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I am a pianist, composer, and educator who strives to bring out the best in all my students. I have composed for film, internet, and theatrical productions and performed across the country in classical and jazz contexts. I hold a masters degree in jazz studies from the Jacobs School of Music, where I studied with Luke Gillespie, Steve Houhgton, and David Baker. In the summer of 2013 I performed with the Disneyland All-American College Band. I have recently worked as music director and pianist at the Adderley School for the Performing Arts in Pacific Palisades, CA and as a private piano and composition teacher at the Joe Ferrante Music Academy in Monrovia, CA.
In 2011, I graduated from University of Nis, Serbia with a Bachelor's degree in General Music Pedagogy. I'm a very patient and motivated instructor who loves working with students.
I love music! It is fun, it is passionate, it is serious, it is Godly, it is ungodly, it is mysterious, it is profound, it is simple, it is complex, it is creative, it is skill, it is expressive, it is impressive. I am a professional musician living in the Chicago area - I teach oboe, piano, guitar, and saxophone. I am very blessed to be able to do this, and I try to remember that every day. Music is a gift, and it should be invested in - I try to do that, and I try to motivate my students to do that and give that gift back to others as well.
I’ve been playing Guitar and Singing since I was 9 years old. Almost all of this was self-taught until I attended Columbia for Music theory and Composition after high school. There, I was ranked the top rated guitarist on fret-board jury for two semesters in a row, I was an examplary student and began my journey towards becoming and an accomplished pianist. Starting at the age of 12, I founded my first band and have played in a variety of original and cover bands ever since. Included in these experiences was Chicagoland regular rotation play on XRT's local music showcase and an interview on the Flabby Hoffman Show. While attending UIC I even dabbled in theatre, and though I I had little to no experiece as an actor, I achieved a lead role in three out of the four productions I was cast in. Of these four, two were rock musicals, including the Who's "Tommy." As you can see, my whole life is music. I love to teach, perform and compose music. Although I love all these elements of music, I would have to say that my greatest joy comes from seeing my students progress towards becoming accomplished musicians. Whatever your goals may be, I take great pride in helping you attain them.
I am an experienced and versatile trombonist and educator living in Chicago. I hold a Bachelor of Music from the University of Denver and have been teaching and playing professionally for over 5 years. My professional experiences include playing in big bands, small jazz ensembles, musical theater productions, salsa bands, wedding bands, funk groups, and traveling the world performing aboard cruise ships. I have been teaching privately since 2009, maintaining a studio of trombone, jazz improvisation, and beginner piano students.
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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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As students will need to practice the content taught during their lessons, they will need to invest in a digital piano or a keyboard. There are a number of different keyboards on the market, however we suggest looking to buy one with 61 keys or more. Keyboards with weighted action keys are most like that of a real piano, and are recommended. Keyboards are often a cheaper and more convenient option than digital pianos or real acoustic pianos, as they can be transported around and played using headphones. That said, if buying an acoustic piano is within your budget, it will provide the most satisfying learning experience.
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 a beginner usually start with familiarizing the student with the piano as well as beginner level technique. This can include learning the notes on the piano, and learning basic scales, like major and minor scales. Beginners may start by learning how to play scales using the correct finger techniques with both hands until they develop their speed and co-ordination. Eventually students will start playing simple melodies, often nursery rhymes, that put the fingering techniques into practice. Students will also learn the various types of chord, from simple major and minor chords, through to 7th chords, slash chords, and diminished chords. Students will also develop their sight reading and music theory knowledge throughout their lessons.
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.
The piano is a great instrument for beginners of all ages. We have adults who are novices, some who haven't played their instrument in 10 years, and some who are more advanced students looking to take their skills to the next level. The teachers in our network have proven methods to get you the results you desire.
Piano lessons in your home offer a convenient option for learning to play an instrument. 90% of our students take their lessons in their home, and this is a practical and time-saving way to learn the technique of the instrument. Think of all the time you can save by not having to transport your student to a class every week! In-home lessons are structured the same way as in-studio lessons are, and in addition, a younger student may feel more comfortable at an in-home lesson, as they are already familiar with the surroundings.
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 Karl B
“My son and I have been taking lessons with Lynn for 5 or 6 years now. She is very patient with younger students (& older students having "senior moments"). She is also flexible in her lessons in that if we want to work on theory, jazz, rock, blues, she will cater to our requests.” – Karl B., C.P.A., Aug 2015
Review by Elsahatzipavlou
Erin has been a wonderful voice/piano teacher for our 7 year old daughter. She is talented, patient, and has a wonderful demeanor. She has been consistent with her teaching in piano and voice. She keeps record of where the students leave off so that they know what to expect the following week. I would definitely recommend Erin to anyone looking for a skilled piano/voice teacher.
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 Susan
My daughter is extremely happy and comfortable with Rachel, and looks forward to her piano lessons every week. She is a very kind and patient teacher, always using positive reenforcement with my daughter, which makes all the difference in the world to children. We definitely are looking forward to continued piano lessons with her. So glad we found her.
Review by Julie Buranelli
My daughter really enjoys her lessons with Pavel. She is an absolute beginner and Pavel is right with her as she learns the basics. She is completely engaged and always looks forward to her lesson. He packs a lot of learning into their 30 minute time slot - he gets right to it as soon as he walks in the door! He is a great teacher - we highly recommend!
Review by Kristen Draughn
Mr. Lou M. is a God-send! With the various needs that our organization requires from our education partners in order to provide enrichment services to our students, Mr. Lou M. has always gone above and beyond in meeting all of those needs. Our students are learning, our caregivers are happy and satisfied, and we couldn't be more pleased with his performance.
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 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.
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