WHO AM I?
Years of Experience and Proven Results
In 2007, I discovered the need for more private instruction in my Junior High School. Since then, I’ve worked with students of all ages in order to help them discover their full potential, while taking on an approach that focuses on patience and self-encouragement through understanding.
Through my unique and personalized teaching methods, my students are able to develop study habits and effective learning strategies that last. My greatest joy is watching students succeed and unlock their own potential as well as their musical voice. Contact me and see how my services can benefit you today!
I was part of Ravinia's Jazz Scholar Program where I learned from jazz greats like Bobby Broom, Dennis Carroll, and Willy Pickins. I played music professionally in Chicago for three years before going on to teach as the Group Piano program leader at the Philomusica European School of Music in Fort Collins. Now, I teach and continue to play in bands all around Colorado and tour throughout the Western/Central United States.
I also record tracks as a freelance bassist mainly for Fox Tracks Music
Bands currently involved in:
I changed my name from Marco to Zeke. These reviews were made when I was Marco.
To those who want my perspective on how I teach,
I mainly teach music theory. That means that the more instruments you want to learn how to play, the more useful I am as a teacher to you. I teach students ranging from about 5 to about 65, so far.
I charge $60 per session, not per hour. If you plan on receiving monthly lessons then it's $200 per month for weekly lessons regardless of how many weeks there are in the month. Lessons every other week are half priced, so $100 for 1-3 lessons per month.
Additional people are half priced as well, so two children with weekly lessons would cost $300 per month ($200+$100).
Sometimes a lesson can take 3 hours if there's time and you are actively learning the information. By the same token, a lesson can last 45 minutes if it's very clear what needs to happen and you quickly understand all the information needed and feel comfortable with what you have to practice for the week and feel you can't learn more right now. I really try to move at your pace and make sure you have a full rounded education.
Here's what I do: I teach you everything from the ground up. No matter if you are a beginner, a seasoned vet, or someone who played once upon a time and you enjoyed it, but you stopped playing. That means starting at the alphabet and working our way to sounding like what you want to sound like as well as have the flexibility to play with others in just about any setting.
I focus on making sure the sound part would feel as if it were poetry on it's own. Effectively communicating your feelings to someone else as if it was written and said is what I strive to teach you how to do. My students learn music at a professional level sooner than I did and sooner than most of my friends, colleagues, and schools programs I attended with rigorous two week intensive camps and classes. I do have a book that we follow, but I wrote it. It's really chalked full of the facts and a no frills description that leads you through the connections. The rest of the space is for writing all over it so you can refer to it for meanings, feelings, or exercises. I find this is necessary because while most people react similarly not everyone does. It's important to know how the public reacts vs. how you react. That way you can effectively communicate how something feels for you vs. what is necessary to get that feeling in a "typical" listener.
A lot of music is verbiage. That makes it harder to learn because you get caught up on memorizing something instead of understanding how it works. I give you the questions you need to ask yourself in order to be able to learn and put the pieces together yourself as to why something works and is the way it is, then I tell you the names and how it relates to the music you listen to. This creates a sort of "Aha!" moment where something you initially didn't understand now has a place in your life and is understood on a more than intellectual level, but also an emotional one. That means you will remember it better, and be able to recreate it even if you "forgot" because you have a system that is centered around fundamental aspects of music.
I put a heavy emphasis on being able to name a note as a part of a scale. It's easier than you might think and almost everyone I teach gets pretty good at the first 4 notes it in about ten minutes. This is actually a sort of reverse process where naming external notes helps you understand how the sounds in your head fit on your instrument so you can play what you are audiating. The better you can play what you are hearing in your "mind's ear" the easier it is to play music you enjoy and feel good about. That means you'll practice more, and not even notice you're doing it.
Emotional Awareness is an interesting thing in music. If you think of songs with happy lyrics they have happy sounding music behind them. You could say that the people who made the music were emotionally aware of how they wanted the song to feel while the words were sung, and so paired the words with happy sounds. Perhaps they made happy feeling sounds, and then wrote words to go with them. In which case, you could say the people making the music were emotionally aware of how it made them feel and were therefore inspired to write happy lyrics. Whatever the case, it's clear that generally an emotional awareness about the sounds you are making leads you to enjoy the music and be inspired to add things to it that further demonstrate and fine tune the feeling you are inspired to create as each new detail arises in your mind's ear. Sometimes creating a cascade of inspiration.
It's actually very easy to talk about this because a lot of people react similarly to specific musical concepts.
All of this is great, but you have no rhythm you say. Your friends are appalled when you dance and most of the time it ends up on Facebook the next day. You couldn't tap in time if you were listening to only a single beat going -click- -click- -click-
That's ok. It turns out people are actually very very good at keeping time, it's just hard for a lot of people to communicate to you how you can use your natural intuition to keep time. I lead most people through a thought exercise that works every time and shows you how good you really are at keeping time. Go you! Give yourself an out of time set of pats on the back, now do it while counting down from 3 out loud. That's an example of how good you are! That's not the thought exercise, but if that worked, you'll clearly do great at it. There has only been one case of "beat blindness", as far as I'm aware. If you don't believe me, Click this source paper.
"Alright, You haven't mentioned sheet music."
You're right. I haven't. I don't always start out with teaching you how to read sheet music. I'm not necessarily going to say you need to learn how to read it. It's going to make practicing certain things easier, and certain things harder. It just depends on your goal as a new musician starting an emotional journey through the landscape that is the world of sound. Most people should probably learn to read because it opens up more opportunities for your musical expression and your understanding of other's musical expression. At worst, it's a tool in your tool bag.
You may have noticed I haven't mentioned any instruments really as far as what I teach. That's because I can play most anything at what many might call a "proficient" level. This means I understand proper form for how to play them, altered forms and when to use them, as well as common mistakes and how to fix them. This also means I can play a chromatic scale and therefore also play every major and minor and blah blah. The only difference between my skill levels on each instrument is how much time I've had playing them to be able to quickly access how to do what I know about music on that instrument. So that means I have a pretty big list of instruments:
Bass, Piano, Guitar, Uke, Trombone, Banjo, Mandolin, Upright bass, Flute, Violin, Trumpet, Saxophone, Drums, Composition, Clarinet, Baritone, Mouth harp, Nose whistle, French horn, and I'm currently investigating obtaining more eastern and southern instruments to fill out my world instrument list. Stay tuned for that.
I also teach in any genre, because I like pretty much all music!
If this sounds like a good fit, go ahead and give me a call. - 9707795171