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I currently work as a teacher, singer, actor, and organist in Chicago. I'm teaching piano and electronic music courses full-time at Kenwood Academy, a CPS High School. I graduated from the Chicago College of Performing Arts with degrees in music education and vocal performance. Apart from my teaching, I stay active as a performer in the Chicago music scene. I have completed vocal training programs with groups like Chicago Opera Theater and the College Light Opera Company (CLOC). I regularly appear in operas and store front theater productions. As a pianist/organist, I regularly play for church services and rehearse choirs. I'm particularly devoted to composing, producing and performing new art music. I love to read, ride my bike, and teach new student-musicians!
I have loved singing since I could first talk! I grew up singing in choirs, shows, and church. When I attended the Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA for high school, I realized that music and singing would be my career path for life. There, I was classically trained and learned to sing opera. I went on to complete my Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in voice. I am excited to have moved to Chicago with my husband, Sean. I look forward to the opportunities here!
I'm a recent graduate of Northwestern's Bienen School of Music and have been playing and performing music since childhood. I hold two degrees, one in Music Performance for Classical Guitar, and the other in Cognitive Science (I know, right?). I have experience playing a wide range of music, from contemporary classical music to metal and nearly everything in between. I believe the best way to learn music is to focus as much on the theory and reason behind it as to physically understand how to play the instrument. I can teach both piano and guitar.
I'm a passionate and motivated instructor who enjoys working with students and sharing my love of music. In 2014, I graduated from Belhaven University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Vocal Performance. I have had numerous opportunities as both performer and educator in the music field. I love working with kids of all ages, and equally enjoy adults looking to further invest in their love of music.
I am very excited to wake up each day with an opportunity to learn more about my craft. Every moment is a chance to challenge myself to be better than I was yesterday in every aspect of my life. I love sharing the joy that I have for music as a saxophonist, composer, and improviser, with as many people as I can. In 2004, I graduated from Northern Illinois University. Right after college, I moved to Chicago to continue my pursuit of being the best musician I can be. This quest has taken me all over the world and has placed me in working situations with some of the greatest performers and composers on the planet. After living in New York City for 6 years, I've returned to Chicago and I'm excited to put together my teaching studio for students who are equally excited about refining their craft.
Since We Started
Cities with Students
Teachers in Network
Once you’ve met with your teacher for your risk free trial lesson, continuing with Musika is easy! If you are satisfied with your lesson, all you have to do is register with us to continue! The trial will count as your first lesson if you continue, however, with our Great Match Guarantee™ if for any reason you decide not to continue then the trial is FREE. Go ahead give it a try, you really have nothing to lose.
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Background checks available on instructors. Instructor can opt to have a background check on file. You can request to only be connected with teachers that have a check. The choice is yours.
We recommend that students get either a full size piano, or a weighted keyboard for their lessons. It is very important to set up a practice schedule every day. You can purchase a basic keyboard at a local music store or online. Some students may also wish to rent a piano if they do not wish to invest in buying one right away. Digital keyboards offer a good choice for the beginning student because they are portable and easily stored in your home. Keyboards will start at 61 keys at the smallest amount and increase to a full size keyboard of 88 keys. The most common brands of keyboard are Casio, Yamaha, and Korg.
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.
We have many adult students taking lessons. Whether you 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 the teachers in our network are also able to teach in a way that makes sense for you.
Teachers in the Musika network do not adhere to one specific method for all their students. Most teachers will customize their lesson plans to the individual needs and skill level of the student. If you are looking for any specific teaching styles or methods to be used in your lessons, please let us know during the matching process and we can try to assign you to the teacher who will best suit your needs. Generally lessons will cover topics such as learning to read music, practice skills, music theory and musicianship, ear training, and rhythm skills.
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 Blaine Vaz
“I took drum lessons from Mark for about 7 months. I have been playing for 38 years but always thrive to learn more. He was able to provide me alternative exercises and help me gain a better understanding of my opportunities. I have been able to take my playing to another level. His approach to teaching is perfect for any level of student, beginner or advanced. He is a true professional and an outstanding person. You won't go wrong with Mark!” Blaine Vaz
Review by Jon
Michael is exactly what I was looking for in a teacher. The first thing he did was to determine what I wanted to get out of lessons, and what my existing skill level is. He is now aiming me in the right direction - and he is clearly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable, in addition to being very easy to get along with. I'm very happy.
Review by Bradford Putt
Angela has been a perfect match-up for me. She is warm and welcoming, and also serious about teaching - she keeps our time focused and on track. What I truly appreciate, as a new singer anxiously preparing for an event, is the confidence she gives me. Angela is very encouraging. I enjoy coming to class.
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
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 Chad H.
"Mr. Richard has been absolutely perfect for our very active two boys. He has been an excellent fit for gauging and keeping their interest far beyond what we had imagined. Our boys actually argue over who gets to go first. Mr. Richard knocks it out of the park when it comes to exceeding our expectations"
Review by Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
Review by Jenn
My son and I both take lessons with Micheal. My son started on the ukulele and recently started the guitar. He is excellent with children. Very patient and very intuitive to the child's ability. He is also an excellent teacher for adults. I had not touched my guitar in several years and in a couple months not only to I remember everything I forgot but I'm learning many new techniques and am a much better player than I've ever been.
Review by Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.