very first time, to students with already established skills and experience. For new learners, the aim is to get them playing simple songs as quickly as possible. To do so means teaching them the basics, such as scales, hand position, fingering technique, and chords. These are the essential skills for playing simple material. Beyond this, students can learn to develop their musical ear, sight read, read sheet music and chord charts, and general music theory. They will start to learn more complex chords and start applying them to more advanced compositions as they advance in lessons. Some students will already be excellent players, but want to develop particular skills, such as improvisational skills, or to study one specific type of piano playing, such as Blues or Classical piano.
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.
For adults who are looking to learn to play the piano, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, pass an exam, or write your own music. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the piano to a competent level. However, playing the piano is a great stress reliever, keeps you mentally active, and can help with your hearing and fine-motor skills.
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.
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.
Review by Kristin
Ted S. is teaching clarinet to one of my children, and piano to two others. He is extremely knowledgeable, and very encouraging. His teaching methods are keeping my children enthused about their lessons, and without that, you have nothing. Two of my children were taking piano lesson from another teacher for the past year, and not progressing. Ted has been able to evaluate their skills individually, determine what was missing in their music education, and begin again with some early basics they seem to have missed. I am convinced we are finally moving forward, and am very happy about that. I wish I would have made this change much earlier.
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 Thomas Pickens
"I've been taking lessons with Richard for just a little over six months now and all I can say is that he is an amazing instructor. He hasn't followed a set one size fits all script in his lessons but has instead worked with my musical interests and at my pace in a way that is truly valuable. He has also kept things fun, interesting, and engaging even at times when I've felt overwhelmed and discouraged. This is an instructor that is truly adaptable to his students and will make sure that they get the most out of their lessons. I would definitely recommend him to anybody that truly wants to unlock their musical potential."
Review by Suzette
She is amazing! My daughter, Isabella (7 yrs) is totally engaged in the lesson. Lilly's definitely has a gift with teaching young children!!! A great talent of hers is making the content interesting, current to today's music and most of all fun! She has a knack for taking the material and translating it in a way that is relatable to Isabella. My daughter really enjoys her lesson's and has moved along rather quickly with the material. Thanks Lilly!
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 Shelonda
Henry is teaching my daughter how to play piano. Henry is an excellent teacher, we really like and appreciate him. His teaching style works very well for my daughter, she is comfortable which makes learning enjoyable. Henry is very patient and I can see that he is passionate about teaching music. Great teacher for sure.
Review by Jermain
Mrs. Regnarene is an awesome teacher!!! She found musical aids that appealed to my 5 year old daughter and used them to help teach her piano. She has a lot of patience and I could tell she puts in the work before class to have a lesson ready for my daughter. She is always punctual, friendly and respectful. I would recommend her to any parents who want to start their kids off with a good foundation in piano. Jermain T. Riverview, FL
Review by Natalie Kretcher
I really like her. And as an adult student, a good teacher who keeps the pace up but still keeps it reasonable in terms of difficulty is really hard to find. She does a great job of explaining little detail things in terms I (as a musically challenged human) can understand. I'm having a blast! 10/10 would recommend!
Review by Angie Ignazzitto
Stephanie is an excellent voice teacher! Our 10-year-old daughter enjoys her lessons with Stephanie each week. She has an amazing way of connecting with our daughter through music. Stephanie knows how to offer constructive feedback in a positive way that keeps our daughter interested and wanting to learn more. I would recommend Stephanie without hesitation.
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