Indianapolis Music Performance Lessons

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Popular Music Performance Teachers near Indianapolis

Check out some of our most popular teachers near Indianapolis including Mccordsville, New Palestine, Greenwood, Beech Grove and West Newton.

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About Todd L.

Cicero, IN
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Emphasis on what makes a performance with effort to show a good performance with proper technique and etiquette.

About Todd
Music is my life, and is something that I want to share with others! Because of that, I try my best to give positive experiences to all of my students. I have a byline that says "Music is Much More than Just Learning Notes." I believe that! Anyone can learn notes, fingerings, etc. What I try to do is add that "soul" element that each person has and cultivate that into meaningful music!

So, with all that said, here's what I try to instill:

A lesson is a place to share! I listen to students as well as teach. We all have something we can learn from each other!

While I want lesso
ns to be fun and informative, I strive for complete understanding, which means any student will gain the needed mechanics with complete knowledge of why things happen and what they do to and for music. From there, I attempt to teach the "soul" of music and how emotion and spirit play a huge part in memorable music.

I don't believe in brow-beating, but I also don't want to pass over things. I don't believe practice makes perfect, but I do believe practice increases awareness!

I really try hard to help students move beyond the notes on the page. We may listen to music and describe how it makes us feel, or paint pictures both physical and mental of what the music is showing us. That is where I see the soul stepping in.

My Education

As stated before, I started on a little Magnus Organ. My grandmother told me years later that I would listen to television jingles and then try to play them on the organ!

Once we settled in our permanent home, my parents brought home a piano and I began working first with Robert Warnick, a local music teacher in the schools. He taught scales and chords. Then, Midge Bishop took me through John Thompson Grade 3, but then had to move away. Finally, I studied under Victoria Hope, lasting 13 years until I went on to college. She taught me the fine art of piano by continually challenging me to approach each piece as an artwork. She had me use the music to paint the picture. Naturally, the element of the soul came through as I put color to music.

My Experience

Throughout my elementary through high school days, I immersed myself in band, choir and drama. I played piano at church starting very young. I then began trombone in the band during 4th grade. Upon entering high school, I joined choir and participated in marching band, concert band, pep band and jazz band. During those years, I picked up the rest of the brass instruments as needed by my band director. In choir, I excelled both in voice and on piano through accompaniment. Later in high school, I joined up with the drama department where we ultimately had the opportunity to write our own musical. By the time I entered college, I had mastered all the brass instruments, piano and snare drum.

During college, I participated in the marching band, wind ensemble, jazz band, pep band, trombone choir, several pit orchestras, and the symphony orchestra. I also participated in the choir.

Since that time, I have mastered the woodwinds, organ, drum set guitar and bass guitar and a little violin. I have over 25 years experience teaching lessons. They occurred off and on throughout my younger days.

Subjects Taught

Private lessons on all instruments and voices, Music Theory, Music History, Art History, Architectural History, Acting, set building, lighting and sound.


Piano, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Baritone, Tuba, Voice, alto and tenor saxophone, percussion

Formal Education

1984-89 Bachelor of Science in K-12 Music Education
(Choral, Instrumental and General)
Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

1991-95 Master of Divinity in Theology and Ministry
Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana

Ages Taught

5 through 114 (I haven't seen anyone older, have you?) I believe it is a good idea that a child can read the written word. Reading music occurs in similar ways.

*** Lesson Details ***
I ask lots of questions so I can get to know you better. This is also an opportunity for you ask questions of me. At the beginning, I encourage parents to attend so they can see what these lessons entail. I give you assignments to work with and then you play them for me to receive praise and constructive suggestions. I also try to challenge my students to move beyond the normal curriculum to play other things that interest them.

Depending on the instrument and the experience you have helps me determine what curriculum I want to use. Again, I cater my lessons to the needs you have and by how you like to learn!

After 3 to 6 mos, I hope you have a good working knowledge of how music works and are now moving into intermediate level work. However, each student is different and work a different speeds. My main goal is for you to feel successful whenever you leave my studio!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Baby Grand Piano, electronic Keyboard, Drum Set, Snare Drum
RON September 1, 2016
Verified Student · Singing · In studio
Most excellent !
Aaron C. December 15, 2015
Verified Student · Tuba · In studio
great teacher! Easy to work with!
Pat October 26, 2015
· Piano · In home
Knowledgeable, easy to work with fun!
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Todd L.

Todd L.

Cicero, IN 46034
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About James L.

Indianapolis, IN
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As a successful pianist who has completed tours of new music as well as maintained active status in the local jazz and classical scene, I help students prepare for live events as well as develop greater skills at conquering performance anxieties.

