We teach piano to students of all ages and of all skill levels. We specialize in teaching how to play piano by ear! We can teach you the system that all professional musicians use when it comes to learning songs. You will be able to hear a song off the radio and sit down and play it. It's a lot of fun! We also make sure that we customize each lesson to what the student wants to learn. If you want to focus on the classical repertoire, then we will do that. If you want to learn to play songs off the radio, we will do that. For students of all ages, you will learn the fundamentals while also learning the things you love to play!
Don't take it from us. Here' what some of our students have to say:
"I was really nervous to start taking piano, especially as an adult, but Chris is so nice and a really great teacher! He is super cool and really knows his stuff. Would definitely recommend him to anyone looking or interested in taking lessons!"
- Marissa D.
"Chris has been awesome to work with. He is great at tailoring the lessons to my specific musical interests, and has made piano lessons both challenging and fun. He's a great encourager and instructor!"
- Russ M.
We love helping students reach their playing and performance goals! Whether they want to play Mozart or they want to figure out a song from a movie, it's a blast to help them discover how to play a tune they know and love. It is also so much fun to experience the moment certain things "click" and students start to understand a new concept. Can't wait to experience those same moments with you!
We love it when students experience those "Ah-ha" moments and they start to understand a concept! It's especially fun with learning how to play by ear. The system that musicians use to learn songs is a game changer and teachers don't usually teach it. So when our students learn it for the first time, we get to see how excited they are to learn it and use it. It's really awesome!
Chris is one of the most generous people and an incredibly talented musician. Whenever anybody asks who I recommend for a piano teacher I always send them to Chris.
Chris is an amazing teacher! He has helped me understand and connect the dots quicker than any other piano teacher has. He will teach you to your preferences as to how and what you want to learn. He is patient, caring, kind, and thorough. He truly wants the student to understand the music but to have fun while doing it. He has a great sense of humor and makes the student feel comfortable. Oh and there is no use of rulers to slap fingers who make mistakes!!
Chris is a very patient and caring person who not only continually works on his own skills and attitudes, but also encourages and rewards those qualities in others - both students and friends alike. His sense of humor, ability to motivate others, and his wide knowledge of music - everything from jazz standards to classic rock to hip hop - make him an excellent teacher for virtually any piano student.
Our process is pretty simple. Feel free to email us any questions you have. We really want to make sure you are comfortable and understand how this all works. Once you feel you are ready to book a time, wE will send you some specific time slots I have available. You then let me know what time works for you and we will set up a time to meet! Lessons are once a week on the same day at the same time. All you need for your first lesson is a notebook!
I am a professional, full-time musician in the St. Louis area specializing in jazz as well as piano bar entertaining. I am classically trained but also play by ear. I have years of experience in the music business including the following: I toured the country for 8 years with a band (LP Outsiders) that led to me signing a publishing deal with Windswept Pacific, landing a song on the Three To Tango movie soundtrack, appearing on the Disney Channel Show "2 Hour Tour" with 98 Degrees, and opening for many national acts including Culture Club, Joan Jett, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Cherry Poppin' Daddy's. We even toured with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy for a year. I also got the chance to play at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, played trumpet on a b-side on Natalie Imbruglia's multi-platinum selling single to "Torn," and did some songwriting with Robbie Nevil (of "Ce La Vie" fame). After the band called it quits, I entered the world of piano entertaining, as well as pursuing my own jazz/soul/hiphop band The Sky West Trio who has played all over the St. Louis area and performed with Cameo and Morris Day and The Time. I also have performed all over the world, becoming a crowd favorite in bars all over the caribbean including Aruba, Barbados, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Kitts. I took piano lessons for about 15 years (from ages 5 - 20) and continue to study and improve my playing to this day. I also studied piano performance at Greenville University. I have been teaching piano since 2009 out of my home studio as well as teaching at Midwest Music Conservatory from 2011-2014. Music is my passion and my career and I love passing on what I have learned to new students! I also work with the best of the best teachers in town. All of our teachers are professional musicians, experts at their craft and have the heart of a teacher!
Students pay tuition at the beginning of each month for all lessons in that month. Months that have 4 lesson days in them are $150 for 30 minute lessons and $225 for 60 minute lessons. Months that have 5 lesson days in them are $190 for 30 minute lessons and $285 for 60 minute lessons.
We are so sure that you are going to love lessons with us that we offer the following to all of our new students: You don’t pay anything before your first lesson! If you don’t like the lesson and you don’t want to continue, then you don’t pay anything. If you DO want to continue with lessons, then you pay the tuition for that month (which includes the first lesson) before your next lesson.
