Helen Lapakko

Helen L.

Minneapolis, MN

Lesson Details

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Helen teaches



Helen delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 1+

Teaching since:
July 2000

I studied voice at McPhail Center for the Arts in high school. I
studied piano, voice, guitar at Augsburg college. I performed in
musicals, small ensembles. I write my own music and have performed it around town for years. I have sung in bands and solo. I recorded two CD's with my original music. My original songs are eclectic and contain jazz, blues, folk, country, and soft rock songs. I love music theory and writing. I taught at Mars music until it closed, then taught at Minnesota School of Music for a couple of years. Then moved my students to my home, where I have been teaching for the last ten years. I teach all ages. My piano students perform in music auditions like "The Guild", my guitar students have performed in school concerts and talent shows, my vocal students have performed in
musicals, and solos in their choirs. One of my adult vocal students went on to perform main stage at WE FEST and recorded a CD in Nashville, another adult student is touring around the U.S. she recorded three excellent CD's. Other adult students perform around town. And of course some of my adults just learn to play for themselves. I teach all styles of music.

*** Lesson Details ***
I use method books in guitar and piano, and encourage note reading. In guitar I also teach tab and chords. I use supplemental books and solo sheets once I learn the interest of my student, if they lean toward jazz and blues, I put them in books with that style, or if it is Classical I have books with the classical greats. My vocal students study songs that fit their age and interests. My goal is to find music that makes my students feel passionate about their music, so practicing isn't just drudgery but something they want to do. I also teach technique and theory. I provide a studio class where students perform
for each other, eat pizza and play music games that promote note reading and rhythm in a fun way. In 3-6 months students will be able to read music and hopefully will be filled with the excitement of music
to keep learning more.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The In-Studio lessons are taught in the front room with a waiting area for kids/students, The teaching space contains piano and guitars, amps, microphones. No pets. Seating is available.

*** Specialties ***
For piano I use Faber method books, piano literature books etc. For guitar I use Hal Leonard method books, and Charles Duncan method books. I teach vocal in classical, music theatre and guitar playing band singers, in country, and rock. I teach classical as well as blues styles and ragtime and pop, and encourage creating own songs where there is interest. In guitar I teach note reading as well as tab and teach classical, acoustic and electric guitar. I teach students from beginning to advanced levels.

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Music teacher
Sep 2001 - Present
Helen's home studio

I have taught music, piano, voice, guitar for ten years in my home. Before that I taught at Minnesota Valley school of music, and Mars music. My songs from my CD's are currently being aired on Jango
airplay, an online radio station.


Music, Piano, guitar, vocal performance
Sep 1998 - Dec 2001
Augsburg College
2 year program
Sep 1998 - Jun 2001
Augsburg College

Photos & Videos

A piano duet by sisters

Taking guitar since she was five.

Two brothers who study piano

a studio class, where students perform for each other and we have pizza and play music games.

Woman on the right, Is a vocal student who has four CD's and is presently touring the U.S.

A previous vocal student who studied with me for four years. Now performing on the main stage at WE FEST.
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3 Reviews

Write a Review
T F. Oct 2, 2013
Piano ·

Helen will get to know your student and meet them where they are.

My name is Trish F-J and my kids Henry and Mary Grace have taken lessons from Helen for over 13 years. Each of my kids is very different in their musical interest and commitment to piano. Helen understands their individual styles and meets them where they are at. Helen challenges them, but knows when to use a gentle touch. A few months ago, my son Henry decided to pursue other interests and is no longer taking lessons. He has told me that one of the reasons he took lessons for as long as he did was because he really liked working with Helen. I highly recommend Helen.

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Jason S. Sep 13, 2013
Singing ·

Patient, Challenging, Versatile

Helen is a fantastic teacher. She really takes the time to get to know her students and their goals before diving into lessons. She is patient, but holds you accountable in your progression as a musician. Her home studio is inviting and comfortable, matching her personality. If you're looking for a patient, yet challenging instructor...then you should definitely try some lessons with Helen!!!

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Jaspar L. Sep 11, 2013
Singing ·

Helen is a fantastic teacher!

Helen is a wonderful teacher. I actually think of her more as a vocal coach, life coach, and friend for life! I studied voice with Helen for about two years, and I only stopped because I moved away from Minneapolis. She’s someone who believes in the uniqueness and power of every voice. Helen’s positive energy—along with her knowledge of the body, breath, and a wide range of vocal exercises & techniques—is completely invested in helping each student learn how to love their voice, use their voice, and make their voice their own.

I am a singer-songwriter, and before I took lessons with Helen, my voice was often shy. Helen helped me bring my voice forward, teaching me how to stay present with the emotion of each song and to use my breath to sing with confidence. She is a sensitive woman who is always enthusiastic and encouraging. She helped me strengthen my range, and she helped me not to be afraid of the high or the low notes. Most importantly, she helped me not to be afraid of what I have to say in my songs. With Helen, I learned how to perform my songs instead of just sing them.

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