Novi Music Lessons

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Randy L.

Franklin, MI

About Randy

Teacher / Musician / Producer

Playing by Ear
Pretty much everyone can play by ear. So I help you to explore your talent, reach your musical goals and to create and perform music as a real and beautiful part of your life. Making music should not be a boring job. Rather, it should be something you can't wait to do. A way to get in touch with the rest of the universe. You will also learn to read and write, but it won't get in the way of your music.

Your music. Instantly.
We use recording as a powerful tool to help you listen and improve.
Tired of crappy tabs? Str
uggling to capture your song? No worries.
Learn a process, instead of a lesson. Apply it anywhere.

Go from musical idea to music, fast.
Get to the groove in 2 minutes or less. In any software.

SONGLab Studio. The antidote to rote.

Special Needs?
Everyone's needs are special. If your child has been diagnosed ADHD or as a "Sensory kid", music can be a joyful and rewarding way to see real growth and make a wonderful experience for parent and child. We help with the Proprioceptive and Vestibular senses in a fun and therapeutic way.

Just Google "BrainVolts" for a tremendous study from Northwestern University on the amazing effects of music study!

Since a very young age I have loved to improvise and to create music. It is very satisfying to pass this on to others who are full of music inside but may not know how to get it out. If you wish that you or your child could get some help creating your own music as well as playing the great music already written, perhaps we should be talking.

I am from Canada, and I have been a professional musician since 1970. I studied music performance in school, piano with the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and Music Education at Queens University. I have toured with national acts, produced dozens of recordings of all kinds and played, arranged and conducted music on cruise ships all over the world.

Music is my life. Bringing other people's skills to a higher level is what I do best.

Tell me what you want to accomplish, either for yourself or your child. I look forward to speaking with you.
Warm regards,

A note about allergens:
I teach at my home and at my studio. At home we have a very friendly dog (Vinnie) and a cat (Julian) who sleeps all day. If you have allergies, we will study at my Troy studio which is allergen-free. Unless you love animals. In that case, you will get to meet Vinnie, the most kid-friendly, loves-everybody, most gentle little guy you will ever meet. I put his picture up so you can see him.

Teaching teachers
Several excellent teachers I know who have been teaching music for many years were frustrated by not being able to play without a sheet of music. They have found satisfying and positive results from this approach.

Wouldn't it be great to be gifted? In fact... It turns out that choices lead to habits.
Habits become talents. Talents are labeled gifts.
You're not born this way, you get this way.
~ Seth Godin

*** Lesson Details ***
Children don't learn to read before they can talk. So why should anyone have to try to read before they can play?

That is how music is taught, traditionally and why a huge percentage of students just quit or have a miserable time with piano lessons. Music should be fun. Period.

My only real job is to make sure you have fun and want to learn more. Then you will do the rest. you will astonish yourself and everyone around you!

In a traditional music education, reading the works of others is the focus, with no encouragement to improvise or to play by ear. In our community, there is a prestigious, private college prep school that charges just under $80 per hour for traditional private music lessons.

My method is every bit the equal of that school for those who are drawn to express themselves playing by ear. You will still learn all the core skills needed to be a well-rounded musician.

Music study helps people young and old to overcome shyness and build confidence. It empowers them as they refine their special talents.

We will always have a lot of fun, but there is a lot to do, so we need to be efficient and not waste time. My teaching method is a combination of the best methods I have found. It is backed up with the same solid principles that I received when I was a student myself. If you choose to continue and pursue a classical education at a high level, you will be well-prepared.

Though you'll receive serious critiques from me, I always uplift and encourage. Positive energy is the ticket.

My Method: Listen, Sing, Clap, Play, Read and Write. With these tools you can look deeper into the elements that make up music. Folk, jazz, pop, rock or classical; all Western music is derived from the same principles. We will study ear training from a wonderful ear training book by a famous guitarist. It'™s simple: you learn all the theory so you will be at the top of your game, but always have fun doing it. For notation, we will use The Semper Note Speller. For scales, we have the famous Brown Scale Book.

We use recording as a tool to help you hear how you sound and we always encourage you to express yourself with improvisation. In many cases, you will have tracks to practice with. We also use apps for your phone that really help. A guitar tuner to nail down vocal pitch, as well as a metronome app that is with you wherever you go. If you have a minute anywhere you can get in some good practice time. So we truly have the best of all worlds: playing from music and learning to play by ear! If you stick with it and do the work, the end result will be that you can always just sit down and play, whether or not you have any music in front of you!

