EMMA - Elite Mobile Music Academy

EMMA - Elite Mobile Music Academy

5.0 (5)
9 hires on Lessons.com

About this pro

I am a classically trained pianist and an experienced Voice Instructor who has over the years successfuly branched out to other kinds of music including POP, ROCK, JAZZ, BLUES/BOOGIE WOOGIE and everything in-between. I have been involved in all aspects of the music industry throughout my adult life. I have been a succesful professional song writer, touring and studio keyboardist, producer and arranger. I have performed at the COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS and my songs were performed at the LATIN GRAMMIES. I`ve been in bands opening for major international stars inclidung GRETCHEN WILSON, CRACKER and more. In the past two decades I got very passionate about teaching and sharing my skills and expertise with students of all ages and musical style preferences. Currently, I am the chief PIANO and VOICE instructor at MIDWEST MUSIC ACADEMY in Plainfield IL and a PIANO TEACHER for MUSICAL EXPRESSIONS SCHOOL of MUSIC (Naperville IL school district) as well as part of the TAYLOR ROBINSON MUSIC ACADEMY STAFF.  I also have a large group of talented and enthusiastic private students and I am looking to fill occasional gaps in my schedule. I teach all styles of piano playing  and provide VOICE TRAINING to students with a very diverse range of musical interests and stylistic preferences, from POP through  ROCK ... JAZZ ... BLUES/R&B all the way to MUSICAL THEATER and CLASSICAL. My top students have won many school competitions, have succesfully auditioned for parts in theatrical productions, and performed at the most prestigious venues in the USA including Carnegie Hall and the final rounds of the widely popular X-FACTOR voice competition. My piano students have progressed to play some of the most advanced pieces of classical music like the 2nd Hungarian Rhapsody (F.Liszt) or Piano Concerto in E minor (F.Chopin). The age of my students ranges from 6 to 81. What makes me STAND OUT as a teacher is that in addition to providing highest quality instructions, I also MOTIVATE and INSPIRE which helps maintain a very loyal roster of students. I routinely  maintain a strong, constructive and informative relationship with the parents of my younger students. I consider myslef a PRACTITIONER, meaning that I know and can demonstrate how it`s done in the "real" world not only in the classroom. I can also teach acoustic guitar to beginners. I will gladly provide more references, reviews samples of my performances/recordings upon request. Please feel free to contact me for any additional information. 

There are many rewarding aspects of being a music teacher. Perhpas the most important one is being able to help develop one`s talent from scratch and watch it grow and flourish. Music inspires and connects. It helps develop wonderful relationshps to last a lifetime. On a very practical level some of my most advanced sudents became my collaborators. I included them in my live shows and collaborated with them on writing, arrangeing and recording music.

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Chicago, IL 60656
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5 Reviews


  • Kasia Paplinski

    Tad has been wonderful! His expertise and training really shine through the lessons with my children. He has suggested specific books that will address their areas of need while also keeping in mind their song/style interests and goals. Tad provides challenging yet engaging lessons that have already expanded their skill level. Always communicative, courteous, and punctual, I would highly recommend Tad to anyone looking for piano lessons.

  • Nelia Jay

    Tad has an incredible ear for small nuances and adjustments that have a big impact on the quality of vocal performance. He also has the ability and patience to communicate and teach them accurately, so that you can experience the best of you! I went on to pursue singing professionally and am very grateful to have received this training, which I'm sure I will always come back to through the different stages of my singing career. Highly recommend!

  • Isabella Tonarelli

    Tad is an amazing instructor! I've been taking piano lessons with him for over 4 years now and have enjoyed every lesson. He is so nice and fun, and his expertise makes learning to play the piano a breeze. He is by far the best piano instructor I've ever had. I highly recommend taking lessons with Tad!

