Teri Heller

Teri H.

Renton, WA
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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

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Lesson Details

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About

Teri passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Teri delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 3+ and special needs

Teaching since:
July 2001

I'm a professional composer, teacher, and pianist - and I like to keep active doing all three throughout my community. On July 31, 2013 TakeLessons featured me on Seattle King 5's morning TV news program - I taught a miniature lesson and discussed the impact of piano lessons on the brain. My piano and composition lessons are very in-depth, but also very flexible. Because of my thorough knowledge and experience with music, I can teach all ages, skill levels, and an array of important subjects - including piano, ear-training, music theory, improvisation, composition, creativity, music history, ethnomusicology, and percussion. I cater to each student's interests as well as incorporate many of these subjects into my piano lessons so that every student gains a thorough understanding of music and becomes a well-rounded musician.

I started taking Suzuki piano lessons when I was 5 and quickly fell in love with the piano. Since the Suzuki method incorporates such thorough ear-training and the ability to play without sheet music, I quickly began to explore my creative side and was improvising on the piano by age 7. Naturally, this led to composition! Music was flowing through me, and I was able to both improvise and compose my inspirations on the piano. I entered and placed in the Reflections state composition contest each year. Throughout my youth, I was also very involved with the band (played trumpet), dance, drama and attended many symphonies, ballets, plays and operas - giving me a well-rounded artistic upbringing.

I pursued my passion and earned a Bachelor's degree in music composition from Mills College, followed by a Master's degree in music composition from the renowned California Institute of the Arts. My thorough education has taught me to compose for any instrument or ensemble as well as compose for film, dance, and theater. It has also taught me to understand the piano in-depth, along with theory and ear-training. Since graduating in 2006, I have scored several films, received commissions to compose for ensembles and musicians, and taught both composition and piano lessons. I also created an ensemble named SIRËoNa that I composed for, managed, and performed piano, percussion, and indigenous flutes in, and I was interviewed and featured on NPR along with local radio stations and newspapers. I have produced two CD's. Most recently, I composed a score for a silent film, premiering live with the Seattle Jazz Ensemble as part of the moisture festival in Seattle.

Do you want to learn to sit at any piano and simply play what you feel? Or turn that tune running through your head into a song that you or others can perform? Or to master every detail of a piece of music so that you can express it exactly as the composer intended? I can teach you! I encourage all ages and backgrounds to explore their creative musical passions and discover the endless possibilities of piano performance and music composition!

*** Lesson Details ***
When teaching piano, I take a similar approach to the Suzuki method. But instead of teaching from the Suzuki books, I teach my own composed exercises and pieces that I believe are more fun and accessible to today's student of any age! I create MP3 recordings of each exercise and have students listen to and memorize the exercises in their own time.This is a very important aspect of my lessons that thoroughly develops the ear - giving the student the ability to play the exercise from memory and to deeply understand the connection between their actions and the resulting sound.

I develop my exercises to progress each student through an increasing degree of technique difficulty and musical parameters - such as rhythm, melody, chords, harmony, key and range. Beginning exercises will isolate a specific musical parameter to bring thorough understanding of its possibilities, while advanced exercises and pieces will work on coordinating multiple parameters and techniques at the same time. Within 6 months, a beginner piano student will have tackled and perfected simple yet fun exercises that incorporate each major musical parameter, as well as develop correct posture and finger technique, and have developed some ear training and basic music theory skills. I also have my students do creative exercises, which develop more thorough ear training and the ability to eventually improvise and compose on the piano. More advanced piano students will perfect their ability to interpret and express each piece of music that they play and will receive thorough ear training, music theory lessons, and develop their creative abilities through piano improvisation and composition. Once they have tackled the fundamentals, intermediate and advanced piano students will learn the classics as well.

Along with piano lessons, I'm also highly qualified to teach music composition - including beginning to advanced composition, music theory, composing for any instrument or ensemble, Sibelius computer notation program, film scoring, and orchestration.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Private room, desk, professional digital piano - 88 keys fully weighted, piano bench. 2 professional cameras and iMac computer for online lessons. Percussion instruments for young students. Sibelius for composition students... Parents can sit in.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect students to have their own piano or keyboard when having a lesson in their home.

