TakeLessons Rock Star Teacher of the Week: Andrew H.

Andrew HThis week’s Rock Star Teacher of the Week is the talented Andrew H. of Tampa, Florida!  A recent graduate of the University of Southern Florida with a degree in Music Composition, Andrew has been a TakeLessons instructor since July 2009 and has 10 continuing students with an average of 30 lessons per student – which just goes to show how much his students enjoy learning from him.  Andrew began studying piano at the age of 13, and now enjoys sharing his passion for music with his students.  In addition to piano, he also teaches singing, songwriting, music theory, opera, and theatrical Broadway singing.

Andrew’s versatility comes from his background performing and composing many different styles of music, including classical, opera, jazz and pop.  During his collegiate studies, Andrew fell in love with teaching music and has led several church youth choirs and other vocal groups, in addition to working with students one-on-one.  His lesson plans focus on learning fun repertoire that helps each student develop the techniques needed to become a better all-around musician.  Great job, Andrew – we are glad to have you working with us!

Introducing the TakeLessons Team: Meet Drew P.

Drew PAs one of our student counselors here at TakeLessons, Drew works with prospective students and parents every day to help them get started with music lessons!

How long have you worked at TakeLessons, and what do you like about working here?
I have been working with TakeLessons for just over 3 amazing months, and loving every minute of it!  I enjoy working here for several reasons: the staff is awesome, being able to set kids and adults up with music lessons is awesome, and TakeLessons as a whole entity is SUPER AWESOME!!!

What is your musical experience/background?
I have played drums by ear since age 4 (18 years now), as well as dabbling for several years in jazz piano, bass guitar, Latin percussion, steel drums, barbershop quartets, and songwriting. I have performed hundreds of shows for thousands of people in an eclectic range of settings.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Growing up, I wanted to be a dinosaur, but seeing as that’s not physically possible, I ended up getting into film production and music instead.

What are your activities outside of work?
I am always on the quest for infinite knowledge, and my creative outlet includes film and video projects, playing drums and percussion for a seven member Celtic pirate music band (The Dread Crew of Oddwood), asking a TON of questions about everything, exploring nature (biking, swimming, going to the beach, sailing, camping), and volunteering. I have worked and volunteered at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library in La Jolla, CA for the past 12 years.

What are one professional goal and one personal goal that you hope to achieve this year?
A professional goal of mine this year is to become a super awesome business person. I’ve transitioned from a freelancing business world into the corporate world, and it is a great and challenging (and, of course, rewarding) experience for me. A personal goal of mine is to really build up my own self to levels never achieved before!

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being myself, and accomplishing everything I’ve set my mind to up until this point. I wouldn’t change anything!

Check back every Friday for a new profile on one of our TakeLessons Team members!

Celebrate Memorial Day with a Special Offer from TakeLessons!

Memorial Day saleAs we mentioned last week, summer is quickly approaching, and this time of year is the perfect time to get started with music lessons.  To celebrate Memorial Day and kick off the summer, TakeLessons is offering a special ONE DAY ONLY Memorial Day promotion on May 31, 2010!

New students who call us on Monday, May 31 will receive 30% off a month’s worth of music or voice lessons from a TakeLessons Certified™ Teacher. This offer will only run for one day only, so you must act quickly to take advantage of this rockin’ deal.

Simply call us at 877-231-8505 and mention code “MEMDAY2010” to receive the special discount!  This offer is not currently available for online booking.  Lesson plan pricing will return to normal on June 1, 2010.

For complete details, visit /memorial-day-music-lessons.

Happy Memorial Day!

TakeLessons Rock Star Teacher of the Week: Faiona M.

FaionaMeet our latest Rock Star Teacher of the Week – Faiona M., who teaches in the Orlando, Florida area.  Faiona has been a TakeLessons Certified™ Instructor since August 2009, and specializes in the Suzuki Method, Kindermusik, Orff training, Music Therapy training, Broadway and opera training.  Her students describe her as “proactive” and “engaging,” and praise her ability to think outside the box when teaching.

