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Dennis H. holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Moody Bible Institute of Chicago in Bible and Theology and has studied at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside toward a certificate of Piano Pedagogy and Literature. He first studied piano with Mrs. Ethel Cliff Stried, a Zion Conservatory of Music graduate, from 1979 to 1989. At Bethel College he studied under Gordon Howell (1989-1990). At Moody he studied under Gary Rownd (1992).
I run a home piano studio and drive to students' homes throughout the greater Milwaukee area. My home studio equipment consists of a full size digital piano with recording capabilities. I also have an extensive piano music library that I regularly lend out to my students.
I believe everyone at any age can learn to play music and should experience the joys and rewards it brings. I want music to be easy and fun, so whether a student is interested in leisure studies or is more serious, a beginner or advanced, has natural or limited ability, lessons are tailored to the student's needs. I am thorough in making sure they understand new concepts before moving on - this allows study to be fun and progress to be secure! I have been teaching for 15 years and would not trade it for anything. Music is something no one can take away, but it is meant to be shared. Sharing the love of music is my passion.
I am a passionate instructor who believes that every student can learn and love music. I graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2010 with a Music Education degree. My certifications are K-12 choral, general, and instrumental music. I have been involved in several performance groups throughout my career, including the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra, the UWM Symphony, the Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra, and the Rock River Philharmonic. I have performed solo in venues throughout the Milwaukee area.
I love teaching piano and I like to teach different age groups. I got my Master's Degree in Music Education. I also like being as a piano accompanist for different kinds of musical shows and I enjoy working with all kinds of artists.
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We suggest students purchase a piano or keyboard for their lessons, as they will need to practice every day in order to develop their skills on the instrument. We recommend a keyboard with weighted keys, as this will feel most similar to an actual piano. An actual piano will have 88 keys, but most keyboards start from 61 keys and go up from there. Common keyboard brands found at music stores are Yamaha, Casio, and Korg. Many keyboard sets will come with a case, stand, headphones, and may even offer recording features for recording your own playing.
Taking piano lessons from the comfort of your own home is the most convenient way of learning to the play the instrument. Finding the additional time out of a busy schedule to transport your child to and from their lessons can be difficult, making home lessons a convenient, time and money saving option. The only thing necessary for home lessons is a keyboard or piano to play on! There is no difference between the lesson content of studio or home lessons- only the location is different. Home lessons help provide a safe, familiar, and comfortable learning environment for students.
Our recommended starting age for piano is 4 or 5, when students are capable of playing the keys properly and have sufficient strength in the fingers and hands. Young students also should have begun learning to count and to read. No matter what your age may be, the piano is an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of music, including music theory and basic composition techniques.
The content of each lesson is determined by the ability and experience level of each individual student. For beginner students who are new to the piano, lessons will be devised to give students the fundamentals of good piano playing. Students will learn the correct posture, hand position, and fingering techniques for playing scales and chords. Intermediate players can start to increase their playing speed in order to perform runs, fills, and solos, they can broaden their chord playing to things like augmented and diminished chords, they develop their sight reading, learn music theory such as time signatures, and work on applying these skills to more complex compositions. Advanced players may want to study a particular genre or composer. Pianists who enjoy Classical music may like to study the compositions of Bach or Mozart, or maybe develop their Jazz or Blues playing. Teachers can also help prepare students for exam, auditions, performances, or recitals.
Adults take up piano lessons for a number of different reasons. Some people want to reintroduce themselves to the instrument having once played it in the past, while others are looking for a new hobby or just to learn a new skill for fun! Whatever the reason, there are major benefits to learning the piano during adulthood. Learning piano technique can help retain fine motor skills and co-ordination, it can keep the mind sharp due to the complex thought processes, and has shown to be good for preserving your hearing. Learning to play the piano can also be therapeutic, and is a great stress reliever.
Review by Joshua Thompson
I have known Erin since I attended graduate school at the Hartt School in Connecticut. Last year she came to the college I teach at to give a master class and talk about her experiences as a musician abroad. She has proven that she is a capable and wonderful musician and educator. I highly recommend studying with her if you're lucky enough to have the opportunity!
Review by Howard
We value Chelsea for the quality of her lessons, but also for the flexibility of her schedule. She has worked around family vacations, impromptu summer camps and the upcoming school year. Emily is better prepared to start middle school band this year due to flute lessons from Chelsea and we plan to continue the lessons for the foreseeable future.
Review by Chrystal
I was skeptical at first not knowing what I was getting my self into.. I am very happy that I forced myself to get into voice lessons because Eli is an awsome voice coach.. Very skillful and he helps you reach the goal you are trying to reach.. He is also very helpful with getting you to open up and come out of your shell and being heard.. I would and I already have recommended friends and family to sign up with Eli if they're serious about singing..
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 Heather Berest
I started my 5 yr old daughter with Karleen this Fall. Karleen has a calm and honest disposition. My daughter adores her and cannot wait for her arrival. I was concerned because my daughter is not so willing to "practice" during the week. Karleen advised me to allow her habits of practicing to evolve naturally as her love and understanding of piano increases. She emphasized how nurturing my daughter's love of music is most important. This was music to my ears :)
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 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 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 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.
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