Rachel Buterbaugh

Rachel B.

Aurora, CO

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Rachel delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 6+

Teaching since:
September 2008

Ray Charles once said, "I was born with music inside me. Music was one of my parts. Like my ribs, my kidneys, my liver, my heart. Like my blood. It was a force already within me when I arrived on the scene. It was a necessity for me, like food or water."

I believe everyone’s born with a “music part,” but, like our bones and our brains, it needs nutrition and exercise to grow! Born and raised in the Denver metro area, I “grew” mine first through twelve years of private piano instruction, and then by studying voice and music theory at Colorado State University, where I received my Bachelor of Music. I rarely turn down a chance to be involved in anything to do with music; I have sung in multiple university choirs and community theatre productions, I’m a member of an Andrews Sisters tribute trio, and I have played piano and keys for several bands, including Jordyn’s Arc and a number of church bands. I’ve never met a genre of music I didn’t like, and love to continue to discover new bands, artists, and musicals, often through a recommendation by one of my students. My “music part” has definitely been a major driving force in my life!

I began teaching piano when I was sixteen. I was pretty skeptical when my piano teacher suggested I try it; I wasn’t sure I had the patience or the inclination. Much to my surprise, I loved it! The process of building one-on-one relationships around music with individuals of all ages has consistently been one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of my life. Though there are many ways to nurture musicality, I firmly believe that music lessons are one of the best tools for exploring a person’s musical abilities and tastes— there are few other places where students are exposed to such a wide range of musical styles and genres, few other environments as safe as a music studio or living room to experiment with and build confidence in voice or instrument skills. I love to watch my students develop and encounter their musical identities, and love to share their excitement when they discover a liking for bluegrass tunes, an affinity for jazz, or a love of performing. No matter what shape that “music part” takes, I love helping students to grow and be proud of it.

*** Lesson Details ***
It is my sincere wish that my students’ lessons be something they look forward to, NOT dread! I make every effort for the lesson atmosphere to be relaxed while still encouraging students to actively engage with the lesson material. While I believe that structure is an important element of music lessons, I also know the importance of flexibility in ensuring that the student feels like a participant in his or her studies. For example, note-reading, music theory, and technical/ear-training skills are always a part of each student’s lesson, but rather than establish an unbreakable schedule that dictates the itinerary of every lesson, I often let the student decide the order in which we’ll work through each lesson’s agenda. Students typically work out of various lesson books, chosen based on student age, proficiency, and preference. While most of their practice pieces come from these books, I encourage students to explore their own musical tastes and create a personal connection to their lessons by working on at least one song of their own choosing- popular, jazz, Broadway, etc.- as a perpetual part of their lessons.

Between lessons, students are expected to practice what they learned in previous lessons (and more than just once or twice). While I will always do my absolute best to inspire, encourage and motivate my students to practice, the final decision to actually do it or not is theirs. The only real “penalty” for insufficient practice time is the student’s own slower progress and a limit to the extent we can move forward in their lessons. I ask parents of younger students not to force them to practice, but to help them develop the habit of practicing by setting aside a daily practice time and encouraging them to adhere to it. I can’t guarantee that practicing will always be fun, but I can guarantee it will always be worth doing!

Students are invited (not required) to perform in two informal recitals per year with their fellow students. In cases where enough students of the same playing level desire to improve their performance skills, they have the option of attending monthly group lessons in addition to their private lessons. Group lessons provide students with a monthly opportunity to perform to a small group of their peers and offer and receive helpful critiques.

I believe that the two most important things for a student to receive from a teacher are patience and encouragement— if I didn’t believe that I respond to each of my students with these qualities, I would hang up my teaching hat. I try to communicate to my students at all times that I’m passionate about seeing them succeed. I recognize that every student’s goals are different, and I do my best to help them achieve them, whether they just want to learn enough to be able to play or sing their favorite popular songs, or whether they’re looking to develop the skills to pursue opportunities such as school choirs, musical theater productions, or rock and roll stardom

*** Studio Equipment ***
F/W keyboard in private room w/ seating for parents

*** Travel Equipment ***
I will obtain curriculum with the expectation of reimbursement from the student or student's parents, and I expect students to provide a piano or full-sized keyboard.

*** Specialties ***
I have always taught piano with The Music Tree and Faber and Faber, although I'm also familiar with Alfred, Pace and Bastien.
When it comes to vocal pedagogy, I was classically trained and so usually concentrate more on art songs and musical theatre repertoire.

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Bachelor of Music
Aug 2006 - May 2011
Colorado State University

10 Reviews

Write a Review
Rhonda Oct 30, 2017
Piano · In studio

Great instruction, great instructor.

Madison Jun 7, 2016
Singing · In home


Eden W. May 2, 2016
Singing · In studio

Rachel is great with Eden. She has really built her confidence in just five lessons!

Shaan M. Feb 9, 2016
Piano · In home

Rachel is wonderful with Shaan. We are so glad she is his teacher!

Sawyer Nov 9, 2015
Piano · In home

Rachel gave my daughter a fantastic first lesson back into piano lessons after more than 1 year off (with a different teacher). She was patient, explained the techniques very well, and made a very positive impression!

Churee P. Feb 27, 2015
Piano · In home

Rachel has been our daughter's piano teacher for the past 3 years. Rachel is so positive and encouraging to her. Thank you, Rachel for your continuing support to our daughter's love for music.

RickY Jul 9, 2012

Great Teacher!!

I Started out not knowing a thing about singing and ever since i've been taking lessens with Mrs. Rachel i have learned a lot, and been able to do so much with my voice. She keeps the lesson fun and interesting, she's patient and always has something to say to make you understand better about what you are doing. The music is fun and never dull. Mrs. Rachel is a great teacher that i would definitely recommend to a friend who is wanting to learn to sing.

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MichaelM4 Mar 6, 2012


Rachel was an excellent instructor; patient, personable, and thoughtful about each lesson plan. I learned a lot in only a short few weeks. I hope to continue lessons with her later in the spring!

ChureeP Dec 27, 2011

Thank you!

My daughter is 6 years old and she is enjoying her piano lesson again. Thanks to Rachael for being so patient and encouraging with her. We truly appreciate her coming to our house for the lesson. She is very punctual. Thank you!

SergioG Dec 14, 2011

stephanie and vanessa father.

Rachel is an excellent teacher, very talented,respectful and patient; she definitely know how to teach ;my dougthers my whife and I, are very happy with miss Rachel.

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