Faiona’s approach to teaching centers on meeting each student’s goals and instilling them with the confidence, self esteem, and motivation necessary to reach their highest potential.  Her curriculum stems from various teaching methods in music education, music therapy, and music performance, which she adapts to the curriculum needed to succeed in various music programs in school settings and other venues.  Faiona is a true example of a Rock Star Teacher who strives to help her students reach the goals needed to excel and grow in their musical journeys – keep up the great work, Faiona!

Introducing the TakeLessons Team: Meet Nadia


Meet Nadia, our HR/Executive Assistant here at TakeLessons. Nadia handles new hire and interview paperwork, restocking office supplies, managing shipments, and just about everything in between!  She also works with our teachers to help them update their profiles with availability, pictures and videos.

What do you like about working at TakeLessons?
I love the freedom I have to be creative and innovative here. What I value most is the integrity of all of the people who work in the office. It’s incredibly inspiring to come into a company where each and every person is so passionate about their job, whether it’s IT work, customer service, or sales. It makes my job easier because I get to feed off everyone’s positive energy.

Where are you from originally?  What is your favorite thing about living in San Diego?
I was born and raised in Orange County and moved to San Diego to go to school at UCSD as a pre-med student. What I love about San Diego is all the opportunity it has offered me, from internships at top research institutes in the nation to a job here at TakeLessons. I could not have asked for a better place to call my home than San Diego.

What other activities do you participate in outside of work?
I am a full time, pre-med student at UCSD, double majoring in human biology and psychology. The fusion of these two is called behavioral psychology, and it has become my true passion. I love staying active, and go hiking and play volleyball. I also LOVE to cook and bake, and if you ever get to try my homemade cheesecake brownies, you will see that I’m pretty good at it too!

Do you have any musical experience or play any instruments?
The extent of my relationship with music is the relationship I have with lyrics. I live by music, anything from The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and Jefferson Airplane. What I find so amazing about artists is their ability to express what they feel through their music, and how closely I can relate to them. Music inspires me and moves me, so THANK YOU to all you artists out there!

Check back every Friday for a new profile on one of our TakeLessons Team members!

Have Some Fun with Music Lessons This Summer!

music noteThe arrival of the upcoming Memorial Day holiday signifies the unofficial beginning of summer, and also the end of the school year for many children across the country.  With school letting out, many parents are looking for fun yet educational summer activities to keep their children motivated and learning during the summer months.  Well, guess what – summer is the perfect time to get your children started in music lessons!

Between trips to the beach or pool, summer break provides an ideal time to learn a new instrument or enhance musical skills that your child has already started to develop during the school year.  Students will have more time to practice and focus on what they are learning during each lesson, so they can fully reap the benefits of taking music lessons.

Of course the fun isn’t limited just to kids – slower summer schedules also make this a great time for teens and adults to take music lessons.  In fact, to help you get started we’re kicking off the summer season with a HUGE promotion on Memorial Day – so mark your calendars now and visit the TakeLessons site and our Facebook page on Monday, May 31 to learn more about our special ONE DAY ONLY Memorial Day offer!

Trust us – you won’t want to miss this!

TakeLessons Rock Star Teacher of the Week: Kasey M.

Kasey MOur latest Rock Star Teacher of the Week is a wonderful example of  a teacher who goes above and beyond for her students and truly wants them to get the most out of their lessons – and the fact that she has 12 continuing students certainly shows how much they enjoy taking lessons with her!  Meet Kasey M. from Richardson, TX, who specializes in classical piano and vocal lessons, as well as beginner and intermediate music theory.  Kasey’s experience in music began at the age of five in her mother’s private piano studio and continued through college at Angelo State University where she studied Music Education.  Throughout her college years she participated in numerous praise and worship bands, and after completing her first CD, she was able to use the money from sales to travel to Washington State to do mission work for a summer.