*** Specialties ***
Piano, Composition, Suzuki method, Classical, Contemporary, Ear Training, Memory Training, Piano Improvisation, Music Theory, Piano Ergonomics, In-depth Holistic Approach, Music History, Rhythm and Percussion. Success in teaching ages 3 and up, all backgrounds and ages.

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Experience

Freelance Composer and Teacher
May 2006 - Present
Teri **** ****** Music

I have my own music business as a profession. I'm a private teacher-for-hire as well as a composer-for-hire for various film projects, collaborations, and commissions.

Education

Masters Degree in Music Composition
Aug 2004 - May 2006
California Institute of the Arts
Bachelors Degree in Music Composition
Aug 2000 - May 2004
Mills College

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency

Certifications

MFA Music Composition
May 2006
CalArts

Awards

Featured on NPR
Jul 2015
WUOL classical radio
Sound of Silents composer
Apr 2013
Seattle Composers Alliance
Teacher of the Week
Jan 2013
TakeLessons
Art Amiss grant
Nov 2009
Art Amiss

Affiliations

Women in Film Seattle
Jan 2012

"Women in Film Seattle promotes, supports, and mentors members by offering a busy calendar of events, programs and classes. n addition, we strive to provide valuable news and information to our
members, as well as to promote our members and their projects. We do
this via our website, newsletter and ongoing communiqués to our members.
We also provide a forum for discussion about film through our Movie
Salon and Discourse Parlor Blog, which launched in 2010."

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Seattle Composers Alliance
Jan 2012

The Seattle Composers Alliance is a non-profit professional organization made up of working composers, students, and others interested in professional music composition. The SCA was created so that composers could gather with their peers in a relaxed, non-competitive atmosphere and share knowledge, experience and information. But we also have an agenda: special forums and seminars of interest to our members; expanding Seattle’s reputation as a center for musical creativity; and educational outreach to our community.

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Broadcast Music Inc.
Jan 2006

One of three United States performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. In FY 2013, BMI collected more than $944 million in licensing fees and distributed $814 million in royalties.

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Photos & Videos

Photo by Teri H.

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Photo by Teri H.

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Photo by Teri H.

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8 Reviews

Write a Review
yigong L. Apr 29, 2017
Classical Piano · In studio

Terri is very nice with my boys, especially patient with my younger son Jon who has just learnt Piano for about half-one year. Terri taught the intro music theory, how to train ears and finger skills, which Jon really enjoys. And Terri kindly email us music sheet and practice recordings after every lession, which are very helpful for kids to practice. Although we have to change schedule, we miss her!

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Megan W. Mar 23, 2017
Piano · In studio

My daughter had her first session yeaterday with Teri and came home very impressed and wanted to practice right away.

Tam Pham Jan 7, 2016
Piano · In studio

She is agreat teacher. I learnt a lot within one day. Her teaching way is easy to remember and learn.

Alejandra S. Dec 16, 2015
Piano · Online

Teri's lesson was fabulous. She was clear, organized and ready to teach playing by ear. Just what I had always wanted. Thanks Teri!

Jason B. Nov 10, 2015
Piano · In studio

Teri has been great; very patient and organized. She has simple finger exercises that sound like songs. By the third lesson of practicing and playing them, I already understand one process which I can easily create my own original music. I'm excited to learn more.

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Ron I. Mar 28, 2015
Piano · Online

She is patient and knowledgeable, I highly recommend her!

Mercedes L. Jan 9, 2015
Piano · Online

Teri has been instrumental in bringing music back into my life. Her teaching abilities allow her to adjust to students specific needs. She takes the time to learn and understand her students which allows them to feel comfortable and move at a pace that best works for them.

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DavidM6 Jan 24, 2012
·

Enjoy Learning

Teri has a unique ability to communicate an understanding of music both by ear and theory that makes learning and appreciating synonymous. Her use of mp3's for home study and systematic/ progressive teaching method makes learning both measurable and fun.

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