Stephen McCool
Peachtree Corners, GA
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Stephen McCool

Stephen M.

Peachtree Corners, GA
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Profile-student-favorite Student Favorite
This teacher is rated in the top 15% of teachers in the specialty subject. This badge demonstrates subject mastery on a nationwide scale.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Profile-location-home Student's Home
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I like to teach each lesson, for both voice and piano, by spending equal time on ear-training/sight-reading (sight-singing), music theory, technique, and repertoire.

When I teach ear-training to pianists, we do a lot of count-clapping and tonal memory drills. Count-clapping is a way to develop rhythmic accuracy. The act of speaking (counting) while clapping a rhythm activates more of the senses and therefore leaves a stronger impression on the brain, very similar to teaching reading comprehension by getting students to read aloud. Tonal memory is nothing more than developing a pianist’s listening abilities so they can quickly memorize what they’ve heard and recreate it on their instrument. I don’t teach pianists to play by ear, however, but I’ve always had great respect for musicians who have this ability.

Now, piano technique means different things to different pianists. I’m sure as I grow as a musician my thoughts will change, but after 10 years of teaching piano, here’s my philosophy. However pianists touch the keyboard, they must make the tones thrilling for the audience and convey the emotional essence of the music. In my opinion, holding fingers in the perfect position does not matter. If pianists play the music and make the audience laugh, cry, or jump back in fear, then they’ve connected with them on an emotional level, and the audience will happily keep coming back for more concerts.

When learning piano repertoire, for the complete hobbyist, I say they can’t go wrong with any publication from Faber Piano Adventures. This company’s repertoire covers a wide array of styles and experience levels. For students looking for a more serious piano curriculum, I direct them to Piano Guild and The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music programs. Both programs have pros and cons. Generally, for a highly customized piano program, I recommend Piano Guild -- students can make the audition as easy or as hard as they like. However, when a student signs up for the ABRSM program, they are signing up for a serious preparatory program covering scales, sight-reading, aural training (listening tests), and solo repertoire. Also, the assessor for ABRSM is flown to Alpharetta, GA from England, and he or she generally has a phenomenal professional resume. Achieving a high grade on this assessment is a very high honor.

About Stephen M.

Accomplished voice and piano professional with nine years’ experience cultivating high-achieving, talented music students and preparing them for ABRSM exams, National Piano Guild Auditions, NFMC Jr. festivals, twice-a-year recitals, and numerous local competitions. Experienced in creating fun, engaging lessons that inspire students. Strong communication skills with colleagues, parents, and students. Passionate about teaching and sharing his love of music

Reviews

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4.8
20 Reviews
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Keaton
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I really enjoyed my lessons with Stephen. I'm an adult with some musical experience from college and high school, but not much. He brought a level of energy to our lessons that made them engaging and motivating. He came prepared with lesson goals, but also was flexible enough to work on specific things and songs that I wanted to study. Working with Stephen has given me tools to effectively use my voice and to feel more confident in reading music. After our 10 lessons I have significant improvement in both range and ability. I started without being able to sight-read very well, and now I feel much more confident.

Posted May 7, 2021
Amar
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Stephen is a phenomenal instructor. He is very patient and is able to tailor his instruction to his students. He uses his experiences and recommends practical lesson materials so that he can continue to foster the growth of his pupils. Highly recommended!

Posted May 6, 2021
Maxwell T.
Profile-location-online Online

My son enjoyed the lesson. He remarked that Stephen was very patient.

Posted Mar 31, 2021
Dylan K.
Profile-location-online Online

Dylan is ADHD (which may not have been noted); but he has a hard time keeping up sometimes. Thank you so much for your time. I, the parent, listened in (having not had him in an online lesson before) and learned a few "tips" I can use with him as he continues his practice.
If the situation was different (financially), we would be happy to continue with lessons. I think with time my son would adapt to your style in comparison to the local "church pianist" from who he previously took lessons.

Posted Mar 9, 2021
Caleb K.
Profile-location-online Online

Great!

Posted Feb 6, 2021
Leslie M.
Profile-location-online Online

Stephen is wonderful teacher being very engaging and working patiently with my son. His talent and passion to teach come through very nicely in this online experience even as we have never met him in person.

Posted Jan 29, 2021
Manny L.
Profile-location-online Online

Verygood at explaining correct singing technique

Posted Sep 14, 2020
Mason T.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Aug 28, 2020
Therese

In just a few weeks there is a noticeable difference in my daughters voice and knowledge. So glad we have found a perfect teacher for her.

Posted Nov 2, 2019
Shari
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My son Burke has taken piano lessons from Stephen McCool for a few years and we think he is AWESOME! He shows a genuine interest in his students, stays serious about what he is teaching but also brings humor in to keep students from feeling stressed. It is clear that it brings him joy to share his love of music with his students. Mr. McCool is an excellent teacher and I would highly recommend him for students of any age.

Posted Aug 11, 2017
Andrew N.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

The first lesson was superb. Andrew really enjoyed his first piano class and really liked learning it from Mr. McCool. After class, Andrew was immediately motivated to do his practice. Mr. McCool is very encouraging, he makes the lesson easy going while making his student learned quickly (without pressure). We look forward to the next lessons with him. Leaving the students with their own desire to learn and to love music is indeed very important. He delivers that traits well.

Posted Aug 19, 2016
Roopa R.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

He works great with kids! Has the perfect balance and isn't strict. My daughter really enjoys her lessons.

Posted Jun 30, 2015
Verneyy V.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I am totally new to singing and this was my very first class so I was quite apprehensive. Stephen however was able to create a safe environment and within minutes I felt that it was right, that taking singing classes was not a crazy idea.