On our first lesson we will do a duet jam session together and you will not believe how great you sound!

The Big Picture
Although a percentage of students may become a concert pianist, there are a multitude of other ways to become involved with music. Whether you are looking at music as a profession or as a hobby, we let parents know of the many choices available so that they can make good decisions, for themselves and for their children.

Having fun as you improve is a big priority. I also teach songwriting, singing, music recording and performance, as well as piano.

Remember, a piano should be an irresistible invitation, not an obstacle.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Troy studio: A digital keyboard in a professional recording control-room environment at our media production studio. The studio is near Big Beaver and Stephenson Hwy.

Home studio: An acoustic piano and recording studio environment at my home in Franklin/Beverly Hills.

*** Travel Equipment ***
If you are taking any kind of music lesson, we recommend a tuned piano or digital keyboard, preferably with at least 76 full-sized keys.

If you like, I can suggest several different models of keyboard that I have researched and of which I approve. They range from an inexpensive but effective starter keyboard for ear training and just plain fun to an 88 note weighted keyboard for more expressive practice.

*** Specialties ***
I teach people of all ages first to play by ear and to have fun while they study. Then I back up ear training with solid theory so they can read and write music. In school I studied many traditional methods and I have distilled my own distinct method from them. Though I am classically trained, I specialize in improvisation.


Mario M. December 29, 2014
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
I don't ever write reviews for anything, normally because I'm just too lazy :)
This guy deserves a good review. He's passionate, extremely knowledgeable, and exactly what you would want in an instructor. I'm still learning and very new to piano, but I'm glad I chose Randy over the many other options. No instructor is going to do the hard work for you, that's your job. A good instructor will motivate you and keep you on the right path, this is the guy.
Diana J. December 19, 2013
Verified Student
Thank you Randy

Randy is my piano teacher. But to say that I merely take piano lessons with him would be an understatement. His title should probably also include inspiring mentor and compassionate friend. His positive energy and hilarious, kind spirit are contagious. He will forever change the way you listen to and feel sounds. He not only helped me creatively express the music inside of me in a way no teacher has before, but even more importantly, he's helped me find my voice and welcome joy and gratitude back into my life. So if you're ready to let go of your nerves and your ego and step into his studio to explore the music that is within you, then this unforgettable experience awaits. :)
Erika S. November 1, 2013
Music Performance
Verified Student
Daughter Loves Class

My six-year-old loves to perform. Randy has been helping her with her intonation, piano playing, performing, and general ear for music in a manner that is fun and successful. My daughter is excited all week to go to her class.
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Randy L.

Randy L.

Franklin, MI 48025
starting at
$40 / 30-min

Michelle Sage C.

Birmingham, MI

About Michelle Sage

I have been playing the piano since I was 3 years of age.

I was classically trained and I was a music major at Michigan State University.

I still perform on a regular basis.

Lessons will be relaxed and enjoyable for children and adults of any age!!!!

It is never too late to learn!

*** Studio Equipment ***

*** Travel Equipment ***
Book, or they can provide, metronome

*** Specialties ***
Classical, Americana, show tunes, movie tunes...... Just about anything!!!!!


Barbara K. September 22, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Michelle is an amazing teacher! I enjoy how well Michelle works with my kids and it makes things easier that she is flexible with our busy schedule. My kids enjoy taking the lessons with Michelle and I could not ask for anything better!
Sumer F. April 29, 2014
Verified Student
Michelle is great with youth

Michelle has been a great addition to our 8 year olds activities. He is interested and picking up piano faster than expected. Michelle has made the experience fun and interesting..which is all we could ask for.
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Michelle Sage C.

Michelle Sage C.

Birmingham, MI 48009
starting at
$30 / 30-min

Marc M.

Livonia, MI

About Marc

I teach all styles of guitar, as I have been in many different types of music situations: Soloist (Classical) Ensemble (Classical and Jazz) Lead and Rhythm (Various Rock and Roll bands) Songwriting and Recording. I am a people person that learned the guitar from many different sources. Most of my learning came from watching others and communicating with others. I like to learn about the people I am teaching so that I can better understand their needs as a musician. My education came as a practical necessity in order to get better as a teacher and performer, as well as make a living doing it. B
ut, by no means do I preach the need to be "educated" but only to be a working, practical musician. I will surely go over the need to read music once the need becomes evident, enlighten you as to why it may be important to understand certain aspects of music as opposed to just "picking and grinning", IE learning only "By Ear." I do specialize in music theory, and have many students taking lessons simply for this excellent foundation for songwriting also.

