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MA, Washington University in Saint Louis, Music Theory BA, Lindenwood University, Music Education
Hi! My name is Angela, and I teach private piano, voice, and theory lessons. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Lindenwood University, a Master's degree in Music Theory from Washington University, and am certified to teach music to all levels in the state of Missouri. I love teaching, and have taught many ages (4 to 91) and ability levels (novice to advanced). I am a dependable, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic teacher. I offer piano and voice lessons for 30, 45, or 60-minute weekly sessions in my music studio. I do not offer bi-weekly lessons or lessons in the student's home.
I started playing piano at age seven when my mother enrolled me in lessons. I have been playing ever since, and I absolutely love it. I began teaching private piano lessons in 2003, and have taught many thousands of lessons since that time. I have experience accompanying choirs, instrumentalists, and vocalists, as well as playing as a soloist in various piano competitions and recitals. I recently began taking lessons in jazz piano, a genre I never learned much about. I believe it is never too late to learn something new, and I am excited to start this new chapter of my musical life and to use this new knowledge to enhance my own teaching.My love of singing began in my freshman year of high school, when I joined the choir. It was a life-changing experience, and inspired me to make music my career. I immediately began taking private voice lessons, and became a voice teacher myself by 2005. While in college, I was presented with many opportunities to learn and grow, both as a musician and as a teacher. I sang in several different collegiate choirs, and was nominated to be in the all-collegiate choir in 2007. I also passed yearly auditions to sing in Voices Only, Lindenwood’s most advanced vocal group. During my junior and senior years at Lindenwood, I worked as the assistant director of Voices Only. This was a wonderful opportunity, and I learned so much while leading warm-ups every day, running sectionals on a weekly basis, directing the group during rehearsals and even during performances when the director was away. I currently sing in the Saint Louis Harmony Chorus, one of the top 25 women's barbershop choruses in the world. I am on the music faculty of the chorus, and am also the baritone section leader. I also sing in an award-winning barbershop quartet called Executive Sweets.
In my piano lessons I use the Faber’s fabulous Piano Adventures series. In my opinion, they are the best books on the market, emphasizing reading by intervals as opposed to memorizing note names. This method minimizes student frustration while also decreasing the amount of time it takes a student to read a new song. Piano Adventures also focuses on developing sight reading and ear training skills, something most developing musicians don’t study until college-level music courses. All of my piano students have the opportunity to play “fun songs,” that is, songs which may not be in their regular lesson books, but which the student truly has the desire to learn. These extra songs are always optional for the student, and the choice of song is always up to the student. Fun songs can be of any genre: Classical (Für Elise, Clair de Lune, Moonlight Sonata), Jazz (Linus and Lucy, The Pink Panther, The Entertainer), Popular (Clocks, Don’t Stop Believin’, Great Balls of Fire), or any song that suits the student’s interest (songs from video games, favorite TV shows or movies, folk tunes, etc). The fun song will typically be more challenging than the rest of the student’s pieces, and helps to retain student interest and, when learned, is something the student can really be proud of accomplishing.Vocal students are not required to purchase a curriculum for voice lessons, as lessons are based around the fundamentals of singing (breath support, head/chest voice, tone, and diction) and focused on each student’s desired repertoire. Students will be working on two songs at any given time. The first song is entirely of the student’s choosing, while the other will be chosen by the student from the vast stores of generally accepted vocal repertoire. This second song can be an aria, art song, or Broadway piece, and the student may choose from a variety of languages (English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, and Latin) in which to sing. Each lesson also includes warm-ups tailored to each student to develop technique and expand range, and a short theory or ear training session. Depending on student interest, these lessons may also include work on improvisation, composing, and musical dictation.
Making music is a skill which can bring lifelong joy to the musician as well as everyone around them. While I can easily ensure that my students enjoy music-making while they are taking lessons, my ultimate goal is that students continue to want to make music throughout their entire life, even after they stop taking lessons. I firmly believe that my job as a teacher is to train my students to be independent and self-sufficient musicians, musicians who do not need to take piano lessons for the rest of their life. My ultimate goal with each student is that one day I can tell them that they don't need me anymore. Many teachers teach by rote, playing a passage to a student and then having the student play it back. Though this method is helpful in some situations, students who are taught in this manner often find that they are only able to play the songs taught to them in lessons, and that to learn a new song they must have a teacher by their side showing them how the song goes. In my lessons, however, students are taught to learn their own music though sight-reading, ear-training, music theory, and listening to and critiquing their own playing. Over time, this allows the student more and more freedom to make music without a teacher.
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