Lessons

Andy Schiller offers private guitar lessons to students of any age or level. He has just relocated to Ann Arbor, MI, where he taught at Herb David Music from 1997-2000, and held a Professorship at Siena Heights University and Adrian College. Several of the children Andy taught are professional musicians. For the third year in a row, he’s completed the Colorado Suzuki Institute in Beaver Creek Colorado. He takes this course every year to improve teaching skills and learn how to inspire young players. Andy is a registered Suzuki teacher. Here are his credentials.

We grow prodigies! Andy can teach your child prolonged concentration, artistic expression, problem solving, and focus. His classes build character. As a wonderful side effect, your child will also learn to play the guitar like a dream come true. Before enrolling your child in guitar lessons at a local music shop, do your homework. Be certain to ask for qualifications, and insist that your teacher is able to read music.

Lessons are offered on a weekly basis only, and students commit to the semester. Students who have tried the “every-other-week” approach have not achieved success. Andy does not teach “let’s try it and see” lessons. He also travels to student’s homes, as long as the lesson is at least one hour.

The families in our community have made music a priority. Sports do teach some team-building skills, but studying music teaches your child much more valuable life-long skills. Please plan your semester carefully before enrolling your child in lessons. I now charge a $50 fee to change your lesson time mid-semester.

Andy’s program offers weekly lessons, and one group jam each month. Parents of prospective students must attend one of these group jams with their child to witness the fun and skill the students experience… once you see how my students play, you’ll want the experience for your child.

We realize that the Suzuki Method asks for a commitment of a year up front, but we’ve shortened that expectation to one semester. Many parents ask if they can experience a ‘trial lesson’ before committing… we will be happy to have you attend another child’s lesson as an observer, at no charge.

Here are the tuition rates:
Pay by the Semester: $700. ($35 per lesson X 20 lessons.) This locks in your time slot and position in the studio. Time slots are assigned based on the number of years a student has participated in the studio. You commit to the full amount up front. This rate is not based on attendance. No attendance records will be kept. No refunds for missed lessons. No make up lessons will be given. Many students call to inquire about signing up for lessons at the 4:00pm spot. Those prime times are taken by established students who have been in the studio for 4 years or more. New students will have to take a less desirable time, prove their commitment, and will be offered more attractive times as they become available. Quitting in the middle of a semester creates a terrible life lesson for your child. My students complete each semester with a concert, leaving them with a sense of accomplishment.

Pay by the Lesson: This option is not available for our private lessons. It is a recipe for failure, as your child learns the life lesson that she should not commit to challenging experiences, and that they can skip commitments on a whim. I pay to rent the room and for childcare in advance… I commit to the lesson time and plan my life around that commitment; I expect the same from each and every student.

A group class is offered each month. This year they are being offered free of charge, as part of your lesson tuition.

I teach the following styles on guitar:
Suzuki Method
Classical Gutiar

Electric Guitar
Jazz Improvisation
Bluegrass flatpicking and fingerpicking
Heavy Metal Rhythm and Lead
Flamenco
Songwriting and Composition

Adult Guitar
Music Theory and Music Reading
Understanding Music without notation
Recording and Production (Certified Pro Tools Operator)

I teach the following instruments as well:
Mandolin
Banjo
Ukulele
12 String Guitar
Fiddle

Children as young as 3 can learn to play the classical guitar using the Suzuki Method®. Give me a call to discuss any aspects of the Suzuki Method® that you may still have questions about or to set up a time to come and visit the studio.  I look forward to working with you and your child. Please wait to buy a guitar until you’ve spoken with me and visited the studio. A properly fitted guitar is critical to your child’s success.

I encourage my students to compose music and improvise above memorizing repetoire. I teach musicianship and fun above competitiveness. I expect my students to be open minded to all styles of music, and to question authority when faced with conservative classical music attitudes.

Every Child Can Learn
More than forty years ago, Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music, and called his method the mother-tongue approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, constant repetition, etc., are some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.

Parent Involvement
As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.

Early Beginning
The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin at birth; formal training may begin at age three or four, but it is never too late to begin.

Listening
Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.

Repetition
Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.

Encouragement
As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.

Learning with Other Children
In addition to private lessons, children participate in regular group lessons and performances at which they learn from and are motivated by each other.

Graded Repertoire
Children do not practice exercises to learn to talk, but use language for its natural purpose of communication and self-expression. Pieces in the Suzuki repertoire are designed to present technical problems to be learned in the context of the music rather than through dry technical exercises.

Delayed Reading
Children learn to read after their ability to talk has been well established. In the same way, children should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music.

Source:  Suzuki Association of the Americas

Suzuki Guitar websites:

Gift of Music Studio (Nicolas Palan)
Guitar for Kids Studio (Joe Beninghof)       
Twinkle Together (Steve Bondy)
Longay Conservatory of Guitar (Frank Longay)
Cannonsong.com (Andrea Cannon)
Opus Guitar (Mychal Gendron)
Arbor Guitar (Mary Lou Roberts)
Behrens Guitar Studio (Sean Behrens)
Good Guitar Lessons (Kerry Klungtvedt)
Eve Weiss

Other important Suzuki links:

Suzuki Association of the Americas
Suzuki Association of Colorado
Colorado Suzuki Institute

Other guitar links:

Colorado Springs Guitar Society

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