Kasey describes herself as patient, fun and imaginative, and loves passing on the gift of music to anyone wanting to learn!  When teaching she believes that the student and teacher are a team and should work together to tailor lesson curriculum to fit each individual student’s needs and goals.  She also has a very impressive introductory video which gives potential students a feel for what lessons with her will be like.  Congratulations on all your accomplishments Kasey, and thanks for being such a great example for our TakeLessons teachers!

Introducing the TakeLessons Team: Meet Jason

Jason H

In our continuing series of TakeLessons team profiles, today we’re introducing you to Jason – one of the developers on our very talented tech team.  Originally from Folsom, CA, Jason has been part of the TakeLessons family for almost 3 years; during that time, he has worked on many development projects that have helped build our company website into what it is today.

How long have you worked at TakeLessons and what is a typical work day like for you?
I started at TakeLessons in August of 2007.  My typical day, well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late.  I use the side door, that way Lumbergh can’t see me…. oh wait, that’s Peter from Office Space’s day.  I start off my day with a cup of coffee and a tech team meeting.  We go through our tasks for the day so we all know what’s going on.  Then I’m usually working on developing out or designing new features or tests for the website.  Lately I’ve been working on some different projects that helps ensure TakeLessons is the best we can be.

What do you like about working here?
The people!  We’re all a great group of people with our own unique style, backgrounds and outlook on life.  But we all share a common passion of wanting to build something we’re proud of, that helps people who want to learn to play music!  How great is that?

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
My mom always joked that I’d be a singing airline pilot.  I did want to be a pilot, as well as an architect at one point.  My mom added the singing part in there because she wanted me to be a famous opera singer.

Do you have any musical experience or play any instruments?
I started taking singing and piano lessons in 5th grade, and continued until I graduated high school.  I was also in the Folsom High Jazz Choir, various college choirs, and an a capella choir in Santa Barbara called Canticle.  In college I fell in love with playing the cello.  Nowadays though, I just sing and play guitar to my plants.

What are your favorite things about living in San Diego?
The beach. The sun.  The ocean air.

What are your activities outside of work?
There’s life outside of work?  My dad just bought me a remote controlled airplane for my birthday.  So I guess that’s going to be one…until I crash it.  I’m also a sound engineer.  So when I have gigs, I enjoy being out at shows running sound and enjoying live music.  Otherwise, I just enjoy being outdoors.

What are one professional goal and one personal goal that you hope to achieve this year?
I want to be a leader in the tech department.  And I want to consistently go to the gym more than 3 times a week.

Check back every Friday for a new profile on one of our TakeLessons Team members!

NAMM Announces Best Communites for Music Education

BCMEThe National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) has revealed this year’s list of Best Communities for Music Education in the U.S.  The announcement was made during last week’s National Wanna Play Music Week celebration, an annual event which highlights the importance of music education programs in schools and promotes the benefits of playing music for people of all ages and skill levels.

This year’s survey recognizes a total of 174 school districts across 30 states for their commitment to providing music education for their students.  According to the NAMM Foundation, the “Best Communities” designation represents both a distinction worthy of pride and a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve their current music education programs.

Teachers and school district administrators participated in a web-based survey to select this year’s winners.  Districts were measured across curricular and programmatic criteria, as well as public support of their music programs.

The complete list of Best Communities appears below, and can also be viewed online at www.nammfoundation.org.

