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As a piano teacher, I strive to structure my lessons with fun in mind. After attending countless conferences, meetings, and seminars, I was constantly being reminded of the rigid methods that teachers have stuck to, methods that often focused on drilling with intense repetitions. I was in search of a more innovative approach that wasn’t afraid to break the molds of traditional teaching methods. I started online sessions with Michael in April 2018 and reaching out to him has proven to be one of the most rewarding decisions I have made in my career. Through our online lessons, Michael has helped me in so many ways including structuring lesson plans, behavior management, and exploring creative ways to teach. He always has answers to my endless stream of questions and explains his reasoning thoroughly. Michael has an attention to detail that speaks volumes about his passion for teaching and music. I’ve grown more confident as a teacher after meeting with Michael and my students have also shown greater motivation when it comes to playing and practicing on their own. Besides improving as a teacher, working with Michael also continues to inspire me to think deeply and explore what I could do as a musician. I highly recommend working with Michael. He has played an essential role in my growth as a teacher and musician.Nov 19, 2018
It is rare to find a music teacher who is versatile and open-minded yet also a high-level expert at each of the genres they teach. Michael is one of these teachers. From classical and jazz to singing-songwriting, composition, arranging, and production, Michael is a true master of so many musical disciplines. And he doesn’t see boundaries between these genres – rather, he encourages students to appreciate the connections between them. I never fit into traditional music lessons, because I wanted to explore different kinds of music and discover my own voice. Michael has guided me through so many musical adventures, from preparing for classical piano auditions to learning New Orleans style boogie-woogie and going into the studio to record original singer-songwriter music. In addition to being a technical genius and well-respected educator, Michael has a deep understanding of the creative process and the highly personal journey that every musician takes. His sensitivity and thoughtfulness impacts each of his students in a unique, unforgettable way. Furthermore, Michael provides invaluable coaching for music educators. His perceptiveness and “sixth-sense” when it comes to teaching never fails to amaze me. Michael is an educational innovator who thinks outside the box and brings a much-needed fresh perspective to music education. Michael has helped me find my confidence as a musician and teacher, and I am forever grateful for his patience, generosity, and wisdom along the way.Nov 20, 2018
Having taken lessons from many music teachers over the course of ~10 years (for both piano and saxophone), I can confidently say that Michael stands out from the rest and is an extraordinary person to study with. I was able to progress both on the technical side of my playing, further my understanding of theory, and apply the theory to improve my solo-ing over the course of lessons with him. Certain aspects of jazz can be intimidating to take on, but Michael was able to build up my skill level in incremental steps that felt achievable. This made each lesson feel like a small 'win', as progress was clearly showing and confidence-boosting (which is important as a student)! Also, he is just an extremely kind person, so the lesson environment is very welcoming and supportive. It keeps things fun while still being productive.Dec 9, 2018
One of the things I loved about taking lessons with Michael is that he really made me think outside the box and apply my knowledge in unique yet unconventional ways. For instance, I struggled with improvising at faster tempos in high school, mostly because I thought I couldn’t “hit all the changes correctly.” I remember bringing this up to Michael during a lesson one day, and instead of teaching me licks and melodies that would work over the chord changes, he put the metronome on 200 bpm (much faster than I was used to playing) and instructed me to play consistent eighth notes at that tempo but without worrying about any harmony or chord changes on the page (playing freely). This, in turn, helped train my ears to hear melodies and harmonies that weren’t in my vocabulary before. Michael taught me that developing ones own sound or voice doesn’t come from copying others, or showing someone what’s “right” or “wrong”. It’s about providing someone with the tools necessary to be creative and explore the endless possibilities that come with being a artist. I realized, with Michael’s guidance, that I could expand my musical knowledge by utilizing the creative tools he gave me in ways that I desired. Teaching someone a song is one thing, but teaching someone how to apply musical knowledge is a whole other ballgame and Michael has seriously mastered this. I feel lucky to have been able to take piano lessons with him.Nov 19, 2018
I had a very good intro lesson. Looking forward to starting regular lessons with Michael.Aug 4, 2019Verified
- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?As a performer, I need a 25% deposit to hold a date. The balance will need to be paid when I arrive to the function. As a teacher, I'm really booked up... So I always like to do a consultation over the phone or internet to make sure we're the best fit. Once we agree to give it a start, all the lessons in the month will be paid up front.
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?For performing, I want to make it easy. I just want people to know that I'll show up and be something they won't have to worry about. I'll check the volume levels, get a lay of the land and adapt my set(s) to the situation. For teaching, I like to customize the experience for each student while using creative ways to build a foundation so everyone learn to love music and play at the highest level possible.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?I have a BM in Jazz Piano and Studio Music at the prestigious University of Miami (FL). I have toured for years performing in many genres. As a teacher, I have taught up to 45 private students each week from ages 4 to 90.