Music Lessons With Gio
Trained in classical and jazz, I teach piano, guitar, and ukulele, as well as music theory and composition. I value proper technique, but also encourage the participation of imagination through specific imagery exercises, because that's where I believe the best music comes from.
Having gone through extensive training myself, I've taught all ages for eight years, currently teaching over online platforms using a 2-camera HD broadcasting system, and have 18 students on my roster, looking for more. In addition to live lessons, I regularly email visual handouts with more detailed explanations, to help students better connect with the material, and I have plenty of high quality videos for technique study.
I have experience teaching children 3 and up, and also have plenty of adult students, who are either just getting started with music or seeking advanced instruction.
While I was raised with a strict Eastern European style of classical training before moving to the US, my own methods rely on compassion and making the learning process fun and musical, while also emphasizing discipline and technique (more about my education in the section at the bottom of the page).
Feel free to read more about what I do on my website or listen to my playing on my social media pages:
Website - https://www.bardzero.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/GioBardZero/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/giobardzero/
Possible Lesson Topics
Scales, arpeggios, and technique exercises
Reading music and various markings/symbols
Classical pieces of various difficulty, depending on student’s level
Music theory and ear training
Imagery work - using the imagination to execute difficult techniques
Quality of sound - making the piano “sing”
Chord study, chord voicings, extensions
Reading music and lead sheets
Scales, modes, and pattern scales
Jazz standards from various genres of jazz and study of their stylistic qualities
Music theory and ear training
Improvisation and Soloing
Solo piano vs ensemble playing
Imagery work - using the imagination to intuitively connect with music
Jazz, rock, pop, or classical repertoire, depending on student’s goals
Basic and advanced chords
Alternate picking, fingerstyle techniques, strumming patterns
Music theory and ear training
Tone color and quality of sound
Guitar solos and improvisation
Imagery work - using the imagination to aid with various techniques
Playing and singing at the same time
Basic and advanced music theory and its uses in classical, jazz, and contemporary styles
Songwriting in different genres
Harmonic analysis using roman numerals
Part writing in 4 voices, voice leading guidelines
Ear training, intervals, understanding different types of chords and scales
Functional and non-functional harmony
Lyric study and lyric writing
Music is my life. I love all aspects of it, the energy of playing for a crowd, the meditative aspect of playing by myself at the end of the day, and the joy of teaching others.
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I'm always curious to see firsthand where the student is at, if they've played before, so that we can begin with appropriate course-work. The first lesson is always free, just so we can get a sense of where we are at and if I'm a good fit as a teacher. Afterwards, the process is different for beginners as opposed to those who have some experience playing or people seeking advanced instruction.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
7-Year Classical Music Program at Tbilisi State Conservatory (Focus on Piano and Oboe)
Jazz Piano Performance Degree at Metropolitan State University of Denver
Work with various private teachers and mentors over the years, including Helen Gatlin, Janet Landreth, Solomon Chapman, and Natasha Shurgaia
8 years of teaching private music lessons
3 years of teaching group music classes in elementary schools
24 years of practicing and playing the piano
16 years of practicing and playing the guitar
11 years of performing professionally
Silver Certificate from the 2019 International Keyboard Odyssiad Competition
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
First lesson is always free, as a trial, to see if I'm a good match as a teacher. Afterwards, the rates are:
$35 for half hour lessons
$45 for 45 minute lessons
$50 for one hour lessons
Rates are per student. If signing up for a monthly plan, the rates are discounted:
$120/mo for weekly 30 min lessons
$140/mo for weekly 45 min lessons
$160/mo for weekly one hour lessons
How did you get started teaching?
Years ago I had friends and children of friends who wanted to learn how to play and asked me to be their teacher. Through teaching them I realized that I love to teach music. Since then, I went to school for music, applied at different lesson studios and got multiple jobs teaching, and also continued teaching privately, as well as teaching group lessons through a company that organizes them in elementary schools.
What types of students have you worked with?
Youngest I've worked with was 3, at that age all we can do is play musical games involving the names of the notes, rhythm, and call and response. Eventually we were able to actually play songs and chord progressions.
Oldest student I've had was a 70 year old gentleman who has never played music in his life before. Some of my students are teenagers who are at the intermediate level. A few are adults, some of whom are taking advanced instruction and others are just getting back into playing music.
I've taught a few people who were specifically preparing for auditions (and am proud to say have all passed!).
I also teach songwriting and composition classes, involving things like chord theory and structure, and have had established musicians take theory lessons from me as well.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
Raising over $6,000 through crowdfunding for my first album was an incredible experience. The entire process took 5 months, most of it spent finding the right people to work with and preparing for the crowdfunding month. We recorded one song and then Covid-19 put a damper on recording the rest of the album. That song turned out great, however, and I'm looking forward to being able to get back into the studio.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Have some general goals, such as what kind of music you'd like to play or what level of skill you're looking to develop. Have enough time every week to regularly set aside for practicing: lesson time is where you receive instructions on what to practice, but practice time is how you actually improve and reach your goals.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
What is my current level of playing? What kind of music am I interested in playing? What is my favorite music to listen to? Am I prepared to invest a few hours every week into practicing my instrument, which might seem like an uphill battle for the first few weeks? Am I forgiving of myself when I make mistakes and am I prepared to embark on a journey that will likely result in many mistakes, before progress is visible?