Abington School District Abington PA
Acalanes High School Lafayette CA
Albion Central School District Albion NY
Ann Arbor Public Schools Ann Arbor MI
Arlington Independent School District Arlington TX
Avon Lake City School District Avon Lake OH
Baldwinsville Central School District Baldwinsville NY
Baltimore County Public Schools Towson MD
Bay Shore Union Free School District Bay Shore NY
Bay Village City School District Bay Village OH
Beachwood City Schools Beachwood OH
Bedford Central School District Mount Kisco NY
Bedford Public Schools Temperance MI
Belmont Public Schools Belmont MA
Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School Franklin MA
Berea City School District Berea OH
Bergenfield Public Schools Bergenfield NJ
Bethel Public Schools Bethel CT
Boerne Independent School District Boerne TX
Boyertown Area School District Boyertown PA
Brighton Central School District Rochester NY
Canfield Local Schools Canfield OH
Central Cambria School District Ebensburg PA
Central York School District York PA
Chesapeake Public Schools Chesapeake VA
Cheshire Public Schools Cheshire CT
Clarence Central School Clarence NY
Clark County School District Las Vegas NV
Clarkstown Central School District New City NY
Clovis Municipal Schools Clovis NM
Cobb County School District Marietta GA
Colonial Elementary School Plymouth Meeting PA
Conestoga Valley School District Lancaster PA
Connetquot Central School District Bohemia NY
Cottonwood Elementary School Wright WY
Cumberland Valley School District Mechanicsburg PA
Cuyahoga Heights Local School District Cleveland OH
David Douglas School District 40 Portland OR
Decorah Community School District Decorah IA
Denton Independent School District Denton TX
Dover Area School District Dover PA
East Meadow Union Free School District Westbury NY
Edmonds School District Lynnwood WA
Ephrata Area School District Ephrata PA
Fargo Public Schools Fargo ND
Fayetteville-Manlius Central Schools Manlius NY
Fort Bend Independent School District Sugar Land TX
Fulton County Schools Atlanta GA
Gotha Middle School Windermere FL
Great Falls Public Schools Great Falls MT
Great Neck UFSD Great Neck NY
Greenwich Public Schools Greenwich CT
Guilderland Central School District Guilderland NY
Gwinnett County Public Schools Suwanee GA
Harford County Public Schools Bel Air MD
Henrico County Public Schools Richmond VA
Herricks Union Free School District No. 9 New Hyde Park NY
Hershey Middle School Hershey PA
Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools Woodmere NY
Hidalgo Independent School District Hidalgo TX
Hilliard City School District Hilliard OH
Hilton Central School District Hilton NY
Homewood City Schools Homewood AL
Honoka’a High and Intermediate School Honoka’a HI
Hopewell Valley Regional School District Pennington NJ
Hortonville Area School District Hortonville WI
Hudson School District Hudson WI
Huntsville Independent School District Huntsville TX
Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District Bedford TX
Independent School District 279 – Osseo Area Schools Maple Grove MN
Indiana Area School District Indiana PA
Irvine Unified School District Irvine CA
Island Trees Public Schools U.S.F.D. Levittown NY
Jenison Public Schools Jenison MI
Jericho Union Free School District Jericho NY
Johnson City Central School District Johnson City NY
Katy Independent School District Katy TX
Klein Independent School District Klein TX
Lawrence Township School District Lawrenceville NJ
Lee County Schools Opelika AL
LeRoy Central School LeRoy NY
Liverpool Central School District Liverpool NY
Longwood Central School District Yaphank NY
Loudoun County Public Schools Ashburn VA
Lower Merion School District Ardmore PA
Lynn Public Schools Lynn MA
Manhasset Public Schools Manhasset NY
Massapequa Union Free School District #23 Massapequa NY
Memphis City Schools Memphis TN
Metuchen Public Schools Metuchen NJ
Midway Independent School District Waco TX
Millard Public Schools Omaha NE
Milpitas High School Milpitas CA
Mineola Union Free School District Mineola NY
Montgomery County Public Schools Christiansburg VA
Monticello Central School District Monticello NY
Mount Lebanon School District Pittsburgh PA
Nanuet Union Free School District Nanuet NY
New Hartford Central School District New Hartford NY
Newfield Elementary School Newfield NY
Newtown Public Schools Newtown CT
North Allegheny School District Pittsburgh PA
