Cicero Performing Arts Classes

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Performing Arts Lesson Reviews from Students

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About Penny R.

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Wheaton, IL

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About Penny
ABOUT PENNY R.

I graduated from college in Virginia with a Bachelor of Music Education degree as a voice major, and minored in piano and violin. My teaching certificate was for vocal, instrumental and general music, grades K - 12, and I graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Graduate school brought me to Indiana, where I earned a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance. Migrating up to the Chicago area from there, I taught at a private music school (voice and small ensembles, as well as many faculty performances) before staying at home to raise our children, and teaching voice lessons privately in my Studio. After 30 years of teaching, I'm still at it, and I still love it!

I am a Permanent Professional member of Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA), a National Certified Teacher of Music with the Illinois State Music Teacher's Associ
ation (ISMTA), a member of the West Suburban Chapter of ISMTA, as well as a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing. Most of my students are high school aged, but I have taught from ages seven through 70. My students regularly achieve MTNA's Music Achievement Award, are selected for District Choir and All-State Choir, as well as receive leading roles in high school and community musicals.

PHILOSOPHY

I believe that singing does something to words which nothing else can--it puts feelings to music. Everyone has feelings, and everyone can be musical. Those who pursue their vocal education can be rewarded with confidence in their ability to sing. The goal of my Studio is to promote the study of music, and to create a musical environment at each lesson so that every person's individual potential can become realized - all while having fun!

My Studio provides a nurturing environment for all singers, from beginning to advanced, children to adults. I will help you develop and maintain your vocal health, expand your vocal range, and develop your musicianship. You will learn to integrate a coordinated process of breath, pitch and tone, while exploring your vocal potential in a wide range of contemporary and classic musical styles. Teaching proper vocal technique is my primary goal with every student: fixing what is being used incorrectly, and enhancing what is already done well. I will work with you on any style of repertoire you desire: classical, opera, Broadway, jazz, folk, etc. I love it when a student wants a variety of song! And if your music theory skills are weak, we'll take care of that, too!

LESSONS

Children eighth grade and younger should sign up for half hour lessons; students high school and older should sign up for 45 minute lessons.

I am so excited to share the joy of making music with my new TakeLessons students! We get right into breathing, first thing. Once that is right, we can turn our attention to what's going on with the throat and mouth. All the while, we are learning songs by which we can practice whatever we're working on in the exercises. Everybody's different, with different tensions, both proper and antagonistic. We isolate the muscular tensions that are interfering with your perfect sound, and go from there!

*** Lesson Details ***
Come prepared to make a lot of noises with which you don't normally sing! We will explore every sound you are capable of - there's something to learn from most of them! Obviously, we'll concentrate on the ones we really want to sing with, while using a myriad of vocal exercises.

My studio brochure will explain many of the nuts and bolts of our lessons, and any expectations regarding practicing, keyboard ability and access, and how we work home practice when you don't know how to play piano. Generally, we spend about half the lesson time on warm ups/exercises, and half the time on songs. Sometimes we memorize them; sometimes we polish them; sometimes we just learn them quickly and move on to new things. Each lesson is a little different, depending on what I'm hearing from you that day.

I'm always happy to help you with school/church solos, audition material, choral parts, etc. Otherwise, we will choose repertoire together, taking into account your goals and interests, along with what makes good teaching material. Come join the fun and make some music!

*** Studio Equipment ***
My basement rec room serves as my teaching studio, so there are stairs with which to contend. Parents may stay either in the studio, or up in my living room to wait. The fully equipped studio contains a piano, audio-visual equipment for recording and play back, music stands, stools, a comfortable couch, and even a sink for quick water drinks! (Singing can make you thirsty!)