I am a classically trained guitarist that performs both as a soloist and for ensemble in a wide variety of styles. I graduated in 1996 from Schoolcraft College with an Associates degree in Music performance, and then, studying under the tutelage of Brian Roberts went on to receive my Bachelor's degree in Guitar Performance with a secondary in Jazz from Wayne State University in 2004. While at Wayne State and along the way I've performed and participated in several masterclasses with renowned artists: William Kanengiser, John Holmquest, Philip Candelaria, Jason Vieaux, Scott Tennant, and Antigoni Goni. I have also completed the teacher requirements for books 1-a and 1-b for the Suzuki Guitar Institute.

Many of my classical guitar and electric guitar students have went on to study further at the collegiate level, some achieving scholarships. My most recent students are current Berklee school of music graduates now in a band called "Flight of Fire", recently opened for Bonjovi this past summer and are getting air time on local radio stations... well on their way to living the dream! …the bulk of my students become full time professional musicians.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am an extremely patient person who has been teaching for over 20 years. I am laid back so there will be no pressure. With my electric and steel string guitar students, I host a special "Jam Session" 2 - 3 times a year to which will be one of your goals to participate in. This includes playing with a drummer, bassist, singer and another guitar player (usually me) and having it recorded. This should serve as your motivation to practice. This really eliminates the need for me to pull out a "yardstick" and "smack" your hands over the knuckles when not practicing your scales as many old traditional teachers may have done!

At your first lesson I will talk with you and give you examples of music that is played with a Flat-Pick, or music that uses the Finger-Style technique. This will be an important process as it will dictate which direction you will go in as a musician and especially during our lessons.

For the most part, playing with a Flat-Pick is generally used with the electric guitar and with most mainstream styles of music like "Rock and Roll", "Blues", "Rock-a-Billy" "Funk", and playing with the Finger-Style technique is used in styles like "Classical" and "Folk." After a while, I will introduce you to the other style of playing as well, as most great guitar players use both techniques in their playing...musicians (guitarists) such as: “Jimmy Page“, “Brian Setzer”, “Stevie Ray Vaughan”, “Joe Satriani”, “Lindsey Buckingham”, “Paul McCartney”, “John Mayer”, and many, many more.

To make learning the guitar Fun, I make sure to incorporate your main interest(s) first. Whether it be learning your new favorite song(s), learning how to write a song, or just learning some basics that you can use for when sitting around the campfire. This will be intertwined with which style you choose to start with: Flat-Pick or Finger-Style.

Pending on the level that you are starting at, (beginner, intermediate, advanced) I will include tidbits of music theory that will be used in a consistent manner. These will usually be progressive, pending on your level. For example, the songs you learn will be written out in an easy to understand chart that will have the fundamental aspects of theory (IE, chords, key, and rhythm pattern) that all musicians should understand.

With Children learning with a Flat-Pick, I encourage the use of a basic guitar instruction book.
Level One (beginners) :

"Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book One" by Will Schmid.

I will also use as a substitute for Level One:
"Alfred's Basic Guitar Method" by Alfred's Publishing Co.

More advanced players who can read music already (and graduates from book one) I prefer;
"Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book Two"

With Adults, I will ask if learning to read music interests you. It is a vital part of a practicing musician, but sometimes your needs may require a more one dimensional approach as time may be of essence. Again, I learned by ear and educated myself I understand the person who wants to hold off on reading right away.

Students who want to learn the Classical (Finger-Style) approach will be encouraged to purchase a beginners book that I use written by one of my first instructors/mentor. It is a very intuitive book that covers the technique in great detail yet is very easy to understand (along with my help.) I will provide means of acquiring this book at your first lesson.

Students who want to learn the Folk (Finger-Style) approach will usually start in the above book, unless your an adult who just wants to learn some basics.

At your first lesson I will also provide you with documentation that goes more in depth about the various styles of guitar as the above info is scaled down.

*** Studio Equipment ***

-Guitars (Electric, Acoustic, Classical, Bass)

- PA (loud speakers so you can Turn it Up! When playing along)

-Band in a Box (to play along with real prerecorded instruments seamlessly interleaved into a band type setting with almost unlimited genre choices...very impressive technology)

- Pro Tools (recording gear for all needs)

- Guitar Pro and Finale (to transpose music into sheet music)

-Skype (for out of town interactivity. Can do lessons via Skype)

-Basement with plenty of seating for parents, and or observers.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar, and Acoustic Guitar; Improvisation, Songwriting, Backup Vocals, Fretboard Harmony, Music Theory, Performance, and Recording.


