Contact Andrew Martell

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Thank you for stopping by this page! Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.  The below videos are of myself performing with composer and pianist Russell Ronnebaum.

Danny Elfman Suite, arr. by Russell Ronnebaum
Performed by Russell Ronnebaum and Meily Mendez

"Serpent's Kiss" from Garden of Eden Suite by William Bolcom
Performed by Russell Ronnebaum and Meily Mendez

Contact Meily Mendez

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Contact Janet McClary

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Contact Astrid Chan

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Background and Experience:

  • Bachelor of Music Degree 1974 in Piano Performance, Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University
  • Master of Music 1976 in Piano Performance, Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University
  • Piano teaching since 1973 (44+ years' experience)
  • Experience at all ages and levels, beginning thru advanced

Mission Statement: My objective is to develop the student to his/her full potential, and provide a general background that will in turn prepare that student for any genre of music he/she may choose during their lifetime.

Teaching Philosophy: Many students and parents come to the table with good intentions; yet often the end results are disappointing. Examples of such might be tepid week-to-week progress, not following through on participation in an event, or prematurely discontinuing lessons. These are usually due to lack of awareness of one or more ingredients vital to studying a musical instrument. For example, they might not realize they have less time than required to devote to practice each day. People often underestimate the prerequisites music lessons carry. Rarely, however, are these disappointments due to lack of talent. A student need not be exceptionally "talented" to excel in their study of a musical instrument. I look for effort, not talent. Without effort, no amount of talent will matter. If a student has talent, it will blossom only with at least a moderate amount of effort. What the public regards as "talent" is really a lot of hard work and perseverance. Ask any gifted prodigy, and they will likely tell you this. However, if you don't have that special gift, as the vast majority of us don't, you nevertheless, will be surprised at what you can learn with a modest but consistent daily effort.

Teaching Approach: My approach to piano teaching is based on many different methods and philosophies, but is not rooted in any one specific method. Above all, it is based on logic and common sense. Essentially it is a step-by-step process: you are not ready for Step B until you have mastered Step A. This comes from the Suzuki approach, to which, earlier in my teaching career I had some hands-on exposure at the encouragement of some colleagues. However, my inability to accept certain elements of the Suzuki philosophy led me to officially abandon the approach, but not without carrying over certain teaching elements of the approach to my own. In particular the concentration and focus on a single detail at a time, which is the heart of my teaching approach, comes from Suzuki, but can be easily adapted to complement any "traditional" teaching approach. In turn, we break the material down into manageable learning steps, starting with one pattern/phrase at a time, treating each as a building block to be eventually assembled to form the complete composition.

Prerequisites for Study With This Teacher: As I mentioned above, the study of a musical instrument carries several requirements which, with even one missing, the lessons will likely not be able to continue. Prospective students and parents should consider the following requirements before inquiring to a teacher:

  1. Must have a piano. Before inquiring to a teacher, be sure you have an appropriate instrument, either an acoustic piano in good playing condition (i.e. decent tone, all keys and damper pedal working), or a digital keyboard with 88 weighted keys and pedals, which can replicate the capability of a regular piano.
  2. Adequate time availability for practice. A half-hour to an hour of daily practice will be expected. The time given to the practice should not be your last discretionary time to be given up. Before you make the commitment, visualize a daily time graph, and determine where the practice time will fit.
  3. A positive mindset. The mindset includes everything from general sentiment towards the activity to expectations, as well as how you would handle potential conflicts. A positive mindset, even if not overly optimistic, must be expected of both student and parent(s). A negative mindset would mean doom from the beginning. The student above all should come with an intent to succeed and learn, while the parent should come with an intent to support the student's endeavor. This may entail resolving conflicts without threatening either the student or the teacher. Discontinuing lessons should be considered only as a last resort, certainly not a first.
  4. Good health. Review your health history. You have nothing in life if you don't have your health. You can't accomplish much if you're ill all the time. You should have a good history of absences from school or work due to illness.
  5. Finances. Be sure your primary source of income will be able to support the lessons. You will not be accepted on the conditions "extra" income, such as bonuses or overtime pay support the lessons.
  6. Residency status. If you need the services of a real estate agent, you will not need mine concurrently! If you are getting ready to move, this is not the time to start piano lessons. Put first things first (as with my teaching approach). Get settled in in your new place first, then make arrangements for lessons. You should not currently be looking for work out of town or be due for a transfer out of town when you inquire for lessons.

Contact Paul Lorenz

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