Cheri Sykes

Cheri S.

Osseo, MN

About Cheri S.

Background check: Last verified 09/17/2016
Cheri passed a background check on 09/17/2016 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
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Cheri teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: September 1983
Last sign in: Within two months

Overview

I earned my B.A. in piano, 1979, from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where I was steeped in Bach and Chopin. My Masters work at Emory University in Atlanta further deepened my knowledge of classical performance practice and music history. I have studied with jazz pianists Laura Caviani and Sean Turner of the McNally School of Music, both of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Today I am an active solo party pianist, and leader/arranger for my own five-piece r&b band, Wild Honey. I have received statewide air-play performing Bach on Minnesota Public Radio. At the other end of the spectrum, my band Wild Honey has been featured on KBEM Jazz 88 FM’s program, “Jazz and the Spirit,” as well as KARE-11 Television’s morning program, “Minnesota Showcase." I serve as an exam judge for the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, and helped write its ground-breaking Popular Styles Exam Syllabus. I am a 2012 recipient of the Maureen Conway Award for Inspiring Teaching.

Photos and Videos

"Poster Child", keyboardist Bill's original rock song, performed at Spring Recital.

Experience

Private Instructor, piano and guitar, for children and adults:

Nov 2009 - Present
Private Studio, Osseo, MN, 2008-present

Also:
Schmitt Music, Minneapolis, MN, 2006-2010.
Decatur School of Music, Atlanta, GA, 1994-1997.
The Music Place, Atlanta, GA 1990-1991. Also group keyboard instructor.

Piano Entertainer for Seniors

Sep 2006 - Present
senior housing and care facilities, freelance

Educational programs featuring solo performance of ragtime, stride, blues, and boogie-woogie.

Bandleader, arranger, keyboardist

Sep 1998 - Present
Wild Honey Band

Jazz, r&b, and gospel five-piece. Featured on KARE-11 television’s “Minnesota Showcase” and KBEM Jazz 88’s “Jazz and the Spirit” programs.

Solo pianist

Sep 1989 - Present
for parties, receptions, weddings; freelance

Jazz, pop, classical styles.

Music Director for Churches: organ, band-leading, choirs

Sep 1983 - Jan 2016
Lutheran, Methodist, and Catholic Churches

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, East Bethel, MN, organist and leader of rock band, 2013-2015.
Richfield United Methodist Church, Minneapolis, MN, alternative worship band, 2006-2009.
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, New Brighton, MN, 1997-2005. Organist and director of contemporary combos for 10,000-member church. Major gospel concert featuring singer Gwen Matthews.
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, contemporary worship leader, 2005-2009.

Education

Masters of Sacred Music

Sep 1991 - May 1993
Emory University, Atlanta, GA

B.A., Piano

Sep 1975 - Aug 1979
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire

Certifications

Licensed Instructor

Nov 2015
KiddyKeys

Licensed Instructor for preschool group music.

Master Certified

Jun 2009
Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA)

MMTA Popular Styles Syllabus Committee, helping write a ground-breaking exam curriculum; chair 2011-2013. Exam judge for comprehensive classical exams, popular styles, and contests.

Awards

2012 recipient of the Maureen Conway Award for Inspiring Teaching.

Mar 2012
Keys 4/4 Kids Foundation, St. Paul, MN

Affiliations

Minneapolis Music Teachers Association

Jan 2007

The Minnesota Music Teachers Association, founded in 1901, is a professional non-profit educational organization and is affiliated with the Music Teachers National Association, founded in 1876. Our mission is to advance the profession of music teaching through education, certification, networking, and advocacy.

Music Teachers National Association

Jan 2007
MTNA

The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.

Write a Review

1 Review on Cheri S.

Silhouette-80
Marion Sep 18, 2016
Piano · In studio
My daughters and I have been taking lessons with Cheri for almost 5 years now and are absolutely amazed at both the breadth and the depth of her ability. The things she has taught us have ranged from standard classical fare to jazz, improvisation skills (in a variety of musical styles), theory and ear training and lead sheet reading. We have participated in the MMTA contests and both my daughters have received "high distinction" as their result. What I have loved most is that she is so willing to work with each student on their own musical priorities. My 14 year old daughter was asked to be on the Congregational Worship team at church as the piano player. Cheri spent lots of time each lesson working on the specific songs that my daughter needed and helped her get the confidence she needed to play introductions, accompany soloists, match rhythms, and vary the style from verse to verse to make it musically interesting. My younger daughter loved the fact that Cheri also taught guitar skills and spent a year transferring her piano skills to a different instrument. And I have loved the fact that she is gentle with the adult piano learner and has a flexible lesson schedule that will accommodate my busy schedule!

I wholeheartedly recommend Cheri to anyone who is looking for a piano teacher!
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