Junnian Z. September 12, 2015
Classical Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I like Mark a lot even though I just had my first class with him. Great great teacher - very patient and be able to teach and inspire me both on skills and spirit of the instrument.
Madison B. August 26, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
Marc is very patient and quickly graps the student's ability to progress to the next step or still needs additional time. He relates well (student is 13 and new to guitar) and has no problem in finding interesting music or ways to integrate practice into the style of music the student is interested in.
Jason R. August 11, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Marc is a great teacher - he is very adaptable and understands every students' needs. He caters his lessons towards what you want to learn, but also gives you a very solid overall background on guitar. I play piano, and Marc was able to take what I know about piano and relate it to guitar. As a person, Marc is very kind and approachable. I would highly recommend Marc to anybody looking for guitar lessons at any level.
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Marc M.

Marc M.

Livonia, MI 48150
starting at
$22 / 30-min

Nicholas C.

Garden City, MI

About Nicholas

Detroit native, Nicholas C. K., demonstrated an innate musical talent from a young age. His command of piano, guitar, trumpet and bass progressed to studies at both Columbia University in Chicago and Wayne State University in Detroit. Since age 16 Nic has toured the country sharing the stage with acclaimed rock acts such as; Tesla, Bret Michaels, 3 Doors Down and many others. He is currently endorsed by Warwick Basses.

Nicholas been a musician in some form or another for as long as he can remember. His musical journey started when he was only six, with a delve into the realm of classical pi
ano. While there he studied under world class child prodigy Josh Cullen. The composers that he studied include Bach, Beethoven, Barton, Hayden and many others.

From here he progressed to playing jazz trumpet, studying the Jamey Aebersold method under Paul Finkbeiner, the lead trumpet player for the Paul Keller Ensemble.

Then at the age of 11, with the help of his grandfather he discovered the guitar. He learned quickly on his old SR guitar. He quickly discovered that he had a natural taste for blues phrasing, and his soloing abilities quickly blossomed. 2 years later, he had formed his first band, Spherical. It was through this band that he found the bass.

His journey into the realm of bass, began out of necessity and progressed into love of the bottom end. Since then, he has been collecting basses, playing, living and breathing bass. He now realizes the importance of a funky beat, a subtle line and most important of all A Tight Groove!!!

The benefit of studying under someone with a vast array of both talent and experience is clear.

*** Lesson Details ***
During his musical career Nicholas has played almost every style of music; from folk to experimental from jazz to rock. One thread holds true through all music, it has to groove.
During the course of a lesson he will cover a broad range of topics starting from the basics, and moving into ear training, sight-reading, theoretical knowledge and most important for bass players, groove. Just as every player has their own musical personality and voice, so to does every lesson that Nicholas gives.
In a supportive, patient environment, every lesson is custom tailored to the student.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Home: lessons in dedicated music room with piano and stereo, guitars/basses, cables/amps

*** Specialties ***
Jazz Studies major at Wayne State University. Has a firm understanding of music across both the classical and jazz idioms spanning multiple instruments.


Steve C. July 9, 2015
Trumpet · Online
Verified Student
Nicholas knows his stuff. More importantly, he's very patient with this old dude who is trying to get his chops back.
Steve C. May 11, 2015
Trumpet · Online
Verified Student
A good first session. I think Nicholas will prove to be a good coach for me.
Rebecca R. April 15, 2015
Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
My son is enjoying his lessons with Nicholas. Nicholas seems to always be well prepared and I love the attentiveness that he has with my son. My son always seems to learn a lot in his lessons and Nicholas helps keeps him engaged and interested to play. Nicholas is a great teacher!
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Nicholas C.

Nicholas C.

Farmington, MI 48334
starting at
$20 / 30-min

Benjamin M.

Ypsilanti, MI

About Benjamin

Hello Future STUDENTS!

Last year I moved from NYC to Ypsilanti. I lived on the East Coast for over 10 years and learned a great deal in Networking, Performance and Teaching. I am now eager to build a new base of fresh Music Students. Since I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, I am happy to be back and ready to go!

Whether you want to pursue a Musical Career or simply learn how to Play your Favorite Tunes for friends and family, I am here as your Teacher and Guide. I teach at my own home, commute to yours or through the use of Skype. Your choice.