I have been a professional piano player my entire life landing my first gig at the age of 12. Many times at his gigs, people would approach me and ask me if I taught piano. Eventually, I decided to start saying yes and STL Piano Lessons was born. Once I began teaching in 2009, I noticed a pattern. Whenever I would introduce the playing by ear techniques, students got really excited. Their eyes lit up and they saw true possibility of them playing the songs they love! I realized that most teachers do not teach these techniques. Learning to play songs by ear is what made music fun for me. I took piano lessons when I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I started learning Bon Jovi songs off the radio that music really came alive for me. I didn’t know how chords worked, so I would sit there and pick out the notes of each chord one at a time using my cassette player with my fingers always on play and rewind. I want to give my students the leg up that I never had. I want to give them the techniques and the knowledge that will help them learn the songs they love so much faster. Once that world is opened up, the sky is the limit for what they can do with music!
We have worked with students of all ages from 5 to 80. We have quite a few young students who are just starting out. We also have some older students who are retired and want to pick up where they left off as a child. We customize our lessons to what the student wants to learn. We use a fun series of books for kids called Piano Adventures. And for adults, We use John Thompson's Modern Course For The Piano series as well as teaching techniques on how to play by ear.
We have so many wonderful students. We have one student who loves to learn rap songs on the piano so we do that. We have another student who enjoys show tunes so we do that. We have a few younger students who are so excited to learn new things and light up whenever they earn a sticker. (Younger students earn stickers for learning songs and scales, but you are never too old to get a sticker! Don't be afraid to ask for one, we will gladly give it to you :) ). Our longest running student has been with us for over 7 years! Needless to say, he's come a long way!
Be sure you find a teacher who is willing to customize their lessons for what you want to learn. We've met so many people who wanted to play piano but got frustrated quickly because they weren't playing anything that interested them. Piano lessons should be fun so just make sure you find someone who will have fun with you.
Here are some of our most Frequently Asked Questions: When do you offer lessons: We offer lessons seven days a week from 10am until 10pm, depending on teacher availability. Where do the lessons take place: All lessons take place at our individual teacher’s studios. Do you travel to student locations: The majority of our lessons are taught at our teachers’ locations. This is a much more cost effective solution for our students. If you are unable to travel to a teacher location, let us know and we will look into other options. What are your rates: Students pay tuition at the beginning of each month for all lessons in that month. Months that have 4 lesson days in them are $150 for 30 minute lessons and $225 for 60 minute lessons. Months that have 5 lesson days in them are $190 for 30 minute lessons and $285 for 60 minute lessons. Do you offer any discounts: Funny you ask, I was just going to tell you about that! By paying for 4 or 5 lessons at a time, you are getting a BIG discount on our normal rates of $30 for 30 minutes and $50 for 60 minutes. The discount really adds up! Do I have to pay for 4 lessons at a time: Yes. It shows your commitment to be there and reserves your weekly spot. Plus, you also get a BIG discount by paying up front. The biggest reason we do this is out of respect for our awesome teachers. In order to get the best teachers, we need to value their time. But it also keeps you accountable to show up for your lesson and keeps you on track to reach your musical goals. Do you offer a free trial lesson: Yes we do! We are so sure that you are going to love lessons with us that we offer the following to all of our new students. You don’t pay anything before your first lesson! If you don’t like the lesson and you don’t want to continue, then you don’t pay anything. If you DO want to continue with lessons, then you pay the tuition for that month (which includes the first lesson) before your next lesson. What is included in my tuition: 4 one-on-one private lessons with a rockstar teacher (5 in months that have 5 lesson days) - we only work with the best of the best teachers! Free participation in all student recitals Free access to our new Online Portal where you will have your own personalized account Easy payment and scheduling options through the online portal We also have an App (iPhone, iPads, Androids, Tablets) so you can check in on your account on the go We video every lesson and send it to our students the next day. This way you can see and review what you learned in your lesson. This also adds another layer of security for parents as you can see exactly what is going on in each lesson If you need to cancel a lesson, your teacher will send you a quick video lesson with new assignments for the week Free access to all of our online videos on technique, fundamentals, music theory, and how to play songs Free access to hundreds of bonus online lessons from other teachers around the world Free access to direct online chat with your teacher so you can ask questions whenever you have them Parents get their own accounts so you can check on your child's progress Month to month. No contracts. How do I know you are any good. What are other’s saying about you: Great question! You can check out some of the awards we have won as well as read reviews from current and former students HERE. You can also read more reviews at our Yelp profile HERE or on our Google profile HERE. What happens if I don’t like the lessons or don’t like my teacher: We take extra care in hiring the best teachers in the business. Our teachers are all extremely talented musicians. They are also very kind, patient individuals with a heart for teaching. But if ever you are unsatisfied with your lesson experience, we offer a 100% money back guarantee on your first lesson. So if after your first lesson, you are not happy about the experience, let us know and we will refund your money no problem. Also if at any time you would like to discuss finding a different teacher, let us know and we can place you with a different one. Can I meet my teacher before my first lesson: Absolutely! If you