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I have a little card taped to a bookcase in my living room that says: "Give 'em something they can DO." This means the students needs to be able to put things into action, into motion. Everything will make more sense for you when you physically DO it. Then my card says, "Give 'em something they CAN do." This is an important distinction! When the activities are do-able, from the very beginning, students experience success and their confidence begins to grow. This comes from low-pressure experiences, each at the right place in the sequence of skill learning. In any field, seeing that you CAN do it makes all the difference!
From 2004 - 2014 I taught all Band Instruments, Piano, Violin, and coached singing lessons at the McCord Gallery and Cultural Center in Palos Park, Illinois. I got start teaching lessons as 6th Grade Saxophonist. I was selected to tutor two students from the 5th Grade Beginning Band. When I began attending summer camp after 7th Grade, I loved learning enough to perform a concert by the end of each week of camp. In High School, my music practice skills carried over to my academic studies and I was able to graduate with Honors, a 4.00, and earn 14 scholarships to attend college to become a music teacher. Since then, I have had the privilege of teaching1000's of students, and mentoring several college students. One of my favorite examples is a student I started teaching in 4th Grade who later added lessons for 3 other instruments and accomplished his dream of making it into the Chicago Symphony Youth Orchestra. Last year, one of my 2nd Grade Chicago Public School Band students performed the National Anthem for memory on the Alto Saxophone in front of 1000's of people at a race. One of my 1st Grade Violin Students impressed the president of Columbia College of Music so much that my students were offered life-time scholarships to attend Blues Kid's Camp, held annually at Columbia College in Chicago. Taking an active role in supporting people of all ages accomplish their goals and enjoy life is why I teach music.
I started teaching in 2008 while still studying at the University of North Florida. Most of my expierence is with children between the ages of 5-13, though I have taught much older as well. The real joy I get from teaching is when the student begins to love what they are doing. Any instrument can be difficult at first but once a love of music is combined with the student's instrument, the greatest strides will be made.
I start with pushing students to develop good habits early on in their playing. I like to get my students playing songs in their genre of choice as soon as possible. This method generates interest in their instrument from the very begining. I select their repetoire based on what techniques we are currently working on and find songs that will force them to develop those techniques in order for them to effectively perform each piece. After we learn a few songs in genres they are used to, I like to push my students outside of their comfort zone and learn new songs in genres they may not be familiar with.
I am passionate about teaching the piano! I understand that everyone has different learning styles, and I know how to cater to your personal needs. I want you to be able to play whatever you want to be able to play. If you want to become a classical pianist, I can certainly help. If you want to learn the theme to Cheers, we can do that too! We will focus on the repertoire that makes you happy. We will learn some technique and theory along the way, but the goal is to make you in the pianist you've always wanted to be. I like to use a variety of methods depending on the student's level and repertoire interests. Come discover your hidden talents with me!
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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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A keyboard or digital piano is a perfectly acceptable alternative to an acoustic piano for the purposes of lessons and practice. The major advantages of keyboards are the cheap price, portability, and the possibility of playing with headphones, which means being able to practice without disturbing others. When buying a keyboard, look to get one with a weighted hammer action and as many keys as possible although a minimum of 61 should suffice. Weighted keys will most resemble the touch sensitivity of a real piano. The most common brands are Casio, Korg, and Yamaha. If possible, look to purchase an upright or baby grand piano.
Piano lessons are usually structured around a series of method books, which are recommended by the teacher and can be purchased at a local music store or online. Lessons for beginners usually start with learning the notes of the piano, and progress to learning to sight read using songs the student is familiar with. As the lessons progress, more focus is placed upon proper technique, fingering, and posture. Basic music theory is also introduced. However, whatever direction a student decides to go towards, the instructor will work to make lessons fun and enjoyable!
At Musika, we highly recommend that students looking to learn to play the piano do so with a clear goal in mind. Whether your goal is to learn to play your favorite tunes, reacquaint yourself with the piano, or just to play for fun, the experienced teachers in our network can help you make those goals a reality. Learning, developing, and improving technique, co-ordination, and theory can actually be quicker during adulthood as the complex thought processes and theory are easier to understand. Adults can also help maintain their fine-motor skills, concentration, and listening skills into later life.
