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I have been teaching privately for over ten years and have experience with all ages and ability levels.
Organ concerts at the Washington National Cathedral, Creative Arst Center, West Virginia University, Alexander Arts Center, Concord University, churches throughout West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Illinois. Private teaching in piano with Ascendo Piano, Fort Wayne, Indiana from 2003-2006 and Fun with Piano, Western Springs, IL starting in 2011 and Musika Piano also beginning in 2011.
For the past 20 years, I've studied and performed with keyboards, guitars and woodwind instruments while exploring a very wide variety of music ranging from classical and rock to jazz and avant-garde. Expanding and sharing that knowledge with other people in a helpful and friendly manner is something that I consummately enjoy- especially if they're beginning where I once was. My education includes a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from DePaul University, and I've been working on my Music Education Certificate at UMSL since August 2014. Teaching private music lessons to students has allowed me to develop my interpersonal and arbitrational skills through calmly and effectively solving student issues as they've come up.
I began teaching when I was in middle school when I got the opportunity to assistant direct theater workshops in my town. I was hooked and for my Girl Scout Gold Award in high school, I ran a theater company for children of social service recipients. In college, I tutored struggling music theory and piano students and felt it was the perfect way to use my enthusiasm for music in a positive way beyond teaching. Teaching has helped define who I am as a person and as an artist. I love the opportunity to inspire those less experienced than me and I hope I am able to give people the confidence and the technique they need to succeed!
I work very closely with every student customizing lesson plans based on their needs. From the very first lesson, we figure out his/her goals and we write them down. Then I create a lesson plan specifically suited to get them to where they want to be. I often recommend specific songs or artists they should listen to as well as certain books and practice exercises that gravitate towards reaching their goal and most importantly; true potential. I love to teach my students the basic tools of what it takes to be a professional musician, whether or not they are into music as a hobby or as a serious profession. I currently play drums for the hit Broadway musical (non-union version) of Rock of Ages and when I'm not on the road; I'm teaching. I’m an avid columnist for Modern Drummer Magazine and I sing/play guitar for one of Chicago's best Nirvana tributes called Smells Like Nirvana. I studied at Berklee College of Music and I have a huge passion for teaching. I offer the option for students to get their lessons recorded via audio/video so they have a reference to stay on task for their next lesson.
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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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Musika offers one-on-one, in-home guitar lessons that are designed specifically for each individual student. Whether your lesson takes place in the studio or at home, students will get the exact same lesson content, with the only difference being the location. Parents will find home guitar lessons a much more convenient option for their child, as it saves the time and costs of transporting their children to and from the studio. Younger students will find that learning to play the guitar in the comfort of their own homes greatly benefits their development as they are learning in a supportive, secure and familiar environment.
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.
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!
Musika piano lessons can be tailored to suit students of all abilities, whether they are beginning, intermediate, or advanced level players. For beginners, the basics will be taught. This can include learning the correct posture, hand position, and fingering technique as well as learning the notes and scales of the piano, learning basic chords and chord progressions, developing the musical ear, and learning to apply these things to simple songs. 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 chords, diminished chords, slash chords and so on as well as working on their sight reading, music theory, such as learning different time signatures, and applying these skills to more complex songs. For advanced players, they will be adding an edge to their playing, such as improvisational skills, repertoire and genre-specific work, like learning Jazz or Romantic piano.
For students just starting out, a keyboard or digital piano is a great entry level alternative to a real acoustic piano. We suggest trying to buy a keyboard with 88 keys. Keyboards with a weighted hammer action are recommended as their touch response and general feel will be most similar to that of an acoustic piano as this will provide students with a greater level of satisfaction during their practice time. Popular keyboard brands include Yamaha, Casio and Roland. If it is at all possible, consider buying an acoustic piano. Upright models are less space consuming, while a grand piano will provide the best sound.
Review by Paula Chacon
I've always said, "It's all about the teacher." That skillful, effective teacher who can reach that child and ignite her passion, is truly a gift. Ric does that for my daughter. As a former music teacher myself, the most challenging thing in working with children is how to build their fundamental musical skills while letting them have fun and be expressive. The teacher must create a safe, supportive environment, and Ric does that. Ric immediately focuses on fundamentals of tone and technique, giving my daughter succinct instruction on how to improve, thus she can sense the improvement immediately. Ric seems extremely easy going; even when lighting a fire under her sometimes under-achieving butt, Ric never criticizes, judges or blames. He works with my child, understanding her, helping her problem solve, and even giving her the quick answer sometimes so she can move quickly and stay motivated. Ric balances fundamentals with fun and expressiveness, so my child feels as though she can 'play' and they truly make music in every lesson. I am thankful we found a good match with Ric.
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 Brooklyn
Laura is a fabulous teacher. She explains concepts to me using concrete examples so that I can understand changes that I need to make to my posture, breathing, phrasing, etc. She makes warm-up exercises fun, and she's got a great sense of humor over all. Her teaching style is collaborative, more egalitarian (she respects what I already know and meets me at my level), tailored to my particular interests and strengths, and I always look forward to our lessons!
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 Stan
My two daughters wanted to study piano fore some time now and just recently I found Musikalessons website and teacher Milica. I can only say that my daughters are very happy with their piano lessons and simply adore Milica. They already made a great progress and we're all happy with what they learned in this short period. Thank you Musikalessons and Milica.
Review by Leslyn
Steve is an excellent instructor. My son has really connected with him and he is learning the guitar quickly. Steve is patient and never rushes through a lesson in order to make it fit within the session time limit. In addition, before he leaves, he writes notes and instructions for my son to follow. By the next lesson, my son is confident in what Steve has taught him. Most importantly, Steve builds my son's confidence in his own own ability and progress after each lesson.
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 Sharon
My 4-year-old has had several lessons with Martina now, and he has learned a lot. Obviously, it is challenging to teach such a young child, and he has learned quite a lot in a short time, and is very excited to learn about violin and for his lessons. I think Martina is doing an excellent job, is quite patient, and is teaching him in such a way that he can really remember his new skills from week to week. We look forward to many more lessons with Ms. Martina!
Review by Brenda Duffey-jepsen
Omar is a great teacher as he provides expert instruction AND the right amount of encouragement. He is a professional musician on several instruments, yet he is patient with beginners! He also has gone out of his way to purchase an appropriate book for me, strings to re-string the cello, and extra attention to tuning. I appreciate how he explains and demonstrates exactly what a beginning cello student needs to know.
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