would like to set up a meet and greet phone call before your first lesson, let us know and we can hook that up no problem! How do I communicate with my teacher: Other than an initial phone call meet and greet, all communication needs to be done through the chat function of the Online Portal. This is for the protection of everyone involved. This way we will have a written record of all communication between students and teachers. Do you do recitals: We do! We offer two school wide recitals per year. One in the Spring and one in the Fall/Winter. There is no extra charge to participate in our recitals. This is included in your tuition. Can I be in the room with my child during their lesson: Absolutely! You are always welcome to sit in on any lesson. How can I track my child’s progress: Our Online Portal gives you access to see your child’s attendance, progress, practice assignments and more. You can also see all the communication between your child and their teacher. You get your own login information as a parent, so you can check in anytime you’d like. We also have an App that works on iPhone or Android so you can login on the go as well! What happens if I need to cancel a lesson: Everybody gets sick or has some kind of emergency. If you need to cancel a lesson, it’s no problem. You just need let your teacher know as soon as possible. We do not offer makeup lessons for student cancellations. This is out of respect for our teachers’ time. Your teacher may, however, send you a new assignment through the Online Portal so you, or your child, will have some things to work on until the next lesson. Why don’t you do makeup lessons: Your monthly lesson fee is your tuition for the month. With this tuition you get 4 one-on-one private lessons with a rockstar teacher (5 in months that have 5 lesson days), free participation in all student recitals, free access to our new Online Portal where you will have your own personalized account, easy payment and scheduling options through the online portal, we also have an App (iPhone, iPads, Androids, Tablets) so you can check in on your account on the go, we video every lesson and send it to our students the next day (this way you can see and review what you learned in your lesson - this also adds another layer of security for parents as you can see exactly what is going on in each lesson), if you need to cancel a lesson, your teacher will send you a quick video lesson with new assignments for the week, free access to all of our online videos on technique, fundamentals, music theory, and how to play songs, free access to hundreds of bonus online lessons from other teachers around the world, free access to direct online chat with your teacher so you can ask questions whenever you have them, and parents get their own accounts so you can check on your child's progress. If you can't make your lesson, that is fine, it happens, but you still have to pay for the lesson. The same would be true if you were attending college. You pay your tuition at the beginning of the semester. You can show up to your classes or not, but you still have to pay the same tuition. And you wouldn't be able to call your professor and reschedule your class. Piano lessons work the same way. There are a couple of reasons we do it this way 1. It keeps you accountable – it keeps you in the game. Knowing you are paying for a lesson every week whether you are there or not will make you want to show up more. Showing up more often is going to make you progress quicker and make you a better piano player. When you get in the habit of thinking it is ok to not show up, you stop practicing. You start showing up less and less for lessons. Then you get frustrated because you are not progressing as quickly as you would like. And eventually you quit. By paying for every lesson every week, we can avoid this whole cycle and help you reach your goals quicker! 2. Our teachers are awesome and we want to show value for their time and expertise. This is how our teachers make a living. We want to respect that and pay them what they are worth. If we didn’t pay our teachers every time someone canceled a lesson, that teacher would lose money and it would be too late to make up for it by scheduling another lesson. 3. Remember, if you have to cancel a lesson, your teacher may send you a new assignment through the Online Portal so you, or your child, will have some things to work on until the next lesson. What if the teacher cancels a lesson: If your teacher needs to cancel a lesson (this includes holidays), you do not have to pay for that lesson. We will “Bank” that lesson in our system and work with you to schedule a makeup lesson. How do I pay for lessons: You will be able to make all your payments through our Online Portal using a debit, credit or PayPal. It’s super easy. If you would like to set up other payment arrangements (Venmo, Check, Cash), let us know and we can work that out as well. How do I know when it’s time to pay again: Payments are due on the first of the month for all lessons for the upcoming month. You will receive an email with your amount due on the first. How do I know my information is safe with you: We are fully PCI compliant which includes advanced encryption and tokenization of the your credit card data. We do not store data, we use Security Metrics to keep data secure and we simply pass a token to initiate the tuition billing. Simply put, your information is safe with us. Are lessons one-on-one or are they group lessons: Your lesson will be a one-on-one lesson with an amazing teacher. We may offer additional group lessons in the future. Do you teach online lessons: Currently we do not offer online lessons. But this may be something we offer in the future. We will keep you posted! How long should my lessons be: 60 minute lessons are ideal, but we can do 30 minutes as well if that works better for your schedule. We do recommend 30 minute lessons for kids younger than 12 years old How often should I do lessons: One lesson every week is perfect. It keeps you accountable while still giving you enough time to practice what you learned in your lesson Do I need to have a keyboard or piano: Ideally, yes. You are going to need to practice at home the things you learn in your lesson. If you don’t have a keyboard or piano, let us know and we can help you find a great deal on a good board. Usually you can get something decent for $300-$400. How do I get access to the Online Portal: Once you have signed the Student Agreement and returned it to us, we will get you set up in our system. You will then receive an email with your login info and instructions on how to get started.