In-home lessons are what the majority of our students request. Not only does this provide a convenient means to study music, but there is no difference in the quality of lessons done in-home or in-studio as they are typically structured the same. The main benefit of in-home lessons is the reduction in travel time to another location, and 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 to play the piano as a child is fun, rewarding, and vastly beneficial to their overall development. Children can develop their motor-skills, dexterity, and coordination through technical piano playing such as learning scales, chords, and correct fingering. Young students can also develop their concentration, listening skills, and ability to master complex thought processes through theory, repertoire, and student-teacher feedback. Learning to play the piano can also be character building by instilling a hard-working attitude, developing self-discipline and confidence through practice, taking exams, entering competitions or performing recitals.
Review by Lauren Segal
Ed is THE best instructor I've ever had and I've had many instructors over the years in various fields of study. Ed met us at a music store to help choose a guitar, this is after he first called and asked all the right questions. He's supplied my daughter with just the right amount of paper work and just the right amount of new techniques. By this I mean to say that Ed connects with the pace my daughter learns at. I highly recommend Ed AND Musika.
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 Ro J.
“My son has been instructed by Mark for almost four years. Mark is an outstanding teacher. His credentials are by themselves impressive, but his ability to relate his knowledge to kids is even more so. Connor's ability to understand and read music is fantastic. Mark also knows the performance side of playing drums and has encouraged Connor to actually incorporate his knowledge to play alone and in a band. He is patient and encouraging which is what motivates Connor to work and practice. He is a mentor as well as a teacher. He is superior at what he does and we highly recommend him.” Ro J.
Review by Nancy
Darrell is A-Maz-Ing! He demands results from his students and therefore results come quickly. The time he spends teaching is intense and packed with great instruction. He is a tough teacher but offers lots of valuable instruction that is applicable for music as well as life in general. I highly recommend Darrell if you are ready for results!
Review by Mythili Lahiri
My son is truly enjoying his lessons with Chris. He looks forward to them and is motivated to practice. Chris is conscientious and shows up on time and whenever he is supposed to. He communicates clearly if rescheduling is ever required and is accommodating when we need to change the day. I would recommend Chris to anyone.
Review by Nancy Fritsch
I honestly cannot say enough positive things about Rachel. We met her through CYT where my daughter took theater classes from Rachel and was directed by Rachel in several musicals. Because Rachel was so wonderful to work with and so clearly talented at teaching and directing, several years ago, my daughter started private vocal lesson with her and I have seen my daughter's vocal abilities grow in leaps and bounds. Rachel is an ace at picking music to work on that stretches abilities while at the same time, keeps vocal lessons fun. I highly recommend her as a voice and theater coach.
Review by Ashley S.
Ali was an amazing voice coach! She taught in a way that made sense to me, and helped me find the voice placements I needed. I didn't know I could sound like that! My development with her was leaps and bounds rather than tiny dreadful steps that happen when you don't know what's going on! Ali was dedicated to helping me work on an audition for a music scholarship and I nailed it all thanks to her, seriously. I can't thank her enough! She helped me with the tools and confidence I needed to sing in the real world alone rather than just back row in a large choir.
Review by Queen Natalia
Lara is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in her profession. She is cheerful and personable, and has established a good rapport with students and staff alike. I have found Lara to be a highly competent, personable, patient, kind-hearted, and deeply caring person who is skilled professionally and interpersonally.
Review by Shilpa
"Richard is a very talented and a patient teacher. He teaches my 6 year old daughter in the comfort of our home and he is very regular. He follows a learning book and mixes his lessons to bring difficulty and technicality while keeping it interesting for my daughter. My daughter was difficult to work with at the beginning but he was able motivate her in every possible way. As a parent I make an effort to learn with my daughter so that when my daughter practices I am able to guide and correct her and Richard is very generous to take the time to give provide me concepts. I am extremely happy with Richard and his ability to teach children."
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