Raymond Akers

Raymond A.

Jonesboro, GA

About Raymond A.

Background check: Last verified 08/31/2016
Raymond passed a background check on 08/31/2016 that included the following:
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Raymond teaches: Ages 6 to 60
Teaching since: June 1984
Last sign in: Yesterday

Overview

MY BACKGROUND:
Originally from Port Huron Michigan Ray A. began learning to play the piano at age 5. His formal studies in piano include training at Bellarmine University (jazz studies) and the Naval School of Music (classical and jazz studies). Ray also completed electronics and computer studies DeVry University to stage his background for electronic music and music media.

MY EDUCATOR EXPERIENCE:
Ray served as the Music Media/MIDI Specialist and piano instructor at the Naval School of Music during the mid and late 90's and 2010-2014. His expertise allowed him to design develop and implement a music media/MIDI program for the Armed Forces Music Program. This program played a significant role in futurizing the way military musician's train produce and perform music. As a private instructor Ray has continued to developed and influence many musicians at the beginner intermediate and advanced levels of training. His practical systematic and thorough teaching method allows students to develop quickly and rise to their full potential. Retiring from military music recently Ray is busy working on various recording projects and freelancing as a pianist/keyboardist teaching private lessons and providing music media services in the greater Atlanta area.

MY PERFORMANCE:
As a performing artist Ray has worked as a professional musician for the last 25 years performing around the world in more than 20 different countries with various ensembles. He has recorded on numerous albums with various artists to include the Army Ground Forces Band, Orquesta Sensacional, and most recently with the Ian Charleton Big Band (Brain Chatter Album available on Spotify). Ray is fluent and proficient in many different styles and genres of music. Specializing in jazz and Latin styles he is truly a master improviser and soloist. Ray's style of playing is influenced by artist like Herbie Hancock Chic Corea Oscar Peterson and Thelonious Monk. Ray has also performed and,or recorded with some of the most accomplished musicians from around the world to include Grover Washington Jr., Hillary Jones, Gerald Chavis, Roy Richardson, Gary Harris, Don Tillman, Brett Anderson, Corey Cross, Alfie Moss, Abdu Salim, Joel Joyner, Dexter Whitaker, Jim Lambie, Jamie Abersold, and Wayne Bergeron just to name a few. He has also had the distinguished honor to perform for former presidents Ronald Regan and George Bush. Ray aspires to be the consummate musician.

FOR BEGINNER PIANO STUDENTS:
For students just starting out I use the Leila Fletcher Piano series, John Thompson, or Alfred series. After students are doing establish the basic and are doing well I introduce music theory and technique (scales, basic chords, and technical exercises) as well.

FOR INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED LEVEL STUDENTS:
I define intermediate level students as students who already have had 2 yo 4 years of lessons and experience and can already play pretty well. With this level of student I work on strengthening their foundation and rounding out and diversifying their skill set. usually with this level of student they have specific goals in mind that we work towards as well.

The intermediate level is also where various piano and music styles are addressed to include classical, pop, rock, R&B, country, blues, jazz (modern & swing) and Latin, contemporary christian, and gospel. The technical aspects of playing these styles like chords, chord progressions, scales, modes, licks and ornaments,technical exercises, sight reading, lead sheet interpretation, music theory, ear training, playing by ear, song form, and improvisation, intros & endings, and performance concepts and techniques are addressed as well.

OVERVIEW:
Overall my students that apply themselves usually progress quickly and exponentially. some of them have went on to be professional musicians and band leaders and have far surpassed their initial intended goals and objectives.

