Gratz Opus 118 Music & Dance

Gratz Opus 118 Music & Dance

6 employees
6 years in business

About this pro

We offer piano, voice and guitar lessons, taught by established teachers in the Valparaiso area at competitive rates!  We also carry sheet music, methods books for piano, voice and guitar, along with other musical accessories. Gratz Opus 118 officially opened in 2016 under new ownership.  Gratz Piano was the previous name, a music store and studio established in Valparaiso for well over 20 years.

I have a Bachelors degree in music as well as a Master of Music degree, concentration in piano performance from Miami University (Ohio).  I have been a piano teacher in the Porter-Lake County area for over 25 years.  I spent the last 16 years as the piano instructor at the Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High Ability Academy.  Making good, quality music is my passion, piano music is my greatest joy and I'm committed to sharing this love of music with as many people as I can.   

Gratz-Opus 118 has a staff of 6 teachers who are committed to quality music instruction.  All of us have been music teachers for some time and we work with students of all ages and levels.  It is my pleasure to work with these teachers, and to interact with the students of all ages who study here. It makes my day!

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Valparaiso, IN 46383
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What is your typical process for working with a new student?

   The first and most important aspect of beginning music instruction is to discover what the student hopes to eventually accomplish with the instrument.  We have a 1st and 2nd lesson, listening to the student play or begin with instrument orientation if the student is a beginner.  Appropriate instructional materials are obtained, and the musical adventure begins!

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

I personally have a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Spelman College, Atlanta GA, (1980) and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from  Miami University, Oxford, OH. (1982)  I have also attended a number or conferences and workshops related to piano pedagogy.

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

Gratz Opus 118 has a rate of 22.50 for a weekly 30-minute lesson.  Lessons are billed monthly, $90.00, payable in full at the beginning of each month.  Students may opt for a 60- minute minute lesson week, the rate would be doubled to $180.00 monthly.

How did you get started teaching?

I began teaching class piano as a graduate assistant. while working on my Master's degree at Miami in 1980.  I have been teaching piano ever since.

What types of students have you worked with?

I have successfully taught students ranging from beginners at young ages to college music majors who were pursuing a degree in music education.  My assignment at Wirt-Emerson was to teach all students who wished to concentrate on piano performance as their art major.  (Wirt-Emerson is a public schoo/magnet school for visual and performing artsl in Gary, IN). The school goes from grades 6-12, and as the only piano teacher, I had the opportunity to teach some of those students for 7 years.  One of those students went on to major in music and college and has succeeded me as the piano instructor at Wirt-Emerson.  I took early retirement this past school year in order to become owner/Executive Director of Gratz Opus 118. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Back in October, Gratz Opus 118 had its 4th monthly studio recital, featuring students from 4 of our 6 teaching studios.  The performance media were ukelele and piano for this recital, the students ranged in age from 8 to older adults.  The repertoire included Disney, Star Wars, Debussy and Beethoven.  The purpose of our monthly studio recitals is to give students an opportunity to perform in public, learn from the experience and continue the work.  Some students are preparing for upcoming competitions, others are enjoying what they've learned and are willing to share the gift of music.

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

Find out as much as you can about that teacher's experience/training.  If you can, talk to someone who's studied with that teacher.  Give yourself at least 1 month of study with that teacher to make certain that your personalities work well together.  By the end of 4 lessons, you should know whether or not it will work.

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

Be candid with your teacher at the outset regarding what you can realistically do regarding practice/playing time outside of lessons.  Many adults wish to study an instrument, and practice time between lessons is needed.  You may not have much time to give to it, but think about what time you can give.  This will help the teacher determine how they need to approach your individual music education.

     As I stated earlier, please let your teacher know what you hope to accomplish by studying an instrument (voice is also an instrument)  There are those who wish to one day play Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, there are others who want to be able to play well enough for family sing-alongs or whatever they enjoy hearing.  The quality of the instruction should not change--technique will still be important as well as other aspects of performance, but with both student and teacher on the same page, the learning experience will be enjoyable for both.