*** Specialties ***
In my 30+ years of teaching private lessons, I've amassed quite a toolbox of eclectic musical resources. That said, I still find muscle manipulative exercises while vocalizing to be the quickest route for most students to have success in building their long term voice. So I utilize those techniques frequently. With proper, healthy vocal production, a student can sing in any genre they choose. I am very concerned about producing a healthy voice with a free tone, particularly for children, so that all students can go forward into whatever style they choose with good vocal production.
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Reviews
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Mark S. April 24, 2017
· Singing · In home
Penny is fun at the lessons and very encouraging. For an older man who never had any confidence in my voice, she is making me believe I can learn to sing out loud.
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Yelena March 15, 2017
· Singing · In home
Penny is an awesome vocal instructor! I had absolutely wonderful time taking lessons from her. She is very knowledgeable, skilled, kind and encouraging. I became much more confident and skilled after our lessons. I highly recommend Penny to anyone!
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Fatima February 27, 2017
· Singing · In studio
Mrs. Rosenwinkel was one of the best music instructors I've ever had, and hands down the best vocal coach. She incorporated just the right balance of vocal exercises and performance songs into our lessons so that I could strengthen my voice and broaden my range while keeping the lessons very engaging and enjoyable for me. She was always very encouraging and I learned so much from her. I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a voice teacher.
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Penny R.

Penny R.

Wheaton, IL 60187
(16)
starting at
$26.75 / 30-min

About Emily S.

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Chicago, IL

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About Emily
Emily Shankman has been teaching private lessons since 2005 and is currently available to teach lessons at her studio in Andersonville and online. Emily has helped students learn violin technique and musicality, achieve healthy vocal production and style, learn anatomy, posture and breathing technique, prepare and polish monologues and songs for a variety of different auditions, including college and professional level.

Emily received her training at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2013 where she received her MFA in Musical Theater. She also holds her B.M. in Vocal Performance from Lawrence University. As an expert in her field, Emily looks forward to helping new students achieve their goals. Emily's teaching style is energetic, warmly supportive, and most importantly, fun! She is passionate about helping others express themse
lves and take risks to push their artistic accomplishments to the next level! She looks forward to meeting you!
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Reviews
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Travis January 7, 2018
· Singing · In studio
Emily is a phenomenal instructor. Patient, well versed in just about any musical style, Emily's lessons brought my voice from virtually unlistanable to where I wanted to be, a confident, on key singer.
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Loretta May 7, 2017
· Musical Theater · In studio
Emily truly helps you to get a sense of who you are within your space. She understands that it is about more than just singing and acting, but telling a story. She guides with with a welcoming and warm personality. A delight to work with!
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Justin April 29, 2017
· Music Performance · In studio
Emily asks the right questions and helps guide you to giving your best and most authentic performance! Very knowledgable and a great teacher!
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Emily S.

Emily S.

Chicago, IL 60640
(3)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Veronica K.

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River Grove, IL

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About Veronica
I began my own piano studies at age 10 and voice studies at age 15. I have been teaching private piano and voice lessons for 11 years to students of many ages, backgrounds, and skill levels. I received my BA with a focus in music performance (piano and voice) from Columbia College Chicago.  I also received my MA in Community Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University.  With that combination of skills, I know how to teach music, pass on an appreciation for music, develop a rapport with students and families, and modify my teaching approach based on a student's most natural learning ability. My own music experience includes solo performance, ensemble/band performance, theater performance, and songwriting. I am currently in two bands, and I am developing a jazz and songwriting repertoire to perform as a solo vocalist/pianist.

***
Lesson Details ***
I am somewhere between strict and laid back. I definitely want my students to master the skills I teach them, but I don't have a timeline for mastery. I believe everyone learns at their own pace and in their own way. I encourage regular practicing, but I also encourage practicing in moderation in order to avoid burn-out. I use a variety of curriculum depending on the student's musical ability, age, instrument (piano or voice), and musical goals. I do recommend that students under 10 years of age who are interested in voice lessons also study piano, as piano will give students a more thorough music awareness/education.

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a microphone, sound system, baby grand piano, and electric piano in my home studio. I also have many, many music books.

*** Specialties ***
I can teach all styles of piano and all contemporary styles of voice, beginner to intermediate/advanced. I can also teach self-accompaniment skills (playing piano while singing) to more intermediate/advanced students who are interested in focusing on that.

When I teach any beginners in piano, I always use method books. I also reference some method books to help my beginning voice students understand the mechanisms going on in their body, but I mostly choose vocal songs that are appropriate for the student's ability and goals. With more advanced students, I tend to pick more challenging pieces, or I help them work on the pieces they bring to me.
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Reviews
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scott meyer January 15, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Wonderful teaching pro.
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Zerrin B. October 4, 2013
· Piano ·
Outstanding Piano instruction!

