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I am a person who believes in teaching music to all ages. Through teaching I am hoping that I inspire students to follow their dreams on trying to achieve their goals in life. As a teacher I hope to gain the trust of my students by being the person that can help them progress forward in a chosen music career. I take pride in what I do. Hopefully I can encourage others to do the same.
I have been teaching guitar for the last 13 years, and playing for 20 years. Since I've started, I have been lucky enough to share the stage and become friends with some of the best musicians in Chicago. I have gained experience in a wide variety of musical settings and situations. Three of my most memorable experiences were playing at the UIC Pavilion to 10,000 people, auditioning at the Royal George Theatre, and performing Electric Guitar with the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra. I have been very fortunate to have all of these experiences as a musician and at a young age.
I am a second generation pianist and piano teacher who began lessons at the age of 4 under M.M. DePaul graduate and longtime piano teacher, Kathryn, my mother. My musical studies were continued in college at the University of IL at Chicago, and after graduating, at the American Conservatory of Music, where I enrolled in private Masters classes for 7 years (jazz piano, improvisation & other styles). I have over 25 years of international piano and piano/vocal performance experience, which includes the opportunity to perform in Okinawa, Japan at the exquisite 5 star Manza Beach Resort Hotel for 4 months. I have taught piano to children age 5 - adults for 20 years. Teaching is a great joy and inspiration that enriches my life musically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. My ultimate goal is to give my students a life-long passion for making music. I maintain both an active performance and teaching schedule, am a member of Music Teachers National, Chicago Area Music Teachers Association, Piano Teachers Federation and continue my music education through attending seminars, workshops and through taking private lessons.
I am a professional saxophonist specializing in Jazz performance and have spent many years playing in cities such as Chicago, Boston, New York City, and Rochester, New York. I double on flute and am proficient in that instrument as well. I have taught students for several years now and have taken classes in pedagogy and teaching skills. In addition to the jazz musician side of me, I am also a music therapist. I currently go to school at Nazareth College and am in the graduate program in creative arts therapy and am an intern at Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, IL. I have worked with older adults with alzheimer's, adults with mental health issues, hosptialized children and adolescents, and survivors of stroke. I plan to work in a medical facility as a music therapist once I graduate from school. As a result of my music therapy practice, I am very proficient in piano and guitar and can teach beggining and intermediate students on these instruments.
In 2010, I graduated from VanderCook College of Music with a Bachelor's in Music Education. I have played in a variety of instrumental ensembles on different instruments, from euphonium, trombone, marimba and drum-set to name a few. I am motivated to helping people accomplish their goal of learning their instrument. I teach music for Chicago Public Schools and have started a music program at my school teaching, marching band, guitar, choir, drum-line and orchestra.
Since We Started
Cities with Students
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There are several different, but vey important elements to becoming a good piano player. It takes time to master the basic skills that will set you on your way to excellence. For beginners, the lessons will focus on elementary piano knowledge and technique, such as learning all the notes of the piano, hand and finger techniques for playing, learning scales and chords, as well as some music theory like reading sheet music, chord charts etc. These basic skills can then be applied to simple songs. Students with these foundations in place can expect to cover things like, diminished and other chord types, sight reading, and playing more challenging compositions. Lessons for advanced students might cover topics such as improvisation, glissando, or the study of a specific genre of playing or composer, such as Jazz piano or Johann Sebastian Bach.
In home lessons are what 90% of our students request. Not only is it a convenient means to study music, but we also notice no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio since they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location. Additionally, the student may be able to focus better in their own home since they are familiar with it. Piano lessons in the home offer a practical choice for your family for learning the skill of playing a musical instrument.
Learning a new musical skill as an adult is a great way to keep your brain fresh! We have many adult students actively taking lessons with us. In fact, adult students represent around 50% of our student base. The instructors in our network generally offer an individually tailored lesson plan to the needs of an adult student. You will learn the technique of the instrument, specific repertoire suited to your skill level, as well as learning how to read music and sight read.
As students will need to practice the content taught during their lessons, they will need to invest in a digital piano or a keyboard. There are a number of different keyboards on the market, however we suggest looking to buy one with 61 keys or more. Keyboards with weighted action keys are most like that of a real piano, and are recommended. Keyboards are often a cheaper and more convenient option than digital pianos or real acoustic pianos, as they can be transported around and played using headphones. That said, if buying an acoustic piano is within your budget, it will provide the most satisfying learning experience.
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 Jonathan
Angela is a phenomenal teacher. She is full of charisma and is a joy to work with. Most of my experience with her has been focused on working in the Alexander Technique and she seems very knowledgeable in this study. I would highly recommend her to any prospective student. I have seen myself improve dramatically in a few short weeks with her guidance (and much practice of course!)
Review by Roberta
My 4 year old son is quite energetic. Another piano teacher tried to teach him before Peter and could not get my son to listen to him at all. That teacher told me that my son had no interest and that we needed to wait before having my son take lessons. Peter started teaching my son a few weeks later. He quickly developed a great rapport with my son. I was astounded when my son sat down and listened to Peter during the first lesson. Peter has remarkable patience and is a natural working with children. He knows when to follow the child's lead. My son is very interested in how the piano works, so Peter takes the time to teach him about this. He is able to use my son's interests (superheroes, Lego, Star Wars, etc.) to refocus him back to playing the piano. Between lessons, he brainstorms on how he can teach my son better. For example, my son was playing the notes, but not understanding rhythm, so Peter looked into it and came back the next week with a new plan which helped. My son looks forward to his lesson every week. When he hears the doorbell ring on lesson day, he exclaims, "Yay! Peter's here!"
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 PJ Williams
My daughter, Valarie is one of the original members of the Enrichment Center Percussion Ensemble under the guidance of Aaron. He patiently worked with Valarie as well as the other five members individually and as a group to produce music that has been shared and enjoyed locally as well as nationally. He has the ability to seek out the strengths of each student while building confidence. Through his teachings, not only had Valarie learned how to produce and enjoy music, but also responsibility and so many life skills for everyday living.
Review by Gisellesoldati
Cory is simply the greatest instructor ever! His 30 year plus teaching experience along with his knowledge of ever longer in music composition and performance make a real difference if you're in for learning the right way. Thank you Cory for teaching me not only the chords but also the history behind it and awesome tricks on getting better faster ;)
Review by Pat
Henry has been a great piano teacher since I started lessons about a month ago, and he is helping me realize a lifelong dream. He is patient, plays beautifully, is easy to learn from and a very nice person. I took lessons as a child for a year or so, but never followed up over the years. I always said that I would once I retired and found the right instructor. That time is now. Thank you Henry and Musika!
Review by Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
Review by Al
Pavel is doing a great job with my 6 year old son. Pavel is doing a great job helping my son focus on technique and rhythm, which is something previous instructors weren't so successful with. Pavel is organized / structured / systematic, which is what my son needs now, but I hope he relaxes a bit as the lessons continue so that more "joy" comes through.
Review by Alex A.
Travis rocks. My 7-year-old son and I both take lessons with him. Travis has moved me off the plateau I was on with lessons that focus on theory and technique. And for my son, he's been able to instill a desire and interest that were missing when he previously took piano lessons. With Travis teaching us, the limits are the ones we impose on ourselves. Needless to say, Travis himself plays a mean guitar to boot!
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