As a Father of four, I have had the joy
in teaching my children Guitar, Saxophone, Songwriting, Composition and Keyboard. As a parent I have found that Patience and Encouragement is sometimes the best form of support. It has been proven that learning Music helps develop intuition, self-awareness, and social skills as well as improve in other subjects not directly related to the arts such as Mathematics and Science.

One of the most important aspects of playing Music is being able to Play by Ear. This has been a priceless gift that I have developed throughout my life and I encourage all musicians, young and old, to do the same. The use of simple Rhythmic Dictation and Ear Training exercises can do wonders for "picking out" Beats and Harmonies no matter what Genre we are interested in.

I attended music courses at The Boston School of Contemporary Music, Thomas Jefferson College (MI), and have a BA double majoring in Music Composition and English at Columbia College Chicago.

Besides touring internationally as a Guitarist and Saxophonist, I am a Songwriter. THIRD BORDER's "Sun of Water; Sea of Light" was selected to be nominated for the Grammy's as The Best Alternative Album of the Year in 2006. On this record, I played Guitar, Saxophone, sang Lead Vocal and wrote all Songs. So, if you are a songwriter, we can polish up your approach!

If you would like to learn how to compose a Solo, a Duet or Ensemble, I can get you started in a low-stress, one-step-at-a-time procedure. As a Composer, I have done Sound Design for Film, Dance, Spoken Word and Multi-media Performance - most notably with renowned poet Anne Carson and former members of The Merce Cunningham Dance Co. I am Composer and Conductor for New York City's first full-on Saxophone Orchestra; a 13-member ensemble.

I hope to talk to you soon!

*** Lesson Details ***
My teaching style is relaxed with a forte on Patience and Encouragement. Though I have specific expectations on what needs to be learned, I gear each lesson towards the student's wishes and their personal direction in Creativity. Although Ear Training and Rhythmic Dictation sound academic, they are very useful in understanding music. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student, I can guide you wherever you are headed!

For Guitar (acoustic or electric), you will learn the fundamentals of Music Theory, Chord Structure, varied Strumming and Picking Techniques, and Scale Positions to travel from one part of the neck to the other. Any song you wish to learn, I can teach!

For Saxophone, you will learn proper Embouchure technique, Notation, Music Theory, and Scale Patterns for improvisation. Whether you are interested in a Classical, Blues, Funk or Jazz approach, I can help you find your own sound that is both personal and professional.

I teach 2nd year Piano and Drums/Percussion directing you into Intermediate level.

For those leaning toward the experimental genres, I am well-versed in the use of Electronics. Much can be accomplished with my lessons on Sound-Scape Improvisation either as 1 on 1 or Group Workshops.

*** Studio Equipment ***
At Home Studio: music stands, metronome, guitar amps, electric and acoustic guitars, guitar tablature, staff music paper, a scanner for weekly homework. I can also record and send MP3s of our lessons to review at home if you wish.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Students will need their own instrument, a mutually chosen music book to learn from, a metronome, and hopefully easy access to a keyboard (very helpful!)

*** Specialties ***
I am fluent in Rock genres, Blues, Beginning Jazz, Beginning Classical technique, Prepared Guitar, Electronics/Sound Art.


Harish P. August 24, 2015
Saxophone · In studio
Verified Student
Ben has tremendous patience with his students which is a hallmark of an instructor of a high caliber. Best of all, Ben enjoys making his students grasp the concepts progressively and in as congenial a manner as possible.

I highly recommend Ben for all new and experienced students alike.

Ben has skill(s) in good measure coupled with his understanding of a student's comprehension level. When you sit and learn with Ben, you just wish that the class carries on without a break. His enthusiasm is so contagious!
Grace Z. April 25, 2015
Saxophone · In studio
Verified Student
Ben is such a great teacher for Saxophone. Professional, be patient and nice. He will notice and correct details of kid's breath, mouth, shape of body and even the finger type. My son is so happy to learn with him. And get repaid improvement even he is zero experience to start. Now my son is loving saxophone. And I am so happy we can have Ben as his teacher.
Alan D. January 5, 2015
Guitar · In home
Verified Student
Ben is a wonderful teacher. Ben is patient while I learn new techniques. I learn new techniques every session which is important to me to keep on learning and keep on improving. Ben and I play together in review of what I have learned which is fun and it teaches me about music timing, rhythm and more. I have brought some songs to Ben and we review and play. I feel thus far I have made great strides as a guitarist and hope to make more.
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Benjamin M.

Benjamin M.

Ypsilanti, MI 48197
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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