My son has taken piano lessons from Ms. Kott for over 3 years now, and we cannot say enough about her. She is that rare combination of encouraging, enthusiastic, yet serious teacher that you hope to find for your child. Not only has our son learned the basics, he has also learned theory along the way. She is reliable, relatable, and a great gauge of their personalities. I would, and do recommend her to everyone. In fact, this year my younger son has started lessons too! If you'd like a teacher who will help your child learn in a supportive, encouraging, yet professional environment, Ms. Kott is the perfect teacher for you.
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Veronica K.

Veronica K.

River Grove, IL 60171
(2)
starting at
$33.50 / 30-min

About Natalie S.

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Evanston, IL
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About Natalie
Hi there! Thank you for taking the time to check out my teaching profile!

Note: I work as the program director for a park district in south Evanston and am required to have a federal background check on file. Please let me know if you would like a copy and I will happily forward it to you!

A bit about me:
I am a working Chicago actress originally from Indianapolis, IN. I graduated from Ball State University with a B.A. in Acting. For three years I lived in Los Angeles pursuing opportunities in film and television. I am a member of SAG/AFTRA and with the help of my agents and manager, I worked on many t.v. shows including Numbers, Commander and Chief and McBride (starring John Larroquette). After realizing how much I missed being on stage, I moved to New York City. I spent two years performing off Broadway before finally landing i
n Chicago to attend graduate school. In 2013, I earned my M.F.A. in Acting from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Currently, I am the Director of New Works with The Arc Theatre . Additionally, I direct plays for other prominent theatre companies in the city. I am capable of teaching a variety of theatre skills, including classical techniques, performance of literature and speaking voice.

A bit about you:
YOU are a new actor, an experienced actor or "getting-back-into-the-swing-of-it" actor. YOU need help with an upcoming camera or theatre audition, choosing new monologues, developing a script, exploring different techniques, or understanding this fantastic business.

YOU are excited, scared and most importantly READY TO DIVE IN!

I am here for YOU!

*** Lesson Details ***
I am extremely laid back and open to trying new things. In a lesson, you can expect to bravely explore the world of acting in a safe, nurturing environment. I believe in the "YES" philosophy- anything is possible and everything is valid in developing a creative life. There are no wrong answers! Just millions of GOOD questions. Acting is DOING and through trial error, anyone with the drive and determination can be a successful performer. I will instill the confidence and skills you need to take the next step in your acting career- whatever that may be!

*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a growing library of books on acting, auditioning and play scripts. I am happy to loan you material and use any of my resources to further your learning.

*** Travel Equipment ***
We can both provide music, books and props as needed.

*** Specialties ***
Shakespeare, Contemporary, Film, Dialects
*Linklater-Trained
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Reviews
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David S. February 3, 2014
· Acting ·
The warmest teacher around

Natalie helped me with monologues for audition season this year and it's made all the difference! I feel more confident in the product I'm putting out there and more comfortable in the moment of the audition. She has a unique ability to be both creatively nurturing and extremely effective. She'll always be my go to acting coach!
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Jorge N. February 3, 2014
· Speaking Voice ·
Very helpful

I needed help with projecting and emoting with my voice for a reality TV shoot. Natalie was very helpful in teaching techniques to connect my breath and voice, relax and eliminate tension, and thoroughly warm up. These were very helpful. I went from being anxious on camera to having fun and looking forward to more. Highly recommended!
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Thomas M. February 2, 2014
· Acting ·
Supportive and dynamic acting coach!

Natalie coached me on my monologue for a grad school audition, and she was wonderfully responsive. She cultivates a teaching environment of comfort and productivity right from the start with a full vocal and physical warm-up. When I began working with my prepared piece, I felt relaxed and supported. Natalie's suggestions were growth-oriented and ensured my performance communicated a meaningful journey. Her follow-up emails after each session built upon the work done in studio with reminders and actionable tactics.
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Natalie S.

Natalie S.

Evanston, IL 60202
(3)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Margo L.

