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I am a passionate and enthusiastic actress, singer, dancer, pianist, and teaching artist here in Chicago. I am a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Musical Theater program at the University of the Arts, where I realized my love of teaching while tutoring struggling music theory students. I have been performing and teaching ever since I graduated in various musicals and plays throughout the city.
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.
It is rewarding to see a student achieve a strong desire and a sense of accomplishment when they begins to play the instrument of their choice. I believe that a person should learn at their own pace. With that in mind I try to set realistic goals and make each lesson understandable. Acknowledging their success helps build their confidence and knowledge which translates into the student wanting to practice more.
Nothing is more rewarding than seeing one of my students develop a passion for music! Therefore, it's important that each student develops at his or her own pace. I encourage this by setting realistic goals for students in each lesson. Acknowledging progress encourages a student to excel, therefore aiding them to yearn for more. By finding out what inspires the student, I can begin to tailor instruction to better fit their needs.
My methods differ depending on a students age and experience level. For the younger students who are just beginning their journey we will learn out of Hal Leonard's books for guitar or Piano Adventures for piano students. As a student progresses we will begin to take the learning outside of these books and more to music theory, technique, and to the application of these practices onto the instrument. For younger students I will make the lesson more fun and interactive, keeping the lesson positive and not viewing it as a chore.
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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!
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.
Piano lessons for children generally focus on learning the fundamentals of the technique of the instrument and learning to read music and rhythms. We suggest beginning piano lessons no earlier than age 4, due to the attention span of the child, as well as the strength they have in their hands for playing. Piano Lessons will offer an excellent introduction to learning music for a child. Music theory and musicianship skills will also be taught during the lessons. Piano lessons are a great choice for introducing the art of music to your child!
For adults who are looking to learn to play the piano, we recommend that they do so with some clear goals in mind. Maybe you want to learn to play some of your favorite songs, pass an exam, or write your own music. Whatever the aim, the experienced teachers in our network can help unlock the skills necessary to make those goals a reality. It can take time to develop the techniques and co-ordination required to play the piano to a competent level. However, playing the piano is a great stress reliever, keeps you mentally active, and can help with your hearing and fine-motor skills.
Musika deals primarily with home lessons for students. The location is the only difference between our in-home lessons and our studio lessons. As they do not have to travel to their lessons, home piano lessons can be highly convenient for those parents and students with a busy schedule. Students will need a keyboard to practice on, however. For younger students in particular, having piano lessons in the comfort of their own home can be of great benefit. They will feel more safe and relaxed in familiar surroundings, allowing them to focus on learning and enjoying playing the piano.
Review by Robert Stallone
I am in my 60s and decided to get back into playing my guitar. I thought taking lessons would be a good way to formalize the endeavor. I did have some concern about whether working with a teacher would work out as I've behave only played for my own enjoyment for a long time. Peter and I have had a few lessons together and I am truly enjoying the experience. He is very supportive and flexible. We arrived at a three gold approach that is really working for me. We focus on developing a playlist, learning some of the more iconic tunes from leading artist that I would have a hard time learning on my own and developing some technical skills related to style and music theory. Now I look forward to my next lesson and am already playing better and enjoying the journey. Peter is a great teacher I'm lucky to have the opportunity to work with him.
Review by Ginger
Unbelievably Awesome. My daughter is a beginner and has some special needs. Justin is more than patient and helpful while being completely thorough and pushing her (in a good way) to try harder. He is encouraging and teaches effectively. I am very pleased. More important, so is my daughter. Thank you Musika! So grateful we found your service and connected with Justin. We highly recommend him.
Review by Brianne Hancock
Martina has been teaching our daughter violin since early 2015. Every time our daughter has a lesson she comes away in such a great mood - she really enjoys her lessons! Martina is positive and encouraging and adjusts her teaching to help our daughter learn the best way for her learning needs. We were curious about how online lessons would work, and it turns out that they work really well. The 1:1 time and ability to teach from a distance make it work just as well as in person. We've had moves and schedule changes and Martina has been very flexible for us - which made such a big difference in making violin lessons accessible. Absolutely recommend her!
Review by Travis Dalenberg
Travis is the greatest. He knows his music and how to teach it. He gives you time to learn, but will not allow student time to get lazy. I know he teaches all age groups. Young pre-teens to us old folks 78 years young. I have been taking lessons from him since early December 2014. He is a true professional. You can't go wrong with him.
Review by Steven G.
Laura is the kind of teacher you wish you had in all your studies: gracious, easy-going, light-hearted, yet behind the easy going exterior is an excellent musical mind with everything at her fingertips. I've had about 5 teachers in my life who count as really influential people, and Laura easily fits that category. She lets you be yourself so that you are fully present rather than old-school doctrinaire style, what I call "stiff as a German, sig-heil" teachers. She's the polar opposite. Brava, Laura! Thank you so much!
Review by Sarah M
Dan gave private clarinet lessons to my daughter, Annie, for two years. During that time, she excelled as a member of the middle school band, and maintained first-chair. Dan is an excellent teacher, and Annie looked forward to having one-on-one time with him. In addition to practicing pieces with her, he helped her with scales and greatly improved her tone quality.
Review by Yury
I would like to thank Polina for the series of classical piano lessons I've taken recently. Polina is a fantastic teacher and a high class performer, and I'm really happy I had a chance to meet her! I believe anyone can benefit from the teaching method Polina is practicing regardless of the student proficiency - from beginners to advanced performers. It was a pleasure for me to study classical piano courses under the guidance of such an intelligent & professional teacher! Without doubt, my playing technique has improved a lot and I have signed up for the new classes online already.
Review by Cameron D.
After signing up for lessons with David L. I knew I made the right choice. Just after a couple of weeks I didn't see him as a teacher but as a best friend. There was always a relaxed atmosphere during the lessons. He was very easy to talk to and he really listen to you. If I ever had a question he would answer. He tailors to what ever you want to do in that lesson. David L. is a great teacher and a friend. I totally recommend him for anyone
Review by Angie Ignazzitto
Stephanie is an excellent voice teacher! Our 10-year-old daughter enjoys her lessons with Stephanie each week. She has an amazing way of connecting with our daughter through music. Stephanie knows how to offer constructive feedback in a positive way that keeps our daughter interested and wanting to learn more. I would recommend Stephanie without hesitation.
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