Photos and Videos

Performing keyboards in the Hampton Jazz Festival 2013 with Karla Crump

Experience

Piano Instructor

Jan 2015 - Present
Carere Music

Piano Instructor

Aug 2010 - Sep 2014
US Army School of Music

Piano Instructor

Aug 2010 - Aug 2012
Naval School of Music

MIDI and Piano Instructor

Mar 1995 - Jul 1998
US Army School of Music

MIDI and Piano Instructor

Mar 1995 - Jul 1998
Naval School of Music

Writer and Developer

Nov 1992 - Feb 1995
US Army School of Music

Education

BA in Music

Aug 2015 - Present
Thomas Edison State College

AA - Electronics and Computer Technology

May 2008 - Jun 2010
Devry University

Jazz Piano Studies

Mar 1981 - Oct 1981
Bellarmine University

Affiliations

American Federation of Musicians

Oct 2012
AFM

A labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founding in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

Write a Review

11 Reviews on Raymond A.

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Vennessa C. Aug 15, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
My 14yo daughter told me she learned more in one hour with Ray than she did in two months with a previous instructor. I think that says it all! Thanks Ray.
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Vennessa C. Aug 15, 2016
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
My 14yo daughter told me she learned more in one hour with Ray than she did in two months with a previous instructor. I think that says it all! Thanks Ray.
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Fred & Rolanda F. Jul 10, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Neither my daughter ( age 8) nor I have previous experience with playing any instruments. Mr. Akers has been working with my daughter for nearly 2 months, and she has made impressive progress. He is very professional, a skilled teacher, and makes understanding how to read the music and play the piano a pleasant experience. I was so impressed with my daughter's progress that I have started taking lessons as well. After just 2 sessions, I recognize the keys and can read/play a very basic piece (Mary Had A Little Lamb/Frere Jacques). I would certainly recommend giving Mr. Akers a try if your are interested in learning to play the piano-I am sure you won't be disappointed.
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Donald M. Jun 14, 2016
Bass Guitar · In home
Verified Student
I am very particular about where I receive my education/instructions. I'm extremely particular about educators/instructors. Be it martial-arts, college institutions, or bass playing. I performed an extensive search for a bass instructor, I am a beginner and I wish to become one of the best. Taking this seriously, I decided to go with Ray upon reading his credentials - I did NOT go wrong by doing so! He is very knowledgeable and he exudes attention to detail from his military experience - that's important to me since I am military. I am confident that I will be held to a high standard, not being allowed to slide by for the sake of time and money - but also having fun and being motivated to progress. I would not consider another instructor. When I am close to the advanced level, I will be considered one of the best bass players because of his teaching. Trust me, if I was not satisfied, I WOULD SAY SO!!!!
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Sean Jun 8, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Very accommodating and well suited for my 11 y.o. son
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Casey Feb 26, 2016
Piano · In studio
Great Instructor! I have learned alot since July 2015 and enjoy improving my knowledge while learning to play the piano. He is great to work with and I would recommend him to anyone. He knows all genres and will be the instrumental in making me a great on the keys.
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Jahlil Dec 17, 2015
5/5 stars Piano Lessons (for adults) Verified Review


I went to Mr Akers to improve my piano skills as a music producer and in just to sessions my knowledge of music theory has increased enormously.I would definitely recommend Mr Akers to anyone seeking a piano lessons from a beginner to professional level .
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Josh Oct 24, 2015
Piano · In home
I've had several piano instructors throughout my life and Ray was the best one. He was very patient, knowledgeable and had a passion for music. Because of Ray I was able to get into college with scholarships and further my education. Ray has a great way of balancing what you "need" to know with what you "want" to know. I would recommend Ray for anyone interested in learning music.
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Cesare A. Oct 13, 2015
Jazz Piano · In studio
My lessons with Raymond Akers were extraordinary and surpassed my expectations. He is an excellent piano instructor and musician with many years of experience. My lessons were centered around the fundamentals of music, sight reading, theory, Solo Piano and the pianist role in a Jazz combo and Latin band ensemble. His method and approach to teaching were very motivating. I recommend him to any student or professional musician at any level to seek him out.
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Jill S. Sep 27, 2015
Bass Guitar · In studio
My experience with instructor Akers was very professional as well as insightful. His many years of experience was evident in his teaching. I am very pleased with my overall progress and success!