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Chicago, IL

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About Margo
Are you ready to fall in love with your voice? Are you ready for something different? If your voice isn’t becoming to you, YOU should be coming to ME!

I know what it's like to be frustrated with boring exercises and processes that seem to take a lot of time but yield no results. That's why I decided to teach: DIFFERENTLY!

I've invested a lot of time, energy, emotion and $$$ on big-name schools and "experts", to only be disappointed with what I was taught because a lot of the information or techniques the assigned simply didn't apply to me or my goals.

I make sure that my students are not disappointed and I offer GUARANTEED RESULTS and a lot of fun!

I have been the private vocal coach for multiple contestants on American Idol, America's Got Talent, The Voice and several other vocal competitions spanning over 10 countries
. I also train business owners, salespeople and those who are simply terrified to present themselves in the art of public speaking.

This is NOT your average coaching session! This is for those who are ready to finally overcome the world’s #1 fear: PUBLIC PERFORMANCE.
Get ready to present yourself, business, product or service with confidence, personality and effectiveness.

My lighthearted and humorous approach to seemingly stressful situations, especially in the public performance sector, have made me a highly sought-after coach for one-on-one and group training.

My approach is designed to train and condition the entire body as an instrument, not just the oral portion of the voice. My 5-octave vocal range allows me to easily instruct my students in developing their whistle register (see special pricing for whistle training). I have been trained in (and teach) Classical, Appoggio, jazz/improv, Seth Riggs' speech-level singing and other methodologies of singing and speaking.

My method of assessing and meeting the needs of each student enables me to assist them in bringing out the very best in their capabilities. If you desire quality, effectiveness and noticeable improvement in your singing, writing, public speaking or overall performance, I am the coach for you!
Whether you are a beginner or professional, I make sure that you are comfortable and have a great time while learning. I am flexible with your needs so feel free to let me know what you want from your lessons and we can work towards your goal to your satisfaction.

Not only am I a coach, I’m a professional singer and public speaker, so I utilize and perfect my own techniques on a regular basis. I have the privilege of being a classically-trained pianist and vocalist, having studied at Sherwood Conservatory of Music, Vandercook College of Music, The Second City, University of Chicago, ETA Performing Arts Center and many other fine institutions.

Children love working with me because I make learning fun and they have a high retention rate of the techniques that I teach them. I am easygoing, funny and offer a minimalist, casual and relaxed environment for everyone. My adult students have a blast because our lessons feel more like a friendly visit with lighthearted humor.

*** Specialties ***
Pitch Correction
Whistle Register Development
Vocal Physiology
Overcoming Performance Anxiety
Accent Reduction
Repertoire Selection
Concert and Competition Preparation
Public Speaking
Physical Maintenance of the Vocal Instrument
Overcoming Speech Impediments
Stage Movement
Studio Recording Techniques
Songwriting
Image Development
Vocal Range Enhancement
Post-surgical re-immersion
Students with autism, down syndrome and speech impediments

Group classes are also available.

*** Lesson Details ***
Each lesson is tailor-made to suit the student's individual needs. Custom action plan will be given to each student on a case-by-case basis. No instruments are used in my lessons, as I train the voice to be a standalone instrument. However, if you would like to accompany yourself with a guitar, piano or percussion instrument, you are very welcome to do so.

I am available 24 hours a day for online coaching and as early as 6:00 am CST for in-person sessions.

*Please note that 15-minute sessions are ONLY available online. In-person sessions must be a minimum of 30 minutes. 31 and 61-minute sessions are ONLY for whistle register training.

Online Disclaimer:
When choosing online lessons, please make sure that your system is functioning properly, that you know how to use the platform, that you have a good internet connection and that you are logged in on time, as no concessions will be made for time used due to technical difficulties.