I am very happy and I hope I will be able to take many more classes with Stephen.

Posted Apr 16, 2015
Shari G.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mr. McCool is an excellent teacher! He just naturally shares his love for music with his students and this is a beautiful thing to experience. He is always patient and encouraging during our son's piano lessons. He is firm and serious when necessary but always friendly and kind. His teaching style is absolutely perfect for our 12 year old son who is motivated so much more by encouragement than by criticism. Stephen has a gift with children...he shows a sincere interest in what's going on in our son's life (they always have a little chat before his lesson begins). We are fortunate to have have found a wonderful music mentor for our son. I would highly recommend Mr. Stephen McCool to anyone interested in voice and/or piano lessons.

Posted Mar 25, 2015
Ryann P.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Mr. Stephen M. is the best vocal teacher I have ever had. Originally, he was a vocal teacher at my school Woodward Academy. When he told me he was leaving Woodward, I made arrangements to continue taking voice lessons with him, because of how talented he was. He can truly change voices. He will push any student to reach their full potential. Most vocal teachers only focus on the basics: pitch, rhythm, and diction, but he goes beyond that and focuses on the basics as well as more advanced concepts. He will teach you all about posture, tone, emotion, sound placement, vowels, mouth shaping, and the history of the music. Although I am leaving for college, I will truly miss taking lessons with Mr. Stephen M. and hope that my musical experience in college will be as good as the one he provided me with in high school. If you want to take your voice to the next level, Mr. Stephen M. is the only option!

Posted Jan 8, 2015
Sam P.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Steven teaches our two kids Piano. They have really improved and enjoy their lessons. My kids describe him as kind, understanding, and somebody who makes piano fun and a good teacher. I highly recommend him

Posted Jun 29, 2014
RJJ

Great techer

Stephen is a great teacher. He knows how to keep you engaged and help you try many different techniques for your voice to help you find the qualities that you are looking for.

Posted Oct 24, 2011
JoyH1

Piano

Mr. McCool is a great teacher! He spent a lot of time working on our prior workbook to understand what our boy learned in the past. He focused on Art's weakness to fix his problems and most importantly he changed Art's attitude from just doing piano homework to enjoying music. We appreciate Mr. McCool's hard work!

Posted Aug 3, 2011
PuneetS

Stephen is an excellent teacher. His feedback is very accurate and his rapport with our kid is great. He also makes good recommendations for further growth. I would recommend him further.

Posted Aug 1, 2011
DonnaA1

Voice Lessons

My 8 yr. old is really enjoying his voice lessons with Stephan. We notice that Stephan is fun and outgoing during his lessons with Michael.......yet, at the same time he is very patient and kind. Michael enjoys doing his HW lessons and always looks forward to Stephan's visit!

Posted Jun 17, 2011

Photos & Videos

4 Photos & Videos

Experience

Voice/Piano Teacher
Sep 2015 - Present

Cambridge Academy of Music

Customize lessons depending on student's aptitude and parents educational wishes. Devote lesson time equally to repertoire, aural-training, sight-reading, scales/exercises. Creatively adapt to the personality and abilities of each student and their families. Students regularly achieve top honors at ABRSM exams, National Piano Guild Audition, and NFMC Jr. festivals.

Voice/Piano Teacher
Aug 2011 - Jul 2014

Metro Music Makers

Voice Teacher
Aug 2012 - May 2014

Woodward Academy

Cultivated voice students for solo opportunities and choral singing using aural-training, music theory, and vocal technique. Emphasized extreme precision and expressivity in score-reading. Foreign language singing (italian, french, german). Analyzed lyrics for subtext and delved into literary meaning.

Education

Master of Music, vocal performance
Aug 2008 - May 2010

Georgia State University

Languages

English

Fluent / Native Proficiency

Awards

Students Accepted to Prestigious Collegiate Programs
Jun 2020

NYU Tisch School of the Arts

Student Assessment Records
May 2020

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

Piano Student Recognitions
May 2019

National Guild of Piano Teachers

Affiliations

Opera America
Feb 2020
OPERA America draws on resources and expertise from within and beyond the opera field to advance a mutually beneficial agenda that serves and strengthens the field through programs in the following categories: Creation: Artistic services that help artists and companies increase the creativity and excellence of opera productions, especially North American works; Presentation: Opera company services that address the specific needs of staff, trustees and volunteers; Enjoyment: Education, audience development and community services that increase all forms of opera appreciation.
National Guild of Piano Teachers/American College of Musicians, The
Oct 2018
Our primary function is to establish definite goals and awards--in noncompetitive auditions--for students of all levels, from the earliest beginner to the gifted prodigy.
Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
Nov 2015
ABRSM is the UK's largest music education body, one of its largest music publishers and the world's leading provider of music exams, holding over 650,000 assessments in more than 90 countries every year. As a registered charity, we also make significant donations towards music education initiatives around the world. Founded in 1889, we have a long and storied history. But our mission has stayed the same: to nurture a love for music, and to inspire achievement in it. At ABRSM, we believe that everyone, wherever they're from, should have access to high-quality music-learning.
National Federation of Music Clubs
Aug 2015
Since its founding in 1898, the NFMC has grown into one of the world’s largest music organizations with club and individual members of all ages. The NFMC is chartered by the Congress of the United States, and is the only music organization member of the United Nations. NFMC provides opportunities for musical study, performance and appreciation to more than 200,000 senior, student and junior members in 6,500 music-related clubs and organizations nationwide. Members are professional and amateur musicians, vocalists, composers, dancers, performing artists, arts and music educators, music students, generous music patrons and benefactors, and music lovers of all ages.
Music Teachers National Association
Aug 2015
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.

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