Underhill Studio

Underhill Studio

5.0 (2)
3 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee

About this pro

I've taught at many institutions, including Hiram College Mt Union College and Cleveland State University, where I now teach music courses.  My goal is to give students the basic skills they need to enjoy music. While I teach some pieces by rote, everyone is encouraged to learn to read music and understand the fundamentals of harmony. I offer students performance opportunities in an informal setting, which motivates them to prepare recital pieces. Everyone has something to work on that they enjoy while they are also asked to do theory and reading assignments to improve their skills. In my theory classes as Cleveland State I see hordes of students with deficient piano and harmony skills who want a degree in music. Start preparing early! I am also a founding member of the No Exit and Cleveland Chamber Collective ensembles, which perform around town, if my students want to hear me perform.

I like people, especially one on one.

I enjoy seeing people get beyond a hurdle.

Read more about this pro


Cleveland, OH 44119
Phone verified

2 Reviews


  • Jim Wamsley

    Nick has a wealth of knowledge and experience which he shares during the lessons. He has a good sense of humor and, as an adult pupil, is a good match for me to take up the piano again after a 50+ year hiatus.

  • Terry Ross

    Nick gave piano lessons to our daughter for several years. His patience and kindness made it always a pleasure to go to lessons. He always listened to our daughter's musical interests, and helped her select beautiful pieces to learn, that would challenge her, but also be within her reach.

Photos & Videos


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

Normally, I like to provide an interview lesson, in which questions are amswered.

During our Covid time, I am limited to in person visits at students' houses rather than mine and online lessons. Therefore, I prefer to take new students who are within 20 minutes of my house, at this time.

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

I have extensive training with a variety of teachers, including professors at famous music schools. I also studied at the Taubman Institute to learn efficient technique.

I have been teching since I was a college student over 40 years ago and have attended many masterclasses.

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

For Online Students, it's $15 per half hour

Travel charge is extra, depending on location and the number of students nearby.

How did you get started teaching?

As above, I started teaching at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA as part of 

a community service requirement.

What types of students have you worked with?

As a man, I get a lot of boys.  They have interesting congnitive/attention issues that require patience to deal with.

I enjoy students from every gender and ethnicity.

I have taught in a lot of schools and regions of the country, so I have worked with quite a variety of cultural backgrounds. I welcome a challenge.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

My students played a recital at my house last weekend.

One of my beginners was looking around the room to see if people were watching him.  He wasn't exactly playing what he was supposed to, but it was very amusing and he was enjoying being in front of an audience.  They certainly enjoyed him enjoying himself. Plenty of time ahead to confront reality. 

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

Experience is important.

There is nothing wrong with a good method book; kids like the pictures and the theory books. Everyone, including adults, likes a well planned progression starting with easy tasks and moving to harder ones in a controlled way. An inexperienced teacher can quickly turn off a new student if they make mistakes in that area.

Many Classically trained teachers regard popular music as inferior to the old classics. That is a snobby and uninformed view. I let my students choose from different styles so that they will have at least one piece they are happy to work on.

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

Students should have access to a piano or a decent keyboard.

(I prefer one with 88 keys).

The student should feel ready to do regular practice and find a time of day that will work in their schedule.

Piano study is fun.  It also tends to accelerate other skills, such as reading books and math.  

A student doesn't need to be exceptionally talented to learn piano.  They just need to have a desire to learn.  Children can be helped a lot by an adult who has time to practice with them at the beginning