North Babylon Union Free School District North Babylon NY
Northport East Northport Union Free School District Northport NY
Northwest Independent School District Justin TX
Northwestern Elementary New Tripoli PA
Nutley Public School District Nutley NJ
Oceanside Public School District Oceanside NY
Olmsted Falls City Schools Olmsted Falls OH
Open Door Christian Schools Elyria OH
Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School St. Johnsville NY
Osage County R-II Schools Linn MO
Paramus Board of Education Paramus NJ
Pasadena Independent School District Pasadena TX
Pasco School District #1 Pasco WA
Pendleton School District 16R Pendleton OR
Pennsbury School District Fairless Hills PA
Pequannock Township School District Pompton Plains NJ
Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools Perrysburg OH
Pine City Public Schools (Independent School District #578) Pine City MN
Pittsford Central School District Pittsford NY
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District Placentia CA
Plano Independent School District Plano TX
Plymouth Canton Educational Park Canton MI
Plymouth Community High School Plymouth IN
Port Jefferson School District Port Jefferson NY
Potsdam Central School District Potsdam NY
Princeton City Schools Cincinnati OH
Propel East Turtle Creek PA
Putnam Valley Central School District Putnam Valley NY
Quaker Valley School District Sewickley PA
Randolph Township School District Randolph NJ
Ridgewood Public Schools Ridgewood NJ
Roanoke County Public Schools Roanoke VA
Royalton-Hartland Central School District Middleport NY
Rush-Henrietta Central School District West Henrietta NY
San Diego Unified School District San Diego CA
Santa Monica-Malibu USD Santa Monica CA
Sayville Public Schools W Sayville NY
Scarsdale Public Schools Scarsdale NY
School District of La Crosse La Crosse WI
Shaker Heights City School District Shaker Heights OH
Shaw Visual and Performing Arts Elementary Saint Louis MO
Simsbury Public Schools Simsbury CT
South Huntington Union Free School District Huntington Station NY
Spokane Public Schools Spokane WA
State College Area School District State College PA
Stow-Munroe Falls City School District Stow OH
Syosset Central School District Syosset NY
The School Board of Polk County, Florida Bartow FL
The School District of Hillsborough County, Florida Tampa FL
The Sycamore Community School District Cincinnati OH
The Troy School District Troy MI
Torrington Public Schools Torrington CT
Township of Union Public Schools Union NJ
Trinity Area School District Washington PA
Virginia Beach City Public Schools Virginia Beach VA
Wappingers Central School District Wappingers Falls NY
Washington County Public Schools Hagerstown MD
Washoe County School District Reno NV
Wayland Public Schools Wayland MA
Webb Bridge Middle School Alpharetta GA
Webster Central School District Webster NY
West Genesee Central School District Camillus, NY
West Hartford Public Schools West Hartford CT
West Irondequoit Central School District Rochester NY
West Lafayette Community School Corporation West Lafayette IN
West Milford Township Public Schools West Milford NJ
Westborough Public Schools Westborough MA
Weston Public Schools Weston MA
Willard R-II Schools Willard MO
Williamsport Area School District Williamsport PA
Williamsville Central School District East Amherst NY
Woodside School Woodside CA

TakeLessons Rock Star Teacher of the Week: Lori L.

Lori LThis week’s Rock Star Teacher of the Week has been a performer since the age of four and a lifelong music student who now teaches piano, music theory, opera voice and theatrical Broadway singing!  Meet Lori L. from Somerville, MA, who has been a TakeLessons instructor since June 2009.  Described as patient, kind and smart by her students, Lori focuses on exercises that make practice both fun and productive, so her students learn to love music and their instruments while building confidence in their performance skills.

Lori also teaches voice for The Metropolitan Opera Guild as part of their Urban Voices program, and was recently selected to represent the Guild on the Music-In-Education National Consortium.  The Urban Voices program serves an important role by bringing choral music into urban schools in New York and Boston that are faced with a high level of poverty and lack the resources for music programs.  Outstanding work, Lori!