Annie B Music Lessons
We are taking special precautions & actions to help stop the spread of COVID-19, and one of these is our offering of lessons online for local students who would normally attend lessons in person. We have a number of students who have chosen this option, and they have been very happy with the online experience taking lessons at the Milwaukee Music Academy. When you send a request for info, we can begin our conversation about how to explore the possibilities of studying here, and you can share with us if you prefer the online lessons option as a temporary situation for your lessons until the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Onward with my brief introduction about how my service stands out...
One of the most important things that I keep in mind during every lesson is the ultimate goals of the student in front of me at that moment. At the same time, there are fundamentals and sequences of learning that every student must be taught in order to become the best they can be. There is a very fine balance of these two that must be met at every lesson, and I feel that my sensitivity of this balance is something that makes me stand out as a teacher. My experience playing and singing professionally "out in the real world" as a paid performer for 25+ years is also an asset that many teachers cannot compete with. I take my real-world experience as a performer and make it work for my students no matter what their goals are as a singer/guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter.
I love to inspire people, and show them things they are capable of... things that they didn't think they were capable of before working with me! It's so much fun seeing the joy on a student's face when they accomplish something very cool and amazing with their playing or singing... something they never thought they'd be able to do!
Photos and videos
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
My goal is to find out what THEIR goals are. And once we've talked about that, we take a look at their skill level and I give them some realistic expectations about when and how they may be able to reach their goals. If they don't know exactly what their goals are, then we can talk about why they want to learn how to sing and/or play, and create some goals! And their skill level will always determine where we start, and what the next steps are. But most of all, we should be having fun during the entire process!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I've been playing music for over 30 years, and making my living playing music live in front of real audiences for 10+ years, which allows me to bring a very special perspecitive to playing music - - and what it takes to be a "successful musician". Learning how to play or sing or is ONE thing, but being able to play or sing well and to have success is ANOTHER thing. My special experience as a successful performing artist will benefit my students in many ways, and I can't wait to share all the knowledge I've gained through this "real-world" experience!
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
It depends on the individual student and their desire to reach their goals. Lessons can be 30 minutes long, 45, 60, or 90 minutes. They can be once a week, twice a week, or even more. They can be in a group of 2 or more, or individual lessons. There are many factors that go into my pricing system, so it's good to explore all the possibilities!
How did you get started teaching?
I didn't realize that I was actually a good teacher when I first started teaching. So, years ago, I was reluctant to start teaching at all, or get serious about being a teacher and building a teaching business. Then, when a good friend of mine told me I should really consider taking teaching seriously, I started taking a new perspective on being a teacher. I used to think, "Those who do something they're really good at don't teach; they're making too much money doing what they do. And those who aren't really good or really successful, those are the ones who teach... because they're not good enough to do it for a living." (OF COURSE you know I'm not talking about grammar/academic school teachers... that kind of teacher is a very special teacher who has a very special gift!)
Then I realized that THE BEST TEACHERS are the ones who "walk the walk" and don't just "talk the talk". More and more colleges are hiring people from the real-life industry, especially in business schools, because they know how important is it to bring REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE to today's students of any industry.
So I started getting more serious about looking for students and building my business as a teacher, and lo and behold, I learned that I'm actually a great teacher!
I guess you can find out for yourself, but that's how my journey started as a teacher... I used to think "I don't know anything about being a teacher... I just sing and play and I can't really explain to others how to do it well. Either you got it or you don't."
BUT then I realized the most important thing: Without MY OWN vocal coaches, and guitar and keyboard teachers, I would not be playing and singing the way I do today.
So, I'm here today to offer you my teaching services, and I hope you can appreciate how my own journey towards becoming a teacher has made me realize some very important things that I keep in mind during every lesson I teach: I WANT TO INSPIRE! Because I used to be the STUDENT! (And I still am today... I STILL learn from those are better than me... as we all should, not matter how great we think we are!)
But I think about how grateful I am for the teachers I had who taught me some GREAT THINGS that have made me the successful singer/songwriter that I am today.
And my #1 goal is to make my students feel EXCITED and INSPIRED... because that's how the greatest teachers that I've had made ME feel!
There's nothing more wonderful in this life than to trigger inspiration in another person, allowing that other person to discover their own talent & greatness!
What types of students have you worked with?
I've had a lot of success teaching both children and adults at various skill levels. I specialize in beginner students playing guitar or keyboard/piano, and with students at all levels who are looking for vocal lessons. I also teach music theory, songwriting, and I can help students looking to build their own careers as musicians, as I have real-life experience in these areas!
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
Just in the last 2 months, one of my vocal students said to me, "I can't believe I am actually singing these notes... before I started taking lessons with you, I was never able to hit these notes! Now I can hit them, and with confidence! I am having so much fun working with you!" This warmed my heart. Seeing the joy in this student's face and hearing the sincerity in her voice is THE REASON why I teach. I strive to achieve this feeling of success in each and every one of my students.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
I would encourage every student to really take the time to find the right teacher FOR YOU. There's a LOT of teachers out there, and some are better than others, some may not have a Ph.D. in Music, but many are still great mentors and they give inspiration to their students. Your goal when looking for a teacher is to find a teacher who you believe can INSPIRE you to be great... who will MOTIVATE you to WANT TO PRACTICE, and who will keep you EXCITED about what you're learning, so you feel like you CAN'T WAIT until your next lesson!
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
1. Will this teacher care about ME?
2. Will this teacher be able to teach me what I want to learn?
3. Will this teacher keep MY GOALS in mind at every lesson?
4. Will this teacher be able to effectively teach me at MY SKILL LEVEL? (Some teachers prefer to teach only beginners, or only advanced students, etc.)
5. Is this teacher able to teach me in the STYLE of music that I want to learn? (Some teachers may not be able to teach you how to "belt it out" as a singer, or they may only specialize in a certain genre.)
The list of questions can go on, but the real thing you want to assess is "Is this teacher right for ME?"
This means you want to make sure the teacher will be right for you in many areas... will they be able to teach you what YOU want to learn; will they be successful at teaching someone at YOUR skill level and your age range; etc.
But most importanly, let your gut guide you. If something "just doesn't feel right", then keep looking. There are a lot of teachers out there, and some are better teachers than others. When you believe you've found the teacher that feels like the best "fit" for YOU, then chances are, you're right. If the teacher turns out to be not right for you, you don't have to commit your entire life of being their student; you don't have to commit for 4 years, like with choosing a college... you commit to them for as long as you like! Finding the right music teacher/coach for YOU is only something YOU can make the decision about. Follow your heart!