Timing Disclaimer:
Our time together is very valuable. If you are not on time for your session, the missed portion will not be made up at the end of the session. If I am not on time, I will make up the missed portion at the end of the session or alternate agreed-upon time. No exceptions or make-up sessions will be made for illness, weather, transportation issues (including car trouble), or any other short-notice reason. Rescheduled lessons must be made a minimum of 48 hours in advance and must be made up within the calendar week of the original lesson. If it is not made up within that week, it will still count as a paid session and cannot be made up at a later time.
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Reviews
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Bridget B. August 18, 2017
· Speaking Voice · Online
I have been working with Margo for several months. She has helped me tackle some of my public speaking challenges with creative exercises. She is an awesome coach that builds up confidence in her students with each lesson. I high recommend Margo for any of your speaking or voical training needs. Margo is an expert in her craft and passionate about helping others.
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Kara April 22, 2017
· Singing · In home
I was very impressed with her. I know she will help my daughter achieve her goals.
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Hessie D. February 7, 2017
· Singing · In home
My first lesson today with Margo was great!!!
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Margo L.

Margo L.

Chicago, IL 60628
(32)
starting at
$19.99 / 15-min
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About John C.

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Chicago, IL
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About John
"Personal Attention You Need & Deserve!"

With over 20 years of television, voice-over, film, stage, runway, voice, musical theater, modeling and 'live' hosting in the U.S. and Canada. John achieved success in Los Angeles landing roles on: Days Of Our Lives, General Hospital, Young & The Restless, Ocean's Thirteen, Meet Dave and many other shows! John C.
...
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John C.

John C.

Chicago, IL 60608
starting at
$40 / 45-min

About Monica S.

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Harwood Heights, IL

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About Monica
I have at least a little experience in everything performance related. You name it - chances are I've done it! The two areas I have the most experience teaching though are acting / audition coaching (I've been teaching this on and off for over 10 years), and vocal coaching / singing lessons.

While I am a highly trained singer that can sing anything: Pop, Rock, Church Songs, Broadway, Opera, etc. - I am NOT the best accompanist. As long as you are fine working on songs with a pre-recorded accompaniment track, or a capella - I'm the teacher for you!

I'm also lucky enough to be a successful working actor and have been a paid musical theatre performer in the Chicago-land area for the past 13 years. That being said, I will occasionally have auditions or rehearsals. Because of this, I try to keep my prices affordable in exchang
e for a flexible teaching schedule. For more information on the roles I have played and theatres I have worked with - please visit my website for my resume: www.MonicaSzaflik.com

I'm also a former cast member of Walt Disney World and am a skilled puppeteer. I'm a funny / nerdy / silly teacher, so all levels of students will feel welcome. I look forward to teaching you! :)
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Reviews
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Rod M. February 13, 2018
· Vocal Training · In studio
Monica is an excellent instructor. She makes you immediately feel at ease with her patient and friendly approach to singing. She encourages input, and she tailors her lessons to the individual. I’ve only had one lesson, but I learned quite a lot in one hour. Monica is awesome!
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Dan D. November 11, 2017
· Broadway Singing · In home
Great lessons! Monica has really helped me realize my strengths, as well as to know what I need to work on. She is fun, friendly, and a great singer with tons of knowledge and experience to back up her talent. Highly recommended!
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Cayla B. April 23, 2017
· Broadway Singing · In studio
Great instructor!
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Monica S.

Monica S.

Harwood Heights, IL 60706
(7)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About MissG M.

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Chicago, IL

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About Gisselle
***CURRENTLY LOCATED IN CHICAGO***

MissG was born and raised in New York City. She has received training in NYCs prestigious Broadway Dance Center and Steps, among others. In 2004 she founded Alight Movement and has already made a mark within the dance community through events, dance competitions, shows and workshop tours. They were recently seen on BET's 106 and Park, where some of MissG's choreography was displayed.

MissG has recently relocated to Chicago from Florida. She has choreographed and performed as a backup dancer for various local venues in South Florida including television shows and music videos. Her most recent sighting is in Step Up Revolution. Her choreography was also recently seen on BET's Spring Bling Invitational Showcase in Venice Beach,CA. She has trained artists in development for major recording companies an
d continues to inspire her students, from all walks of life, to aim high in their endeavors. One of MissG’s students, artist Joselyn Rivera, appeared on the third season of The Voice.
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Reviews
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Cheryl Tingey January 22, 2018
· Hip Hop Dance · Online
Great Lady with the heart of a teacher-- Thanks Miss G for showing me the fluid moves,
Cheryl :)
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Cheryl Tingey January 3, 2018
· Hip Hop Dance · Online
Excellent Teacher- thanks so Much Miss G... this is going to be fun (and the dreaded E word --Exercise :) ) Her moves are fluid and she goes at the student's pace (thank goodness) -- Cheryl :)
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DAvid October 9, 2017
· Hip Hop Dance · Online
First lesson as went as hoped and expected. Very helpful. Good pace. Learned a lot. Looking forward to next lesson.
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MissG M.