About James
My journey with the piano began when I was 8 years old, learning first by ear, then embarking on formal lessons with the classics, particularly enjoying Beethoven and Scott Joplin. I use my experience in beginning lessons as a reference point for my lesson plans with my students. I dedicate my time towards learning each individual's strengths and encouraging a lesson plan that incorporates the fundamentals of applied music theory and tailored repertoire which aims to keep the art of musical growth fun and expressive.

Recently completing my Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Un
iversity of Indianapolis in 2016, I have studied piano most recently with renowned pianist Dr. Richard Ratliff, and composition most recently with former William Bolcom protege Dr. John Berners. Former piano teachers include Eugenio Urritia-Borlando in Indianapolis and Dr. Mary Humm in Dallas, TX. Invaluable masterclasses which I have attended include from the notable pianists Beatrice Rana, Keun-A Lee, Ellen Zwilich, and David Gomper.

My performance background includes most recently maintaining a consistent commitment of free-lance work as a classical and jazz pianist, as well as commissioned composer. I have been toured successfully premiering Michael Schelle's solo piano masterwork "Straight, No Lithium", including performances at University of Indianapolis' Ruth Lilly Hall, Clarke University in Dubuque, Iowa, Butler University's Edison-Duckwall Recital Hall, and most notably Symphony Space in New York, where I first premiered the work in June 2012. Professional reviews by New York Times' Allan Kozin and the Indianapolis Star's Jay Harvey have lauded performances as "energetic, introspective, eccentric, brash, and assertive" and played with "astonishing vigor and panache...a delightful result." Along with maintaining an active interest in new music and local contemporary art music, my playing continues to be in demand from composers such as graduate students at Butler University. As a jazz pianist, I have played with musicians such as Nick Tucker, Kenny Phelps, Freddie Mendoza, Sean Imboden, and Sophie Faught, and remain an active force in the local jazz scene.

Through my experience and my passion for teaching, my lessons aim towards creating a sense of freedom at the instrument while learning the fundamental concepts of proper piano technique. Instead of just learning the notes, I encourage students to mix their technique with their expressive and interpretive abilities in order to develop a higher sense of playing the instrument. One of my greatest joys is watching my students develop their own unique creativity and reach their personalized goals. In this way, my students can conquer the techniques and the spirit essential to becoming a great musician!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Music Studio in my home includes a Kawai MP6, a professionally crafted keyboard for the concert pianist. I live in an apartment on the Southside of Indianapolis, right off campus from the University of Indianapolis.

*** Specialties ***
Piano Performance, technique, music composition, song-writing, music theory, jazz theory/improvisation/composition
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James L.

James L.

Indianapolis, IN 46227
starting at
$25 / 30-min

About Jay E.

Indianapolis, IN

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Performance anxiety is something that many musicians deal with to some degree. I am great with helping my students overcome many of the common fears associated with performing, having overcome many of them myself!

About Jay
My musical journey began the with piano at the age of seven. I took regular lesson all the way through high school, eventually performing works such as Gershwin Etudes, Chopin Waltzes, Debussy Arabesques, and Beethoven Piano Sonatas. My trumpet performing started in 1993 and continues, having earned two degrees in trumpet performance, and performed with groups such as the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra and Lone Star Wind Orchestra.

I have been teaching privately for 14 years. For eight years, I had a studio of around 50 students in the Dallas area where my students have performed at eve
nts such as the state solo and ensemble contest in Austin, and in groups such as the Texas All State Band, and Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra to name a few. I relocated to Indianapolis in 2015, and have enjoyed teaching lessons through Fall Creek Vally Middle School and Paige's Music. Through the years I have learned to adjust my teaching technique to match each individual, whether it be the music difficulty, learning pace, or musical genre preference. I have taught trumpet students of all ages and abilities, as well as beginning and intermediate piano and french horn. I look forward to helping you make beautiful music on your instrument!

My teaching philosophy

Private lessons are a one on one experience that give students guidance on their specific musical needs. Rather than only working on pieces for un upcoming audition or competition, I emphasize working on a variety of repertoire that will improve all aspects of one’s musicianship. Lessons are not a weekly practice or coaching session, but rather a time for me to help students with what they have already been practicing. More specifically, I help with embouchure formation, tone production, note reading, practice technique, musical phrasing, breathing, performance anxiety, rhythm, music theory, bad habits, or anything that will help the student make better music in the long term. I also frequently provide musical examples and inspiration by playing for my students.

Lesson Policies

Students are required to practice a minimum of fifteen to forty-five minutes per day (depending on the student’s age), six days per week.

Students are responsible for purchasing their own lesson materials, such as books, valve oil, metronome, etc. Piano students must also have a well maintained piano to practice on. High quality electric keyboards with 88 keys, weighted and touch sensitive, are acceptable.

