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I was born and educated in former Soviet Union. My background is Russian Piano School and classical Italian Voice training.
I'm a passionate, motivated instructor who loves working with students of all ages. In 2003, I graduated from Bryan College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education with a vocal emphasis and in 2011, I graduated from James Madison University with a Masters of Arts degree in Music Education with a Kodaly emphasis. I have performed in the past with the Fine Arts Chorale of Kansas City, Washington Kantorei, Choralis, Arundel Vocal Arts Society, the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, and the Three Rivers Dulcimer Society.
I was born in the city of Weifang in Shandong Province, China on July 15, 1988. I started learning piano at the age of six. Besides piano, I also learned saxophone, guitar, and violin. I am a passionate teacher. I graduate from Cleveland State University with a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance in 2014.
I began my studies in piano from an early age, focusing primiarily on classical and contemporary piano solo repertoire, under Victoria Auth. Following several debut concerts in the Northeast Ohio area, I chose to formally pursue an undergraduate degree in piano studies at Case Western Reserve Univeristy and The Cleveland Institute of Music, moving on a year after to study at Kent State University. While under the mentorship of Gerardo Teissonnière and Dr. Donna Lee, I won both the Case Western and Kent State Concerto Competitions, performing with the Kent State Symphony Orchestra in 2012. Among many recent performances, I was honored to have been selected to perform at the 2014 "Rach Fest" held at New York City's Steinway Hall, as well as Steinway-sponsored masterclasses in the Cleveland area. In addition to performance, I have been a resident instructor at Music Lessons For Us All in Poland, OH and have also held a small studio of piano students for a number of years, focusing on all levels of proficiency with the instrument.
I have been playing the piano since I was 4. I have been awarded diplomas in piano performance and accompaniment from Trinity College London and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and did my Bachelor of Arts in Music (Piano Performance and Musicology) at the College of Charleston, SC, where I graduated summa cum laude. I went on to complete an artist certificate in Charleston and is now a Masters candidate at the Cleveland Institute of Music. I have performed solo and chamber music recitals in festivals and concert series in Italy, Asia and the US. I also play jazz and have been in a jazz band for two years prior to coming to the US. In addition to piano, I also play the Chinese violin.
Since We Started
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Most students start out by learning to play on a keyboard or digital piano. The most reputable keyboards brands are Yamaha, Roland and Casio, and can be purchased from most good music instrument retailers. Students should look to buy a keyboard with 88 weighted keys, as this will most resemble the playability of a real piano. At a minimum, 61 keys will suffice for most songs and practice. Keyboards are portable and can be played with headphones, making them highly convenient for practice. That said, if it is within your means to buy an acoustic piano, it will provide the best learning experience.
Children are recommended to start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are factors to consider when thinking of taking lessons. Even if your child has no evident musical inclinations, piano lessons offer a great option for introducing your child to music. During their lessons children will learn sight reading, music theory techniques, ear training as well as fundamentals of music.
There is no specific teaching method that all Musika teachers adhere to. All students will have lessons customized to their needs and goals as lessons progress. If there is a specific teaching style you are looking for, we will keep that in mind as we make your teacher match. Many teachers will have a few method books that they use for lessons, which will include exercises and techniques for practicing. All lessons will cover aspects of learning notes, proper technique, ear training, and how to read music.
Taking piano lessons from the comfort of your own home is the most convenient way of learning to the play the instrument. All you need for your lessons is a piano or keyboard to play on! Home lessons remove the hassle of transporting your child to and from their lessons, and can be fitted around busy work schedules more readily. Whether the lesson takes place in-home or in the studio, the content remains the same. Home piano lessons are a particularly good option for younger students. It is a big advantage for young students to learn in a familiar, comfortable, and supportive 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.
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 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 James F.
After my first piano lesson, Polina is easily the best teacher I could have hoped for. Extremely charismatic and excited to help YOU learn the piano. She puts a lot of effort into evaluation your learning style and will no doubt help you make tremendous strides! I'm stoked to continue taking lessons!
Review by Marcia Hecht
Karleen has really turned it around for me. My previous teacher (not from Musika) had me feeling anxious, upset, and incapable...NOT the desired result! Karleen's method is clear, appropriate for my beginning level, and (best of all) actually lets me achieve some progress! I'm actually looking forward to my lessons now!
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
Review by Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
Review by Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
Review by Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
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.