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Thank you so much for checking out my profile! I have been having a love affair with music and the arts for over twenty years. Beginning piano lessons at the age of five, it still continues to be one of the biggest joys in my life, second only to singing. I grew up in a very small town in central Illinois, and was always very active in community choirs and theatre. I always knew I wanted to study music, and chose Illinois State to do so. While there, I participated in musicals, as well as concert choir and the women's elite chorus "Belle Voix." Since college, I have been writing original cabarets and performing live around the city of Chicago. It's my philosophy that one should never stop learning, so I study regularly with my voice teacher of eight years, Sandra DeAthos, take class at the Bloom School of Jazz (vocal performance and jazz piano), and with the Second City Music Conservatory.
Basically I start with questions on why the indivual wants to learn how to play that particular instrument. Then I follow with how much do they know about the instrument of their choice. So following a brief historical lesson we get into how to start playing that instrument. Also why I love to play that instrument and when I'm playing it the passion of it.
My teaching experience began in college 5 years ago. I first taught privately in two different studios and eventually instructed young choirs part-time at a private school during my senior year. Encouraging regular practice on a consistent schedule is one of the key points I like to emphasize for musical excellence. Not only does it take consistant practice in order to develop musical skills, it also helps younger children develop solid work habits. I believe music can open doors for learning in any discipline and can help the student progress and gain a passion for their instrument. I enjoy introducing students to new music that not only encourages growth in their talent, but also broadens their musical experience and repertoire. If a student isn't having fun in their lessons, then I'm not doing my job!
The methods I use to teach depend on a number of factors. For beginning trombone students, I will use whichever method their school is using. If the school is not using a specific method, I provide my own materials. For more advanced players I assign various etude books, jazz play along books, and method books based on the students needs. I provide all the materials for my beginning piano students for the first few months, then assign method books based on the student's interests.
I began teaching private lessons 6 years ago, primarily teaching drum set, and continued to have students on and off as some of my students from my home town would take lessons seasonally when I was not at school. I also have worked as a battery and front ensemble technician at various high schools in Indiana and Kentucky, co-ran a World Percussion Camp at Central Music Academy in Lexington, Kentucky for two years, and have been brought in on multiple occassions as a guest lecturer/clinician for both West African drumming and dancing as well as steel band at the collegiate level. I have learned quite a bit from my teaching experience, but there are two things that consistently hold significant importance to me. The first is that every student is unique - no two students, no matter how similar their interests, should necessarily have the same curriculum or be taught the same way. The second is that every student should be constantly feeding their passion(s) - not every step of learning and improving always feels fun at the time, but if the student has a chance to be passionate about what they are doing, even the most difficult work will feel purposeful and rewarding.
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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.
Students at different levels of their piano playing will require different aspects of piano playing to be covered during their lessons. Beginners typically start out learning the basics, intermediate players will be applying the foundations to more complex compositions, and advanced players will want to hone a few specific skills or styles. The basic things that beginner students will work on tend to be learning the notes of the piano, posture and playing technique, scales, and chords. At this level, students will learn simple scales and chords, such as major and minor chords, and start to put some of the basic techniques into practice via simple songs. Intermediate players will work on more exotic chords and playing such as diminished chords, 7th chords, and applying these things to more challenging compositions. Advanced players can improve sight reading, improvisational abilities, or work on genre specific techniques, such as Jazz or Blues. Throughout, students can develop their musical ear, reading, and theory.
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.
Musika recommends that children start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are something 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 generally learn how to read music, the fundamentals of musicianship and sight reading, music theory techniques, and ear training.
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.
Review by Wendy
Bill has been great with my 2 young children (age 3 & 6). He has integrated games into the lessons - they have enjoyed showing us how to play the games when it is time to practice piano. Bill has been easy to contact and rescheduling has not been a problem if we have a conflict at our regular lesson time.
Review by Richardpoplawski
I feel she is a very professional teacher and I have already recommended your company and her to my friends who have children that play musical instruments. My 8 year old son has never been so enthusiastic to play his violin. His skills have improved almost exponentially since we have began lessons with Lauren. Your company has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy to have found it online.
Review by Jeff N.
Travis is an extremely knowledgeable guitarist and teacher. Travis is equally comfortable in playing/teaching jazz, rock, blues, or classical styles. I really like the way he explains things and he has the ability to make difficult material seem simpler. Travis is very likeable, enthusiastic, and always very professional. I think Travis would be great teaching either children or adults because he's very patient. My learning experience with Travis has been outstanding. He taught me some great techniques for chord substitution and for soloing. I'll continue to work with Travis because he inspires me to be a better guitarist. I think he could really help me with composing because he writes some great songs too! Thanks Travis!
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 Teri Romano
Being I'm a woman, I was a little apprehensive having a male teacher (he knew this), however, after my trial lesson I realized he knows what he's doing and I had nothing to worry about!! He is very knowledgable on the piano and vocal techniques. He has a big vocal range so he is able to hit the high notes to be able to show me how I need to sing it. He is also phenomenal on the piano. I would highly recommend him for vocal and piano. Also, I don't know how to sight read music and he is teaching how to. I've been taking lessons with him for a month (my trial lesson was on 1/11) and I have already seen a huge improvement. I am an intermediate level singer looking to improve my vocal technique, breathing and improve my confidence in my singing abilities, Alex is definitely helping me do that.
Review by Valerie Moore
Kevin is very friendly and professional trombone teacher. During the first session he assessed my 12 year old son's strengths and identified areas for development. He has helped him refine his technique which helps our son in band class but also has him working on duets that help him grow in new ways. He comes to our home and is always very punctual. I would highly recommend Kevin!
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 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 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.
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