I have a 24-hour lesson rescheduling policy. If a student fails to provide notice via phone, text or email at least 24 hours prior to the starting time of the lesson, or misses a lesson unannounced, they will be charged for the full lesson cost. If adequate notification is given, the lesson will be made up at a later date. Lessons MAY NOT BE MISSED WITHOUT MAKEUP. I do, however, allow students to miss lessons without makeup during the months of November (up to one lesson), December and August (up to two lessons each month) and July (no limit), and one lesson for spring break.

With rare exception, all of my students take weekly lessons. Students who keep a regular, weekly schedule improve at a far better pace than those who miss frequently.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Baldwin upright piano
Clavinova keyboard with weighted keys

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide no equipment

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical, jazz, and commercial, having experience in all three areas. I teach a lot of ear training and music theory regardless of the instrument.
Juwan F. February 12, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
Very patient and encouraging to my son.
Calie R. January 25, 2017
Verified Student · Piano · In home
Jay did a very good job of comminicating with my twelve-year-old daughter on her level. He kept her first lesson simple, yet did not talk down to her.
Lukas G. September 24, 2016
Verified Student · Trumpet · In home
Thanks Jay! All is going well and the lessons are certainly improving his skills!
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Jay E.

Jay E.

Indianapolis, IN 46220
starting at
$31 / 30-min

About Alex J.

Indianapolis, IN

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Anytime time I give a student a solo to work on, I always take the approach as if they are going to perform it. Even they are not, I still like to take this approach so that when they are preparing for a performance, they know what to do.

About Alex
Alex was born May 31, 1987. Since both of his parents were band directors, he grew up in a very musically inclined family. When he was 15 years old, during his freshman year of high school, he started studying percussion. A year later he began studying under Chad Kohler and continued to do so until 2009. During spring semester of 2009 he studied briefly under Richard Walker at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). In the fall of that year he then transferred to Butler University for an academic year and studied under Craig Hetrick and Jon Crabiel.

Beginning in 2011 Alex
began studying attending University of Indianapolis and is currently studying under Paul Berns as well as Art Reiner. In addition to studying with them he has also went back to continue to study with his mentor Chad Kohler. In the time since Alex graduated high school, he has been continuously presented with teaching opportunities. At the time, though, music was not looking like the best course of action for him. With the aid of Chad Kohler, Alex then began getting more involved with teaching percussion. Alex eventually went on to arranging his own parts for his students, as well as composing original percussion ensemble pieces. Alex is currently pursuing his Master's Degree in Music Technology at IUPUI.

In the time since he has been out of high school, he has taught at a number of schools including the Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center, North Putnam Jr./Sr. High School, Broad Ripple Magnet School for the Arts & Humanities, and Lawrence Central. He has also taught at Arlington High School and Short Ridge High School.

When it comes to teaching music, what is known to be as the “Holy Trinity” comes to mind. While teaching I personally believe that it is important to challenge students just enough so that they are not discouraged and are still able to have fun.

The Holy Trinity plays a big role in this. What it consists of is embracing your students from all angles. This would be from ensembles and private lessons, which in turn then encourage them to practice. Ensemble, private lessons, and practicing are the three main categories that make up the “Holy Trinity.” And in using this, you can also be more involved with your students as well. It is always a good idea be friend your students as well and not just be the “teacher.” There is a great quote that goes like this, “They will never care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.” In which case has been proven to be very true time and time again.

It is important as a teacher to be able to inspire your students and to encourage them. Which is why I think it is important to be a good friend as well to your students. This way a kind of trust is formed and in turn can easily lead to the success of a music program. Also I do believe that it is important to expose students to as many forms of music as possible. This way they are not just stuck in one kind of mind set and if they choose to go into music for their career, then they have many different experiences they can pull and relate from. Plus they will also have some more knowledge of different cultures and music genres that can help not only create better music but also be more overall worldly in their personal life out side of music. Being able to learn about music is very important, and can easily impact a student’s life in many different ways that most subjects just do not have the capability to. This is what I believe about learning music and why I also love to teach it. I want my students to be able to have all the same great experiences I have had and more. Which is why I personally believe so heavily in a good music education.

*** Lesson Details ***
Although the approach to teaching that I use comes across as being pretty laid back, I do expect what some might consider to be a lot out of my students. This is because I want to make sure that my students will be successful as musicians.

While a student is studying with me; they will learn about percussion from multiple angles. They will learn and be able to understand many basic music theory terms and principles. They will also learn how each percussion instrument is tied to one another in technique and how to easily transition from instrument to instrument.

Depending on the age of the student, after about three months of studying with me, the student will know a few major scales, most of the standard American rudiments, and some basic drum set concepts. After 6 months, the student will know all 12 major scales, be familiar with all 40 snare drum rudiments, and know a good portion of basic drum set.

Please keep in mind that results may vary depending on the age of the student and the amount of practicing they do on their own. Results also depend upon whether or not they are practicing correctly, which is something they will also learn how to do with me.