MissG M.

Chicago, IL 60625
(16)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Josh L.

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Chicago, IL

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About Josh
Hi, there! My name is Josh, and I can't wait to meet you! I am fairly new to private teaching and am looking forward to helping my students get a good solid start with either piano, or improvised theatre. I studied theatre in Philadelphia at the University of the Arts, and I trained at the IO theatre in Chicago for improvised theatre. I studied jazz piano with Dr. Joe Utterback in Stratford, CT. I've been performing in Chicago as an improvisor and mucisian for about 4 years. I'm a relaxed and friendly person and my teaching style is very much based on what you want to accomplish, though I'd be happy to make suggestions. I really look forward to helping you reach your goals!

Best!

Josh L.
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Reviews
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Charlie M. November 30, 2017
· Piano · In home
My 10-year old son Charlie had a great first lesson with Josh. He accomplished a lot in his session and Charlie is excited for the next lessons. Josh is very patient and kind.
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Alexa July 18, 2016
· Piano · In home
Alexa was excited to take lessons with Josh and really enjoyed them!
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David March 19, 2016
· Piano · In home
Josh was very helpful for a beginner like myself. He got me started on my path.
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Josh L.

Josh L.

Chicago, IL 60645
(8)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Vicki P.

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Highland, IN
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About Vicki
Vicki Pastore earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Roosevelt University in Chicago with a piano/vocal emphasis and a specialty in the field of piano pedagogy.

Vicki has over thirty five years of performing and teaching experience in the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana areas. Her experience includes accompanying and directing musical theater productions, choirs, instrumentalists, and vocal soloists in school, church, and community settings.

Vicki especially likes helping students prepare for exams, auditions, and performances. It gives her great joy to watch students perform well, succeed, achieve their goals, and live their dreams.

Mrs. Pastore is comfortable working with students of all ages and levels. She is personable, friendly, upbeat, exciting, positive, and patient. You can tell that she loves teachi
ng and performing.
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Bailee C. October 24, 2016
· Singing · In home
Vicki is great. Very helpful. Extremely please to in instructing a novice singer!
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Abel October 23, 2016
· Classical Piano · In studio
Enjoyed my first lesson.
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Kyrie September 3, 2016
· Piano · In studio
Great teacher!
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Vicki P.

Vicki P.

Highland, IN 46322
(3)
starting at
$20 / 40-min

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Do you love dance, but aren't sure if you're mentally or physically prepared to devote years toward becoming a professional dancer? Dance is a fun, creative, and even life-changing hobby, but it can be even more than that. No matter what your academic interests, you can find a job that harnesses your love for the stage. In reality, ballet companies and other dance troupes only make up a tiny, elite percentage of dance-related employment opportunities. You might be surprised at the volume and va
Introduction to Voice Acting: Books & Resources to Check Out
When it comes to the performing arts, voice acting attracts some of the most fiercely dedicated enthusiasts, despite the relative anonymity compared to acting on stage or on screen. In the old days, radio dramas were the most common inspiration for aspiring voice actors. Today, it’s animation. The key component of voice acting, even more than secrecy and seclusion, is versatility. An in-demand voice actor may be called upon to provide the pipes for a cartoon rabbit in a kid's show on Friday, a
3 Ways to Overcome Shakespearean Intimidation on Stage
Most people are familiar with the storylines of famous Shakespeare plays like Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet - but when you're actually looking at the scripts, sometimes it can feel like you're reading another language! To combat this, here are some tips from Baltimore acting teacher Larry P...   Finally got that audition or that part? The one in the Shakespeare play? Suddenly overrun by the worry that the language will be too much? Confidence that has never left you before suddenly

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