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Called a "creative soul" by the CBS Evening News, Pierre first began composition shortly after teaching himself to play the piano at the age of 16. Under full scholarship to Kalamazoo College, he attained his bachelors degree in music and chemistry and his senior thesis, an interdisciplinary work on the works of Edgar Allan Poe and the Polish composer Frederic Chopin, received the highest honors the institution conferred. He studied composition under Elizabeth Start and Keith Murphy and participated in master classes by composer C. Curtis-Smith. Following graduation, Mr. Miller also studied piano under Steven Hesla at University of Montana and in master classes he has also worked with such diverse musicians as Alon Goldstein, Karen Walwyn, Kuang-Hau Huang, David Schrader, as well as Gilmore Concert Artists Pierre Laurent-Aimard, Angela Hewitt and Orli Shaham.
I like to teach my students how to reach their musical goals, whatever those may be. If they just want to strum a few chords, I will show them many different ways to do so, and in the context of their favorite songs. Everything I teach is within the context of their favorite music. I feel this keeps the lessons FUN. I try to bring out the creative side in all of my students. Depending on my students goals, I adjust my lessons accordingly to suit each individual student.
I'm a well motivated instructor who enjoys working with students of any age. During and after college I found it rewarding to work with students in a classroom and private setting.Over the past 40 years my students recieved the same in depth musical education that I recieved with an added bonus due to my success and expirience as freelance musician.
I am a second generation pianist and piano teacher who began lessons at the age of 4 under M.M. DePaul graduate and longtime piano teacher, Kathryn, my mother. My musical studies were continued in college at the University of IL at Chicago, and after graduating, at the American Conservatory of Music, where I enrolled in private Masters classes for 7 years (jazz piano, improvisation & other styles). I have over 25 years of international piano and piano/vocal performance experience, which includes the opportunity to perform in Okinawa, Japan at the exquisite 5 star Manza Beach Resort Hotel for 4 months. I have taught piano to children age 5 - adults for 20 years. Teaching is a great joy and inspiration that enriches my life musically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. My ultimate goal is to give my students a life-long passion for making music. I maintain both an active performance and teaching schedule, am a member of Music Teachers National, Chicago Area Music Teachers Association, Piano Teachers Federation and continue my music education through attending seminars, workshops and through taking private lessons.
I really try to meet the student where they are at, while guiding them to the next level of their development. I'm very comfortable working with books such as Rubank but I'm also very happy to craft my own exercises for each student. I believe that the most important objective a teacher can accomplish is to equip the student with the tools to do whatever they want to do. In my music lessons, my hope is that the student will develop proper technique and great musicality so they can fit into whatever musical setting that they desire.
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Children are recommended to start piano lessons no earlier than age 4 or 5. The attention span and personality of the child are factors 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 will learn sight reading, music theory techniques, ear training as well as fundamentals of music.
Musika teachers 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 all lessons will cover topics focused on learning to read music, practice skills, music theory and musicianship, ear training, and rhythm skills.
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.
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 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.
Review by Violetking
Bill has been a great teacher for both my 6 yr. old and my 8 yr. old. He is always on time, keeps them engaged, and gives them just enough of a challenge for the next week. They are both beginners, but I am surprised by how much they already know after just a month or so of lessons. Both kids are practicing willingly and look forward to lesson.
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 Timothyfullard
We've only had a few lessons with Elisa, but so far we really like her. She has a lot of great suggestions for solo pieces as well as orchestral music that involves all 3 of my boys, while also including some Christian music that we can play at church. She is very patient in explaining the lessons and encouraging!
Review by Scott
David is not only a great musician and educator but also a delightful human. We began using David six years ago as a piano teacher for my two boys. Since then my eldest moved on to acoustic and electric guitar and my youngest electric and stand up bass. Somewhere along the way I began to take guitar lessons also (I was David's most bearded student at age 48). David always came prepared to lead but also to follow, he often asked what we were listening to and taught us how to play it. His ability to listen to a piece of music and transcribe it always left me amazed, we have several notebooks full of songs we learned individually or played as a group. After a shoulder injury David continued to impress by teaching me music theory instead of our usual lesson. I could go on forever, David made a positive impact on my family and feel fortunate to have met him.
Review by Terri
Caitlyn is friendly, helpful and still holds my high-school aged daughter accountable for practicing. She also makes sure the music technique is mastered correctly during the lessons - they work hard and still have a good time together. I can highly recommend her as a flute teacher. My daughter is very happy & grateful to have found Caitlyn as a teacher.
Review by Lea G
Kevin was such a fun, smart and innovative voice teacher to work with. I had the pleasure of taking lessons with him for over a year and I couldn’t have been more pleased with my time under his training. In just a few weeks I noticed my voice was stronger and I was able to apply his teaching and see the results. He explains his techniques in a way that the student is able to actually hear and feel the changes he is referring to. This allows the student to efficiently practice outside of lessons. Even further, he believed in me and truly cared about my progress. He was always energetic and focused in lessons and was continually surprised how far a song could come in just one hour of his time. Under his teaching I developed a stronger belt in my higher range, learned how to color my voice for different sounds and improved my stage presence. I wholeheartedly trust Kevin’s musical insight and was grateful that he challenged me with a wide variety of songs and styles that I hadn’t considered trying before.
Review by Wilma
Gina is very supportive and encouraging. Even though I get frustrated with my progress, she can tell that I've been practicing and reminds me of how far I've come. She challenges me to learn new skills without giving me a piece that I cannot master (with practice). I'm happy that she is my music teacher and look forward to many more lessons in the future.
Review by Christopher Perrone
Mike has been working with my son Robert for over a year and has just started working with my daughter Kate. Mike is both a great musician and a good teacher. He connects with the kids and keeps them engaged. He is able to tailor the lesson to focus on music that is interesting to each child. He also encourages the students to participate in a public setting which is great. I would highly recommend Mike.
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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