*** Studio Equipment ***
In-studio lessons in basement with acoustic drum set. Street parking or drive way. Seating available for parents.

Lessons at the High School will be in the band room with their equipment.

*** Specialties ***
I mostly specialize in marching percussion as well as 2 and 4 mallet percussion.
Cindy G. February 12, 2014
Verified Student · Drum ·
Great with children

Alex is great with my 7 year-old son! David has already shown improvement in concentration at school, thanks to Alex!
MacKenzie M. May 14, 2013
· Percussion ·

Always challenging and keeps me informed about stuff that I need to know. Always relates things to other areas of percussion. Is really funny and nice. Always keeps me interested in what is going on during the lesson.
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Alex J.

Alex J.

Indianapolis, IN 46236
starting at
$20 / 30-min

About Josh L.

Indianapolis, IN

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I teach singers of all genres (country, classical, pop, bluegrass, rock…) to sing with confidence and freedom!

I teach an open throat technique (appoggio) that allows the singer to sing with freedom, and access their entire range evenly. I also work with students to develop style, interpretation, languages, and acting ability.

About Josh
I am a professional singer, pianist, songwriter, and recording artist. I graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelors of Music, specifically voice.

Voice students can expect to improve week to week in their vocal technique. Every voice has a unique timbre; I teach students to release built up tension and apply foundational techniques in order to unlock their own individual sound. I can help any student to sing with freedom, confidence, and expression.

I teach piano students of all different ages and experience levels. I studied classical piano for 16 years, and contempora
ry keyboard for 7 of those. I can teach students to read music and pursue classical excellence, to learn how to play contemporary music using chord sheets, or both depending on the goals and preference of the student.

As a professional recording artist I frequently take trips to Nashville for co-writing, recording, and meeting with record labels. I have written with well-known writers like Mia Fieldes from Hillsong, Tony Wood from Provident Label Group, Stu G from Delirious?, and Jon Steingard from Hawk Nelson. I love to mentor students who want to become effective, dynamic songwriters.

My personal passion is contemporary music but I firmly believe that great technique is essential to any and every style. I look forward to meeting you and helping you to become a better musician!
Jill Ramos December 22, 2016
Verified Student · Piano · In studio
Absolutely fantastic educator. Josh positively and energetically instructs each and every lesson. His musical knowledge base, as well as sheer talent, is impressive, and he readily shares this with his students. My 12-year old daughter has greatly improved from his piano tutelage in the last 18 months. I would recommend Josh Lavendar to everyone of all ages.
Cortnie December 22, 2016
· Songwriting · Online
Josh is a fantastic teacher. I learned so much from him and I highly recommend him as a teacher. He is positive and very knowledgeable.
Jackson December 21, 2016
Verified Student · Singing · Online
He does a great job at making me feel comfortable enough to be confident but not so comfortable that I don't challenge myself and progress. Great teacher! I highly recommend him to anyone looking to learn how to sing well.
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Josh L.

Josh L.

Indianapolis, IN 46250
starting at
$32 / 30-min

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Recent Music Performance Articles from the Blog

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Music Criticism: How To Handle a Critical Audience

Music Criticism: How To Handle a Critical Audience

Years ago, I heard my first band would be featured in the local paper and I was so excited to read the article. I hurried home to read it and found that the short blurb was far from complimentary. A public critique like that can make you want to give up. I certainly wanted to hide under my bed for a week! However, I have learned how to handle criticism and continued to make music that makes me happy. In the time since then, I have been lucky enough to receive both criticism and positive revie … Read More

Music Criticism: How To Handle a Critical Audience
Years ago, I heard my first band would be featured in the local paper and I was so excited to read the article. I hurried home to read it and found that the short blurb was far from complimentary. A public critique like that can make you want to give up. I certainly wanted to hide under my bed for a week! However, I have learned how to handle criticism and continued to make music that makes me happy. In the time since then, I have been lucky enough to receive both criticism and positive revie
Open Mic 101: How to Overcome Stage Fright & More
Thinking about stopping by an open mic night, or hitting the stage for karaoke? Performing in front of others is a fantastic way to boost your confidence and meet other musicians in the area - but it can also be pretty scary if you're a newbie! Luckily, learning how to overcome stage fright is easy when you focus on the right things. Read on to learn more about how open mic nights work, how to prepare for your first performance, and how to overcome your stage fright: How Do Open Mic Night
What They Don’t Tell You About Becoming a Musician
When you become a musician -- whether you're playing the guitar, the drums, or another instrument -- you'll notice a pattern when others find out about your skills. Read on to learn what they don't tell you about becoming a musician, in this guest post by Brookings, SD teacher Carl S...     Every musician has his or her own story. Some people play as a hobby and may play the occasional gig. Others are gigging frequently or perhaps teaching music. No matter what type of musician you ar

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