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By Beth V. - Minneapolis Piano Teacher
During my final year at Berklee College of Music, I often thought of how lucky some of my fellow classmates were to call places like New York, Los Angeles or Nashville their hometowns. Many Berklee graduates take that stressful step of moving to an unfamiliar city known for its abundance in arts culture, but for others that’s simply a familiar place called home. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Boston, I also moved back to my hometown of Minneapolis/St. Paul to begin my career as a professional musician. I’d like to share with you today how lucky musicians are to have these Twin Cities and all the potential resources available to students taking Minneapolis piano lessons.
The Minneapolis/St. Paul region is filled with professional artists, musical and otherwise. I’m not talking about hobbyists, although there are plenty of hobbyists and part-timers living here who contribute to our wonderful culture. I’m talking about full-time, profitable, top-notch craftsmen who have built their careers on their own creativity. If you don’t believe me, check out MN Original, a television show dedicated to exploring local artists.
I know what you’re saying – “Wow, I had no idea snowy old Minnesota would have enough artists and musicians locally to build an entire television series around them. Is there something in the water over there?” Close. It’s built into the school system. In addition to the dozens of music colleges in the area, Minnesota has arguably one of the most organized and detailed set of guidelines for the arts in K-12 public schools. A quick glance at the Academic Standards for Music Education posted on the Minnesota Department of Education website shows that Minnesotans not only value music education, but have the resources to deliver it properly.
We also have one of the most influential private companies in music right here, just 9 miles outside of Minneapolis. MakeMusic Inc. is the producer of Finale, the world’s leading music notation software, and SmartMusic interactive learning software. If you’re a musician, you’re no doubt using a music notation program such as Sibelius or Finale. Finale and I share the same home town, and they are extremely dedicated to delivering tools to enhance musicianship all over the world.
Many Minnesota musicians have achieved fame on a national or international level. You may have heard of Minneapolis artists such as Prince, Bob Dylan, the Jayhawks, Johnny Lang, Brother Ali, the Jets, or Morris Day and the Times. I personally live for the local artists that are HUGE right here at home. The Wolverines Big Band has been in operation for decades. The rhythm section, also known as the Wolverines Trio, has been together for over 20 years. Dr. Mambo’s Combo has been playing their steady weekly Sunday + Monday gig at Bunkers for 30 years, schooling the town in Funk, Rhythm and Blues. It’s an easy place to catch Michael Bland (Prince’s drummer). The famous Wabasha Street Caves, once a safe haven for world-renowned mobsters, now host swing night every Thursday featuring the best local Big Bands week after week. Yes, the underground swing dancing culture is alive and well in Minneapolis.
Whether you have dreams to pursue a serious music career or simply embrace a new hobby by taking Minneapolis piano lessons, this is the place to live. There’s work here. There’s play here. There are resources here. There is education here. Many people here - from private music instructors to software developers - are also professional gigging musicians. A simple search on the TakeLessons website for a Minneapolis piano lessons instructor pulls up many diverse and qualified choices in the Twin Cities area, not just one or two. Do not hesitate to get involved in music! I may not be from Los Angeles or New York, but quite honestly I think that’s why I have such a rich career in music - because I’m from the Twin Cities.
Piano lesson repertoire is chosen by you! If you want to play a classic, a holiday song, or what's on the radio, I'll guide you how to play it while giving you the techniques and basics in a way that is easy and fun.
I started taking piano lessons in 8th grade, because my little sister started taking lessons and I didn’t want her to be able to do something I could not! My motivation quickly changed as I began to love the piano and the music I found I could make come from it. Not only did I enjoy the challenges and rewards that came from learning the piano, but the habits of hard work and persistence that I formed along the way have paid off in every part of my life. I graduated with a BA in Music Performance in 2010 from North Central University.
I believe music has incredible educational value, but I also believe that it should be enjoyable. Every student is different and has a different purpose for wanting to learn music. Developing a love for the instrument you play is just as important as developing the technical skills to play it. I do my best as a teacher to learn what it is that students enjoy most about playing and incorporate those aspects into lessons.
Piano lessons will help you develop the basic skills of keyboard (piano) playing, keyboard techniques (posture, hand position, fingering, etc.) and sight reading.
1. Develop the basic skills of keyboard (piano) playing;
2. Freely engage in creative expression; and
explore the technical elements of music.
3. Perform keyboard pieces applying basic reading and coordinative skills.
4. Create and play from memory any assignment required by the performer.
My teaching philosophy is that every student has the capacity to achieve his personal musical goals, whatever those may be; and my job as a teacher is to support the student towards those goals to the best of my ability. I place a strong emphasis on musicianship and artistry, founded in good technique and musical knowledge of the score and context. Also, I teach young and adult beginners through advanced level high school students. I try to create an upbeat positive environment for learning.
I am passionate about providing a thorough musical education for my piano students. This includes sight-reading, healthy playing technique, music theory and analysis, appropriate repertoire, and performance opportunities. I am an active member of MMTA/MTNA and encourage my students to participate in events. I use several method books depending on the student, which includes Piano Adventures, Music Tree, Piano Pronto, and Alfred Premier. I also supplement with "fun" and classical repertoire.
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Have you always wanted to play the piano? We’re here to help! Get started with these 20 video tutorials hosted by San Diego, CA piano teacher Jordan M, one of our expert instructors with TakeLessons.com. In this free video series, you’ll get an introduction to the instrument and learn a few easy exercises to get you reading music and understanding rhythm!
Intro to the Piano: Learn about the parts of the piano and how to find the all-important Middle C.
Learn about proper posture, hand placement, and other beginner essentials.
Learn about the treble and bass clefs, and tips for remembering the notes on the piano.
Learn what all those sharps and flats really mean, and how to decode your music.
Follow along to master quarter notes, quarter rests, and half rests.
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