  • Don McCurdy

    I have been taking lessons with Tad for the past 2 ½ years. I was looking for a vocal instructor that would allow me to sing, play guitar, and harmonica. After going through 3 different teachers I found Tad and he was the one. Tad has been able to help shape my vocal as well as my overall performance ability. He has assisted me time and again on guitar and harmonica. He has a great ear and has stretched my singing ability to lengths I didn’t think possible. Tad has also helped me arrange my own lyrics into original songs. He is an absolutely amazing piano/keyboard player , as good as they get, which makes it so much more exciting, when he joins me performing a song. Tad is always fun to work with and has a great perspective on the gift of music and life in general. I don’t only consider Tad a teacher but also a friend. He is very encouraging and finds the good even when you might be having a bad day. I’m always grateful for our time together and look forward to learning from him each week

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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

1) Discovery - getting information about students` needs, expectations, skill level and previous experience.

2) Presentation of my Method - a highly customized process during which students  are introduced to the suggested method that would guarantee the best possible results.  An open minded discussion is awlays welcome during this stage. Students` parents are always welcome to join in.

3) Procceding with the actual lesson

4) Getting feedback at the end

5) Fine tuning the method

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Masters Degree in Piano & Music Theory from the Music Conservatory in Wroclaw ( Poland ) , years of touring and recording with well known European artists , appearances at event such as CMA AWARDS in NASHVILLE TN ( performing solo and backing up country singer Dell Robbins ) , writing 2 songs and performing at one of the events during the LATIN GRAMMIES ( New Talent Showcase - singer Nelia ) , collaborating with some of the best musicians in the world like ... jazz singer/guitar player Frank D`Rone , Luis Sutterfied ( Earth Wind & Fire, Phill Collins, BB King ) ... Gary Loizzo ( American Breed, 2 time Grammy Nomenee ) countless appearences on the local music scene including JAZZING at the SHEDD ... ALL SOULS JAZZ FEST to name just a couple.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

The base price is $30 for a 30 minute lesson. This price is typically adjusted depending on the required time ( e.g. if a longer lesson is needed ) and the distance I have to travel to the location. It is also negotiable based of the number of lessons in a given time period ( once a week or more times per week/month etc. ). I would say it ranges from $30 to $50 ... I am also open to negotiating special rates and arrangement for exceptionally talented and motivated students or students whose financial situation does not allow them to pay full price but who still want to continue the lessons. In other words I can be reasonably flexible in certain situations.

How did you get started teaching?

I was once asked by a neighbor if I could help their young daughter learn piano. I agreed and quickly fell in love with sharing my expertise and passion for music with those who want to pursue it.

What types of students have you worked with?

All ... including extreme cases like terminally ill children or people challenged in other ways. All ages , ethnic beckgrounds ... all levels.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

The most rewarding are the events when students have to stop taking lessons for any reason but come back once their circumstances change. So, recently I have had my most advanced piano student returning after her school year in college ended ...  also a supremely talented voice student who had to stop taking lessons for a few months because of a family situation came back ... within the next 3 weeks she was able master Chopin`s Scherzi in Bb minor, considered a very advanced piece of callssical music. Also a former US marine my  most disciplined voice student who told me that taking lessons with me was the best thing that has happened to him in a long long time ... he tried different instructors but found me to be the most helpful.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Make sure you are comfortable working with a particular teacher ... there are a lot of very skilled professionals out there but you need to find one you know you can stick with. Learning to play an instrument takes time and you are on this journey together ... you and your teacher. Resumes never tell the whole story. You actually need to try to see if a particular instructor is right for you.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

There can be a lot but the priority should be the following :

- How long have you been teaching ?

- Do you only teach or do you also perform ?

- Do you still practice ?

- My time for practicing is limited , how can I still get better ?

- Did you ever have any students who were unhappy with your services ?

- Can you play something for me ?

( often an underestimated question , students love to know that their teacher not only talks the talk but walks the walk as well ... if the potential students are impressd with the way the instructor plays the instrument , chances of getting hired grow expotentially ) 

- Can you provide references if requested ?